Talk: "Mining Github and Meetup.com to Explore the UK’s Digital Tech Clusters"

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Where: PyDiff, The Cardiff Python User Group
When: 15 March 2016

What can Github and Meetup.com tell us about the UK’s digital tech clusters? In this talk I will describe how Python was used to mine these online platforms to compare programming expertise and tech communities in different regions of the UK. These data contributed to the recently launched Tech Nation 2016 report, which provides a comprehensive data-driven analysis of the UK’s digital tech clusters. [Slides on SpeakerDeck]

LASAGNE Multilayer Network Translation Framework (LMTF)

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Presentation of a webapp (the LMTF) I developed with LASAGNE research project partners. The LMTF allows translation of popular multilayer network datasets into the LASAGNE data format.

[Slides on SpeakerDeck]

Talk: "Cheating at rock-paper-scissors – meta-programming in Python" Django Weekend 2014

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I recently gave a talk at the inaugural Cardiff Django Weekend. It was a very successful weekend, and my first experience of a developer conference.  The talk itself was on meta-programming in Python, showing some of the powerful built-in features Python has for reflection and (to an extent) self-modification. It's inspired by a virtual rock-paper-scissors competition that a fellow lecturer, Staurt Allen, runs for our first-year undergraduate students.

Abstract as follows:
In this talk we’ll explore Python’s meta-programming capabilities by building a program,GellerBot, that cheats at a virtual rock-paper-scissors tournament. The talk will demonstrate some of the neat (and occasionally awful) meta-programming features of Python, and introduce how Python represents its live execution and how a program can be inspected and manipulated on the fly. The talk is aimed at those with Python experience who are curious about meta-programming but have not explored it in depth.

[Slides on SpeakerDeck] [Demo code on Github]

DigiSocial Hackathon – A hackathon for postgraduate researchers

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I'm co-organising the "DigiSocial" hackathon – an exciting attempt to adapt the hackathon format to scientific research and bring together a number of Cardiff University schools, including Social Sciences and Computer Science & Informatics, to stimulate interdisciplinary research. The event is targeted at postgraduate researchers at Cardiff University and is receiving primary funding from the Cardiff University Graduate College's (UGC) postgraduate interdisciplinary initiative, with additional support from the School of Social Sciences (SocSci) and School of Computer Science & Informatics (CS&I).

Our motivation for organising this hackathon is the bring together the complementary skills of Social Scientists and Computer Sciences to carry out research that lies at the intersection of these two disciplines. We do not restrict ourselves to participants from only these two schools, however, as there are many researchers from other schools, such as Psychology and Journalism, that have an interest in this area of research.

The general workflow we anticipate – formulation, experiment, and analysis – requires a slightly different format to a typical hackathon. We want to allow the option for teams to collect new data from their own novel experiments, which may require more time than is available at a typical one- or two-day hackathon. Thus, we're splitting the hackathon over two weekends, separated by two weeks. On the first weekend the attendees form interdisciplinary teams and devise projects to work on. If this collaboration were a TCP connection, this would be the establish phase. Most of the implementation happens over these first two days.

Then, the interdisciplinary connection is maintained for the intervening 10 days, with the aim of teams collecting their data. The data collection method depends on the research question, and could, for example, be a publicly accessible web experiment. The teardown phase on the final weekend is for teams to analyse and evaluate their data and experiments, and then present their idea and findings on the final afternoon.

The establish weekend is 15th - 16th (Sept), and the teardown weekend is 29th - 30th (Sept) . More information and a registration form can be found at the hackathon web page. Will Webberley and Wil Chivers are the lead representatives from CS&I and SocSci (respectively), and Chris Gwilliams and I are co-organising from the CS&I side.

Foursquare Global Hackathon - Cardiff, September 2011

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I'm co-organising the Cardiff Foursquare Hackathon with Chris Gwilliams and Martin Chorley. The Cardiff School of Computer Science & Informatics is kindly supporting it with facilities and enthusiasm.

It will be held on the 17th and 18th September, in conjunction with the Global Foursquare Hackathon event.

Sign up to the Cardiff event at the meetup.com page. Tweet @4sqHackCardiff. Other information at http://lab.mattjw.net/4sqHackCardiff.

Talk: "A brief journey through Foursquare user check-ins in Cardiff" FTS Apr 2011

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Where: FTS Seminar (PhD Student Seminar Series), Cardiff School of CS&I
When: 6 April 2011

Initial results from an ongoing Foursquare data collection project that Martin Chorley and I are collaborating on. Focuses on initial analyses and visualisations of Foursquare checkins in Cardiff. See below for a rough animation of checkins generated from this data. [Slides on SpeakerDeck]

Talk: "Towards Ambidexterity" – FTS Ignite 2010

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Where: FTS Ignite 2010, Cardiff School of CS&I
When:  1st December 2010

An Ignite talk on a five week experiment to see if I could switch handedness (I'm naturally right-hand dominant). Ignite talks last exactly 5 minutes and consist of 20 slides which auto-advance every 15 seconds. [Slides PDF 21MB]

Talk: "An Introduction to Python... In 30 Minutes" – FTS Jan 2010

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Where: FTS Seminar (PhD Student Seminar Series), Cardiff School of CS&I
When: 27 January 2010

A concise high-level introduction to Python. [Slides PDF 3MB]

Talk: – "How Many Friends is Too Many?" – FTS Feb 2009

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Where: FTS Seminar (PhD Student Seminar Series), Cardiff School of CS&I
When: 4th February 2009

An overview of some research from social networks and anthropology, mostly focusing on Robin Dunbar's work on social relationships. Also discusses research on social relationships in MMORPGs. [Slides PDF 1MB]