Girls in Computing
The Department of Computing aims to inspire more women to pursue a career in Computer Science. Each year we are hosting and co-organising outreach events for girls and young women, such as the Engineering Summer School for Girls. Our staff is also involved in the AnitaB.org initiative, with DoC representatives leading the local London community.
Interested in what else is going on at Imperial for women in STEM? Check out Her Imperial.
The Frances Bardsley "Watch the Skies!" MegaGame - 2018
Teaching Fellows and Alumni from Imperial College London ran a MegaGame event at The Frances Bardsley Academy For Girls to support their Gifted and Talented students.
This MegaGame is inspired by the classic computer game 'UFO Enemy Unknown' and the more recent excellent XCOM game. Both games, whilst very absorbing at the tactical level are naturally thin on high level politics and diplomatic action. The purpose of this MegaGame is to explore some of the bigger issues facing a world under covert (or even overt) attack by an alien menace.
The basic premise is that aliens from outer space are increasingly visiting earth to abduct, investigate, and terrorise. What is less clear are their motives. Are they ultimately aiming to subvert and take over, or perhaps render earth demoralised and weak enough to invade, or is it some unfathomable motive comprehensible only to a twisted alien psychology? The truth is out there, somewhere.
The main part of the game is about how humanity as a collection of political entities decides to react to the current emerging crisis, alongside evolving global or regional crises that characterise our day to day world. Players will therefore have more than just space aliens to deal with – they will be responding to humanity as well.
Girls ages 14 to 15 spend a day taking on a role within a team, each representing a country of the world, trying to guide their country safely through a number of crisis events whilst dealing with public opinion of their actions. The roles for each country are:
- Head of State: leads and coordinates the team and control the country’s Special Agents.
- Foreign Minister: the focal point for communication with other teams and represents the country at UN Security Council meetings.
- Chief of Defence: responsible for the deployment and actions of all military units, including the advanced units used to intercept aliens.
- Chief Scientist: collects alien technologies, decides on priorities for research and represents the country at the International Science Conference.
Engineering Summer School for Girls
The Faculty of Engineering at Imperial College London runs an Engineering Summer School for Girls to promote the breadth of engineering disciplines available when you study science and maths
subjects through interactive projects and activities.
Girls ages 11 to 14 spend a week at Imperial College and visit the departments of aeronautics, bioengineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computing, earth sciences and engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, materials science and engineering and mechanical engineering. Activities include leactures, workshops, practical activities, tours and projects.
In the Department of Computing, the girls find out about the applications of computing and visit the Dyson labs where they find out how computers 'think' and have a go at playing Jenga using a robot arm. Topics in previous years included:
- SmartDust - Prof Julie McCann
- When programs go wrong - Dr Alastair Donaldson
- Making and healing blood - Dr Ruth Miesener
- Special effects - Prof Paul Kelly
- Superman X-Ray vision - Dr Ben Glocker and Dr Jiefei Ma
I did not expect to see such modern and interesting technology [...]"
[what I enjoyed the most was] finding out how computers can medically help humans"