BBC Microbit - Dr Joe Finney

Thu, 29 Oct 2015

BBC Microbit - Dr Joe Finney

Thursday 19th November, 18.30

Ravensbourne College of Art

In a move that will no doubt bring a nostalgic smile to many, the BBC recently announced the launch of the micro:bit - a small, lightweight computer designed solely for one purpose… to encourage children to become a generation of digital creators rather than digital consumers. Although initially conceived by the BBC, the micro:bit has developed into a collaborative project bringing together industry, universities and charitable organizations with a single shared aim: To create one million of these devices and deliver one, free of charge, to every year 7 child in the country. Lancaster University is one of these partners, and is responsible for the development of the underlying software that run on the micro:bit.

This talk will introduce the BBC micro:bit and discuss the motivation behind its creation. The talk will go on to demonstrate the capabilities of the device, and its potential to fuse creative vision with computer science principles to inspire a generation of digital creators. The session will also include demonstrations of the micro:bit in action and, if at all possible, will provide a short workshop where attendees can get their first taste of using the micro:bit with some of the many languages and environments under development… so bring your laptops!

Short Bio:

Joe Finney is a senior lecturer in the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University. His research interests include networked mobile systems, support for lightweight embedded systems, and novel mobile applications. Early in his career, he worked with Microsoft to develop next generation mobile internet protocols the windows operating system. More recently, he designed, developed and patented a technology known as Firefly, that enables the real-time modelling and control of 3D artistic LED displays. Currently, he spends most of his time working collaboratively with colleagues at the BBC, Microsoft, ARM, Samsung (and many others) to develop the underlying software of the BBC micro:bit – an inexpensive, lightweight computer designed to inspire the next generation of technologists.

Joe holds a PhD in computer science from Lancaster University, and is a member of the IEEE, ACM, and British Computing Society. Contact him at the School of Computing and Communications:

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