Mark Stephens

Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX.

He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

BCS talk by Liz Bacon and dinner at Greenwich

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I was lucky enough to be invited to the annual talk and dinner, hosted by Greenwich University on wednesday night.

The event began with drinks and a chance to meet other attendees (a wide range of people from Industry and Academia) before the annual talk. This year, the current BCS president Liz Bacon , who is also Vice-chancellor and Professor of Software Engineering at Greenwich University (and in the very dim and distant past very patiently taught me Unix).

The title of the talk was Cyborg vs Avatar – A Vision of Future Learning. The talk looked at the number of false revolutions in education (this time it really is different), the issues we now face with education. Liz clearly spends a lot of time thinking about how education needs to evolve and move forward from it ‘enlightenment’ roots to meet the challenges of the modern world.

The talk was videoed so I hope it will be available to watch soon (it is very entertaining and well worth seeing). As with any good IT talk, Liz raided her collection of kitten and Star Trek pictures for her slides…..

After the talk, there was a chance to chance and also to see some of the projects that Greenwich students had been working on. These include a better way to create presentations online, and online financial options calculation tool and lots of tools aimed at privacy and security. I was impressed by the level of coding expertise and also the way that the students had looked at the business angle and consider issues such as usability and UI, as not just the technical implementation.

The final part of the evening was a formal meal in the Grand Hall. The choir sang grace and performed some songs at the start of the meal and we had a flautist playing during the meal. There was a master of ceremonies to introduce the speakers. The BCS is very keen to promote IT (especially and to encourage more women to join the profession) and the speakers were telling us about the BCS initiatives past and present to promote this. There were lots of interesting people to meet during the evening.

The food was amazing and the evening ended with the lights being dimmed and a set of chocolate ships (this little fireworks for canons) being brought out.

It was my first time at the BCS talk and dinner and a wonderful evening out. I have checked my diary for 2016, and I am definitely free for next year (whatever date it is)!

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Mark Stephens

Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX.

He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

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