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University of Southampton alumna, Dr Katherine Schmidtke, is responsible for Optical Technology strategy at social media giant, Facebook.
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\nIn this Zepler Institute Distinguished Lecture, Katharine presents 'Applications of Optoelectronics in Facebook Hyperscale Datacenters'.
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\n<b>Abstract</b>

Published: 20 March 2019
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Dr Yasir Noori showcases his research to Dr Alan Whitehead MP.

Researchers from the University of Southampton presented advances across a range of topics in engineering and physical sciences in the STEM for Britain showcase at the House of Commons.

Multidisciplinary research including particle pollution detection using artificial intelligence, electroplating for digital memories and light dynamic DNA-nanoparticle devices were taken to Parliament for the high profile exhibition during British Science Week.

Early career researchers from Southampton's schools of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), Chemistry, Engineering and Physics and Astronomy, along with the Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics, were all represented in the capital.

Nanotechnology expert Dr Yasir Noori has worked alongside experts from ECS, Chemistry and Physics and Astronomy on his project, along with partners from the Universities of Warwick and Nottingham.

"Our work has involved developing an electroplating technique to make digital memories," he explains. "Electroplating is commonly used for plating jewellery and coins with gold and silver, however, in our project we are plating Silicon chips with a special material that is made of Germanium, Antimony and Tellurium. This material is the fundamental building block of phase change memories and has been recently shown to have applications in Neuromorphic Computing."

Astronomer Lorenzo Zanisi was presented a Silver Medal for his novel use of data science that exploited similarities between astrophysics and medicine to highlight potential shortcomings in the current methodology for treating high blood pressure.

"This is the most valuable recognition so far of the passion I put into my research," Lorenzo says. "Being selected to participate in such prestigious event was already an honour, winning a prize was something absolutely special. These findings show that there are potentially many unexplored opportunities for breakthroughs that may only be possible when scientists from very different fields work together."

Angela de Fazio, also from the School of Physics and Astronomy, presented in the Chemistry category at the STEM for Britain event.

"We have developed a method for the fabrication of 3D structures based on DNA and nanoparticles," she explains. "These materials can be controlled through the presence of a chemical lock that can be activated and de-activated at will using an appropriate key, which is a specific frequency of light. In the future, these structures could be used in the novel field of 4D printing, where functional materials can change their shape in a post-production step, leading to the creation of new reconfigurable materials."

Dr James Grant-Jacob, of the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), presented his advances in the real-time identification of pollution particles such as diesel soot, wood ash and pollen grains in air, and plastic microbeads in water, by using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence to analyse the light scattered from the particles when illuminated by a laser.

Dr Milan Milosevic, also of the ORC, demonstrated his progress on an ion implantation technique for automated testing in photonics.

"The technology we are developing is very promising for enabling effective large-scale manufacturing of photonic integrated circuits for the next generation of communications and integrated sensor technologies," he explains. "A live demonstration will be given to the public during a showcase event at Southampton towards the end of the project."

Bioengineering Science researcher Josh Steer presented his work in the field of prosthetics, where he has developed tools to support clinicians during the design process for artificial limbs by predicting the pressure distribution between the user and their socket in real-time. He is set to commercialise the innovative software in a recently announced Enterprise Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering.

The STEM for Britain competition is run by the House of Commons Parliamentary Scientific Committee. Each year it attracts hundreds of entrants, of whom around a third are selected to present their work at a poster competition in Parliament.

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Published: 19 March 2019
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(l-r) Aura Vision CEO Daniel Martinho-Corbishley, CPO Jonathan Blok and CTO Jaime Lomeli.

Startup founders from the University of Southampton have taken their place among the world's best startups at Silicon Valley's Y Combinator accelerator.

Former student entrepreneurs from Aura Vision and Ysplit - formerly Cluttr - outshone thousands of candidates to join the latest cohort of the world-famous accelerator, which has launched countless global brands including Airbnb, Dropbox and Reddit.

Aura Vision has built upon cutting-edge postgraduate research in the School of Electronics and Computer Science to produce a visitor analytics platform for retail stores, while Ysplit has combined the talents of three engineering and computer science graduates to develop a virtual card which shares transactions between groups of friends.

The startups, which were both nurtured in the University's Future Worlds on-campus accelerator, have each received a $150,000 investment and are now valued at over $2 million. They will present to a select audience of investors and press at today's renowned Demo Day as they complete a three-month journey refining products that were first devised during their studies.

Aura Vision helps retailers measure their audience in unprecedented detail, by using state-of-the-art computer vision techniques on existing camera systems to provide precise visitor insights for footfall, heat maps, peel-off rates, area dwell times and service wait times. The startup was co-founded by Daniel Martinho-Corbishley and Jaime Lomeli during their PhDs in the Vision, Learning and Control Research Group.

"The opportunity to join a world-leading US accelerator has put us in a very strong position to scale our sales pipeline in a retail market that is ten times larger than in the UK," Daniel says. "Y Combinator is designed to slingshot you toward Demo Day and we a raring to go in front of the hottest angels and venture capitalists in the Valley.

"It's been a hard graft in the 18 months since we handed in our theses, but we feel so lucky to have been able to commercialise what we first started in Southampton. Our product is in live deployment with paying customers and we are always developing and improving our offer, so expect some exciting announcements in the next few months."

Ysplit creates virtual cards to use with groups, simplifying recurring payments by charging everyone separately. The startup was co-founded by entrepreneurs Tunde Alao, Landon Vago-Hughes and Boateng Opoku-Yeboah, having developed the idea during their studies in Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics and Astronautics.

"We've come a long way since we first pitched Cluttr at Future Worlds Dragons' Den and our offering has developed to not just track but solve the payment problems that houses face," Tunde says. "With a YSplit card, everyone will pay their share of the transaction automatically when the card is charged. I have been following Y Combinator for as long as I can remember and have always been impressed by the mentality of its startups. We have been growing as much as possible during the programme and our next milestone will be to hire more engineers and release hundreds of cards over the coming weeks."

Y Combinator has invested in over 1,900 companies since its launch in 2005, with Aura Vision and Ysplit taking their place in the winter 2019 cohort. To date, the accelerator has helped launch 93 companies that are now valued at over $100 billion, directly leading to the creation of over 28,000 jobs worldwide.

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Published: 18 March 2019
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Students from across the country faced 50 cyber security challenges during HECC 2019.

Talented tech students descended on the University of Southampton's School of Electronics of Computer Science to contend for one of the UK's foremost inter-university cyber security competitions.

Teams faced 50 challenges ranging from hacking websites to reverse engineering in the Higher Education Cyber Challenge, which was hosted in the University's new Software Projects Laboratory.

The one-day competition drew over 100 students from universities that hold Academic Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security Research status or run GCHQ-certified cyber degrees.

It aimed to inspire young tech enthusiasts into the cyber security sector, while also honing the skills of those who already have a strong aptitude for ethical hacking and helping them meet like-minded individuals and potential employers.

Team '0x434343' from Cardiff University gathered the most points from available 'flags' in the contest to top the leaderboard, while Southampton students in the 'Sudo-nt' team finished a respectable fifth out of 26 teams overall.

Read the full story here.

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Publications

Zhang, Xiaoyu, Wang, Qi, Zhang, Rong, Chen, Sheng and Hanzo, Lajos (2017) Research Data - Performance Analysis of Layered ACO-OFDM. University of Southampton [Dataset]

Zhang, Xiaoyu, Wang, Qi, Zhang, Rong, Chen, Sheng and Hanzo, Lajos (2017) Performance analysis of layered ACO-OFDM. IEEE Access, 5, 18366-18381. (doi:10.1109/ACCESS.2017.2748057).

Zhang, Xiaoyu, Babar, Zunaira, Zhang, Rong, Chen, Sheng and Hanzo, Lajos (2019) Multi-class coded layered asymmetrically clipped optical OFDM. IEEE Transactions on Communications, 67 (1), 579-589. (doi:10.1109/TCOMM.2018.2869821).

Zhang, Xiaoyu and Babar, Zunaira (2018) Research Data - Multi-Class Coded Layered Asymmetrically Clipped Optical OFDM. University of Southampton doi:10.5258/SOTON/D0646 [Dataset]

Babar, Zunaira, Zhang, Xiaoyu, Botsinis, Panagiotis, Alanis, Dimitrios, Chandra, Daryus, Ng, Soon and Hanzo, Lajos (2019) Research Data - Near-Capacity Multi-Layered Code Design for LACO-OFDM-Aided Optical Wireless Systems. University of Southampton doi:10.5258/SOTON/D0795 [Dataset]

Babar, Zunaira, Zhang, Xiaoyu, Botsinis, Panagiotis, Alanis, Dimitrios, Chandra, Daryus, Ng, Soon Xin and Hanzo, Lajos (2019) Near-capacity multi-layered code design for LACO-OFDM-aided optical wireless systems. IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology. (doi:10.1109/TVT.2019.2896764).

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Publications

Burrell, Jamie, Dymond, Marcus K., Gillams, Richard, Parker, Duncan, Langley, G. John, Labrador, Ana, Nylander, Tommy and Attard, George S. (2017) Using curvature power to map the domain of Inverse micellar cubic phases: the case of aliphatic aldehydes in 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine. Langmuir, 2017 (33), 12804-12813. (doi:10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b02998).

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Published: 12 March 2019
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Social Machines harness the power of the crowd, with everyone able to contribute.

An interdisciplinary research programme spearheaded by computer scientists from University of Southampton has published a new book covering The Theory and Practice of Social Machines.

The new book, which was co-authored by Regius Professor of Computer Science Dame Wendy Hall, represents the fullest and most complete discussion of social machines to date.

Social machines are networks of people and devices at scale, with behaviour co-constituted by human participants and technological components. The book is the latest output of the SOCIAM project, which brought together experts from the University of Oxford, University of Southampton and University of Edinburgh.

It describes the set of tools and techniques developed within SOCIAM for investigating, constructing and facilitating social machines, considers the ethical issues relating to privacy and trust, and speculates on future research trends.

Read the full story here.

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