We have introduced a new format to our show and this episode is the first one following it. In this episode, there is only
one interview where Hugh talks to Professor Gal Kaminka about how robots can collaborate, specifically in situations where
there needs to be complementary behaviours such as team work. Gal talks about his framework which puts forward the basic blocks
for building socially inteligent brains and explains how his framework has been useful in a number of application areas.
Past, present and future of the robotics and the challenges involved is the topic of Ram's interview with Wyatt Newman. In
the second feature of this episode, Hugh talks to Luca Bortolussi about systems biology and in particular, how computer science
techniques can be applied in biology. This month, Hugh takes his chance for telling joke and Chris, our quiz master, comes
with some difficult questions for Alex. However, Alex makes a compucast record of having 3 out of 5 correct answers.
This month, Tobias, our new crew member, talks to Hans Vandierendonck about his framework for multicore parallel programming.
Also, Hugh talks to Professor Austin Tate about AI planning, i.e. how artificial intelligence can be used for finding plans
in situations ranging from emergency rescue operations to controlling a robot in a space mission on the Mars. In this episode
the joke, from Iain, made some genuine laugh in the studio and stephen make a record of 300% improvement on him answering
quiz questions. Well done Stephen.
Yes! Compucast is resurrected. In this episode, Alex interviews Vijay about memory consistency in parallel architectures and
Hugh, in his second try to understand formal semantics, talks to Ohad about operational semantics. It is a shame that Edd
did not take the quiz and do the joke, however, Stephen, did and interestingly, he even could break Edd's worst record by
not answering correctly any of the questions. In this feature, the notion of "formal semantics" is met over and over again,
hence the name "Semantics, Semantics, Semantics".
This episode we've got a great feature in which Stephen Clark tells Iain all about linguistic stegnaography. We'll also
be returning to our good old oddity corner where Iain Murray will be explaining the basics (and more) of error-correcting
codes (see here).
As always, we bring you the increasingly challenging quiz and the best joke that we could find in a pile of pretty mediocre
ones, along with all the latest news from Helen and Alex.
This episode we've got two great features about software foundations.
Hugh speaks to David Harel about State Charts and a biological Turing Test.
And, as if you couldn't get enough of Hugh, he speaks to Sam Lindley to get a guide to Monads for Morons. Which one of
them is the Moron is an exercise for the listener!
Of course, as usual, we bring you the highly intellectual quiz and side-splittingly hilarious joke of the month, along
with all the latest CS news from Chris B and Chris F.
How is the world trying to build faster and faster routers that enable you to download at higher rates? That's the question
that Hugh picks in his interview with Gordon Brebner. They talk about many interesting topics, like, how FPGAs are used at
the core of the Internet. Moreover, in our second feature, Alex talks to Patrick Lam about proving specific properties for
computer programs, yet another step in program analysis.
This month, Edd is challenged by Ali's quiz questions. Quite honestly, Edd seems to have become unbeatable!
This month, compucast gives your another short episode, this
time with the taste of networking.
Hugh talks with Nitin Vaidya about network aware distributed
algorithms and Ali, in his interview with Marwan Fayed, tries to
understand what "Next Generation Internet" is. They even talk
about issues such as SOPA.
In our quiz this month, Helen challenges Edd, who is now so
confident about computer science that he started to read us the
December 2011 - CompuCast - Agents, Algorithms and all that Jazz!
This month we bring you another special episode. This time it's
all about computers and music!
Mark, our newest team member, interviews composer Michael
Edwards, who unveils the merits of algorithmic composition.
Chris talks to Dave Murray Rust who has built an agent-based
system that can jam alongside real musicians and finally Helen
discusses computational analysis of music and its relationship
to language with Mark Steedman.
Also in this episode: Edd, with his musical
background, has a fair chance to meet our Quiz master's
challenge. And look out at the end for a special Christmas
performance by the CompuCast crew.
November 2011 - CompuCast - Compact, Informative, Full of Goodness
Here is another half hour helping of CompuCast Goodness. After last
month's special episode, we are back to our new, snappy format. In this
episode, we talk with Micrsoft Research chief research officer, Rick
Rashid, about the data driven world. Phil Wadler has a chat with Gregory
Chaitin and finally we honour the life of Dennis Ritchie, who passed
away last month.
We also had to deal with the problem of Edd losing his voice just before
the quiz. The wimp, we know he's just faking because he wasn't able to cheat so easily this month!
Instead we drag two unsuspecting PhD students down for a grilling.
PS: Don't forget to checkout the videos for our interviews.
From a very early age, especially in today's technology centric world, one seems to grow up with this image
of robots as almost mythical creatures - sometimes evil, sometimes noble. But, what is a robot, really? How
much do we know about the gentle robots that actually inhabit our world today? What will robots of tomorrow
really look like? Why do computer scientists spend so much time working on these mechanical gizmos?
This month's episode, a special issue on robotics, aims to shed some light on these questions. We begin
with a fun look at robots that play football, aspiring (perhaps naively) to be able to one day take on world
champion human footballers. On that optimistic note, we hear what a cross section of people - experts and
laypersons - think about the future of robotics. Finally, we take a look at how researchers are using
robotics to shed light on biology and vice versa.
After our birthday episode last month we looked back at what we set out to do when we started CompuCast one year ago: Creating
a half-hour episode each month giving you an informed, concise overview of computer science research. Seeing that over the
year the episodes have become increasingly longer it is now time for a change!
We hope you enjoy the brand-new CompuCast and we look forward to your feedback.
This month's episode starts off with our new 64 bit news: a snappy compilation of computer science news in just 64 seconds.
Also in this episode is an interview of Stephan Wong from Delft University on reconfigurable computing by Hugh.
Chris and Iain argue about the pros and cons of language oriented programming.
And Ali talks to Nigel Goddard from Edinburgh University about computational models for global change.
P.S. Don't forget to check out the YouTube video for the Stephan Wong interview:
A double-helping of Hugh this month, with two interviews: Uday Khedker on heap liveness analysis, and Richard Mortier about
controlling, and utilising, your personal data online. Chris brings us a wide-ranging chat with John Aycock and Heather Crawford.
Listen to it and find out why studying ancient Greek could be dangerous, that there are such things as good worms, and what
super-liminal audio steganography is!
Also in this jam-packed episode, Helen brings us a primer on Computational Neuroscience, an exciting new field studying brain
function from a CS perspective; Edd behaves shockingly in the quiz, leaving quizmaster Fensch speechless; and Iain discovers
a new dimension to internet dating. Thanks also go to Don Sannella for being our guest host.
P.S. The observant listener may have detected Iain's attempts at super-liminal audio steganography. He doesn't think anyone
can break his code and is offering a reward for anyone who emails or facebooks - it's a verb now - him with the right decoding
(it's one word). A couple of hints: it resembles morse code in that there are two different beeps; and, remember the fundamental
theorem of arithmetic!
Don't forget to check out our Youtube videos giving introductions to this month's interviews.
This month we have a complete mix of computer science, from parallel skeletons to emotions.
Jane Hillston joins us to talk about how Edinburgh will be celebrating the Centenary of Alan's Turing's birth, Maciej Zurawski
talks to Gaya about emotion technology in entertainment and Murray Cole discusses the parallel skeletons in the closet.
As always, Edd tells a fantastic joke (better than usual) and struggles with this month's quiz.
And don't forget to check out our Youtube videos giving introductions to this month's interviews.
This month is compilers month! You'll hear about all sorts of compilery topics, from automated security
to building compilers through partial specialisation. It's all good stuff, we think you'll like it.
And, you can, as always, find out if Edd has stopped cheating at the quiz and if his terrible jokes have
improved any. (Hint, no and no).
In our most high profile episode ever, we bring you a live debate between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs on the
future of mobile computing, exclusive to CompuCast. At times tempers flare and the language may be
occasionally 'mature', so parental guidance is advised.
This month, Donald and Jill Knuth let Hugh ruin their breakfast plans. They talk about everything under the
sun and even manage to eat the food, too!
(The full, unedited interview is available in the downloads section).
We hear your views about women in computer science and why there are so few of them. We also speak to
Timothy Mattson about parallel programming and in this month's oddity corner we introduce you to the bizarre
chemical abstract machine.
Finally, Edd wins pints from Hugh in the quiz, but we all know he's just learning to cheat better, right?
If it's any consolation, Edd's joke is even worse than usual.
This month we talk to Lambda man himself, Phil Wadler, about functional web programming, Ian Sommerville
introduces us to cloud computing and we get a report about the most recent HiPEAC conference. Oh, and Edd
fails miserably at the quiz!
Have you ever wanted to know how bad guys crack passwords? Well this month we explain how they do it,
showing you how rainbow tables and salts work. And once you've listened to the feature, try and crack the
passwords of the CompuCast crew!
The Password Cracking Game
The evil Professor Moriarty has managed to get hold of the passwd file from CompuCast's servers!
He has asked you to crack the passwords for him. Below is the file with the usernames and hashes, you can
try to log in to see if you have managed to crack the passwords.
Moriarty has found out that the passwords contain only lower case letters and digits and that the hashes are
MD5 hashes. He has also discovered that CompuCast doesn't use salts and that some users may have left clues
about their passwords in episode 7 (others may be harder). Try your own rainbow table, dictionary attack or
get clues from the episode. Let us know on Facebook if you crack them!
MD5 password hash
By the way, if you are implementing a password store yourself have a look at key stretching, not just salts.
Key stretching uses a slow hash algorithm so that only an attacker can't brute force billions of passwords
per second. The hash can be made slower as computers get faster. You might also look into zero knowledge
exchange protocols. Sadly we didn't have time to cover these things in the episode.
It's our first episode of a new year, how exciting! Our New Year's resolution is to make CompuCast the
greatest computer science podcast ever unless there's something better out there. We hope this resolution
lasts longer than Hugh's one to keep fit.
This episode we'll show you the beautiful relationship between proofs and programs, talk about super
low-power processor design and discover how to program the Single Chip Cloud Computer. We also honour the
life and work of the late Maurice Wilkes, who died at the end of last year.
It's Christmas! So we've sent Hugh off to the North Pole to talk to Santa's elves about their computer
science problems. It's the best place for him as far as we're concerned and peace reigns in the CompuCast
studios at last! If only we'd thought of this a few episodes back.
While Hugh's as far away as we could send him, the rest of us get down to business. We speak to Ben Kuipers
about modelling the human cognitive map and to Luis von Ahn about games with a purpose. We also find out
that it's not the gift that counts, it's the theory.
October 2010 - Edd vs Bots: CompuCast bets on the bots
This episode we pay tribute to the late Robin Milner, we avoid avoiding deadlocks and warn against expecting
everything to be as easy as it is for physicists. We pit Edd, our producer, against three artificial
intelligences to find out if he's smarter than them. And, as always, we bring you the computer science
quiz and the joke of the month (which Edd promises will not be as lame as usual!).
We've made the second episode! No turning back now.
In this episode we interview three leading Computer Science researchers: Rahul Santhanam, John Quinn, and
Michael Herrmann. We also report on the news that God's number is 20, discuss Omega: Chaitin's number of
knowledge, and bring you the CompuCast quiz and joke of the month!
This is our first ever episode! We're quite excited and can't wait to hear what you think about it.
In this episode we overturn the conventional wisdom about CPUs and GPUs; talk to the father of
computational complexity and find out about the latest in interactive theorem provers. We also bring
you news from around the world, introduce you to Turing tar-pits, test your knowledge with our computer
science quiz and tickle your funny bone with a computer science joke of the month.