Computer Sciences students take part in Forensic Imagery, Hacking and Coding trip to UWE
Computer Sciences students attend excellent workshop on Forensic Imagery, Hacking and Coding.
By Aziz Bushnak
The day started relatively normally, by field trip terms, that is. I woke up at 6.00am, ate breakfast, got changed, and went to the ICC Coach Park. There a large coach was waiting, with a handful of Year 10s and 12s waiting for 6.30am to come, so we could be off. I was extremely privileged to be there, as the trip was intended for Sixth Formers only; I only got in because Mr Kirkbride recommended it to me, saying he thought I would enjoy it. He was right.
At 6.30am, we all got into the bus. Thus started the 1½ hour trip to the UWE, or the University of the West of England. We arrived at around 8.00am and I was immediately dumbfounded by the sheer size of it all. It was at least four times the size of ICC, and had several huge buildings and flocks of students here, there, everywhere. We were bustled off to a café, where we got biscuits and tea, and then we had a small presentation on student life and courses. Then the real fun began.
Firstly my group had a workshop on Forensic Imagery. We were told to look at imaginary suspects documents using a program used by actual detectives, and figure out if this man was a criminal. From looking through his files (even the deleted ones!) and pictures, we figured out he was stalking Samantha Detsiwt and Talulah Dewercs, and was planning to hold them for ransom. We also, briefly, had a look through his emails and found there was a bigger plot behind all this, but suddenly we had to go because our hour of allocated time was up.
We had lunch, then went on to do a Python Workshop using Conway’s Game of Life. We used software known as Processing 3.1.1, which is like a Scrump program but can easily process any programming script, to firstly type in some beginner Python programs, including one which continuously filled your screen with randomly sized and randomly coloured squares, then copy/pasted a program into Processing which replicated the Game of Life. Basically, you insert in squares, or ‘cells’, into a grid, then press space to unfreeze time, then the rest continues via Conway’s laws; if a cell has less than 2 neighbouring cells, it dies of sparse population, if it has more than 3 neighbours, it dies of an overcrowded population; if it has 2-3 neighbours, it lives fine, and if a dead cell has 2-3 neighbours, it comes back to life. It actually makes for some cool patterns!
Finally, we had a tour of the site, then had to leave for home. It was a shame to leave the UWE, with all its courses and opportunities, but I hope I get to come back in future! It was fantastic!