It has been great over the past couple of weeks to welcome the 3rd full cohort onto the MSc Connected Environments programme. 30 students from 8 nationalities joined the broader community of around 150 CASA students for several induction week activities including orientation sessions, a software install day and followed up by the traditional CASA treasure hunt which this year finished at one of our favourite spots for drinks and pizza, Crate Brewery. Ollie did a fantastic job of hosting the social although I am still not quite sure how he worked out who the winners were.
Another Induction Week tradition which seems to be forming is the production of Andy’s “devices video” – a virtual exhibition of some of the things made in the lab over the previous years. In addition to devices made by staff, the video contains many of the devices that past students have made as part of the course, so it previews where this year’s students may head over the coming months.
The welcome session also included a visit to the Urban Room to see the exhibition completed by the outgoing students. The prospect of presenting their projects in a public space was quite daunting to many of last year’s students, who had to consider not only the content of their work but also how to convey it in a compelling and accessible manner. By pushing our students to distill complex research into clear, engaging, and visually appealing presentations, the exhibition drastically elevated their scientific and technical communication skills. The students incorporated multimedia elements, interactivity, and playful storytelling, which helped the exhibition resonate with both experts and the general public. The Urban Room exhibition is open until the end of October and is free for the public so please visit!
As the first time we have been able to show incoming students where they might complete their journey with us in 12 months’ time, we are excited to see how this exhibition inspires our new cohort. The slide carousel below gives a preview of some of the exhibits on show.
The calm before the start of term is often a time to reflect on our plans for the year ahead and get things organised. We moved into our new UCL East lab midway through term last year so this is the first year we will be completely in One Pool Street from start to finish. With induction week behind us, teaching has begun. Every year, we hand out IoT Prototyping Kits for all students in the programme and introduce the resources we have available in the lab for them to borrow. To help us manage who owns which kit bag this year, Valerio and Yaman built the Hoozit machine. Hoozit is an NFC-enabled audio device that tells you who the bag belongs to based on a personalised message left by the owner. Most importantly, it was developed completely in-house in under a week using the same resources that are available to our students!
The Post It’s in the image below hint at a good year ahead. As a task to get the students chatting together we asked them to list some of the day to day things required to complete an MSc – I particularly liked the “follow your heart”, “stay safe” and “dress well”! Here we go….!