Experiencing Computer Science at the University of Hull

By 4th May 2012 One Comment

Hull Computer Science

It’s coming to the end of my second year, and I will be taking a break from the life of a student to work next year as my year in industry. Although I will still be living as student in Hull, I will be working as part of a development team for the department’s software development company SEED. This blog is kind of pointed towards any school students who are interested in Computer Science as a degree at Hull, but it’s still going to be a good read me thinks.

Our universities computer science department sealed the deal for me when I came for an open day over two years ago. I know it’s a long time ago and I’ve not got great memory, but from what I remember, we were given mini lectures about the department and what the staff teach. Rob Miles and Mike Brayshaw were the first two staff members that I remember meeting first. Rob seemed to have his Microsoft side to him, and Mike with Apple. I’d previously heard of Rob but this was through self teaching some C# in my final year of A Level. Finding out about Rob was one of the reasons that I decided on coming along to the open day and meeting the man in person was amazing.

This blog is leading somewhere I promise. I’m just trying to give a setting to how awesome our department is.

We then met some of the games development staff who gave us a short presentation on the games industry and what our university has to offer in terms of games development and it was awesome! Although I didn’t come to university to become a games programmer, the games side is brilliant. I took a few of the games modules this year and really enjoyed them, although learning maths again was something hard. I think the department should make Quantitative Methods compulsory to anyone on the CS with Games course because it’s needed.

We also got to see HIVE, which stands for Hull Immersive Visualisation Environment. We popped on some 3D shutter glasses and the staff showed us some 3D objects and how the hardware works. There is also a pair of glasses with motion tracking so you can move around and the environment moves to the position you are standing. We were shown some uses of the hardware which would be useful for a medical environment. Although HIVE isn’t available until your third year as I’m aware, it’s still an awesome experience.

The open day was like none other that I’d been to. And the department really did it for me. Especially the free “Where Would You Think” Microsoft Tag t-shirt which I still have today, although I could do with an upgrade on the size 😉

First year studying here is brilliant. Rob teaches you C# and XNA as you may have guessed. You also learn the more software engineering side in your second semester which is important. You will have to listen all lectures in your first year, because all modules tie in when you get into your second year. Some aspects of Software Engineering and the 2 programming modules link in to a second year module called Systems Analysis, Design and Process taught by another amazing lecturer, Peter Robinson. His humour is nearly as good as Rob’s.

You really do learn everything that you could ever need here at Hull. First year is C# and learning about computer hardware and IT professionalism. Second year you move on to learning C++ which is quite hard to get into at first, but it gets easier… I think. You get to learn graphics using XNA in the first year, and then the proper stuff using OpenGL in second year, as well as a bit of OpenGL ES if you take the Games Architecture module. You can read more about what I’ve done this year in other blog posts. My favourite of this year modules has to be Electronics and Interfacing that is taught by Rob Miles.

I really seem to just ramble on now, but all I really want to say is that our department is awesome, and if you are thinking of doing Computer Science here then don’t hesitate. The other open days I went to were nothing compared to the warm welcome of Hull’s. You will love it here!

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