Inverted triangles and fake documentaries: stories from the Royal Society Media Skills Course

A team of motley researchers at the Royal Society’s residential  media skills course left gobsmacked, by the bizarre ways in which they can communicate their research (and by the candy collection at coffee break) – the previous line is the top of the inverted triangle of this blog post!

I recently came back from Chichester hall where the Royal society holds their residential communication and media skills course  where we were introduced to such blasphemies as inverted (i.e. downside-up) triangles.

Inverted triangles can give us researchers sleepless nights since that implies we write the conclusion of our article at the top and the introduction at the bottom! Moreover, we were assured of even stranger constructions with all kinds of combinations of triangles, trapeziums, circles and rhombuses – maybe even serpinski triangles –  Jon?



Serpinski Triangle: a fractal of triangles!

The rationale is that for mobile devices and millenials (..and shortening time spans) the punch should come right up and further, as you may have noticed – paragraphs should be very short (even one sentence each! – if you don’t believe me, go to BBC’s websites).

More to follow, of course ….

Dr. Jon Copley the deep sea marine biologist can be found at and Geoff Marsh (not the cricketer) can be found at – you didn’t think I would give you their links at the top of page and let you get away from my post, eh!!


Driving BCTCS 2016

The 32nd British Colloquium of Theoretical Computer Science (BCTCS 2016) was held in Belfast from March 22nd to 24th at Belfast (QUB). Here are some insights, pictures and links to some talks.

The  32nd British Colloquium of Theoretical Computer Science (BCTCS 2016)  was held in Belfast from March 22nd to 24th at the pictueresque setting of Queen’s University Belfast and the newly remodelled Graduate School. It was a good amount of work – a bit like a 200 mts race where you accelerate rapidly and take a while to stop! This was more so because my colleague Alan Stewart who brought the conference here promptly retired leaving me in-charge! (Though he still did much of the work even post-retirement 🙂

I did my PhD in the USA in the area of algorithms and I discover that the areas of focus in theoretical Computer Science differ markedly in the US and UK. The UK has traditional strength in Languages and Logic whereas in the US there seems to be more strength in Algorithms based theory (this is something that the EPSRC readily admit!). BCTCS had good representation across the themes particularly since some of our speakers were from across the pond(s) (including Iceland!).

Slides from some of the talks are available at



Hope you have a look and find them interesting!