This week, CompSoc is hosting a *workshop with Semmle*, where we'll be
using their QL query language to *find security vulnerabilities*.
Tonight we will be hosting a semi-informal dinner with *David Malan*, a
Harvard professor that runs their CS50 course - an introductory programming
course that has over 1200 attendees each year. He's interested in chatting
with current CS students about Oxford's CS course.
After that, it's our usual *Geek Night* and a *tech talk with Metaswitch* on
how the *Rust*'s type system and static analysis is making the internet
safer for us all.
*Learn to Code* is fast approaching and if you have programming experience
with Python and would like to share some of your time and enthusiasm, let
us know or join the *CompSoc helper Facebook group*
Other upcoming events in Oxford include a *drinks event on Big Data* at
Somerville College and a *Capture the Flag* event with BAE Systems and
OUEngSoc in Week 2.
Graduating? Want to start your future right? *Bloomberg* are taking
applications for their 2018 *software engineer graduate scheme*.
See you soon,
*Thomas and the rest of the committee*
P.S. Don't forget to sign up for the 40th Anniversary Dinner
EventsDavid Malan and Patrick Rebeschini
*18:30 Monday 1st Week - Undergraduate Social Area, Department of Computer
Science (location provisional)*
David Malan runs the CS50 course <http://cs50.harvard.edu/> at Harvard, and
Patrick Rebeschini (now at Oxford in the Stats department) previously ran
the course at Yale. They are interested in meeting with Oxford CS students
to discuss our course structure and to discuss the possibility of running a
similar course at Oxford. If you're passionate about CS education or you're
planning to volunteer with Learn to Code then this could be a great
We're provisionally going to meet at 18:30 in the UGSA but the venue might
change, so please RSVP here
we will e-mail later today if there is a change in venue. Food and drinks
will be provided.
Workshop with Semmle: The Zero-Day Machine
*19:00 Wednesday 1st Week – Undergraduate Social Area, Department of
On Wednesday of 1st week (17 January), engineers from Oxford University
spin-off Semmle will visit CompSoc to give a workshop (with competition!)
about *code security analysis using the QL query language*. Using QL, it is
possible to write accurate and intricate queries that find security
vulnerabilities and various other problems in code. We started as a
research group at the Department of Computer Science, and have grown to an
international company with offices in Oxford, San Francisco, Seattle, New
York, Copenhagen, and Valencia. The QL language and analyses are now *used
on a daily basis* by security teams *at both Google and Microsoft* (among
many others) to find security vulnerabilities in their code.
*We recently made our analysis technology freely available for open source
projects*; find your own favourite projects on https://lgtm.com
! As of
today, lgtm has analysed over 10 million commits by more than 300,000
developers to over 55,000 open source projects. Our security researchers
are constantly working with the community to find and disclose new
vulnerabilities; have a look on https://lgtm.com/blog
for some examples.
Our queries are open source and available on GitHub:
The workshop will be given by recent Oxford Comp Sci graduates Sam Lanning
and Aditya Sharad. We'll start with an introduction to lgtm.com
and QL, and
tell you about *some of the technological challenges we faced* when
developing the query language and engine. After that, there'll be a *workshop
on how to write queries to find your own security vulnerabilities*. Various
*prizes* will be awarded, and of course there'll be *drinks and pizzas*.
See you all at on 17 January at 19:00 in the Social Area!
Geek Night 1 <https://www.facebook.com/events/1793249247643632/>
*19:00 Saturday 2nd Week – Lecture Theatre A, Department of Computer
Bring your laptop for an evening of relaxing, chatting, games, coding and a
selection of food and drink. This week's Geek Night theme is pizza which
arrives on time.
By the way, locked out? If you're a member of the CS Department, you can
enter after hours by swiping your Bod card and enter the secret code
(genuine hint: this
<https://www.youtube.com/embed/OR4N5OhcY9s?start=13&end=19> plus #).
Tech talk with Metaswitch: "Rust: making the Internet more secure,
*19:00 Wednesday 2nd Week – Lecture Theatre A, Department of Computer
Rust is a relatively new programming language which is rapidly gaining
traction in industry. It aims to replace C++, using a smart type system and
static analysis to enforce safe use of pointers while retaining the
efficiency required for systems programming. Buffer overflows and incorrect
memory management are responsible for a large fraction of recent security
vulnerabilities; Rust simply makes these impossible to compile. It’s a
great example of how the concepts of Computer Science are making a
practical difference to modern software engineering.
Bio: Keith Wansbrough is a Software Engineer at Metaswitch Networks Ltd.
Learn to Code 1: Introduction to Python
*19:00 Thursday from 2nd Week – Lecture Theatres A & B, Department of
Learn to Code is back! If you've ever wanted to learn the basics of
programming, refresh your Python knowledge, or get an idea of what computer
scientists actually do all day then this is going to be a great course for
We aren't going to assume any prior programming experience, although to get
the best out of the sessions we highly recommend that you bring a laptop so
that you can follow along with some of the examples. It doesn't matter
whether you use Windows, Mac, or Linux, and in the first session we'll
explain how to get started on any of these platforms.
In this course we are going to be using the programming language Python,
which is one of the easiest languages to pick up if you've never programmed
before and it is widely used in the technology industry – YouTube, NASA,
and Wikipedia are just three examples. If you need to learn R at some point
during your degree you may find that an introduction to Python will help
you pick up basic computational thinking ideas faster.
We do expect demand to be very high for this course, so please try to
arrive before the advertised start time as we need to register everyone
(for fire regulations). You'll need to enter via the back door on Parks
Road; there are CompSoc signs up at the department.
Other noticesThe True Value of Big Data
*15:30–19:00, Friday 1st Week – Flora Anderson Hall, Somerville College*
‘Big Data’ as a term is hot property but what does it actually mean... to
you? To business? To society?
Join Met Office and Alibaba Cloud as we cut through the ambiguity of Big
Data and demonstrate the real-life value of analytics, algorithms and
balloons(!) at Somerville College on Friday, 19th January.
Speakers include Alberto Arribas, Head of UK Informatics Lab at Met Office,
Dr Wang Ning, Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University and Data
Scientists from Alibaba Cloud.
Includes drinks and canapés.
*Sign up here.* <http://bit.ly/BigDataEvent-Oxford>
- 15:30: Welcome Reception
- 16:00–18:10: Presentations by Oxford University, Met Office & Alibaba
- 18:10: Introduction to Future Challenge data mining contest
- 18:25–19:30: Contest registration, drinks and networking
BAE Capture the Flag
*09:30–16:30, Saturday 2nd Week – location TBC*
OUEngSoc have kindly shared this event with us:
This is a team-based challenge for teams of 2 to 6 players, but individual
entries are also fine and teams will be assigned later. The challenges will
involve breaking into vulnerable websites, cracking ciphers, forensic
searches, reverse engineering and much more. *No previous experience* of
these kinds of challenge is *necessary*; they are designed *for students
who like taking things apart and seeing how they work*.
*Lunch* will be provided and there will be *prizes* for the winners!
*For more information or to sign up, email ctf(a)baesystems.com
Sponsor noticesBloomberg 2018 Software Engineer Graduate Program
*Ready to solve problems that others can't?*
At Bloomberg, we find answers and make connections that improve our world.
It's our purpose. What's yours?
We develop impactful solutions to complex, real-world problems. With new
systems being rolled out daily, we make an innovative impact on global
markets and we look for the best software engineers to build them.
The 2018 grad scheme is full time, permanent employment based at
Bloomberg's new London HQ. Training classes start in May, August and
November. *Find out more and apply
The Oxford University Computer Society (CompSoc) aims to organise meetings
and events for our members to use and further their computing interests.
See all of our upcoming events on our Facebook Page
<https://facebook.com/oxcompsoc/> or visit our Website
<https://ox.compsoc.net/> for more information about the society.