HackTheMidlands at Birmingham City University

by Dan Hind, BSc Computer Games Technology student.

Last month I attended HackTheMidlands here in the heart of Birmingham City University at Millennium Point. HackTheMidlands is a 24 hour hackathon for people of all skills to come together and make something innovative over the course of the weekend.

So what is a hackathon? The official student hackathon league, Major League Hacking, describe a hackathon as an “invention marathon” where “students can augment skills learned in the classroom by teaching themselves how to independently research new technologies and fix problems they encounter”. So in essence, people of all specialties come together to make software and hardware under a time constraint to solve challenges and meet criteria set out by event hosts and sponsors.

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The strength to last the distance

by Richard Blagrove, Course Leader and Senior Lecturer for BSc Sport and Exercise Science.

In October, our engineering lecturer Laura will be taking part in her first marathon, the Birmingham Marathon, which finishes outside our Faculty home Millennium Point. In her last post, Laura explained what made her decide to take on this challenge. Today we have a guest post from Richard, from the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences here at Birmingham City University. Richard has been helping Laura train for the big day.

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The long, slow journey to my first marathon

by Laura Leyland, Senior Lecturer in Engineering.

In October, our engineering lecturer Laura will be taking part in her first marathon, the Birmingham Marathon, which finishes outside our Faculty home Millennium Point. In future posts, we will look at how she has been working with colleagues from the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences to prepare for this challenge. In this first blog, Laura explains what made her decide to take on this challenge.

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Insomnia 61: The UK’s Biggest Gaming Festival

by Dan Hind, BSc Computer Games Technology student. 

For almost 20 years now Multiplay has been hosting what they claim to be “the UK’s biggest gaming festival”. From its humble beginnings in a small office in Swindon with a few hundred people, it is now filling out the UK’s largest exhibition centre, the Birmingham NEC. Insomnia started primarily as a LAN event for people to bring their own computers to compete in tournaments to win prize money. Since then it has grown to a massive exhibition full of upcoming games, stage events featuring popular YouTube personalities, a showcase of small indie titles, retro games, tabletop games, lots of evening events, and the list goes on and on – there’s even a live robot wars tournament!

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How Birmingham can help to clean urban air

by Dr Michaela Kendall, Visiting Professor.

Air Pollution in Cities is Nothing New

Since the VW emissions scandal broke, air pollution in cities has remained a top public health concern. With such stories rarely out of the news, you could be forgiven for thinking that something has recently emerged from medical science illustrating the dangers of combustion-generated air pollution to human health.

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What’s on in Birmingham this June?

It just so happens that this month we can look forward to some of Birmingham’s best foodie events. Birmingham has a great independent food scene, with amazing restaurants, unusual pop-ups, and street food to suit any diet. And luckily for us at the City Centre Campus, most of them are just a short walk from our front door!

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Guardians of the Galaxy 2: The biggest VFX movie of all time?

by Johrah Al-Homied, BSc Film Technology and Visual Effects student.

The hype for the Visual Effects (VFX) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (GOG 2) started with director James Gunn claiming in an interview that Ego The Living Planet was going to be the “biggest visual effect of all time”. He said the film contains over a trillion polygons, and after watching it, I can believe that’s true. Ego contains thousands of animated elements. From the water to the leaves dropping on the floor, all these details could need thousands of individual models, depending on how detailed they are, and each model could contain millions of polygons. Continue Reading

What’s On in Birmingham this May?

You’ve probably noticed by now that Birmingham is big on events. Some of the world’s biggest names take to the stage at the NEC, Barclaycard Arena, and O2 Academy, and people travel from all over the country to attend conferences and exhibitions held in the city.

But Birmingham isn’t just good at big-name events; the UK’s ‘second city’ is great at independent events, festivals, and parties. Here we highlight some of the hidden gems right on your doorstep.

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