Our plans, 2018-19

Congratulations for making it - you’re now a Computer Science student in Bristol! We hope you are excited about starting the Explore Week which will be filled with lots of interesting events. Watch our Facebook page for updates.


Explore Week: Lightning Talks

Adam Deegan on November 23, 2018

Our very own students & researchers will be giving ~20min short talks.

I’m interested in giving a talk

Explore Week: CodeLounge

Adam Deegan on November 22, 2018

Confounded with currying? Confused by cryptography? In a crisis with classes? Cursed by contradiction? Cussing out calloc?

Come to CodeLounge.

(2nd year+) Sign up as a mentor

CSS takes on OMG!

Adam Deegan on November 21, 2018

Hey all! For our next social we will start at the White Harte for some fun and games. And then head to OMG for a fabulous night of great music! 🎵🎵

Explore Week: Gamejam

Adam Deegan on November 19, 2018

Our 24h in-house Gamejam is here.

Register your team/yourself NOW

Explore Week: Games Industry Panel

Adam Deegan on November 19, 2018

A few special guests from the games industry are coming in for a Q&A panel on the games industry - prepare your questions now! (It’s right before the gamejam so please do come!)


Adam Deegan on November 16, 2018



We’re holding an EGM to vote on the first-year rep elections and potentially elect a new press-officer.

Submitted motions will be discussed and voted on; the first-year rep role voted on (nominations were open previously in the year); and a vote of no confidence will be raised for the press officer role. If the no confidence vote passes, the submitted nominations will be voted on. If not, the submitted nominations will be discarded.

You’ll have a chance to speak for 60s per nomination during the EGM.

All forms will close 24h before the EGM (15/11/18 17:00:00). If you can’t come then an online voting form will be available 24 hours before the event (link coming soon).

As always, free food will be provided.

Have questions about what it’s like to be a CSS committee member? Ask any of us! https://cssbristol.co.uk/contact/

Want to make a change to how the society runs? Put forward a motion to change our constitution (https://cssbristol.co.uk/pages/constitution). Constitutional changes must receive a two-thirds majority. Non-constitutional motions must receive a majority.

Talk: Intro to Unity

Adam Deegan on November 15, 2018

Ibrahim Qasim is giving an introductory talk on how to use Unity, intended for 1st and 2nd years. The perfect introduction for the Gamejam.

Bloomberg CodeCon 2018

Adam Deegan on November 09, 2018

Talk: Visa

Adam Deegan on November 01, 2018

Netflix and Thrill

Adam Deegan on October 31, 2018


Adam Deegan on October 27, 2018

CSS Barcrawl 2018

Adam Deegan on October 23, 2018

Talk: Declarative Software Design in Python by Bloomberg

Adam Deegan on October 16, 2018

Talk: Silicon Valley

Adam Deegan on October 15, 2018

Talk: Intro to Git

Adam Deegan on October 11, 2018

Family Scavenger Hunt

Sibela Chinareva on October 01, 2018

Get ready for a Family Scavenger Hunt!

Nothing brings people closer together than slightly odd stories. So, we have organised a scavenger hunt for you this Thursday. Get into your families or other groups of friends and see if you can get enough points to win top prize!

The actual hunt starts at 9pm, so make sure you come early (8:30pm) to prepare.


  • Get a complete (non CSS) stranger to stand on their chair (10 points)
  • Stack 5 pint glasses (5 points)
  • Get your whole team to drink out of the same drink simultaneously (5 points)

  • Location: The White Harte, Bristol
  • Date: October 4, 8:30pm

Join the Facebook event

2018 Summer BBQ - June 2

Sibela Chinareva on May 09, 2018

The annual CSS BBQ is upon us again!

Join us as we continue the annual tradition marking the end of a busy year (and the end of exams!)

Come for free food, drink and lots of entertainment!

  • Location: Berkeley Square, Bristol
  • Date: June 2, midday

Remember to book your free ticket through Eventbrite

Event: AGM 2018

Louis Heath on March 31, 2018

It’s that time of year again! Come to the CSS AGM for free pizza and a free vote.

We’ll be electing twelve new committee members. You can nominate yourself for multiple positions, and elections will happen in this order:

  • President
  • Vice-President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Events
  • Press
  • Webmaster
  • Sports and Social
  • Outreach
  • Equality and Diversity
  • General Officers (x2)

You will have a chance to speak for 60s (once, regardless of how many positions you apply for) during the AGM.

If you’re abroad this year or can’t attend the AGM - don’t worry! You can still apply. We recommend recording a short video of yourself speaking so that we can play it at the AGM. If you like, we can read out a written statement instead.

Could you see yourself at the helm of our next Hackathon or Bar Crawl? Being a committee member is a great way to gain experience running events, dealing with industrial sponsors and communications. And to boot - it’s a whole lot of fun!

Have questions about what it’s like to be a CSS committee member? Ask any of us!

Apply for a position!

Want to make a change to how the society runs? Put forward a motion to change our constitution. Constitutional changes must receive a two-thirds majority. Non-constitutional motions must receive a majority.

Submit a motion!

Facebook event

Tech Talk: Read Less, Learn More

Louis Heath on March 09, 2018

16th March 12:00-13:00 Queens 1.6

Come to Queens 1.6 at 12pm on March 16th for a talk by Bloomberg on machine learning and natural-language processing (with, of course, free food 🍕)!

The Bloomberg Terminal brings together real-time data on every market, breaking news, in-depth research, powerful analytics in one fully integrated solution. In the News product, we provide, our award-winning news coverage ensures our clients could get the information they need. While at the same time, putting a lot of effort into trying to avoid overloading them with excessive information.

With more than 2,700 in-house news professional, and 1000 external news sources, our clients are bombarded with massive volume of text every moment, and becoming less able to understand markets and effectively make decisions based on them.

In this talk, we will look into this issue and go over how Bloomberg scientists designed a system that is able to refine information from a massive amount of news stories. We will discuss the ML/NLP techniques that underpin it, and illustrate extraction results from recent news articles.

Finally, we will discuss what are the other potential applications of such a system.

Iat Chong Chan is a research scientist/software developer in Bloomberg Machine Learning Team. His interests mostly lie in the intersection of Computational Linguistics, Machine Learning, and High Performance Computing. He has been working on a scalable infrastructure to infer topics of social contents ingested to Bloomberg by statistical models, and a multi-documents summarisation system to extract the most important information from a text collection. Iat Chong also leads the NLP guild inside Bloomberg, to advocate the use of ML/NLP techniques for new business problems. Before he joined the company, he was a MSc student in Dept. of Computer Science at University of Oxford, supervised by Prof. Stephen Pulman and Yishu Miao, and worked on building a better input method on small hand-held devices by a novel Bayesian Network with Variational Inference.

Facebook Event

Unit Choice Exhibition

Louis Heath, Samat Alpyssov on March 09, 2018

15th March 13:00-14:00 MVB 1.11

We are pleased to announce our first ever Units Choice Event, requested by you!

Until now there has been no convenient way to hear real feedback from other students, making unit choice decisions a huge gamble.

This event aims to fix this and give everyone the opportunity to get real feedback. It also gives students the chance to be properly heard!

If you want to hear feedback about specific unit(s), let us know using this form: https://goo.gl/forms/tvzppaqyISJZw3kU2

Also, If you want to share your opinion and experience (good/neutral/bad) with other students about particular unit(s) then tell us about it using the same form as above.

Free food will be provided!

Facebook Event

Panel: The Digital Dilemma

Louis Heath on March 09, 2018

14th March 17:15-19:15 1.15 Queens Building

Join us on Wednesday 14 March for the #DigitalDilemma event #2!

An academic panel including speakers from SPAIS (Sociology, Politics and Int’l Studies), Law, and Computer Science Schools will be discussing how technology is shaping our societies, both positively and negatively – including through the digitisation of elections, predictive analysis & use of data by law enforcement, creation of “cyberweapons”, and many more.

Is technology a curse or a blessing for democratic (and not-so) societies? What safety measures – political, legal and technical – do we need in place to ensure the setbacks of such a fast-pace development are minimised?

These and other questions will be posed to our speakers: • Dr Miranda Mowbray (CSS); • Ms Clare Stevens (SPAIS); • Mr Kit Fotheringham (Law); • Dr David Bernhard (CSS).

See you there – we’re anticipating a very diverse range of perspectives covered!

Facebook Event


Louis Heath on February 15, 2018

CSS, Women in Engineering and BEEES are excited to announce our first ever MVBall!!

Fancy a night of wine, fine dining, getting smashed in suits and hammered in heels? Sign up to the mailing list now to get notified when tickets go on sale!

Tickets will be ~£25 and include:

  • A 3 course dinner, including tea, coffee and mints
  • A glass of house wine with dinner (most likely more, we’re working on it ;) )
  • Roaming Photographer
  • Live Band
  • DJ
  • Popcorn and Candyfloss machine!

Dress Code: Black tie

More details coming soon so click interested and save the date!!

Facebook Event

Diversity in STEM

Louis Heath on February 15, 2018

7th March 1.30-5pm School of Chemisty

Have you ever felt underrepresented within the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) subject you are studying or want to study? Do you feel that currently, there is very little motivation to address the lack of diversity within STEM subjects?

We would like you to join us in talking about diversity in STEM and help us to identify positive ways to bring about change.

This ‘Diversity in STEM’ event will begin with a panel discussion focussed on overcoming barriers to progression and increasing awareness of career opportunities within STEM. Our panel will share their experiences of life as professional within the STEM sector. They belong to traditionally underrepresented groups such as: female (female aligned), BAME (British Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic) or LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender plus).

Following the discussion, an opportunity for networking with speakers as well as local and national companies who hire STEM graduates.

Fusion Society is collaborating with societies and departments across the university to bring you our third and final event. This event is open to all. Follow the link to secure a FREE ticket.

Panellists include:

  • Prof Marina Resmini- Chemistry, Queen Mary
  • Ms. Teil Howard-Met Office
  • Dr. Erinma Ochu -Science communication and future media, University of Salford
  • Prof. David K Smith- Chemistry, York University
  • Prof. Dorothy Monekosso- Computing, Creative Technologies & Engineering, Leeds Beckett University
  • Prof. Uvanney Maylor- Research in Education, University of Bedfordshire
  • Ms. Carren Holden- Airbus

Local Companies attending:

  • Edwards Vacuum
  • Amec Foster Wheeler/Wood
  • AstraZenca
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Ziylo Ltd.
  • Met Office

Facebook Event

A Pint of Programming

Louis Heath on February 15, 2018

Join us at The White Harte Pub for Beer and Programming! 6-10pm 22nd Feb

Beer + Programming > Programming

White Harte = Beer

Join us at White Heart. Hit the Balmer peak and get coding We have the Function Room booked, so don’t worry about finding a socket, we have it covered.

Facebook Event

BAE Systems: How To Hack a Computer

Louis Heath on February 06, 2018

Queens 1.69, 1-2pm Wednesday 14th Feb

Break hearts on valentines day with your newly earned InfoSec skills! 💔😎

Realise your inner hacker! BAE Systems are dropping by to let us in on some security secrets - save the date!

A good opportunity to learn some skills before the CTF.

Lunch will be provided, ofc

NB: when breaking hearts please only hack VMs or your own personal systems

Facebook Event

CSS Boeing Hackathon 2018: SPACE

Louis Heath on January 29, 2018

The CSS Boeing Hackathon is back! MVB, 11am Wednesday 28th Feb - 1pm Thursday 1st March


// SIGNUP //

  • Link here. Teams of up to 6 people
  • Not got anyone to work with or a full team? No worries. Just indicate that you’d like to be matched with others and we’ll sort out the rest.

// PRIZES //

  • 6x Sphero Mini!
  • 6x Google Home Mini!
  • 6x LIFX Smart Lights!


  • If you have any dietary requirements, state them on the signup form or email [email protected]

// RULES //

// THEME //

  • Our theme this year is SPACE! 🌌🚀

The prizes will be awarded in three categories:

  1. Space data
    • Find a cool way to use satellite imagery or other data collected in space.
  2. Software/hardware for space
    • Build something that we could send into space!
  3. Explore space
    • Help non-scientists to explore and learn about space.

Here are some example projects to get your brains whirring:

– NEO Mapper

Identifying natural boundaries (rivers) from 3D asteroid surface data https://github.com/abbro-ca/VestaRainbow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DE0qdKAN31A&t=55m

– Kid On The Moon

Interactive app for children to explore the moon and man’s journeys to it https://2016.spaceappschallenge.org/challenges/solar-system/book-it-to-the-moon/projects/kid-on-the-moon

– NatEv Explorer

Display crowdsourced natural events on a 3D globe https://open.nasa.gov/innovation-space/natev-explorer/

– FractalNet

P2P wearables for communication in space https://2016.spaceappschallenge.org/challenges/space-station/rock-it-space-fashion-and-design/projects/fractalnet

– Pollen Alert

Use open data and satellite imagery to predict pollen count https://2017.spaceappschallenge.org/challenges/our-ecological-neighborhood/trace-invaders/teams/lemon-py-1/project

– Heliox

Use energy and solar radiation data to predict energy production https://2017.spaceappschallenge.org/challenges/earth-and-us/you-are-my-sunshine/teams/heliox/project

Maybe you’ll write a piece of software that will improve shipping efficiency. How about a system for monitoring air pollution? Or something that will enable autonomous vehicles? Perhaps you’ll even write a cool visualisation that uses NASA’s Open Data platform (https://opensource.gsfc.nasa.gov/ ).

If you want to make use of satellite data, we’ll be releasing some guides to help you soon.


  • Join the Discord server here for updates on the day!
  • More to come

// GOOD LUCK! //

Facebook Event

BAE Cybersecurity Capture The Flag

Louis Heath on January 29, 2018

MVB 1.11, Saturday 17th February, 10am-4pm


BAE Systems Applied Intelligence are running a Capture the Flag event, a day of cyber security challenges and games, on Saturday 17th February 2018. Anybody who is currently enrolled Bristol University can sign up and play. There are prizes for the winning team and goodies for anyone taking part!

The competition is being held in MVB 1.11 and will start at 10:00 and finish at 16:00, with lunch provided by us. We’ll be around all day to provide hints and tips on the challenges and are happy to discuss careers in cyber security and software engineering in BAE Systems Applied Intelligence. If you’re interested please send us an email and sign up!

This is a team-based challenge for teams of 2 to 6 players. If you don’t have a team yet then don’t worry – come along anyway as teams will be created on the day. 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.

//// SIGN UP NOW ////

To sign up, please email [email protected] from your university email account with the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your team name (if applicable)
  • Your year of study
  • Your course title

If you are signing up on behalf of others, please include the above information for them too. The deadline for signing up is Friday 9th February 2018. We will email you to confirm your place and provide more details on the event and what you need to bring. We really hope to see you there.

Facebook Event

Pyntsized Python: A language in an hour

Louis Heath on January 22, 2018

MVB 1.11A, Thursday February 1st, 1-2pm

Join us for the first talk/workshop of the year as we explore the best bits of Python! The talk will be taken by Lewis, a fellow CompSci here at Bristol.

Let us know if you’re coming, we’ve got pizza to order!

“Python is more than just a programming language, it’s a whole development mindset and ecosystem that offers many advantages to over competing workflows in many situations. Build quickly, run on many platforms and actually enjoy yourself doing it! Join python developer Lewis Bell as he takes you through a whistle-stop tour of the basics of the language, leaving you with a strong foundation for your future in Python Development.”

Facebook Event

AIGaming Competition

Ross Gardiner on January 21, 2018

Queen’s F101 (new wing), Saturday January 27, 5.30pm - 10pm

It’s our first event of this term! You’ll be writing gaming AI bots to compete against a selection of Oxford and Glasgow’s finest societies:

  • Oxford CodeSoc
  • Oxford AI Society
  • Oxford AI Games Club
  • Glasgow GUTechSoc

You’ll be representing your university, so do your best comrade.

AIGaming is a platform that lets you win Bitcoin by writing bots to win games like Battleships or Blackjack. We’d recommend getting some practice in - but the challenge on the night will be a mystery!

Facebook Event

Sign up

Christmas Drinks!

Louis Heath on November 29, 2017

Take a break from the burden of coursework and exams and come join us for some relaxed drinks at the Berkeley. We’ll be there from 7pm till late.

Festive attire is encouraged but by no means essential. 🎅

Facebook Event

The talk will be in MVB 1.11 from 12-1

Tech Talk: Next generation Arm processors

Louis Heath on November 28, 2017

The talk is held at Merchant Ventures Building, Room 1.11 and 1.11a. There will be food provided like always.

This talk describes the different phases of the processor development at Arm: from the moment it is just a concept on a piece of paper until it is completed and delivered to partners. It shows the different challenges that the engineering teams (performance modeling, design, verification, implementation) need to face. It also details some of the milestones the team needs to achieve during the development phase (from printing “hello world” to booting android). Finally, the talk presents the new Arm LITTLE core, the Cortex A55, released to partners this year which will be part of the next generation mobile phones.

Talk is given by Jose (Pepe) Gonzalez. Jose Gonzalez got his Ph.D. in January 2000 at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), in Barcelona, Spain. After 2 years teaching at the University of Murcia (Spain), in 2002 he joined the new Intel site in Barcelona. He worked 6 years doing research on low power microprocessors, thermal-aware multicores, and accelerators. Then, he moved to the Intel Xeon Phi design team, where he worked on the microarchitecture of the Knights Corner, Knights Landing, and Knights Hill cores. Intel closed the Barcelona site in May 2014 and he moved to Arm, in Cambridge. He has been the MemSys unit lead for the Cortex A55 core and currently, he is the co-technical lead of the new LITTLE core that will come after A55. More info

Facebook Event

The talk will be in MVB 1.11 from 12-1

Workshop: Introduction to Machine Learning for iOS

Louis Heath on November 24, 2017

Come along for the grand finale of our iOS workshop series! This one will be taken by Brendon who will guide us through CoreML and the YOLO network! Food will be supplied.

If you would like to code along you’ll need a Mac with Xcode version 9.0 or newer.

The materials from the last two workshops can be found here

Facebook Event

The talk will be in MVB 1.11A from 1-2pm

Tech Talk: What Can A Wearable Camera Know About Me?

Louis Heath on November 23, 2017

Mobile cameras are everywhere; wearable cameras are coming! Current computer vision technology can summarise your day, figure out your routine, even teach you how to perform a new task and remind you if you forgot to switch off the hob after cooking. What are the potentials and limitations of such technology? How mature is it, and when does it fail? This talk will not discuss privacy concerns. It offers a bright outlook into our tech-enhanced future.

Dima Damen (Senior Lecturer, Department of Computer Science)

This definitely isn’t one to be missed - talks about new and upcoming tech are always interesting, especially from our very own Senior Lecturer Dima Damen! Food provided as always, let us know if you’ll be coming by hitting Going!

Facebook Event

The talk will be in MVB 1.11A from 12-1pm

Workshop: Introduction to Augmented Reality for iOS

Louis Heath on November 20, 2017

After Monday’s successful workshop Jay has offered to continue his tutorials and teach us a bit about AR! Come along, learn iOS and eat pizza!

If you would like to code along you’ll need a Mac with Xcode version 9.0 or newer. A link to code and slides from Monday’s session will be posted soon so watch this space.

Jay may potentially follow up with a third workshop on Machine Learning, most probably on another day.

Facebook Event

The talk will be in MVB 1.11A from 1-2pm

CSS Pub Quiz

Louis Heath on November 19, 2017

Time has come for a CompSci Pub Quiz! Get yourself in groups of max 5 if you want to take part, why not come with your CSS families and go head to head to see who has the best genes!

With very special host; it’s the return of the BEAST, the LEGEND himself and CSS’s very own quiz master, HAKEEM!!

Think you have what it takes to be the ultimate CSS pub quiz champions??? Come and have your chance at winning a £25 BAR TAB for your group and MORE!

And, how much is the extravagant event, you say? £1? £10? Like, a bajillion pounds? Nope! Entry is completely FREE! £0 per team! So, why not try your luck?

See your lovely faces at the Brass Pig and be prepared to get quizzical!!

Facebook Event

Workshop: Introduction to iOS Development

Louis Heath on November 11, 2017

To celebrate the opening of the new Hackspace we’re running some workshops so that everyone can start getting their hands dirty learning new skills.

Ever wanted to try iOS Dev? How about Augmented Reality or Machine Learning?? Jay Lees has put together some great tutorials for us - come along, grab some pizza and learn something awesome. If you would like to code along then you’ll need a Mac with Xcode installed, else you can still come along just to get a feel for it.

Jay plans to cover the following on Monday 20th, with potential to start the next section on the 24th, so save that date too!

  1. Introduction to iOS Development
    • Xcode
    • Introduction to the Swift Language
    • Introduction to UI Elements (UITableView, UICollectionView, UIStackView, UIScrollView, UIViewController)
    • Developing a simple application
    • Auto layout
  2. Introduction to Augmented Reality for iOS
    • ARKit
  3. Introduction to Machine Learning for iOS
    • CoreML

Facebook Event

The talk will be in MVB 1.11A from 1-2pm

Tech Talk: Amazon Alexa // Whose round is it anyway?

Louis Heath on October 31, 2017

We’re excited to host Nick Hills from Bristol based company True Clarity who will be giving a talk on creating Alexa skills and more!

Pizza involved.

/ Nick Hills: Alexa, spin the wheel?

It’s that time in the morning, the office tea round. But who ‘wins’ the honour of making the round? We could patiently wait for someone to buckle and give in, or we could ask one of our digital sidekicks to spin the wheel of tea fortune. Cloud computing at its full potential? Possibly not, but let us explore the technologies, skills and challenges involved in building your own Alexa skill.

/ About Nick

Nick is a principal developer and Sitecore MVP working at True Clarity. At the moment most days are spent ensuring the AWS infrastructure powering easyJet’s website keeps people flying. His background is mainly web and .net focused however rather enjoys getting stuck in with all kinds of different toys and technologies.

Facebook Event

The talk will be in MVB 1.11A from 1-2pm

Tech Talk: Bloomberg UX Design and Accessibility

Louis Heath on October 30, 2017

We have an exciting talk this week from Bloomberg about UX.

12-1PM, Wednesday 1st November, 1.11A

Brendan Nelson, a UX designer at Bloomberg, will look at how UX works at Bloomberg, and explore the importance of accessibility in creating truly user-centred applications.

We’ll also be talking about our first Hack in explore week of this term!

Free food and drink as always

Facebook Event

First Steps with Git

David Bernhard on October 18, 2017

Git is a way to store, back up and organise your code. It is one of those things that you wish you’d been taught in your first term if you discover it later on.

This tutorial assumes that you are moderately familiar with using a terminal/shell.


The lab machines should have git installed already. On your own machine, type “git” in a terminal and if you’re lucky you’ll get the help text, showing it’s installed. If you need to install it yourself:

  • If you’re using Linux, your package manager should provide it. Try sudo apt install git for debian and derivatives like ubuntu and mint. sudo yum install git should work on Fedora.
  • On a Mac, if you’re using homebrew then brew install git should do it, or you can download git from the website.
  • On Windows, git for windows gives you git and an “open git here” option in the right-click menu of every folder.

Create a repository

When you start on a new project or unit, create an empty folder, go to it in your terminal and type git init. This creates a hidden subfolder .git which is your repository - it will store the entire history of your project and every change you make, as long as you remember to commit these changes (which we’ll do soon). This not only gets you unlimited undo/redo, so you can try things out and undo them if they don’t work, but you can also maintain several different versions of your code and switch between them.

The folder containing the .git folder is your working tree - one particular version of your project.

Making commits

Let’s say you’ve written some code in a file hello.c:

#include <stdio.h>

int main() {
  puts("Hello World!");
  return 0;

Type git status in your terminal. This will show that there’s an untracked change in file hello.c. If colours are set up correctly, untracked changes are red and tracked ones are green.

To tell git to track this change, run git add hello.c. Run git status again and you’ll see “new file: hello.c”, possibly in green. This means you’ve told git about this change, but it’s not committed yet (not saved in the repository). Run git commit -m 'New file'. Each commit must have a message and the -m <message> option is a way to provide this. The single quotes around the message are to do with how your shell parses arguments - basically if you put single quotes around a commit message then you can use spaces, punctuation etc. and it should work as long as there’s no single quotes in your message itself. Do git status again and you should see “nothing to commit, working tree clean” which is a good message to see.

The simplest way to work with git is this: make changes, commit changes, repeat. Git lets you undo/redo changes at the commit level so it’s helpful to make lots of small commits instead of few large ones; commit messages help you find commits when you want to e.g. revert to a particular commit.

If you make a change to your source file - perhaps add a comma after Hello - you’ll see “modified: hello.c” under a heading “Changes not staged for commit” (in red if colours are working). git add hello.c tracks the change (it now appears under “Changes to be committed” in the status text), git commit -m 'Added a comma' commits it:

$ git status
On branch master
Changes not staged for commit:
  (use "git add <file>..." to update what will be committed)
  (use "git checkout -- <file>..." to discard changes in working directory)

        modified:   hello.c

no changes added to commit (use "git add" and/or "git commit -a")

$ git add hello.c

$ git status

On branch master
Changes to be committed:
  (use "git reset HEAD <file>..." to unstage)

        modified:   hello.c

$ git commit -m 'Added a comma.'
[master 6e7e782] Added a comma.
1 file changed, 1 insertion(+), 1 deletion(-)

$ git status
On branch master
nothing to commit, working tree clean

In summary:

  • git status shows you whether there are any uncommitted changes in your repos.
  • git add FILE tracks a change, but doesn’t commit it yet.
  • git commit -m 'MESSAGE' commits all tracked changes.

If “git status” shows “working tree clean” then all your changes have been saved.

Reverting changes

As you might have gathered already from the help text, if you’ve made changes to a file that you’ve not committed yet and you want to undo them back to the last commit, git checkout -- FILENAME reverts the file. There is a space both before and after the -- in that command.

If you’ve committed changes and want to go back to an earlier commit, the first thing you do is git log which shows you a list of all commits. If there are a lot, git log | less lets you view them one page at a time - advance with SPACE, exit with Q. git log --oneline shows just one line per commit and you can stick | less on the end of that too. Each commit has a hash value which is a long hexadecimal string. When referencing a commit, you usually only need to type the first few characters of the hash.

Let’s say I decide I don’t want a comma after “Hello” after all.

$ git log --oneline
6e7e782 Added a comma.
4f251ef New file

$ git checkout 4f25 hello.c`

The command git checkout HASH FILENAME reverts the file to the state in the given commit. The file is now in “changed and not tracked” state as if you’d edited it by hand. You can also git checkout HASH filename to revert all files back to an older commit.

Excluding files

Let’s compile our file: gcc hello.c -Wall -Werror -std=c99 -o hello. You do use -Wall -Werror on all your C programs to catch possible bugs, right?

We now have two files in the working tree: hello.c and hello (or hello.exe if we’re on windows). However we don’t want to track hello in the repository - you want your sources but not your compiled files in the repository. You can just compile the sources again whenever you need to, after all.

Create a file called .gitignore (yes, it starts with a dot) with one line hello (or hello.exe) in it. Each line in this file is treated as a pattern that matches one or more files (you can do *.exe to exclude all windows executables for example) that git should ignore. Adding the name of a folder to a gitignore file ignores that folder and everything in it. When you do git status again you’ll see that git ignores your executable file, but notices the new file .gitignore. Add that file to the repository and commit.

Remote repositories

So far we’ve just saved our project’s history in a subfolder on our own machine. The next step is to save it in the cloud so that several people can work on it together, or you can work on it from different machines (for example, home and lab PC).

There are three big free providers of git services: gitlab, github and bitbucket. Gitlab and bitbucket offer you unlimited (within reason) free private repositories (where you control who can read/write them), github gives you one free private repository (5 if you sign up for their student pack with your university e-mail). All three providers offer unlimited free public repositories for open-source projects.

WARNING: do not under any circumstances place code that you have submitted or intend to submit as assessed coursework to a public repository on any provider. If another student finds this code and submits a copy of it, you are both in trouble for plagiarism. Yes, this has happened in the past.

The next few steps in this tutorial are based on the gitlab UI to create a remote repository, but github and bitbucket offer the same features.

  • Go to gitlab.com and register an account.
  • Click “New project”, choose a project name and set visibility to private.

You get to see your project page. The git address of your project is https://gitlab.com/USERNAME/PROJECTNAME.git, so for example my username is david-bristol and I have a project called coconut that lives at https://gitlab.com/david-bristol/coconut.git. If you access this link on the web, it’ll remove the “.git” part at the end but you need it in your terminal.

The command git clone ADDRESS downloads a repository and sets up some information so that you can synchronise the local and remote copies. For example, git clone https://gitlab.com/david-bristol/coconut.git will create a subfolder coconut with the contents of my coconut project. Since this is a public project, the files will just appear - for a private project, git will ask for your username and password first.

You can now use the following two commands to synchronise the local and remote copies:

  • git pull pulls any changes from the remote copy to the local one.
  • git push pushes your local changes to the remote copy.

It is advised to use these commands only when your working tree is clean.

The rough outline of setting up a git project to work together:

  • Everyone creates an account with the same provider.
  • One person creates the online repository and gives everyone else on the project access to it (assuming a private repository). On gitlab, choose settings/members in the left menu, enter the other developers’ gitlab usernames and set their role to “Developer” (the default “Guest” lets you read but not write).
  • Everyone clones the repository to their own machine.

The commands git add and git commit add changes from your working tree to the local copy of the repository. The commands git push and git pull move committed changes from the local copy of the repository to the remote copy of the repository and back again. After pushing/pulling, all copies of the repository should be identical.

Your daily coding routine:

  • git pull to download any changes that your colleagues have made.
  • Make changes, commit, repeat. Once again: make small changes and commit frequently. This step only writes to the local copy of your repository and does not require internet access.
  • At the end of the day, or whenever you want to share code with others, git push. This uploads your changes to the server.

You can save yourself a lot of trouble by only doing push/pull operations with a clean working tree, e.g. you’ve added and committed all changes to the local copy of your repository. In theory, that’s all you need. In practice, what happens if two people edit the same file?

You do not have to agree via e-mail or some other system who is currently editing which files. Git is set up to handle this situation!

What happens is that your git push will fail if someone else has pushed since your last pull. In this case, do a git pull. If you’ve both been editing different files, git will update the ones you haven’t changed with the new versions from the remote copy. Check that everything still works/compiles and then try and push again.

If you’ve both been editing the same files, git will see if there’s an obvious way to combine your changes (for example you’ve both edited different functions in the same file). If so, all is well. If not, you have a conflict. The line CONFLICT ... when you try and pull will alert you to this and tell you which files are affected (so will git status). When you open these files, you’ll see markers as follows in places where there’s a conflict (search for <<< in your text editor to find them):

<<<<<<< HEAD
puts("Hello, world!");
puts("Hi world!");
>>>>>>> 31be48e8e2a86fb71b0b0b61bb08019314d87a1b

This means that you tried to change a line to read puts("Hello, world!"); but someone else changed the same line to puts("Hi world!"); since your last pull. Fix the conflict by choosing what to do with the line(s) in question and then delete the <<< === >>> marker lines and check that everything compiles and works again. Then you can add and commit the file and try to push again.

Conflicts, although annoying, are nothing to be afraid of. They can happen as part of normal git working practice in a team and you deal with them as they happen.

Event: G-Research Coding Challenge

Louis Heath on October 11, 2017

Come along to 1.11A MVB on the 24th October for coding, prizes and food - and a chance to chat with one of our great sponsors G-Research!

G-Research is a leading quantitative research and technology company. We apply scientific techniques to find patterns in large, noisy and real-world data sets, using the latest statistical and “big data” analysis methodologies to predict global financial markets.

Please join us for our annual coding challenge where you will compete in teams in a series of progressively more difficult sentiment analysis challenges. This is a great chance to test your problem solving and coding skills and a chance to win a £50 Amazon vouchers per team member (plus prizes for runners up!)

To take part all you need is at least one laptop per team and have a development environment set up for C#, Java or Python and you must be able to provide your own internet access.

Afterwards we will provide food and drinks and a chance for you to talk to our employees informally about internships, graduate roles and life at G-Research!

To register your interest please email [email protected]. You can register alone or as part of a team of up to 4 members, if you register individually you will be allocated a team at the event.


Facebook Event

Event: Eat; drink; talk code - Creditcall

Louis Heath on October 11, 2017

Creditcall is hosting a social at the White Harte immediately after the careers fair on October 19! Come along for a chat and free food.

Here’s your chance to mingle with like-minded students and experienced developers alike to share ideas and insights on all things code in central Bristol over a few drinks and some grub.


Who is Creditcall?

Developers worldwide use our SDKs in their own solutions to enable them to accept payments. We connect mobiles, websites, stores, parking and train station ticketing machines with a bank to process debit or credit card payments quickly, reliably, & securely.

Being born and bred in Bristol (though we’re now known worldwide), all of us at Creditcall HQ wanted to welcome new and returning students to Bristol - so we asked everyone in our Bristol office to share their best bits of Bristol:

Creditcall: 10 things you should know when studying in bristol

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Event: Bloomberg CodeCon Qualifiers

Louis Heath on October 05, 2017

CodeCon is coming back to Bristol on the 13th October! CodeCon is a live programming contest developed in-house at Bloomberg.

Push your programming and problem solving skills to the limit against the clock to win the title of Bloomberg CodeCon champion against your peers across the UK and Europe!

Our top winners will be invited to the Global Finals in Bloomberg’s London office in January 2018 for a chance to win an amazing prize and compete against the best students from Europe and the US!

Please make sure you register with your university email address and bring your laptop.

The event will take place in MVB 1.11 on the 13th October 2017.

Kick-off at 6.30pm, come early to get a seat! Food and refreshments will be provided.

Sign up here!

We look forward to seeing you there!

CSS and the Bloomberg CodeCon Team ❤️

Click here for the Facebook event!

Event: CSS Bar Crawl

Ross Gardiner on September 29, 2017

It’s that time of year again! Get your t-shirt and join us on the 2017 CSS Bar Crawl.

Get your t-shirt now 👕🎽👚👔 (£6.50)

For £6.50 you get:

  • An incredibly exclusive bar crawl t-shirt
  • Free entry and queue jump to Lola Lo until 10.30pm
  • £2.50 singles at Brass Pig / 5 bombs for £10 / 6 flavoured house shots for £10
  • more to come

  • 7.30pm The Berkeley
  • 8.30pm The Brass Pig
  • 9.30pm mbargo
  • 10.30pm Lola Lo

👪 FAMILIES 👨‍👨‍👦

You are encouraged to invite your CSS children for dinner before the bar crawl. We’ll supply one £5 Sainsbury’s voucher per family. We’ll be in touch closer to the time.

Stuck for ideas? Here are some super-cheap meal suggestions

Buy the t-shirt now (£6.50)

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Bar Crawl t-shirt

Bar Crawl 2016 Bar Crawl 2016

Advice for Second Years

Louis Heath, Chris Priscott, Tess Conway, Ian Lawson, Harshna Patel on September 24, 2017

The second year of Computer Science at Bristol is a tough one - here’s a thread of valuable tips from students who’ve seen it through.

Note to my younger self: advice for thriving in second year

Ok so if I was to give advice to my younger self what would it be……..hmmm good question.

Here goes…….Don’t feel overwhelmed. Focus on a small problem, solve that and find your next small problem. Repeat. Understand that not everybody gets it even though it may seem that way. The lectures don’t always relate to the coursework, google is your friend, stay calm and take one step at a time.

Figure out what you enjoy and be the best you can at it. You won’t always find every subject easy but when you find the one that gives you a buzz, take it by the horns and immerse yourself in it. Find a good friend to talk to about a problem that you are struggling with even if they aren’t on the same course as you. As you are discussing the problem you’ll find that things will become clearer, you’ll spot how to break it into down into bitesize chunks and usually figure out a simple answer and wonder why you were so worried about it in the first place.

Use your mentor if you have one or someone in the year above. If you don’t have one already (or want another one), just ask. They will have already gone through what you are currently facing and have come out the other side. Ask them for guidance, support or a gentle nudge in the right direction, maybe over a Dominos pizza in MVB atrium (I fondly miss their student discount!).

And finally, if you don’t already, set yourself a goal for something you want to achieve after graduating and finding work. I told myself that I wanted my name to be in the credits of a Hollywood movie before I was 25. I still remember the amazing feeling staying till the end of ‘John Carter’ and seeing my name up on the big screen. All the hard work and struggles you will have faced to get this far will feel so so worth it.

Sophie would also like to add that for the girls especially (but not exclusively) that it might be worth having a quick read up on stereotype threats http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotype_threat. She also went through some struggles in second year and wish she had known about this at the time.

(I hope it helps) and if anyone has any more questions feel free to get in touch through Caroline.

- Chris Priscott - Double Negative


Awesome advice Chris! A couple of other things that also sprang to mind: There’s absolute no shame in asking for help! Sometimes it can be really daunting putting your hand up in lectures when the lecturer asks if there are any questions and the whole room is silent, but Bristol has a really great open door policy with their lecturers. If you’re confused over the content of a lecture or a coursework then from experience I found they were all usually very happy to sit down and discuss it with me after the lecture - if nothing else I found that most lecturers just really like talking about their chosen topics of interest! If it’s too intimidating going on your own grab a friend who’s also confused (because there is no way you’re the only one, even if it seems that way) and go together.

Software development is a collaborative effort, even if it doesn’t feel like it at uni. When you hit the “real world” pretty much everyone accepts that open discussion leads to better developers. I’ll preface this bit with ‘Don’t copy each others code because that’s plagiarism and I don’t want to get you into trouble’ but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with closing the laptops, sitting down with some other people from the course and going “Right… What the hell is this coursework asking of us?”

Finally, find something you enjoy outside of your course. Join a society or two and give yourself evenings off - there’s more to university life than just your degree subject and besides, that error message you’ve been staring at for the last 6 hours? Not going to happen now. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to step away from your computer and come back to it later.

Second year was the worst year for me too. I never particularly enjoyed the hardcore theoretical units that we got taught in first and second year, and only really started to enjoy the course when we got to third year and could pick modules that actually interested us - there’s more than one way to be a Software Developer, and if one specific area doesn’t interest you then that’s completely fine, there are literally hundreds of other areas that might suit you better!

I also found this article a really interesting read: https://medium.com/@aliciatweet/overcoming-impostor-syndrome-bdae04e46ec5

- Tess Conway


Just to quickly reiterate some of the really good points made above! Ask plenty of questions, speak openly to your lecturers and try and get excited about the topics you’re studying. In my second year I had no idea what I wanted to do, I was on a joint honors degree (Maths & CS) that I wasn’t enjoying (and borderline failing) with no job ambitions. Second year was tough, I had no say in what I wanted to study. However, I knew making a move to Computer Science would allow me to study new and exciting things in my third year. A year later, it was a totally different story. I was in the middle of the Games project with a great group of friends and enrolled in modules that really interested me (mainly Computer graphics). From this point I started to have some idea about what sort of career I wanted once I finished at Bristol, and this sort of motivation really helped! So, what got me through my second year? Cider, hard work and a good group of friends. There was a core group of us all in the same boat, struggling along, but pushing through the year together. Of course, plagiarism is bad, but like Tess said, discussions are healthy and extremely productive. At the end of day, it’s all about understanding the problem, not necessarily writing perfect code. Getting a second (or third) opinion on something is common practice in my day-to- day at Double Negative! Second year is tough, but it gets better. Looking back at my time at Bristol the best times were in years three and four. So keep your chin up and power through!

- Ian Lawson


Everyone’s points are so true! Ok, mine would be: Definitely find yourself something to do outside of your course ( preferably something that takes you out of your working environment, so going to see movies or going on walks, join a sports team, go sketching etc.). I know what you’re thinking, there is literally no time to do anything but coursework, and if I ‘take a break’ I’ll fall behind. This is not true! It’s so refreshing to have something other than your course to spend time and effort on, and it’ll help you avoid burnout too. I wish I had done this, I know now it would have reduced my stress levels massively and also meant I would have spent time following other interests at university too.

Secondly, find someone within the department that you can talk to, your tutor, or Caroline, or anyone you feel comfortable with. You are not alone in what you are going through, and if you talk to someone in the department, they could help you if you are feeling overwhelmed. It’s also a good idea because then you’re offloading a lot of what is going through your head and this takes some of the pressure off. Even if you don’t like talking to people, or discussing any of the problems you may be experiencing, I would really encourage you to find the time to send an email or talk to a friend about your stress, it does help!

Thirdly, divide and conquer! Everything seems overwhelming, the never ending coursework, the exams, the looming deadlines. But break this down into your priorities for the current period and build yourself up a schedule. Look at a coursework as a series of goal, e.g. ‘Rig the model’, ‘Draft 7 slides for HCI presentation’, just small steps that will lead you to where you need to be. We all know what you’re currently experiencing, I have been there before too, so I would really encourage you to set aside time for yourself and break down your workload into achievable chunks. Don’t compare yourself to your peers, they are on a different journey, what matters is making sure you are doing what’s best for you. Make sure you make time for you and that you’re taking care of your health and your mind, I can’t emphasise that enough! Good luck! If you want to pass on my email, that’s fine too!

- Harshna Patel

CSS joins Strava!

Louis Heath on August 30, 2017

Who said nerds have to be unfit?

Join the club on Strava for friendly competition and motivation!

Event: CSS BBQ 2017

Louis Heath on May 10, 2017

The Old Bowling Green, Brandon Hill - 2nd June 2017 - 12-6pm It’s that time of year again! Celebrate the end of exams with our annual CSS BBQ! Join us at The Old Bowling Green on Brandon Hill for a day of free food, drinks and entertainment!

Remember to book your free ticket through Eventbrite

Event: ARM Tech Talk - Formal Verification

Ross Gardiner on April 27, 2017

Queen’s 1.18 - 27th April 2017 - 2-3pm

Speaker: Will Keen, Senior Engineer, ARM.

In the ever-accelerating industry of CPU design, Formal Verification is becoming an essential methodology in ensuring that correct designs are shipped to customers. In this talk, we will explore the nature of Formal Methods as applied to digital electronics. We will look at how the technology works, its history, its strengths and weaknesses in comparison with traditional simulation-based methods, and its application on real CPU designs. We will see why electronics companies are so excited about it, and the growing requirement for good tools and engineers in today’s marketplace.

The presenter is an engineer who has witnessed first-hand the growth of Formal Methods at a major CPU design company over several years, and created new techniques in applying formal methods. There will be time for in-depth Q&A.

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Event: AGM 2017

Ross Gardiner, Hakeem Kushoro on April 20, 2017

MVB 1.11 - 26th April 2017 - 5-6pm

The time of year has come! The time where the CSS Committee step down and pass the torch onto a new team to carry the future CSS banner into battle and lead the greatest society on Earth!

We shall be supplying Pizza, Beer and Democracy! (the big three). All you need to bring is your voice!

The Annual CSS AGM is the event where we gather together as a society and discuss how the year has gone and vote on how we continue forward (as well as voting in a brand new committee!)

Facebook event

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The head of the committee and the person mainly responsible for the committee. The President leads the society. The President also organises committee meetings, chairs all meetings and makes the agendas. The President is also generally responsible for delegating responsibilities and making sure people are on top of their jobs. Generally, if outsiders want to interact with the society, the President will be their first point of contact.

Alessio Zakaria

As a member of this years committee I believe that we have provided a great year of events and opportunities. I will continue the packed year we’ve had, as well as tailor events more to the student body by holding more larger hack-style events like the Hackathon and Google Hash Code. Tutorials and introduction type events would be held to ensure that all who want to take part have the confidence to do so. These events could be held in conjunction with other engineering department societies to create a wider community as well as expand everyone’s skill-sets.

I also want to increase the role that the society plays in academic and pastoral care by providing dedicated pathways for members of the society to escalate issues to do with workload, quality of work and any other academic or pastoral issue. The society must be better equipped to deal with, and be more involved with the academic side of university life. This could potentially be in the form of collating revision notes for modules or arranging study groups.

Kyle Welch

I think Computer Scientists at Bristol form an amazing community of people and I want to make sure the community is given every opportunity to thrive. I want the society to be one where everyone feels like they can openly contribute and have an impact on what the society does. As President my key policies would be to introduce a spring formal, organise more regular socials, and provide members with more opportunities to take part in events that enrich their academic interests (Hackathons, Coding Challenges, etc.). If you’d like to know more about my policies, check out my manifesto.


Second in command. The Vice-president assists the president in matters and is generally responsible for sponsorship (Getting sponsorships, getting contracts, being the point of contact for sponsors, etc.). The Vice-president can also act as a secondary chair for meetings (Or the primary chair if the President can’t make it but wants the meeting to go ahead).

Ross Gardiner

It’s been great fun to be webmaster this year. Among other things, I:

  • Relaunched the society website and job board
  • Designed a whole load of posters and merchandise
  • Helped run over 20 events

This year, I want to:

  • Run joint events, especially with BEEES and Women in Engineering.
  • Communicate better with sponsors, giving us more freedom to do what you want.
  • Make the new MVB hackspace a hub for informal, interdisciplinary learning.
  • Fix the SSLC - CS students don’t know how to bring issues to the attention of the department.


Responsible for taking down minutes of every meeting and AGM/EGM, as well as making the minutes available. The secretary is also responsible for making sure the document side of things are functioning well (Health and safety forms, Freshers Fair stall form, any other SU documents, etc.).

Thomas Walker

Everyone has that friend who deals with the paperwork for group trips; I’m always that person, so if you vote for me you know that the role of Secretary is in safe hands.

With all the other candidates promising bigger and better events, an efficient and organised administrative side of the CSS is more important than ever to ensure that next year is the greatest year for the CSS so far. I’ve worked as a part of a committee before as Head Boy of my school, which has given me the skills and experience needed for this role. I’ve also gained experience dealing with important forms and documents when I worked at an accountants.

Many of you may believe that the document side of things are boring, however I understand just how essential the role of Secretary is to guaranteeing the efficient running of the CSS and would love the chance to fill that role this year.

Eleanor Cox

The secretary position is essential for keeping CSS running smoothly, but is often kept behind the scenes. I want to encourage transparency by publishing minutes for all to see so society members know what’s going on and can actively support or oppose changes being made. I’m experienced with administration, having run a first aid course, an afterschool club, sales events for a Young Enterprise company and large group trips, all of which required extensive documentation. But most importantly, I’m here to ensure documents are filled in before you even know you need them!

Above the role of secretary, I aim to be a proactive committee member who will work for your best interests. I’d like to foster a greater sense of community, ensuring everyone knows who the committee members are and where they can go to get the help they need, be it with running an event or applying to internships. And finally, whilst mental health is a buzzword around the University, I believe it is massively important to ensure the wellbeing of every individual in our department and that it is the duty of the society to do as such. CSS will be there for you, and will work together with the SSLC and the SU to give you a more balanced university life.


Responsible for controlling our money. The Treasurer is CSS’ contact with our bank and is responsible for any matter involving money. They are also responsible for setting up bank access for themselves and the President. The Treasurer should provide a ‘Treasurer’s update’ (Just a quick update about how much money is in the account) at committee meetings about every month or so.

John Griffith

Last year as events Organiser I was in charge of running all our events throughout the year. I successfully helped organise a wide variety of tech talks, coding competitions and our annual Hackathon.

This year I want to be in charge of ensuring that we have the money available to run all our events. Pizza is expensive!

I aim to do this by

  • Strengthening existing ties with our sponsors
  • Seeking out new links with exciting tech companies (We have a lot of less well known startups in Bristol!)
  • Look to collaborate more with BEEES and Women In Engineering
  • Being good with numbers, making sure everything adds up!

Elias Kassell Raymond

Last year I worked for several not-for-profit organisations, and would love to use the skills I acquired to provide fresh and innovative methods for managing the society’s money.

As treasurer, I will focus on several key aspects of our organisation.

Being as open as possible about our assets and their availability to members of the society. For example, I will look to expand on our collection of Arduinos/Raspberry Pis, sensors and motors for the next Hackathon!

Investment in the future. A stronger society will lead to an increased number of sponsors, and will increase the amount of money they are willing to splurge on us (meaning more free pizza!).

Collaborating with other societies. As the main society for the best course in Bristol, we should show off our talents to as many other societies as possible.

Believe in CSS!

Events Lead (fka Events Rep)

Part of the Events team. The Events Lead leads the Events team, is mainly responsible for any events that the society holds (Besides socials) and works with the Outreach Officer and Equality and Diversity Officer to organise events (Such as Hackathons, Tech Talks, Workshops, etc.)

Vansh Dassani

I’ve had some experience running tech-based events at a startup accelerator, and believe that I can bring a lot to the committee. I’d like to increase the amount of outreach the committee does with regards to events, because I’ve often not heard about various events until after they’ve happened. I’m keen to get fellow students more involved with the tech community within Bristol, as it’s a great way for us to gain and improve skills, and make connections that could help us in the future. Some of the events I would like put on include Start-up showcases, Elevator pitch competitions and networking events with professionals in the Bristol area.

Samat Alpyssov

My name is Samat Alpyssov and I am applying to be Events Lead, because:

  1. I love Computer Science Society and I would be very happy and passionate about helping CSS to organise great and memorable events.
  2. I was responsible for organising lots of different events in my high school, including “Graduation official party” and “Graduation day”.
  3. I developed adaptability, flexibility and cultural awareness during studying in different countries with students from all over the World. These will help me to hear the voices of all the members of the CSS committee and conduct a variety of completely different activities, at the same time interesting for all members.
  4. I developed team working skills during working in CELFS team on IFP (International Foundation Program) in the University of Bristol, where I helped with organising Online Open days for prospective students.
  5. I was elected to be a Course Rep for the next academic year (2017-2018). I am sure, this position will help me and the whole CSS committee to achieve higher heights, then ever before.

Outreach Officer

Is a part of the Events team. The Outreach Officer is mainly responsible for events that relate to the society’s Outreach side of things and is the main point of contact for Outreach affairs. The Outreach Officer is also responsible for working with the Events Lead and Equality and Diversity Officer to organise events (Even events not relating to Outreach)

Palvi Shah

The Outreach officer’s main role is to work with outside organisations such as schools to increase exposure to Computer Science. When I was doing my A-Levels, I would have benefited from someone introducing me to the possibilities of this field. As Outreach Officer, I really want to inspire new people to get into Computer Science who wouldn’t have originally considered it as a path for them.

As a part of the Events Team, I would like to get more people involved in future CSS events and bring together people from the CSS society and the wider community by organising new outreach events. For example, a mentoring scheme.

Equality and Diversity Officer

Is a part of the Events team. The Equality and Diversity Officer is mainly responsible for events that relate to the society’s Equality and Diversity side of things and is the main point of contact for Equality and Diversity affairs. The Equality and Diversity Officer is also responsible for working with the Events Lead and Outreach Officer to organise events (Even events not relating to Equality and Diversity)

Iwan Pettifer-Cole

Equal representation for all students in the department, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, disability and background is something I will deliver as your Equality and Diversity officer.

I am committed to ensuring the department and society are free from any and all forms of discrimination. I will ensure that those who have been subject to any discrimination have an approachable and confidential channel on which to report the incidents.

From my experience in the LGBT+ Society, I will promote diversity in all CSS events and socials, as everyone should feel welcomed and be able to enjoy all the opportunities the society has to offer.

Being in university is challenging, and I believe that achieving true equality plays a key role in mental well-being.

🌈 In the wise words of RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” 🌈


Responsible for maintaining our website. This involves ensuring the website is up and running, reviewing submitted pulls on Github, reviewing submitted jobs to our jobs board, etc. The Webmaster is also responsible for making sure the society has the tech it needs to run (For example, making sure we have the correct HDMI conversion cables that speakers can use for their Tech talks)

Louis Heath

Vote for me to be Webmaster if you value the CSS website and want it to be in reliable hands. I promise that every event and job post will be up swiftly and smoothly, and that all tech talks rooms have a plentiful supply of cables, adapters and extensions.

Some skills I can bring to the table:

  • I work as a Deliveroo courier - I am committed to providing the best service possible at all times, and I manage my time efficiently.
  • I used to work at Waitrose - responsible for ensuring that no customers fall ill from out of date food, I learned to be reliable and consistent in my efforts.
  • I volunteered teaching children to swim - caring for and guiding children as young as six takes patience and strong communication skills as well as a high level of trust between me and both my pupils and my peers.
  • I enjoy being in a team - I have a long history playing rugby and I am part of the University’s Boat (Rowing) Club; both of which require the ability to cooperate - essential for being part of a committee.

Sports And Social Officer (fka Sports Rep)

Responsible for managing/organising our sports teams and society socials. The Sports And Social officer should set up teams for sports where there is sufficient demand within the society for it and should also set them up within the SU league, if desired. The Sports And Social Officer is also responsible for organising society socials, contacting the location to book the social and getting any discounts (if possible)

Katie Marquand

“You can retake an exam but you can’t relive the sesh” - These are the wise words I want the Computer Science Society to live by. If I am elected I would like to introduce more frequent, bigger and better socials than ever before. These will be everything from pub golf, scavenger hunts and club nights, to paintball or board game nights, but I will make sure there is something that everyone can get involved in. My aim is to create an even bigger sense of community within the society and make sure that everyone has a good experience.

I would also like to introduce an End of Year Ball as an opportunity to celebrate everything throughout the year and have another chance to drink and be merry.

On the sport side of things, I’m an avid hockey player and have already been involved in the SU league this year so I am familiar with how things are run. I am keen to get teams together if the demand is there for a more relaxed opportunity to play.

If you vote for me, all of your wildest dreams will come true.

Advertising Officer (fka Press Officer)

Responsible for the society’s advertisement and designs. The Advertising officer should design a poster for every event the society holds (Tech Talks, Hackathons, Socials, etc.) and is responsible for making the designs for merchandise such as Hoodies and Bar Crawl shirts.

Abdu Elturki

I have enjoyed being Advertising Officer for the 2016-2017 Committee, and I believe I could do even better job for the next year. I have made most of this year posters for the society, and in my opinion it has attracted a lot of attention, where I have worked many hours on them to make sure they look appealing. As Advertising Officer, I will make sure that our members won’t get any spammy emails and make sure to provide members the information that they want for every events, tech talks, and socials.


Motion 2017-01: Addition of 2 ‘General’ committee roles

This motion will add 2 CSS committee roles, both named ‘General’. These two roles will be full roles of the committee, have full voting rights (and will attend meetings) but will not have a specific responsibility. The ‘general’ role will be more of an assisting role to any other role that needs an extra pair of hands. For example, if the Treasurer needs to get forms filled and submitted to the bank but cannot do it, for some reason, or the Advertising officer needs posters put up but is away for a few days, the ‘General’ role can be asked to do either of these tasks.

Motion 2017-02: Introduce a first year CSS Rep

Currently, first years don’t have anyone to represent them on the CSS committee due to all positions being elected in the AGM during the previous year.

This motion proposes the CSS introduce a First Year CSS Rep to the committee. The position would be elected in an EGM in October or November. An interim rep would be elected at the AGM to hold the position until the EGM in October or November.

A First Year CSS Rep would be responsible for providing first year’s with a voice in the committee. They would also play a major part in organising first year specific events and schemes (like parenting) for the following year.

A First Year CSS Rep can only be nominated if they are currently studying their first year of Computer Science.

If you would like to run for a 2017/18 committee position or submit a motion, please fill out the form.

CSS Constitution

  • The deadline for applying for a committee position is Sunday 23rd April 11:59pm
  • The deadline for submitting a motion is Tuesday 25th April 11:59pm

If you are running for a position or submitting a motion, good luck! We hope to see you all at the AGM!

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Event: Talk - Monty Widenius, author of MySQL

Ross Gardiner on March 16, 2017

Pugsley Lecture Theatre, Queen’s Building - 30th March 2017 - 5-6pm

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Event: Talk - Really fun things you aren't supposed to do with a Computer Science degree

Ross Gardiner on March 16, 2017

Spring 1990, Berkeley: “You’re really going to need to narrow your focus if you expect to graduate. And if you want a job afterward. I hope you’ve decided what’s important to you.” “Yes I have.” “Oh good. And that is what?” “Surprise and whimsy.”

Eric R. Johnston (“EJ”) did graduate, and used skills from his EE/CS degree to do a ridiculously wide variety of projects.

To date they’ve included robotics at NASA, special effects and video games at Lucasfilm, wrist-mounted superhero gadgets for Make-A-Wish, neuroscience, odd mechanical devices, astronomy, and for the past year he’s been working on quantum engineering research here at the University of Bristol.

His past projects have earned five patents, two technical Oscars, a cover of Nature, San Francisco’s Key to the City, and a personal blessing from the Dalai Lama. He’s found a specific and reasonably consistent way to use a CS degree to work on anything you want to, and is looking forward to sharing it.

MVB1.06 - 22nd March 2017 - 12-1pm

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Event: Tech Talk - Programming 14 petaflops of Xeon Phis

Ross Gardiner on March 16, 2017

DownUnder GeoSolutions are giving a talk about how they use thousands of Intel Xeon Phi processor instead of GPU’s in their high performance computing setup.

Although general-purpose GPUs have all of the mindshare, we’ve deployed thousands of the Intel Xeon Phi processors, putting us in stark contrast to most of the commercial HPC world.

If you’ve never heard of them, you’re not alone. Xeon Phi is the product name for Intel’s “Many Integrated Core” architecture, which combines 60+ x86 cores, AVX-512 vector instructions, and high-performance memory into a single package.

This talk discusses:

  • Why we chose the Phi, when almost everyone else chose GPUs
  • How and why we build the clusters that we do, including a novel solution to the cooling challenge of putting 5 teraflops in each 1 RU
  • Programming techniques that resulted in better performance than Intel’s own engineers thought possible, and
  • A look at our new 14 petaflop machine, based on the next generation of Phi

MVB1.06 - 23rd March 2017 - 2-3pm

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Event: Google Hash Code

Ross Gardiner on February 17, 2017

We’re hosting a Google Hash Code hub for the first time this year. Come and compete in the comfort of MVB 1.11 with plenty of free pizza.

MVB1.11 - 23rd February 2017 - 5.00pm-10.30pm

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Event: Explore Week Boeing Hackathon

Ross Gardiner on February 17, 2017

This year we’re holding our first ever Explore Week Hackathon! Make the most of a week free from lectures and deadlines by entering our biggest, best Hackathon yet.

Facebook Event Sign Up Now Find out more

CSS Explore Week Hackathon 2017

Sign up now!

Teams can be composed of up to 6 people. Make sure you sign up so we can reserve your place!

Don’t have a team yet? We’re happy to help match you up with people! Just mention it on the signup form.

Never done something like this before? Don’t worry - anyone can participate!


There are three prize categories:

Best environmental impact

£100 cash per team member

Best-implemented prototype

Quadcopter per team member

Most creative idea

Google Chromecast per team member


This year’s theme: build something that might help protect or improve the environment!

We’re deliberately keeping this as broad as possible, because we want to see what you come up with!

MVB Atrium - 27th February 2017 - midday

Event: Oracle Tech Talk - Delivering Fast and Slow

Ross Gardiner on January 26, 2017

How do companies deliver software to their customers? Oracle has to do this at huge scale, delivering software at a wide variety of frequencies for a whole range of different needs.

Topic we’ll cover include:

  • Continuous Delivery
  • Continuous Integration
  • Clojure
  • Docker

How do you pick a process to build, test, and release software? A process that delivers frequent improvements whilst ensuring a reliable product? How can you assess whether the choice of steps and actions was sensible? If the choices were not sensible, how would you improve on them?

We offer some answers to these questions, arming you with an understanding and some techniques to assess and improve a software delivery process.

MVB 1.11A - 31st January - midday

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Event: Post-exam Social

Ross Gardiner on January 26, 2017

Time to celebrate the end of Exams!

Meet at the Berkeley at 8pm. We’ll be heading to Analog (Bunker) at around 11pm to top off the night.

ANALOG TICKETS ON SALE: £4 at 12-1 pm, Friday and Monday in MVB.

The Berkeley, Queens Road - 30th January 2017 - 8.00pm

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Event: CSS 2016 Christmas Pub Quiz

Hakeem Kushoro on December 07, 2016

What’s this? A CSS Pub Quiz? Christmas must have come early! (Aha, I slay myself! [Or should I say, I SLEIGH myself - Sorry, I’ll stop])

When the snow falls, the choir sings and the fireplace roars, who will be the ones to take home the gold?

We saw an impressive victory from 2015’s winners, Sack Overflow, but who will take home the £50 cash prize this year and be crowned the 2016 CSS Christmas Pub Quiz winners? (And, who will take home the £25 runners up prize?) Will it be you? Only one way to find out!

There shall, of course, also be a bottle of glorious wine for the team with the best name! (So, get those creative team name thinking caps on!)

Come battle out your wits, as you are quizzed on General Knowledge, Christmas, the beloved Family Feud and other mind-boggling rounds! (Banter also included, but not as a separate round)

And, how much is the extravagant event, you say? £1? £10? Like, a bajillion pounds? Nope! Entry is completely FREE! £0 per team! So, why not try your luck? (You can only gain, right?)

Come on down to the Brass Pig! Grab yourself a Team (Max. 5), a witty name and an inevitable victory!

The Brass Pig - 8th December - 7:30pm - Be there!

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Event: BAE Systems Tech Talk - Binary Exploitation and Reverse Engineering

Ross Gardiner on November 21, 2016

This talk will briefly introduce BAE Systems Applied Intelligence and the Capture The Flag event which is being hosted in MVB on December 3rd. It will cover what the challenges are, how to play them and go over some of the skills and tools required to succeed in these events.

In particular, we will focus on the topics of Binary Exploitation and Reverse Engineering.

The goal will to be explain what these topics are, why they are of practical interest and provide a brief introduction on how to approach CTF challenges of these types, including the relevant tools that are available to help in these areas

MVB 1.06, 11am, Nov 23

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Event: Gresham Tech Talk - AWS for secure, resilient and scalable services

Ross Gardiner on November 21, 2016

Gresham Computing are coming to the department to talk about AWS and cloud computing.

We will give a brief overview of considerations and potential pitfalls when starting out building a service on a cloud computing platform. In addition to building the core functionality we will explore topics including build pipelines, continuous delivery, monitoring, high availability and disaster recovery.

Discussed technologies:

  • Build & Deployment - AWS CloudFormation, Spot Fleets, Docker & Chef
  • Monitoring - Amazon CloudWatch, Nagios, Splunk
  • Microservices - AWS Lambda
  • Relational and Document Stores - AWS Aurora and DynamoDB

MVB 1.06, 1pm, Nov 22

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Event: CSS+COGS Video Game and Pizza Night

Ross Gardiner on November 11, 2016

What’s the best way to chill after a long day of lectures and studying? Obviously Free Pizza and Video Games!

The Computer Science Society and Computer Gaming Society are teaming up to provide you with a chilled out night of Console Gaming and Food!

Come down to room 1.11 for some casual gaming with your friends while nomming on Free Pizza!

MVB 1.11, 6.30pm, Nov 17

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Event: Expedia Tech Talk - A/B and multi-variate Testing

Ross Gardiner on November 11, 2016

With any design, it is important to know how big a success (or failure!) a new feature is.

Expedia have a proven A/B testing framework and run hundreds of experiments across all elements of their technology stack. Expedia’s Experiment Engineering team provide an in-house toolkit to the rest of the organisation that enable them to implement, manage and run their tests. The results of those tests are delivered in near real-time, providing a way to quickly validate and course-correct the new features being tested.

Behind all of this is a system that deals with over 70,000 experimentation requests per second, including a big data pipeline which analyses terabytes of data.

Over beers and pizza, Caroline & Ralph will introduce the approach Expedia has chosen, demo their in-house tools, give an overview of the technologies in play and - perhaps most importantly - the hard lessons learned along the way.

MVB 1.06, midday, Nov 16

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Event: BAE Cyber Security Capture the Flag

Ross Gardiner on November 11, 2016

Note: signup is essential - don’t delay!

About the challenge

The Operational Cyber Group from BAE Systems Applied Intelligence are running a Capture the Flag event; a day of cyber security challenges and games. Anybody who is currently enrolled in Computer Science at Bristol can sign up and play. There are prizes for the winning team and goodies for anyone taking part!

If you’re interested in a career in cyber security or just want a day of technical fun, please do sign up and take part! This is a team-based event for teams of 2 to 6 players. If you don’t have a team yet then don’t worry – register and come along anyway as teams will also be created on the day. The challenges will involve breaking into vulnerable websites, cracking ciphers, forensic analysis, reverse engineering and much more. No previous experience of these kinds of challenge is necessary; they are designed for computer science students who like taking things apart and seeing how they work.

Event runs all day from 9.30 to 16:30. Lunch (Dominos!) will be provided, so get on down!

Signing up

If you’re interested, please sign up by sending an email to [email protected] from your university email account. Please include the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your year of study
  • Your course title
  • Your team name (if applicable)

Sign Up Now

If you are signing up on behalf of others, please include the above information for them too. The deadline for signing up is Wednesday 30th November.

Please register as soon as possible to secure your place. An email we be sent on Thursday 1st December to confirm your place and provide more details on the event and what you need to bring.

MVB 1.11, 9.30am-4.30pm, Dec 3

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Event: Bloomberg CodeCon

Hakeem Kushoro on November 04, 2016

Sign up now

Bloomberg CodeCon is coming to Bristol University on the 9th of November!

CodeCon is a live programming contest developed in-house at Bloomberg. Push your programming and problem solving skills to the limit against the clock to win the title of Bloomberg CodeCon champion against your peers across the UK and Europe!

The top winners will be invited to the Bloomberg CodeCon Global Finals in their London office in January 2017 for a chance to win an amazing prize and compete against the best students from Europe and the US!

Please make sure you register with your university email address and bring your laptop.

The event will take place at The Physics Building, Enderby Room. Come early for food and to set up as kick-off is at 6.00pm!

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Food and refreshments will be provided!

Sign up now

We look forward to seeing you there!

Bloomberg CodeCon

Event: CodeLounge

Ross Gardiner on October 31, 2016

Confused about coding? Crying over your compiler errors? Can’t cope with the computer conundrums?

(Yes, we alliterate)

Join us for a chance to work on a cool project, eat food and find the fun side of programming #FreeFood

All CS Freshers welcome :)

11am–5pm, Merchant Venturers Building Lower Atrium.

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Event: CSS Discusses: Wellbeing and Workload

Ross Gardiner on October 14, 2016

Further to the success of last year’s Panel Discussion about Equality and Diversity, the Computer Science Society will hold a cross-faculty dialogue about Wellbeing and Workload on October 26 from 5–7pm in Pugsley Lecture Theater, Queen’s Building.

Members from all engineering departments are encouraged to take part in a discussion where they can learn about the topic, make suggestions to the faculty and share ideas with other staff and students.

Our goals are to:

  • Feed back to the staff body what could be improved about wellbeing and workload
  • Provide advice for students about managing workload and stress
  • Provide information about support available inside and outside the department
  • Encourage conversation about wellbeing and break the stigma around mental health

The talk will be followed by an open session for students and staff to discuss the topic further.

Members of the panel discussion include:

  • Professor Seth Bullock, Head of Computer Science Department
  • Professor Dave Cliff, Head of Merchant Venturers’ School of Engineering
  • David Bernhard, Senior Teaching Associate and member of Peace of Mind
  • Ben Marshall, Bristol Computer Science alumni and member of Peace of Mind

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Event: CSS Bar Crawl

Ross Gardiner on October 07, 2016

The CSS Bar Crawl returns for another year!

The t-shirt is just £5 includes drinks discounts and club entry.

  • 8pm: W.G. Grace
  • 9.30pm: Alterego
  • 11pm: Lola Lo

Buy the t-shirt now (£5)

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Event: Bloomberg - How the JVM Executes Java

Ross Gardiner on October 04, 2016

We have an engineer from Bloomberg coming to talk to us about how the JVM executes Java.

When Java was released in 1995 it was slow, a reputation it has carried for many years. Today, Java can give performance that is comparable to C++ and can emit instructions that are more optimal than code which is statically compiled. But how?

This talk will take a tour from Java code and look at the journey it takes through the JVM and the optimisations in between. Using practical examples, JVM flags and the Open Source JIT Watch we will explore what the JVM in an adaptation of the classic Hello World program, you’ll never look at Java in the same way again.

Topics include:

  • Profile Guided Optimisation
  • JIT Compilation
  • Method Inlining
  • Dead Code Elimination
  • Register Allocation
  • Escape Analysis
  • Loop Unrolling
  • Monomorphic Dispatch
  • On Stack Replacement

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CSS Goes Outside: join a sports team!

Ross Gardiner on October 02, 2016

Interested in (casually!) playing one of these sports in a CS team?

  • 5-aside/11-aside football
  • Mixed hockey
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Women’s 5-aside football
  • Indoor cricket

Let us know ASAP - league places fill up fast - and we’ll do our best to get some of these teams up and running.

Tell us what you want to do!

Event: Oracle - Software Engineering at Global Scale

Ross Gardiner on September 27, 2016

We’re lucky to have two engineers from Oracle’s Bristol office coming to the department next Tuesday to talk about software deployment and delivery.

In this tech talk you will learn about technologies and techniques that are used to rapidly develop, test and deploy complex software at huge scale.

We’ll be taking a whistle-stop tour through:

  • Test Driven Development
  • Continuous integration
  • Continuous delivery
  • Containerisation (Docker)
  • Logging, monitoring and metrics
  • Advanced debugging

We hope to see you there!

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Sign up to the CSS mailing list and WIN!

Ross Gardiner on September 24, 2016

This year, we’re starting a monthly(-ish) email newsletter. Find out about CSS events, news, trips and job postings.

I hear there are prizes?

Yes - it’s true! Win a Raspberry Pi Zero with an 8GB MicroSD; WiFi adapter; MiniHDMI and MiniUSB adapters. All you need to do is sign up for the shiny new CSS mailing list before 6pm on Friday September 30!

Get the newsletter


Ross Gardiner on August 19, 2016

Hello and welcome to all of you who will be joining us this year.

Sidle on over to our dedicated freshers’ page for more information.

Lecturer of the year 2015/16

Hakeem Kushoro on August 15, 2016

It is that time of year again where we look back on the year that has just passed. What went well, what could have gone better, what moments we cherished - but most importantly - who got you that 2:1 in the unit that everyone failed!

Voting is now open for the 2015/16 Lecturer of the Year award! You can now vote for your favourite lecturer.

You can also add a little note telling us why you think your choice of lecturer deserves the award (although you don’t have to - you are more than welcome to just cast your vote and leave it at that). Results shall be announced at this year’s returning students reception on October 5th, where the winner shall receive a prize!

(If you can’t find a lecturer on the list, please let me know on here or at [email protected] and I shall rectify this. Although, do note: Benjamin Sach is not eligible for this year’s award as he won last year)

Also, to enforce the 1 vote per person limit (because clearly everyone is out to rig these things, you know?), you must be signed into your @bristol.ac.uk Google Apps account to vote (don’t worry, we don’t retain who voted for which lecturer - we’re not that evil ;) )

Good luck to the lecturers and may the best teacher win!

2016 BBQ Photos

Ross Gardiner on July 11, 2016

We held our annual CSS Summer BBQ in Brandon Hill Park on June 4. Here are the photos!

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Wellbeing lunches

Ross Gardiner on May 26, 2016

Interested in wellbeing in the department? Bring your lunch to 3.22MVB on a Friday.

We’ll be chatting informally about anything and everything to do with wellbeing and mental health. Thanks go to Tim Kovacs, who is organising this. If you have any ideas on how to make the faculty a healthier and happier place he would love to hear them.

All students and staff from the faculty (and other faculties) are welcome.

The lunches will be at the same time and place for the next three Fridays - the last being June 10.

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2016 Summer BBQ - June 4

Ross Gardiner on May 21, 2016

The annual CSS BBQ is upon us again!

Join us as we continue the annual tradition marking the end of a busy year (and the end of exams!)

Come for free food, drink and lots of entertainment!

  • Location: Berkeley Square, Bristol
  • Date: June 4, midday

Remember to book your free ticket through Eventbrite


Entertainment poster

Hello, world

Ross Gardiner on May 21, 2016

Welcome to the updated CSS website!

I’m Ross, the new CSS webmaster. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for this site: you can contact me at [email protected], file an issue on the website repository or come and find me in person.

If you want to write a tutorial, blog post or anything else for the site, go right ahead! You can fork the repository, make your changes and submit a pull request. I’ll get any changes merged as quickly as possible. A full tutorial is available (it’s really easy, I promise!)

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