34 episodes

Faculty and students from Waterford Institute of Technology explore a wide range of topics related to computing and technology. Hosted by Rob O'Connor.

All opinions are personal and do not represent Institutional views.

The Machine: A computer science education podcas‪t‬ Rob O'Connor

    • Technology

Faculty and students from Waterford Institute of Technology explore a wide range of topics related to computing and technology. Hosted by Rob O'Connor.

All opinions are personal and do not represent Institutional views.

    Ep 32: The Walton Institute and ICT Research at WIT

    Ep 32: The Walton Institute and ICT Research at WIT

    In March of 2021, the TSSG (tssg.org) will rebrand as The Walton Institute. Rob spoke with co-directors Sasi Balasubramaniam and Kevin Doolin about the change is taking place, the shift in focus of ICT (Information & Communication Technology) research over the past 20 years and what this means for the South East region as a whole. The conversation touches on cross discipline research subjects such as agri-tech, neurological modelling and artificial intelligence, we well as working with SMEs in the region. Up until now, the TSSG has been one of the most successful research groups in Europe. This podcast should give you an insight as to how it's all put together and where they plan to go in the future.

    • 48 min
    Ep 31: Work Placements & Internships

    Ep 31: Work Placements & Internships

    Despite the ongoing COVID situation, work placements and internships are still going ahead in the tech industry. Rob spoke with three stakeholders to get different perspectives on how things have been proceeding. James Richardson is a final year computing student at WIT who completed his placement with Red Hat (https://www.redhat.com)last year, during the first phases of the pandemic. David Ryan of TSSG (http://www.tssg.org) gave the employer’s perspective on interns are managed and mentored, during COVID times and normal times. Finally Tracy Murphy, the work placement manager in the Dept. Of Computing & Mathematics at WIT (https://www.wit.ie) was on hand to provide the academic viewpoint and “bigger picture” view.

    James kept an insightful blog about his journey from serving in the US Navy to studying in WIT, to interning in Red Hat here which you can read here -> https://medium.com/@jamricha

    • 56 min
    Ep 30: Christmas Recommendations

    Ep 30: Christmas Recommendations

    Ho ho ho! Five of the regular podcast hosts from WIT got together to record a joint episode recommending some books, TV programmes, films, podcasts and tech that you (or a loved one) might enjoy over the Christmas period. Features Jenny O’Connor from The Nerve, Bruce Wardrop from Win Win, Niamh Maguire from Engendering Change, Tom Grinsell from WIT Talks Student Life and Rob O’Connor of The Machine.

    A very Happy Christmas to all our listeners.

    Recommendation Notes:

    Bruce Wardrop


    (Book) Atomic Habits – James Clear https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habits
    (Podcast) Real Science of Sport https://twitter.com/sportsscipod
    (Podcast) Where Is George Gibney? https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/brand/p08njhrm

    Niamh Maguire


    (Book) Girl Woman Other – Bernadine Evaristo https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41081373-girl-woman-other
    (TV Show) - Rita https://www.netflix.com/ie/title/70285368

    Tom Grinsell


    (Documentary) The Wolfpack Insider [Tour de France 2020] https://youtu.be/NOEoqwi9Mls
    (TV Show) Queen’s Gambit https://www.netflix.com/ie/title/80234304

    Jenny O’Connor


    (Book) Actress – Anne Enright https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45993330-actress
    (Film) God’s Own Country https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5635086/
    (Film) Only You https://www.netflix.com/ie/title/81111212

    Rob O’Connor


    (Film) The Midnight Sky https://www.netflix.com/ie/title/80244645
    (Tech) Nintendo Switch https://www.nintendo.com/switch/

    Extra Notes:


    Desert Island Discs, Bernadine Evaristo https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000mrb1
    Desert Island Discs, Anne Enright https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000dpn1

    • 42 min
    Ep 29: Developer Stories: Rocketship Park Games w/ Shane McCafferty

    Ep 29: Developer Stories: Rocketship Park Games w/ Shane McCafferty

    "LOVE: A Puzzle Box Filled With Stories" is the recent release from Canadian studio RocketShip Park Games. Rob spoke with their chief games designer and programmer Shane McCafferty (originally from Slieverue, Co. Kilkenny) about how he got into games development and the processes that led to LOVE. Shane talks about the emotional motivation behind the game, collaborating with other artists (both visual and musical) as well as detailing one of the tech used in creating the game. The podcast also includes some snippets of the music used in the game, written and performed by Waterford musician Neil White. 

    LOVE - A Puzzle Box Filled with Stories is available on Steam 

    • 43 min
    Ep 28: SEE Space Network

    Ep 28: SEE Space Network

    Quantum communication! Cybersecurity! Controlling tractors from space! Rob spoke with Mark White (Head of Research WIT) and Niall Smith (Head of Research CIT) about the newly formed SEE (Society, Economy, Environment) Space Network, Ireland's first space region as academics in Cork and Waterford join forces to forge links with the European Space Agency. Can Ireland have a positive impact on space research? These folks certainly think so! For more information visit spacenetwork.ie

    • 54 min
    Ep 27: A Beginner's Guide To Cybersecurity

    Ep 27: A Beginner's Guide To Cybersecurity

    We have three IT security and forensics experts in the virtual studio for this episode! Rob knows next to nothing about cybersecurity so was able to honestly ask questions like "what is a denial of service attack?' and "how does encryption work?." Thankfully Judy Kelly (Security Architect with Red Hat), Jimmy McGibney and John Sheppard (both Lecturers from WIT) were on hand to provide the answers. It also includes some practical hints and tips on how you can best protect your personal data and devices. If you're searching for a starting place to understand computer security, look no further ...

    • 1 hr 1 min

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