23 Things and Social Media

23 things is a new online course run by the Researcher Development Porgramme (RDP) at the University of Surrey. The course is a 10 week course designed to expose researchers to the digital tools available online to increase the visibility and reach of their research and personal brand as well as being a useful resource.

In week one I’ve been asked to write a short piece about my experiences with social media, so I’ve decided to do what I do best and make a list! There is an endless wealth of interesting social media sources for researches, but I’m going to pick out the ones I find most interesting:


I don’t think I’ve quite found my twitter niche yet, but when I do use twitter for research it’s primarily using the hugely popular “#phdchat” hashtag. For Surrey researches it’s also worth noting the “#surreyphdchat” hashtag which is still desperately trying to catch on.


I am slightly obsessed with YouTube channels that give me a new perspective on the world. Anything that makes me think about something in a new way, or learn something new is alright in my book. Here are my favourites:

  • Veritasium – Excellent exploration of the science all around us
  • CrashCourse – Crash courses in a widening range of topics from World History, Chemistry, Astronomy, Psychology and more.
  • Film Riot – For my research based in the broadcast industry, this is a fascinating (and funny) insight into the indie-filmmaker world
  • Google ATAP – Google’s new Computer Vision project looking at augmented reality on smartphones
  • In59seconds – Interesting psychology concepts explained in 1 minute
  • Numberphile – Maths like you’ve never seen it before!
  • SmarterEveryDay – One guy’s quest to learn something new every day
  • The Royal Institution – Talks at the Royal Institute on lots of STEM subjects, well known for the annual Christmas Lectures
  •  Tom Scott – Geeky things you might not know
  • Computerphile – From how a computer works to virtual reality headsets
  • Vihart – Fun with maths
  • Vsauce – Great use of words to make any subject fascinating


I haven’t yet found any groups for research on Facebook, but it’s great for asking people to fill out a survey!


until next week,


A Matter of Time

In the last 6 months I’ve managed to get myself involved in 3 weekly activities: garden society, roller derby and climbing. I’m really enjoying not only having a structure to my week, but also having regular social activities that feel far more productive that just sitting in the pub. Especially after a boring or stressful day it’s really rewarding to have a couple hours doing something different… and I probably couldn’t have picked three more varied activities.

Potluck poster

Monday – Garden Soc

Next week marks the re-start of our weekly Garden Society meetings after our winter hiatus. We start back with a potluck event – inviting members to bring a dish to share along to the social, creating a kind of crowd-sourced tapas evening.

Last weekend we continued work in the polytunnel, reusing old pallet wood to make planting bed borders. It’s such a productive way of spending some of your weekend and it always makes me feel more relaxed when I get back to it on Monday morning.

Spring is fast approaching and there’s lots to look forward to. The last few months have seen the garden transformed from a plot of dying grass and weeds to a bed of sprouting onions!

The transformation in just 5 months has been incredible!

Photo taken by Becky Griffin

Tuesday – Roller Derby

I started playing roller derby in May last year after the boys team organised a skate-a-marathon fundraiser around Goodwood racetrack. I had such an amazing time and everyone was so friendly that I knew I had to stick around.

Since then I’ve been attending weekly practice sessions and a couple months ago passed my minimum skills test in order to play on the actual team! I’m absolutely loving the challenge, and there’s nothing better to let out steam than smashing into a few people on roller skates. Hopefully this year I’ll get the chance to play in an official game.

Photo taken by Stuart James

Wednesday – Climbing

I’ve been climbing on and off now since I started university, but recently it’s had a revival of sorts. Mainly spurred on by my officemate Stu starting to climb, I’ve been going rather religiously for the last 8 months. We’ve even started lead climbing – essentially when you clip the rope to the wall as you climb up often resulting in some hairy moments where you’re frantically trying to clip in before you lose your hold and fall 8ft to your last clip. It’s really bought back the challenge and excitement that I felt when I first started climbing 6 years ago.

This year I’d like to go on more outdoor trips as well as upping my top rope grade from a 6b to a 7a.

In an ideal world I’d also like to do more swimming, especially in the mornings, as it’s proved really good before – but hey, it’s all just a matter of time.



New Zealand Trip Route

I’m still trawling through the photos from our month-long travels through New Zealand, but in the mean time I’ve plotted out our route so you can oggle at where we went and how far we drove!

Click on the image for a closer look around the map

If you want to read more about our adventures you can catch up over on Emily and I’s joint travel blog, Back In A Moon.

I have just received confirmation that a paper for which I am second author has just been accepted into Eurographics 2015. This announcement is hot on the heels of presenting my first research publication at last years International Conference on Image Processing.

In the scale of conferences covering my research area, Eurographics is up there with the best, so I’m very excited to be part of a paper that will be presented there. This year Eurographics is being held in Zurich, Switzerland in May, so I might just be heading over there for a few days to present some of the work!

My poster on "Particle Filtering Approach to Video Object Localisation" at ICIP 2014

Stop Motion New Zealand

Our New Zealand Adventure.

27 Days.
3,673 photos.
5.5 hours of video.
Auckland, Hunua, Karangahake Gorge, Matamata, Hobbiton, Tirau, Otorohanga, Waitomo, Rotorua, Tongariro, Taupo, Napier, Hastings, Wellington, Nelson, Abel Tasman, Punakaiki, Hokitika, Franz Joseph Glacier, Fox Glacier, Queenstown, Arrowtown, Paradise, Milford Sound, Dunedin, Moeraki, Christchurch, Sydney, Blue Mountains.
in 3 minutes.