Computer Science Dinner

Last night was the annual Queens’ Computer Science dinner and we completely sold out of tickets for the second year in a row.

Ben and Matt did an excellent job as this year’s organisers – everything ran smoothly, and they had even arranged for some live music as we moved from the main dining hall to Old Hall after dinner (for more food).

I’d like to thank the individual alumni who sponsored the dinner and also the corporate sponsors: Palantir, Jane Street, Ocado, Coherent Graphics, and Encore.  Your generous support is what makes the dinner possible.

We were lucky this year to have Siraj Khaliq as our guest of honour.  Siraj studied Computer Science at Queens’ in 1997.  He was one of the first 300 employees at Google and then went on to do his own startup The Climate Company which was acquired by Monsanto for $1.1 billion.   Siraj gave a great talk about his experiences and had advice for those of us thinking about startups today.

One of his pieces of advice was to not try to build the ‘best’ thing when ‘good enough’ is good enough.  I think this is worth remembering – I can think of numerous occasions in research where we’ve had an idea, let it get shot down by some corner case and then seen papers from people who’ve done the same thing, not worried about these cases, but still found something interesting.

I was really pleased to see so many graduates who came back and joined us. It was interesting to hear how everyone is getting on.

Here’s a shot of a few of us at the drinks reception:

Drinks reception in the Old Senior Combination Room

Drinks reception in the Old Senior Combination Room

And here’s a picture of me with Professor Alan Mycroft and Dr Anil Madhavapeddy. Alan and Anil were chosen by the Queens’ undergrads as their favourite lecturers this year.


Thanks everyone for coming, thanks to Ben and Matt for their hard work organising, see you all next year.