Dr Bruce Scharlau

Dr Bruce Scharlau

Senior Lecturer (Scholarship)

Overview
Dr Bruce Scharlau
Dr Bruce Scharlau

Contact Details

Telephone
work +44 (0)1224 272193
Email
Address
The University of Aberdeen Room 225, Meston Building, Old Aberdeen

Biography

I'm a Senior Lecturer on the 'Scholarship' track in Computing Science at the University of Aberdeen, where I'm mainly teaching programming, agile and lean development practices, service design approaches, and entrepreneurship ideas to students. I also find ways to bring live clients to my student projects so that they gain more experience before they graduate. This has been particularly successful for the last ten years of our MSc Information Technlogy programme.

Before joining the department in 2001 I was a self-employed developer building Java driven websites. I obtained my MSc in Applied Computing at Dundee University in 2000. I obtained my Ph.D in International Relations from St. Andrews University in 1992. I received my B.A in International Relations and German at the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota, USA in 1986.

I'm interested in helping people build better software and look for collaborative opportunities via honours projects and with the Aberdeen Software Factory. I also explore how to bring students from both universities in Aberdeen together to develop projects with Aberdeen City Council as part of the Aberdeen CityLab project. I am also working with Aberdeen City Council to help develop the Aberdeen Data Observatory with Hataichanok Saevanee, with whom I also collaborate on other projects.

I also create opportunities to bring Aberdeen's tech community together through my work as a trustee and treasurer with Code the City, a civic co-design and hacking group. We organise meetups, teach young people to code, organise public collaboration, such as through Air Aberdeen, and run co-design and hack weekends. This has proven a useful way to combine work with creating opportunities for students to widen their experience.

Let's work together

I'm always looking for opportunities to use my skills coaching software development and facilitating events with organisations. I have led a variety of sessions of different lengths for different groups in a variety of powerful approaches to deliver useful results. Please get in touch if you think I might be able to help you or your organisation.

I look to engineer collisions between real world businesses and computing science students at the University of Aberdeen because experience plus theory trumps theory on its own, especially if this can be done in an entrepreneurial manner.

StrategicPlay Lego Serious Play Facilitator

I was trained by StrategicPlay in February 2012 to facilitate Lego Serious Play workshops, and have been doing this regulurly now since then for a variety of organisations ranging from the University of Aberdeen as part of my teaching practice, the University of Edinburgh Student Association, the HEA, Aberdeen City Council and others.

CoCreACT Facilitator

I was trained by StrategicPlay in May 2015 to facilitate CoCreACT workshops, and this had helped me with the facilitation of CodeTheCity events as well as CityLab and and my teaching in general.

Open Space Facilitator

I was trained by Deborah Preuss in open space facilitation in February 2015, and have regularly used this for the unconference part of the Northern Lights conference, an HEA event and elsewhere such as Play4Agile. Most vividly I used this to facilitate the one-day open space for over 700 people at the Global Scrum Gathering in Vienna in October 2019.

Level 3 ILM Coach

I was trained by the University of Aberdeen and University of St Andrews as a Level 3 coach as acredited by the ILM. I am now available as a coach for staff as part of the network of coaches at the universities of Aberdeen and St. Andrews.

Senior Fellow HEA

I was accepted as Fellow in the Higher Education Academy in April 2012. I was accepted as a Senior Fellow in the HEA in October 2016.


Memberships and Affiliations

Internal

Chair of the University of Aberdeen Positive Outcomes Task Force, September 2015 to present, which means I also sit on the University Teaching and Learning Committee.

Athena Swan Co-Chair for Natural and Computing Science September 2015 to September 2018.

Erasmus/Go Abroad Co-ordinator for Computing Science September 2015 to present

Industrial Liaison Co-ordinator for Computing Science September 2015 to present

Programme Director, MSc/PgDp Information Technology, September 2018 to present

Former Admin Responsibilities

Programme Director, MSc/PgDp Software Entrepreneurship May 2013 to September 2015
Director of Undergraduate Teaching September 2012 to August 2015

Director of Postgraduate Teaching January 2011 to August 2012

Admissions and Programme Tutor, MSc/PgDp Advanced CS, IS and E-Commerce degrees October 2009 to January 2011

Computing Science Department Webmaster August 2007-October 2009 

Admissions and Programme Tutor, MSc/PgDp in Electronic Commerce Technology September 2001- August 2007

 

External

From June 2015 to August 2019 I was pitching, and then organising ITiCSE 2019 to be hosted in Aberdeen in July 2019. This meant preparing the pitch and proposed budget, while also moving up the duties on the conference commitee to become familiar with the conference. In 2017 I was responsible for session evaluation at the ITiCSE 2017 conference (Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education) in Bologna, Italy. I was the co-chair of the working groups for ITiCSE 2018 in Larnaca, Cyprus. I was co-chair for hosting ITiCSE 2019 in Aberdeen in July 2019.

Roger McDermott of RGU joined me as co-chair for the conference from 2018 onwards to help deliver ITiCSE 2019. This was the 24th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education in Aberdeen, UK. The event is initiated by the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), along with ACM Europe Council, and Informatics Europe, and hosted at the University of Aberdeen.

We generated £584k impact in the area through the conference with attendees from 29 countries 42% from US 20% from UK, 4% from Canada,4% from Australia, and most of the others from Europe, plus a number from other places too.
We had the following attendance for ITiCSE 2019
113 people for Doctoral Consortium and Working Groups
262 delegates, 274 counting speakers and exhibitors
35 accompanying persons.
We had planned originally for 180 people. We went a bit over that to break the previous attendance record of an ITiCSE conference of 230 attendees in Bologna in 2006.

We broke an ITiCSE record with 243 papers submitted, of which 66 were accepted, giving an acceptance rate of 27%.

Since April 2017 I am a committee member for Play4Agile organisation team, which takes place each February in Rueckersbach, Germany.

For ten years (2009-2019) I co-organised and hosted the monthly Techmeetup Aberdeen as featured in Wired' Infographic the monthly meetup of tech oriented developers, entrepreneurs, small business folks and academics (both staff and students). This meetup is now hosted by ONE Codebase in the Tech Hub next to the Art Gallery.

I co-organise the Aberdeen leg of the Global Service Jam with Steven Milne an annual weekend service design event each February/March. We have done this every year since 2013, but since the 2017 session coincided with Play4Agile, we weren't able to host one in Aberdeen this year.

I am also the external examiner for the MSc degrees in computing science at the University of Portsmouth. My appointment runs from September 2015 to January 2020.

Research

Research Overview

I'm always looking for opportunities to use my skills coaching software development and facilitating events with organisations. I have led a variety of sessions of different lengths for different groups in a variety of powerful approaches to deliver useful results. Please get in touch if you think I might be able to help you or your organisation.

I seek opportunities to engineer collisions between real world businesses and computing science and other students at the University of Aberdeen, because experience plus theory trumps theory on its own, especially if this can be done in an entrepreneurial manner.

The key areas of my interest are applied software development processes combining agile, lean and service design approaches. This is a people process, and my skills are in finding small steps to make large applications a reality. This is the recurrent theme of my teaching, and the co-corricular work that I do in the community supporting professionals, academics and students.

Collaborations

 I collaborate with a number of groups both within the university, and outside of it as the manager of the Aberdeen Software Factory, which places students with different projects that need software developed. The ASF follows two threads: summer group projects with the MSc IT students using live clients, and students working with live clients on funded projects. This has been a growing process with a number of successful outcomes for students finding employment more quickly, as well as clients happy with the software we developed for them.

I am a trustee for CodeTheCity along with with Steven Milne, Ian Watt, and Andrew Sage. Together we run regular civic, co-design hack events across Scotland. CodeTheCity was also the first ODI Node in Scotland.

Research Funding and Grants

 Since the 2010-2011 academic year I have regularly received two or three grants of £5000 each year from Scottish Funding Councils Innovation Voucher scheme which fund the Aberdeen Software Factory for its paid work with external clients, and enables its other activities. This has made the transition to paid employment upon graduation easier for those students who have participated, and enabled one student to move from a low paid, non-computing part-time job, to a regular part-time job as a software developer with a local engineering firm. This programme enables students to have experience working with clients before they graduate

Learning and Teaching Enhancement Programme October 2011. £1000 Experiential Learning. The aim of the initiative was to develop a process to enable student groups and local business to co-create a design thinking solution to a business model problem using experiential creative problem solving techniques using StrategicPlay processes with Lego Serious Play.

The TEMPUS Incoming project from 2012-2016 with European partners helped Serbian universities establish multidisciplinary programmes in computing departments and was worth EURO 55644

Higher Education Academy 2014 £700 to organise a student-led software houses workshop bringing together information from different practitioners to see how we might learn from each other in order to have more students take part.

Knowledge Technology Partnership (KTP) grant of £133,000 from May 2014 to May 2016 with Do Coyle in Education and Ian Heywood in Business working with Aberdeen City Council to develop a data observatory for better insights in the young person's services. This successful project post has agreed to be funded for a further five years by ACC.

I led the HEA Strategic Enhancement Programme on Employability from September 2014 to May 2015 at the UoA which sought to embed student processes into employability practices here. The £3000 grant was funded with money from COPS, CAD and CASS.

EU Erasmus Plus project of EURO 46000 from 2015 to 2019 with European and Serbian partner universities to establish the legislation and implementation of short-cycle and part-time degrees at Serbian universities. These are no legally possible at the moment, and this project will see their establishment.

Knowledge Technology Partnership project of £91,000 with David Green in Geosciences and Ian Heywood in Business in collaboration with the ANM Group to explore new ways of integrating digital assets into their work.

Teaching

Teaching Responsibilities

Teaches a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses dealing with software development and entrepreneurship. Many of these deal with group work using service design approaches as well as agile and lean development approaches. Where possible all of this happens in a work-related-learing environment using problem based learning approaches.

Undergraduate

Postgraduate

CityLab: Where the City is the Classroom

I co-founded CityLab (PD3002 and PD3502) as a joint venture between the Univerity of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and Aberdeen City Council. This inter-institutional and multi-disciplinary project brings students from both instintitons together each term to prototype sustainable projects aimed at improving life in the city. Successful prototypes are then carried forward either by the city council, or its other partners.

University of Aberdeen students take part via PD3002, or PD3502 as level three elective, and several students have carried forward working with the Transformation unit of Aberdeen City Council, whcih looks after CityLab, and helped support subsequent cohorts of students on the course.

The first cohort of students developed a project carried forward by CFine to reduce food waste in the city. This eventually evolved into the 'Tuk In' crowdfunding project launched in spring 2017.

Aberdeem City Council fund CityLab with time and money because it helps them to develop its services and partnerships in more creative means and has support at all levels.

We use the #citylababz hashtag for social media posts on CityLab.

Presentations

Associated Work

Following a presentation at the University of Edinburgh's 'Gearing Up' event in March 2017, we were asked to help their MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme develop the introduction to their summer school sessions, which would follow a similar format as CityLab. This will run from 30-31 May, 2017 and include a number of the students from different cohorts helping deliver the materials.

Aberdeen Software Factory: Live Client Experience for Students

Since 2009 students can take part either on specific paid projects with clients, or as part of CS5942 as students on the MSc IT degree. In both cases students gain valuable experience working with live clients to develop software, which needs to be used as aoon as possible.

Clients have ranged from work for departmental collaborations with external clients, to other academics in the university, as well as numerous clients across Scotland. These include start ups such as Float, and Equibuddy when they were being prototyped.

Both type of students gain from their Software Factory experience. The paid students learn to deliver work regularly to clients as part of a team of two while refining what they've learned in the classroom. The summer project students, who work with live clients learn to work as a software development team, which they've not done before. In both cases this work prepares them for their post-university career.

Publications

Publications 

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  • Proceedings of the 2019 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education

    Scharlau, B. A., McDermott, R.

    Proceedings of the 2019 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education. New York: ACM Press.

    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Conference Proceedings

  • Human and Technological Resources Needed to Develop and Sustain A City-Wide Educational Data Observatory

    Shanks, R., Scharlau, B., Saevanee, H., Stelfox, K.

    Responsible Analytics and Data Mining in Education: Global Perspectives on Quality, Support, and Decision-Making. Khan, B. H., Corbeil, J. R., Corbeil, M. E. (eds.). Routledge

    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)

  • Part-Time Study and E-Learning in Europe: Insights from Erasmus+ PT&SCHE Project

    Shanks, R. K., Scharlau, B. A.

    Contributions to Conferences: Papers

  • Songs are the tapping of keys Coding events for Kids

    Scharlau, B., Beacham, N., Carter, J.

    IFIP TC3 Working Conference “A New Culture of Learning: Computing and next Generations”. pp. 286-296, 11 pages.

    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Conference Proceedings

  • Service Design, Agile and Lean Startup

    Scharlau, B. A., Gough, S., Hormess, M. E., St John Lawrence, A.

    Touchpoint: The Journal of Service Design, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 48-53

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • The University Software House

    Scharlau, B. A.

    Contributions to Conferences: Papers

  • What are you reading?: Review of 'A Theory of Fun for Game Design'

    Scharlau, B. A.

    Times Higher Education Supplement, pp. 49

    Contributions to Journals: Reviews of Books, Films and Articles

  • What are you reading?: Review of 'The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual'

    Scharlau, B. A.

    Times Higher Education Supplement, pp. 49

    Contributions to Journals: Reviews of Books, Films and Articles

  • Games for teaching software development

    Scharlau, B. A.

    ITiCSE '13 Proceedings of the 18th ACM conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education. New York: ACM Press pp. 303-308, 6 pages.

    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Conference Proceedings

  • StrategicPlay workshop using Lego Serious Play for Team Building

    Scharlau, B. A.

    HEA STEM: Annual Learning and Teaching Conference 2013: Where practice and pedagogy meet

    Contributions to Conferences: Abstracts

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