I am a keen advocate of engaging a wide variety of audiences in discussing computing and the role it plays in today’s society. Through engagement with a topic, the public can gain a greater understanding of the field, and perhaps encourage some inquisitive minds to push the boundaries even further in the future. I am currently involved in a wide variety of activities including programming workshops, public lectures and stand-up comedy. In addition, I am involved in a number of initiatives in which I am looking to engage school pupils in computing, through contributing to school curriculums and careers decisions.

If you are interested in speaking to me about outreach opportunities, you can email me at r.menzies@dundee.ac.uk or call me on +44 (0)1382 386540.

Workshops Available

In schools or on-campus

I am always keen to visit schools to create links with Computing and to motivate students to study computing to whatever level they are interested. I can visit your school or you can visit Computing – whichever suits your school timetable and class better. See below for the list of workshops. If you would like me to provide a workshop on another area, please get in touch.

Dundee Science Festival

Overgate Shopping Centre, 2011-2014

This is a regular feature of the Science Festival – local researchers base themselves in the Overgate Shopping Centre for a weekend to share their work with the public. This is a fabulous opportunity to show engaging and interactive exhibits to members of the public, who may not typically engage in science activities.

Bright Club

A Comedy Club featuring academic and research staff as stand up comedians. In each show there around 6 academics who each perform an 8 minute set, with a professional compere to move things along.

Dundee, October 2013

I’m chatting about my travelling adventures, my hatred for Charles De Gaulle Airport, and the dangers of students.

Dundee, December 2012

I’m a computer scientist with a summer tan, so it’s fair to say that I’m not your typical computer scientist, but am I?

Cafe Science Extra

At Cafe Science Extra you can hear the latest news from up and coming scientists in a relaxed atmosphere over coffee. This new event was launched in October 2008 and showcases the cutting-edge research performed by younger scientists. Cafe Science Extra presents local speakers from Tayside’s abundance of hugely talented scientists and engineers.

How Technology Can Help Nonspeaking People Tell Their Stories (2014)

We all tell stories to make friends. Sharing our experiences with others gives us the opportunity to forge connections with other people, finding common ground upon which we can build relationships and a means by which we can improve our quality of life. The very act of sharing stories with others can be very therapeutic, and can help us deal with the stresses of our daily lives. But how would we cope without the ability to share our experiences with others? For some people, being unable to tell stories is a reality. Many non-speaking people have never had the means or the opportunity to engage in narrative with friends, and have grown up without learning the necessary skills to do so. There are a number of technologies that exist that allow non-speaking people to tell stories and share their experiences with others.

Universal Design – Including People with Disabilities (2011)

From microwaves to mobile phones to computers, we take technology for granted but how much do you know about how it is designed and developed? The public are becoming more involved in how technology should look and how it should work, but there is one group who are missing out. Those with disabilities are often ignored when technology is being designed, even when the technology is aimed at them – for example electronic wheelchairs. This talk describes two projects that includes users with severe disabilities in the design of technology.

Meet The Scientist

One Size Fits All?, Dundee Science Centre (2010)

This event allowed school children and their families to meet scientists from the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Children were encouraged to think about how people use computers and how that might be difficult if you had a disability. Disabilities such as visual impairments and/or motor impairments were simulated using googles and gloves to highlight the problems faced  by these user groups. Demonstrations were given of games created both physically and on a computer to show how user-centred design processes can help people with disabilities to enjoy computers.