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Alex Pinkney

Note: this page will seldom be updated, and is mainly here for archival purposes after my cs account is closed

I graduated from my PhD in July 2015, having been supervised by Dr. Steven Bagley and Prof. David Brailsford, as part of the Document Engineering Lab at the School of Computer Science, University of Nottingham.

During my PhD years, I lived in C53 of the CS building, but I don't any more, so you probably shouldn't look for me there any more. My university email account is no longer active, but if you wish to contact me, please contact Dave or Steve (links to homepages and contact details above) who I'm sure will be happy to pass on any messages to me.

I have an Erdős number of 5:

Me → {David Brailsford|Steven Bagley} → Brian Kernighan → Shen Lin → Ron Graham → Paul Erdős

Sadly, my Erdős-Bacon number is infinity. (Unless you include the promotional video I appeared in for work with someone who was an extra in Captain America, which featured Tommy Lee Jones, who starred alongside Kevin Bacon in JFK in 1991, in which case my Erdős-Bacon number is 8.)

Research

From October 2009 to September 2013, I conducted research into ebook technologies and improving methods for automated typesetting of reflowable layouts (in particular focusing on the optimisation of text reflow for portable devices). During this time I developed a framework that allows electronic documents to be partially pre-rendered at document compile-time, allowing a large proportion of computation to be shifted away from view-time. In layman's terms, this allows for typesetting quality approaching that of PDF, with layout fluidity approaching that of HTML, without impacting on a device's battery life. My thesis is entitled Improving Typography and Minimising Computation for Documents with Scalable Layouts.

Publications

A. J. Pinkney. Improving Typography and Minimising Computation for Documents with Scalable Layouts. Ph.D. thesis, University of Nottingham, 2015.

A. J. Pinkney, S. R. Bagley, and D. F. Brailsford. No Need to Justify Your Choice: Pre-compiling Line Breaks to Improve ebook Readability. In Proceedings of the 2013 ACM Symposium on Document Engineering. [PDF]

A. J. Pinkney, S. R. Bagley, and D. F. Brailsford. Reflowable Documents Composed from Pre-rendered Atomic Components. In Proceedings of the 2011 ACM Symposium on Document Engineering, pages 163–166. ACM Press, 2011. [PDF]

I presented this paper at DocEng'11 in September 2011, which was held at The Googleplex, Mountain View, California.

Media Appearances

Shortly before I submitted my thesis, I was filmed explaining various Computer Science concepts for the YouTube channel Computerphile:


Teaching

During Spring Semester 2012/13, I was a lab assistant for Programming Documents.

During the Autumn Semester 2012/13, I was a preceptor for G51PRG and G51CSA, and a lab assistant for G52ADS and G52APR.

During Spring Semester 2011/12, I was a lab assistant for G51OOP, G51DBS, and G51WPS.

During the Autumn Semester 2011/12, I was joint head preceptor (along with Michael Clark) for G51PRG and G51CSA, and a lab assistant for G52ADS and G52APR.

In 2010/11 I was a preceptor for G51PRG and G51CSA, and a lab assistant for G64DBS, G52ADS, G52APR, G51DBS and G51OOP. I also marked a quarter of the G53OPS exam scripts.

In 2009/10, I was a lab assistant and/or marker for G51SCI, G52ADS, G52DOC, G51PRG, and G52OBJ.

Undergraduate stuff

I was awarded my undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Nottingham in July 2009. My undergraduate dissertation, entitled Development of an Artificial Neural Network to Play Othello, is available here, if anyone is interested… it's perhaps lacking a little rigorousness(!). All accompanying source code is available here, if anyone feels brave enough to delve into it… I would just like to point out that I haven't looked at it since April 2009, so I can't guarantee its quality :)