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  • Additional three Scottish university students recognised for exemplary innovation in software engineering

A student at Aberdeen University has been named Young Software Engineer of the Year 2021 at the ScotlandIS ScotSoft2021 awards ceremony in Edinburgh yesterday evening (7th October). Stepan Brychta has taken first place at the awards for developing an AI music creation assistant named “Fryderyk”, after composer Fryderyk Chopin.

Fryderyk is a web application that uses artificial intelligence to help human composers create music using a grid system. Composers can select from dozens of musical styles and can add notes to the system simply by playing their digital instruments. Brychta has taken Fryderyk through to the state of a promising prototype, and he has also developed a new method to evaluate artificial music generation systems.

In a study of 39 individuals, people were unable to reliably distinguish between fully human composed music and that created by using Fryderyk – suggesting the AI-powered composition was convincingly human-like.

Another three Scottish university students were recognised for their outstanding work at the awards.

Victor Slavov of Stirling University was runner-up for his work implementing virtualization-based software protection in Java, in a bid to strengthen the quality of intellectual property protection that can be built into the programming language.

Third place went to Maria Elizabeth Hughes of Strathclyde University for her work on anonymisation of data: Hughes created a website that automatically detects identifying information and removes it from data sets to make the data anonymous, providing a way to render useful data while protecting individual privacy.

Dundee University student Ryan Anderson secured the Best Engineering Award for his gyroscope- based offline calibration and stabilisation for first person view drone videos.

To make drone footage smoother, Anderson has developed various algorithms that successfully stabilise videos being filmed by drones by calculating a smooth camera path without harsh movements or shaking. He is continuing to make improvements to the product to deliver a commercially viable solution for professional videographers.

The Young Software Engineer of the Year Awards are organised by ScotlandIS, the trade body and cluster management organisation for Scotland’s digital tech sector, and presented during their annual ScotSoft conference. Each university submits the best final year undergraduate software engineering project from amongst their students, and the awards are given to the best projects from across all students studying computing science and software engineering in Scotland.

Karen Meechan, CEO at ScotlandIS, said: “The YSE awards are an annual reminder of the great innovation and dedication of our up-and-coming tech talent in Scotland. The work done by this year’s winners and runners up will make an impact in a range of industries, and it’s a delight to recognise them for their contributions.”

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