Archive for the ‘Events’ Category.

IT Security Week: Is your password on the list of worst Internet Passwords for 2014?

Is your College password on the list of worst Internet Passwords for 2014?

You might recall during last year’s IT Security week we looked at the list of the Internet’s most commonly used and therefore ‘worst’ passwords. The list has been updated for 2014 As you can see below there has not been much of an improvement! Do you see any passwords similar to those you may be currently using for accounts which provide access to important information about you? These could include your College network or email account, or your iTunes, Amazon, PayPal, LinkedIn, or Facebook account?

If so it may be time to consider a change!

Rank Password Change from 2013
1 123456 No Change
2 password No Change
3 12345 Up 17
4 12345678 Down 1
5 qwerty Down 1
6 123456789 No Change
7 1234 Up 9
8 baseball New
9 dragon New
10 football New
11 1234567 Down 4
12 monkey Up 5
13 letmein Up 1
14 abc123 Down 9
15 111111 Down 8
16 mustang New
17 access New
18 shadow Unchanged
19 master New
20 Michael New

What makes these passwords so bad?

The passwords on this list demonstrate many of the common features which make a password weak and easy for an attacker to guess or crack:

  • They use dictionary words like dragon, football & monkey
  • They use common sequences or repeated characters like 111111 & 12345678
  • They use adjacent letters on the keyboard like qwerty

How can I create a secure password?

The key ideas to think about when creating a password are:

  • Length – Make your passwords long with 8 or more characters.
  • Complexity – Include letters, symbols, and numbers and a variety of upper and lower case characters.
  • Obscurity – Good passwords are randomised combinations of characters, don’t use dictionary words or words with personal connections to you or the service the password is for.

Test it online When you think you have come up with a secure password you can check it with an online password checker.

How can I manage all my passwords?

The best idea is to use separate passwords for all your important accounts which provide access to important information about you like your College account, iTunes or Facebook account. However remembering many different complex passwords is a challenge, one useful way to manage you passwords is to use an application like Keepass.

This is a small application which you can install on your computer and use to store your password information. The application is encrypted and password protected.  Obviously you should choose a really strong password to protect this application and remember to transfer and delete all information when you buy a new computer.

What if I forget my College Password?

Everyone forgets their password occasionally, you can save yourself a trip to the helpdesk by signing up today for the automated password reset services provided by IS Services below:

  • Password Manager

Password manager is a web-based application which allows staff and students to manage and reset their network login password. For a complete set of instructions on how to get started using Password Manager as a member of staff please see staff information, and as a student please see student information

  • TCD Password Recovery Service

Students can reset their email and network login password and have details sent to their mobile phone. Sign up today at by providing a mobile phone number and, optionally, an alternative email address.

IT Security Week: Data Protection Day 2015 – Did you know that over half of Irish Organisations experienced a data breach last year?

Today January 28th is Data Protection Day. This is an international event aimed at raising awareness and educating individuals on their rights and their responsibilities with regard to collecting, storing and processing personal information.

The event also focuses on encouraging businesses and other organisations to understand their responsibilities by being open and honest about how they collect use and share personal information.

Know your rights

As an individual or a consumer you should know that that when you give your personal details to another organisation or individual, they have a legal duty to keep these details private and safe. This process is known as data protection.

Know your responsibilities

A recent survey of Irish Organisations found that more than half had experienced a data breach in the last year and the biggest cause was not hackers or other external threats but the behaviour of the companies own employees!

If you collect or store personal data belonging to others then you have defined legal responsibilities to protect and manage this data correctly.

As a staff member or a student in College you may be collecting and storing personal information as part of your job role, studies or research. You have a responsibility to ensure that the data is stored and processed appropriately and securely.

Remember IS Services are always available to advise you on how to manage data securely. We can advise on encryption techniques, evaluate IT partners’ products and services or review your current arrangements and advise on any improvements that may be necessary.

The College Information Compliance Office is also available to assist with any queries around Data Protection Legislation and compliance.

So make sure you know how the Data Protection Act applies to you. You can find information on the Data Protection Commissioner’s website at

Join us this evening to find out WHAT DOES THE INTERNET SAY ABOUT YOU?

To mark Data Protection day there will be an exciting panel discussion at 6pm in the JM Synge Theatre. It will be hosted by Newstalk’s Technology Reviewer Jessica Kelly.  See the Science Gallery Events Page for more information

[MATLAB Webinars] Upcoming Academic Sessions – January 2015

Join us online to learn more about MATLAB and Simulink. Each live webinar is free and features application demonstrations followed by a Q&A session with a MathWorks Engineer.


Parallel Computing with MATLAB
January 9, 2015
Session 1:  2 pm // Session 2:  7 pm

Learn how you can use Parallel Computing Toolbox and MATLAB Distributed Computing Server to speed up MATLAB applications by using the desktop and cluster computing hardware you already have. You will learn how minimal programming efforts can speed up your applications on widely available desktop systems equipped with multicore processors and GPUs, and how to continue scaling your speed up with a computer cluster.


Introduction to Geospatial (Mapping) Analysis using MATLAB
Date: January 16, 2015
Session 1:  2 pm // Session 2:  7 pm

This session provides an overview of using MATLAB for geospatial image and data analysis. Using imagery acquired from USGS Web Services, we will demonstrate the development and application of an algorithm to quantify from aerial imagery the portion of land under irrigation.

This session is intended for anyone interested in using MATLAB to analyze geospatially-oriented data.

Highlights include:

  • Accessing aerial NAIP (National Agriculture Imagery Program) imagery from a web map server
  • Developing an algorithm to detect and differentiate irrigation crop circles
  • Automating the algorithm over a range of sub-images
  • Displaying results on a map axis
  • Generating reports on the results

Additionally, we will demonstrate the registration of aerial images and the positioning of cellular towers to optimize coverage.

Highlights include:

  • Downloading digital elevation model and aerial imagery using WMS
  • Annotating terrain data with contour lines, colormaps, and more
  • Calculating line-of-sight visibility, and viewshed


Computer Vision Made Easy
Date: January 27, 2015
Session 1:  2 pm // Session 2:  7 pm

In this webinar you will learn how to use computer vision algorithms to solve real world imaging problems. Computer vision uses images and video to detect, classify, and track objects or events in order to understand a real-world scene.

You will discover how to:

  • Find moving objects in video
  • Analyze the motion of objects
  • Detect and locate faces in images and video
  • Track a single object over many frames of video

We will demonstrate key features through real world examples including:

  • Analyzing the flow of traffic using motion analysis
  • Using a person’s movements to interact with a computer
  • Locating an object in a cluttered scene

This webinar assumes some experience with MATLAB and no experience with computer vision. We will focus on the Computer Vision System Toolbox.

Improving the student experience: New Student Orientation

Significant changes were made to the way we provide information to new students during orientation week.  We moved away from classroom-based induction sessions and, in consultation with several of the Schools, we added a short IT presentation to individual School and Departmental orientations.  This allowed us access to greater numbers of new students in order to provide them with the information that they need to get started with IT in College.

Here are a few statistics:

  • We met with 7572 new students in our Induction Events
  • 17,000 New Student & TCDconnect user guides were printed with 12,300 distributed during Orientation week
  • 881 additional hours or 118 extra person days of Support (Training\TCDConnect Clinics\Information Desk) were provided in addition to normal service levels
  • Number of students registered and connected to TCDconnect by end of October 2014 was 12,735 and they had connected 21,459 devices. An additional 17% (1855) students and 36% (5993) devices connected in 2014 against the same time period in 2013.
  • Number of students who needed help and attended TCDconnect clinics was 861 (a fall of 20% on the number who attended in the same time period in 2013)

Microsoft StudySmart workshops

IS Services provides training throughout the year for staff and students in the main Microsoft Office applications.  For those who cannot make one of our tailored 3-hour training courses, it may be useful to attend one of the short StudySmart sessions which have been organised by College.  These sessions should help you improve your academic writing, presentation and Excel skills.

The sessions are free and last 50 minutes, held over lunchtime and delivered by StudySmart Reps – trainers who will look at getting the most out of these Microsoft products, with an introduction on further supports and resources on these topics from Student Learning Development.

Friday 17th Oct 2014 – Take our Word – Everything you need to know to create assignments and thesis documents  

Friday 24th Oct 2014 – Presentation skills – master class on using PowerPoint to produce high-quality and professional-looking slideshows

Friday 31st Oct 2014 – All you need to know about Excel 

All lectures will be held from 1pm-2pm on the dates stated, in the Thomas Davis Theatre in the Arts Building.  There is no need to book, just show up with your laptop, tablet or notepad.


HPRC walk-in workshop, Friday 3rd October

The IS Services High Performance and Research Computing Group (HPRC) are holding a drop-in session from 11am to 12pm on Friday, 3rd October in room 2.12 in the Lloyd building.

HPRC provides Trinity researchers from all disciplines with the following services:

  • Advanced Computing
  • Data Management
  • Visualisation
  • Training
  • Software Development Facilities and Expertise

The workshop may be useful to staff and postgrads who need assistance with the above.  See here for more details on the workshop.

Data Backup & IT Security session, 2pm, Oct 2nd

IS Services and the GSU have arranged a 1-hour information session for College postgrads that will cover various IT Security topics.  The session will take place between 2pm and 3pm on Thursday, 2nd October in the Swift Theatre (room 2041A Arts Building).  No booking is required and we encourage postgrads to come along to learn more about the following topics:

  • Data Backup
  • Phishing
  • Mobile Device Security
  • Malware/Spyware
  • Software Security Updates
  • Password Security
  • Cloud Security

IS Services

HPRC walk-in workshop, 5th September, 11am-12pm

The IS Services High Performance & Research Computing group (HPRC – provides advanced computing (Linux and HPC), data management, visualisation and software development facilities and expertise for Irish researchers from all disciplines.

The HPRC group will be holding a Walk-In Workshop session on Friday 5th September between 11am and 12pm in the HPRC computer lab on the second floor of the Lloyd Building (room 2.12)

Light refreshments of tea/coffee/biscuits will be provided.


Focus of workshop

This month’s workshop is focused on:

* All disciplines:

* Do you run large calculations on your desktop?

– We can help by getting them to run on our High Performance Compute clusters

* Do you need help writing parallel code?

– You can get free access to support scientists who can help you. This scientist can be allocated to work with you or your research group on projects for up to three months in duration.

* Do you need help visualising results?

– We can provide advice on software (including bespoke visualisation software developed at HPRC) and facilities (3-D Visualisation Facility).



Researchers from all disciplines are welcome to come along.

Please let your colleagues know about the Workshop, as they may have some issue which turns out to be relevant for you.



Additional information

This will be an open session for people to come in and ask questions and get help in an informal setting.

Please note that this is _not_ a formal training session – you can drop in at any time during the workshop with a question for 5 minutes and then leave (hopefully happy!).

HPRC staff members will be on hand to discuss any problems with you. Light refreshments of tea/coffee/biscuits will be provided.


See for more details.

Venue: The HPRC computer lab on the second floor of the Lloyd Building (room 2.12)


Time: 11am – 12pm on Friday 5th September

Contact information:

Join Wolfram Experts for a live event: New in Mathematica 10

Learn what’s new in Mathematica 10 and how to make the most of it from the people who built it!

Wolfram Experts Live: New in Mathematica 10 Free Online Event July 29, 1pm-3pm US EDT (5pm-7pm GMT)

Join Wolfram developers and technology experts for a guided overview of new features in Mathematica 10. They’ll also discuss how to make the most of new areas of Wolfram Language functionality such as machine learning, computational geometry, and geographic computation. The event will include time for questions from the online audience with each presenter.

Seats are limited. Register today:

Call for CoderDojo programme mentors

CoderDojo is a non-profit volunteer-led community of free programming clubs for young people. At a Dojo, young people between 7 and 17 learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and explore technology! There is a focus on community, peer learning and self led learning with an emphasis on helping others and showing how coding is a force for change in the world! Dojos are usually held on the weekend but some are run during the week like the Croke Park CoderDojo.

As you can imagine the popularity of CoderDojo has grown massively. As of March this year there are over 345 Dojos either actively running or in planning in 38 countries that reach over 12,000 children a month. At the moment, the demand for places at a CoderDojo exceeds some Dojos capacity to provide them and as a result we are looking for mentors.

We were wondering if you could send out a CoderDojo mentor call to the Trinity College student population, who have some coding knowledge and would like to improve their coding ability and add CoderDojo mentoring to their list of skills.

Why Volunteer / Mentor?

From Mentoring students will learn several new skills and practical experience to add to their CV:

Communication Skills
– Improved from their interaction with mentors and young people.

– Giving them the opportunity to meet and develop contacts with IT professionals.

Develop Programming Skills

– When mentoring they will be challenged technically as each Dojo covers several topics. This will improve their current skills and help them develop new ones.

Local Community and Youth Work

– Mentoring will give them experience working with young people while helping out  and giving back to their local community.

Any students or staff who would like to mentor at a CoderDojo can find and contact their local Dojo by searching via our Dojo listing website:

Or if you have any questions about getting involved you can contact us directly:

Please note: That CoderDojo best practice encourages that all CoderDojo volunteers and mentors undergo a Garda vetting background check. This can be done via the Dojos local volunteer centre.