After an unseemly early start, we arrived at the Andrew Wiles Building, home to the university's Mathematical Institute for a full-day programme of talks, sample lectures and opportunities to chat with tutors and current undergraduates.
Before lunch, we enjoyed general sessions on Computer Science at Oxford, Applying to Oxford, and A day in the life of a Computer Science student, the latter delivered by a third year undergraduate student. After a quick lunch break, which included a whistle-stop visit to St Benet's Hall, we reassembled for a taster lecture on Machine Learning by Professor Yarin Gal (which discussed how to programme a computer to identify hot-dogs or not-hot-dogs!) and talks on the two joint honours courses offered at Oxford, Computer Science and Philosophy, and Maths and Computer Science. The programme then concluded with the day's second taster lecture: Professor Michael Wooldridge on Game Theory and Computer Science, which took us from an infamous episode of TV game show Golden Balls to the derivation of the Nash equilibrium in one-shot and repeated prisoner's dilemma games, to the evaluation of a whole host of player strategies, and the application of this to real-life scenarios from nuclear disarmament to over-fishing in the North Atlantic! Miss Thompson tried to convince everyone that this was really Economics, not Computer Science, but whatever the discipline, it certainly generated some healthy debate as to how rational it might be to want to punish an opponent who cheats on you as we walked the short distance to the university's Computer Science Department itself.
Having enjoyed a tour of the Department, we then set off to return to the train station, taking in St John's, Balliol and Brasenose Colleges on our way. A sudden downpour did slow our progress somewhat, but takeaway pizza on the train and the thought of getting back to St John's in time for Mrs Curran's food warmed us back up! All in all, it was a hugely enjoyable and informative day.