Whilst opening the new £6 million Queen Mother Research Centre for Applied Computing in Dundee Scotland, Princess Anne was invited in to her first worldwide “school” FlashMeeting. Looking on, only slightly bemused, she participated in a three way conference between Dundee, Bogota and Canada. According to Dr Nick Hine, who is coordinating the Scottish FlashMeeting for pan-american school programme, “We connected a teacher in Colombia (at 5:15 am local time) and Canada (6:15 local time), and they presented the work with the kids and answered questions”.
A succession of other dignitaries then came though the FlashMeeting which is part of an Open University outreach program to connect up with a new stream of Applied Computing research. Dundee University has had its own FlashMeeting for some time now, as associate partners in the Prolearn Network of Excellence. The Applied Computing team are now extending their work on professional learning out into worldwide schools and teacher support.
As Professor Alan Newell, former head of applied computing at Dundee University, noted, The Queen Mother Research Centre is purposely designed for work to make a major boost to researching and teaching within applied computing. The support of the Queen Mother and the Princess Royal coming to name the building is an indication of the importance of the research that is being conducted here.