Glasgow University Students To Use The SAFE Network

Since its inception in 1451, Glasgow University has built a worldwide reputation as a centre for innovations which have had a profound effect on the world. Its famous alumni have included John Logie Baird, Lord Kelvin and Adam Smith, whose global impact has left a lasting impression on the world we live in today. Continuing the trend, Glasgow University Computing Science Students will be exposed to the latest in decentralised networking technology as MaidSafe’s SAFE (Secure Access For Everyone) Network puts them at the forefront of research and development into next generation Internet applications.

Students within the computer science department, under the guidance of Dr Inah Omoronyia, Lecturer in Software Engineering and Information Security, will work with the MaidSafe team, led by Scottish Engineer David Irvine. They will provide students guidance in building apps on top of the company’s platform, a secure and decentralised data and communications network that replaces the world’s data centres and servers with the spare computing capacity of the networks users. This comes at a time of great debate about the future of the Internet with leading academics, including the founder of the worldwide web Sir Tim Berners-Lee, seeking to improve the security and privacy offered to users.

The SAFE Network provides a zero cost infrastructure for students and the current APIs enable the creation of storage and email applications. This functionality is laid out to developers in tutorials created by the company, and this will be expanded over the next few months as MaidSafe release tutorials every 2 weeks, providing increasingly more complex functionality to application developers.

MaidSafe CEO, David Irvine, commented on the partnership; “We are delighted to be working with a university with such a rich heritage and we very much look forward to using the applications created by their students. Where better to push the envelope of evolutionary thinking than the country that Voltaire opined “We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation”. Glasgow University has an excellent opportunity to be at the forefront of research and development in the field of Internet technologies, alongside the likes of MIT, which will further enhance its reputation – and that of Scotland – as a source of cutting edge innovation.”

Glasgow University has one of the leading computing science departments in the UK and is ranked amongst the top 100 in the world. Lecturer in Software Engineering and Information Security, Dr Inah Omoronyia confirmed “It’s a great opportunity for our students at Glasgow University to get hands-on experience with building apps for the SAFE network. Security and privacy functions is now core to modern day software systems; our students are really excited to learn new ways of building such systems using cutting-edge technology.”

A Teacher’s Perspective

Yesterday on the MaidSafe forum, we received one of the most touching posts I have seen since the forum started. It was from a unexpected source, a high school teacher in Brisbane, Australia. The text that follows is a complete copy and paste from the original post and explains the impact that the SAFE Network has had on a small group on the opposite side of the world.

Hi David, Nick and the entire MaidSafe family! smile

My name is Chris and I am a state high school teacher from a school near Brisbane, Australia. I just wanted to let you know what part of my typical day at school looks like, and provide you with some hopefully interesting insight that is almost certainly unique.

I arrive at around 7:30 in the morning (classes start at 8:30) to set up my classroom for the day. It doesn’t take long until around 10 or so of the early arriving students show up at the door with the same question every morning, “Have you updated the prices yet?” There is a large screen at the front of the room that permanently displays the price of MaidSafeCoins, with a graph tracking the price in AUD for the past 90 days. I update this manually each day, hence the question as the students don’t like to be left waiting, looking at yesterday’s outdated prices! lol

More students arrive over the next hour and there is a flurry of activity as they discuss the slightest movement in the price, or any relevant updates on the forum. By the time the bell rings for class enough discussion has gone on to give one of your team meetings a run for its money I suspect! wink The same thing happens during lunch break, when up to 30 or so students can regularly be found sitting around discussing MaidSafe in the classroom over lunch.

Currently 65 students, mostly Year 11 and 12 (16-17 year olds) have MaidSafeCoin balances that I am aware of, along with several other ex-students and staff. Collectively we would be sitting on over 1 million MaidSafeCoins. We only came onboard after the crowdsale, but we have been consistently accumulating ever since the second half of last year, particularly when the price takes a dip. New students get involved all the time, with some quite literally buying a few MaidSafeCoins with leftover money from their canteen purchases.

We don’t post on the forum (this post will be the first), but we certainly read, and decipher the technical aspects as best we can (we mostly focus on the weekly dev updates). We wait patiently for testnet 3 and have a lot of ideas lined up for how we will approach the beta launch and beyond (as investors and users).

Here are some insights that I would like to share:

  • Teenagers “get it” – they know what this technology could be, and the possible implications for them, and they want in!
  • Interestingly, they find this much easier to understand than Bitcoin (maybe I just explain it better?!?)
  • We are all hugely appreciative of the massive amounts of time and effort the team puts in to get this up and running as quickly as humanly possible, and the underlying intelligence of the concept and the way things are done by the team – David is our hero! (even though we often struggle to understand him through the accent when we watch the YouTube videos of him in interviews and such! hahaha)
  • We check out the Jira Dashboard every day, and hope that one day soon the green line will catch up to the red one! wink
  • The students think it is pretty funny when “proper adult investors” are less patient than they are – they don’t understand why everyone is in a such a rush for the price to go up – they like it to stay low because they can buy a lot more the longer it does (they realise they are racing against the clock to accumulate as much as possible as quickly as possible!)
  • The student’s naturally and automatically trade MaidSafeCoins with each other when they don’t have cash on them, without a second thought (imagine when the system is live and it is actually easy to do that!)
  • Their interest in this project and the levels of self-motivation surrounding it is very exciting to witness – they have learnt more about the world of investment and finance (they are getting to be almost expert chart readers!), as well as the other technical learning from the forums and videos surrounding the actual invention itself, than I could ever hope to otherwise teach them.
  • If this is what happens when a group of ordinary teenagers, from an ordinary school, do when they find out about MaidSafe… this thing is going to be bigger than any of us can even begin to comprehend! smile

Thanks for everything that you are doing, and know that some of your biggest fans and supporters are not visible on the forums. They include a group of kids playing around with the thought of using your invention one day soon, sitting in a classroom on the other side of the world.