Hello! I am reading Computer Science at the University of Southampton. I write code, design games, and occasionally tweet. Why not checkout my CV, connect on LinkedIn, subscribe to my RSS feed, or send me an email?

One Weekend, Two Hackathons

Competitions, Games. Posted January 28, 2018. 139 words.

This weekend, I participated in two hackathons. On Friday afternoon I took part in the Bloomberg CodeCon Grand Finals (again). Then in the evening everyone everyone went to Swingers Golf Bar. On Saturday morning I explored the city, swinging by the Tate Modern just before I left. Image courtesy Bloomberg.

Bloomberg London HQ

Then on Saturday evening and Sunday morning I created a game for the Southampton Game Jam, the theme was transmission. Normally you have 48 hours, but I was lucky to even have 20. So I got to work, and created SnowDrift, a classic 2D platformer, using raw JavaScript no frameworks. Click on the image below to play in your browser.


Overall, the weekend was busy, but fascinating. I really enjoyed it.

The Unofficial Stack Exchange Puzzle Book

Text. Posted January 20, 2018. 165 words.

After recent browsing, I had the idea to convert the Puzzling Stack Exchange into a book. Overall, the project was a success, however maths is currently not rendered as such. The book contains the top 100 questions and answers ever submitted to the site, formatted nicely to fit into a small A5 book(let).

I would like to thank the Puzzling Stack Exchange community for writing the puzzles, Stack Exchange for providing the data, and creativecommons.org for making this possible. Like the puzzles within, the book is licensed under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license. The book was created using the Stack Exchange Data Explorer to gather data, Python to parse and structure the data, and Pandoc to typeset as PDF. And thank you, the reader for reading this “book”. I hope you enjoy the puzzles. If you wish to contribute to this book, it can be found on my github. Download and happy puzzling!

How to play Cheat, Sh*thead, and Cheathead

Games, Rules. Posted January 9, 2018. 742 words.

Today I was playing a rather interesting variation of Cheat and Sh*thead with a group of friends, and thought it be worth sharing. But before doing so, I will fill you in on the rules of both games, for context. Alternatively click here to skip to the bottom.

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Roulette, An Intelligent Negotiating Agent

Agents, Algorithms, Genius, Java, Negotiation. Posted January 9, 2018. 2164 words.

When making decisions, people negotiate to maximise utility and social welfare - agents are no different. Utilizing the GENIUS framework, this report tests time dependant concessions, and fitness proportionate selection putting them to test in a negotiation competition. The results are analysed and discussed.

  • CSS Concept: Computing methodologies → Intelligent Agents
  • Keywords: Agents, Negotiation, Competition, Selection, Roulette


Our team was tasked with producing a negotiating agent to compete in a tournament run within the GENIUS framework 1. The agent needed to explore and negotiate inside an unknown domain, against an uncertain quantity of agents, to reach an agreement maximising both utility and social welfare. It is no good producing an entirely selfish agent 2!

Negotiations use the Stacked Alternating Offers Protocol 3, with a timeout of 180 seconds. In this scenario utility remains constant, however time is limited so it was decided that it would be a good idea to become more agreeable as time passed. From there, randomness is used to both confuse opponents, and to build up counteroffers.

Altogether, this produced a good, if flawed agent, which will now be discussed further.

  1. R. Lin, S. Kraus, T. Baarslag, D. Tykhonov, K. Hindriks and C. M. Jonker, “Genius: An Integrated Environment for Supporting the Design of Genric Automated Negotiators,” Computational Inteligence, 2012. 

  2. E. H. Gerding, “Intelligent Agents Coursework Specification,” 1 12 2017. Available: https://secure.ecs.soton.ac.uk/notes/comp6203/2017/comp6203-2017-coursework.pdf. [Accessed 22 12 2017]. 

  3. R. Aydogan, D. Festen, K. V. Hindriks and C. M. Jonker, “Alternating Offers Protocols for Multilateral,” Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, 2016. 

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It's a Brand New Day

Jekyll, New-years. Posted December 31, 2017. 117 words.

After months of planning procrastination, I have finally created a blog for this site of mine. I have used Jekyll site builder and Liquid templates to adapt this theme and add a blog. Hosting is provided by GitHub pages and I’ve bought a cheap .uk domain name.

In the coming days, weeks, whenever I will get around to adding new pages and backfilling old. But now with the technology in place, creating new pages is as simple as typing out markdown in Sublime Text, committing and refreshing the page. You can even subscribe to updates via RSS! Hope to see you soon!

What is Net Neutrality?

Net-neutrality, Web. Posted December 12, 2017. 2473 words.

Diving into Net Neutrality, this report will examine why it is so controversial. It will outline the social, economic, and technical arguments both for and against. Finishing with a discussion.

  • CCS Concepts: Social and Professional Topics → Net Neutrality.
  • General Terms: Networks, History, Politics.
  • Keywords: Net Neutrality, Free Speech, Internet, World Wide Web.


We live in the information age. Today people can effortlessly research, create, and communicate with anyone on earth in a fraction of a second. But where did it begin?

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Competing in the NWERC Regionals

Algorithms, Competitions, Pictures. Posted November 26, 2017. 16 words.

We came, we saw, we lost. Image courtesy Dorota Filipczuk.

Quidditch Southern Cup?!?!?!

Quidditch, Sports. Posted November 12, 2017. 394 words.

So this year, I started playing Quidditch as part of Southampton QC. After a bit over a month of training, our club entered two teams into the Southern Cup where SQC1 won the upper bracket, and SQC2 (My team!) came second out of the lower bracket. It was a an amazing experience. I figured I should share some photos courtesy of Enrica Biasi.

As a chaser, I wear a white headband. Chasers focus on the quaffle, passing between themselves, aiming to score a goal.

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The Southampton Code Dojo

Competitions. Posted October 12, 2017. 189 words.

The Southampton Code Dojo is a monthly event where keen computer science students meet, eat pizza, group up, and make things for a bit over an hour. At the start of the session ideas are proposed and voted on. Then, teams form typically on programming language choice, and everyone gets too work. At the end of the session, each team demonstrates. I have been attending for a while now, I love it. Click here to for more information. Hope to see you there!

Below is a list of some of the previous things I have worked on. Please note, that often after the session I polish the creation, and tweak it too my liking.

  • Let it Burn! - Using your flamethrower, wrack up points and burn the forest down.
  • Firework Simulator - Light up the sky with a fireworks display by dragging your finger or cursor across the screen.
  • Tetris - A quick and simple game of Tetris, however you cannot rotate pieces.
  • Colours - Enter a colour code, get a nice name.
  • Miscellaneous Others.

My Summer Internship

Internship. Posted September 10, 2017. 105 words.

This summer I had a remote internship with Winchester Innovation. It was focused on web technologies such as Bootstrap, Silex PHP, Python, RESTful APIs, and JavaScript (ES6 and jQuery). I developed full-stack Raspberry Pi applications and automated deployment using bash. It involved minor Android development. My internship helped to reinforce documentation, discipline, scheduling, and communication skills.

I really enjoyed it, and it was certainly good experience. Participating in work before graduating helps you understand what you want to do after leaving university, and helps to give some perspective on your course. I’m looking forward to what the future holds.

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My name is Matthew Consterdine, but I go by @mattconsto pretty much everywhere, feel free to say hello! Why not subscribe to my RSS feed or check out jetholt.com, daniellockyer.com, and samsondanziger.com. The opinions expressed on this website are my own and may not represent those of my employer.