School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

6th February 2006


News from HoS


Internal Meetings

Events Calendar

Funding Opps

Prize & Award Opps

Research Awards

Staff News




Newsletter Archive

School Strategy

School Intranet

School Seminars

ENSW Seminars

NaCTeM Seminars


News from Head of School

Sabbatical Leave

The Leave of Absence Committee met last week, and was very disappointed by how few applications for sabbatical leave it received.  Perhaps the explanation is that everyone loves the School so much that they cannot bear to leave, but it is important to the future health and vitality of the School that we broaden our horizons and take time out to learn new things.  Sabbatical leave should not be thought of as exceptional, but rather something that all academic staff will undertake on a regular basis.  Remember that sabbaticals allow you to spend time in academia or industry.  We encourage working abroad, so as to improve the international profile of both the individual and the School, but you can remain based in Manchester if that is appropriate for either personal or academic reasons.  All we ask is that you plan to spend time in a new environment, which will be of long-term benefit to your research.  Please give urgent consideration to this – given the low uptake, we are keeping the door open for further applications this year.  It would be sensible to think about this as part of your RAE action plan.

IBM Lecture

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM Vice President, Technical Strategy and Innovation will be presenting a lecture at the University of Manchester on 21st March 2006, entitled “Enabling a Business Process Revolution”. The School is taking a leading role in the organisation of the event, in association with MBS and Informatics.  Once again this is a big deal for the University, coming as it does hard on the heels of the IBM-UoM strategic partnership agreement, and it is hoped the lecture will attract 300 to 400 people.  It will be followed by a dinner and discussion, which will be run on the lines of the BCS Thought Leadership Debates, and will involve many of the University’s industrial partners.

New Computer Science CD-ROM

The External Affairs team has been working hard over the past few months to produce a CD-ROM to promote the School, particularly to prospective students.  I and others who have seen the final cut, have been extremely impressed with the end result.  The CD-ROM will be going into production this week and will be handed out to applicants at Visit Days. We will also send a copy to students who have already visited, giving us the opportunity to contact them again. For anyone in the School who is interested, we will arrange for copies to be available in the External Affairs office as soon as possible.  Congratulations to Bernard and all those involved in producing what promises to be a very positive way of getting our message across.

Annual Call for Equipment Requests

As usual at this time of year, we are inviting requests for equipment to support teaching, research or administration.  Requests for teaching equipment should be forwarded to the UG or PG Committee as appropriate, who will send prioritised requests to Aidan Loyns.  Other requests should be sent directly to Aidan and all requests should reach him by 13th April.  The Computer Services Policy Committee will meet to determine which requests can be satisfied.

Seminars                                                                            top

Evolutionary Multiobjective Problem-Solving  New                        Mon 6 Feb 06

Dr Joshua Knowles, School of Chemistry / MIB, University of Manchester.

In this talk, I will set out the bases of multiobjective optimization and review how MOEAs work. Then, using examples from my own research, I will indicate how and why multiple objectives underlie many problems, and explain the benefits of leaving these objectives as separate entities. Along the way, I will touch on some of the challenges in MOEA theory and practice.
1600-1700, Atlas 1

Parallel Querying with Non-Dedicated Computers New                Wed 8 Feb 06

Professor Norman Paton, School of Computer Science, University of Manchester

1415-1515, Lecture Theatre 1.5, Kilburn Building

More Information

Regular Seminar Series

See links in contents bar for information on seminar series organised by the School of CS, E-Science North West and National Centre for Text Mining.

Internal Meetings and Events                                            top

The Changing Face of the Campus: Open Meeting New                   8 Feb 2006

Whether you regarded the 18-storey Maths Tower as an iconic landmark or an eyesore, there is no question that its demolition in 2005 to make way for the state-of-the-art SCAN Building has altered the familiar skyline of the University.  At the next Open Meeting for staff on Wednesday 8 February 2006, Diana Hampson, Director of Estates, will talk about the major construction projects that the University is undertaking in order to create a world-class environment for research and learning and how they will impact on our physical surroundings and working lives.  After her presentation, Diana will answer questions from the audience about the Estates Plan and related matters.  All members of staff are welcome.

1300, Kilburn 1.1

A Workshop on Student Retention New                                       9 February 2006

How can we enhance our students' first-year experience? – introducing the Student Retention Audit Tool.  You are invited to join Simon Steiner, Academic Advisor at the Engineering Subject Centre, who is facilitating a workshop on student retention for the Univerity’s engineering staff. The workshop will have been preceeded by a presentation over an informal lunch, where you will have opportunity to hear of the work of the Centre, and how it may support you in your teaching and learning.  The Workshop will focus on the subject of student retention and the issues of how to enhance the students' first-year experience. Those participating in the workshop will be introduced to an audit tool that provides the opportunity to reflect, through discussion groups, upon what happens now in a diverse selection of aspects of the learning and teaching provision for first years. The workshop will specifically focus on two issues - student attendance and assessment.  The full audit tool will be available for subsequent use.

12.00-14.00 CEU Suite, 4th Floor, Simon Building
Please email 2 days in advance (to book free lunch).

More information on events programme

Enabling a Business Process Revolution New                                       21 Mar 06

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM Vice President, Technical Strategy and Innovation
Evening – time and venue to be announced

Events Calendar                                                                 top

BBSRC Open Meeting 2006                                                                         20 Feb 06

At BBSRC's second Open Meeting, facilitated by Nick Ross, Julia Goodfellow will invite discussion on the Council’s current and future scientific priorities, and views on how best it can work with industry. Questions will also be welcomed on any aspect of BBSRC’s policies, either raised on the day, or submitted in advance to  Entrance free but tickets required.
1600-1830, Manchester Town Hall, tickets from

More Information

EPSRC Public Engagement Workshops                                    8 Feb & 9 Mar 06

Introducing PE to ‘virgins’ and passing on best practice.  Space limited.
More information and registration.

Genomes to Systems Conference                                                       22-24 Mar 06

An important conference concerning the latest concepts and breakthroughs in genomics and systems biology.  Discounted registration before 31 Dec 05.
More Information

BCS/IEE Accreditation Visit                                                                   18-19 May 06

Those who will definitely need to be involved should already know and have these dates in their diaries, but could all staff involved in teaching please note the dates and try to ensure they will be available if required.

Funding Opportunities                                                       top

Royal Society USA/Canada Research Fellowships  New                       8 Feb 06

The Royal Society USA/Canada Research Fellowships programme is designed to promote scientific collaboration between centres of excellence in the UK and North America. The aim is to encourage outstanding North American postdoctoral scientists to undertake high quality research in UK laboratories for a period of one to three years.

More Information

BBSRC International Scientific Interchange Scheme (ISIS)                       Open

BBSRC's International Scientific Interchange Scheme (ISIS) provides support to help scientists make and establish new contacts with their international counterparts. Funding is available to BBSRC grantholders, and researchers working on BBSRC-supported projects at BBSRC-sponsored Institutes for travel and subsistence for three main types of visit. The scheme is open to bids at any time (at least 6 weeks before travel) with payments being made in advance of any visits. Please note BBSRC-supported students are not eligible to travel under ISIS support.

More Information

Royal Commission Research Fellowships                                             23 Feb 06

The scheme of 1851 Research Fellowships is intended to give a few young scientists or engineers of exceptional promise the opportunity for conducting research for a further period of two years. Approximately six awards are made each year. Candidates in science subjects must normally be in possession of a PhD degree, or in the final stages of their PhD studies.  The Fellowships are open to candidates in any of the physical or biological sciences, in mathematics, in applied science, or in any branch of engineering.

More Information

Royal Society Conference Grants New                                                     01 Mar 06

The Conference grants scheme supports UK based scientists to either present their own paper/poster or chair a session at an overseas conference.
Subjects covered:Conferences related to all sciences, ie the disciplines in which the Society will elect researchers to the Fellowship of the Royal Society (for further details see the sectional committee information on RS website).

More Information

Fellowships at the Life Sciences/Physical Sciences Interface New     3 Mar 06

In recognition of the importance of cross-disciplinary approaches across the Life Sciences, our Faculty has established 3 new (5 year) fellowships at the Life Sciences/Physical Sciences Interface. We wish to appoint exceptional researchers with a proven background in mathematics, computer science, chemistry, physics, or engineering, who have successfully applied these skills to address a biological problem. Each fellowship will cover the salary of the fellow for 5 years, and will allow them to attract external funding during the tenure of the fellowship to establish their independent laboratory.

More Information

Royal Society Research Grants                                                                  4 April 06

The Research grants scheme provides seed-corn funding for new projects of timeliness and promise initiated by research scientists at an early stage of their career or by established scientists wishing to change the direction of their research.  The objectives of the scheme are to increase the availability of equipment and consumables for high quality research.

More Information

Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Awards New                           27 April 06

Jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Office of Science and Technology, this scheme aims to give universities additional support to attract key researchers, with great potential or outstanding achievement, to this country or to retain those who might seek to gain higher salaries elsewhere.  The focus of the award is salary enhancement. Research expenses are also considered for research costs not suitable for Research Councils research grants applications and for overseas applicants to support integration into theUK research and funding environment.

More Information

RAEng Industrial Secondment Scheme                                                           Open

The Industrial Secondment Scheme provides an invaluable opportunity for university lecturers in engineering to gain state-of-the-art industrial experience.
Applicable to engineers of all disciplines, the Scheme's objective is to enable the secondees to impart the fruits of this experience to their students through teaching, through case studies using up-to-date material and, in the longer term, through course design. The benefits also accrue to the host organisation which gains a temporary but highly qualified member of staff, and to the university which has the opportunity of strengthening its links with industry. The Scheme provides funding for the university to employ a temporary replacement for the secondee. In this way it minimises the effects on the normal flow of teaching, and makes it easier for universities to release members of staff for secondment. The Scheme has also been well received by industry, and many organisations have indicated a willingness to offer places to engineering academics: where possible The Royal Academy of Engineering helps in the 'matchmaking process'.

More Information

Royal Academy of Engineering Global Research Awards

Global Research Awards provide an opportunity for engineers currently engaged in research and development to undertake projects in centres of excellence overseas. Projects should focus on activities which could help stimulate wealth creation and improvements in the quality of life, supporting the international development of research networks and encouraging the uptake of globally competitive technology in the UK.

More Information

Prize and Award Opportunities                                         top

We have acknowledged the need to raise the profile of the School both nationally and internationally.  Nominating individuals for awards, and working actively with others to ensure that deserving individuals are nominated is one way of doing that.

UK National Science Week 2006 – Nominations                                    17 Feb 06

Young researchers in science, engineering and technology (SET) are invited to participate in the annual presentations in the House of Commons that have been a feature of National Science Week since 1999.  Successful applicants present posters at Westminster on "leading-edge" science, engineering, medicine and technology research, and compete for prestigious national awards and prizes.  This year’s event is sponsored by Dr Brian Iddon MP.  This is an opportunity to strengthen your CV, whilst helping to communicate the importance and excellence of UK SET to MPs and ministers.  The event will take place in the House of Commons on 13th March 2006 with separate lunchtime and evening presentations.

More Information

René Descartes Prizes 2006                                                                         4 May 06

The European Commission is inviting proposals under its framework 6 science and society programme for Rene Descartes prizes. These are to recognise excellence in research and science communication. Prizes for research will be at least 200000 euros each, and projects must include legal entities from 2 different member or associated states, and include at least one member state or associated candidate country.

More Information

Research Awards                                                               top

None this week

Staff News                                                                           top

Awards and Promotions

None this week

Academic Arrivals

None this week

Academic Departures

None this week

Research Arrivals

None this week

Research Departures

None this week

Administrative Arrivals

None this week

Administrative Departures

None this week

Sabbatical Leave

Andrei Voronkov: Microsoft Research, Redmond USA
Aug 05 – Aug 06.

Ian Horrocks: University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bell Labs, and Stanford University
Feb 06 – Sep 06.

Peter Aczel: Nijmegen University, and Maths Institute at the University of Munich
Jan 06 – Sep 06.

Alasdair Rawsthorne: 80% secondment to Transitive Technologies
Oct 05 – Sep 06.

Alvaro Fernandes: IBM Almaden Research Centre US
Jul – Dec 06.

Vacancies                                                                           top

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