School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

13th 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

Student Recruitment

I think you are all aware that student recruitment continues to be a cause for concern.  The shortfall in admissions last September made a large hole (around £500k) in our budget, and we seem to be suffering a further significant drop in applications this year.  I have discussed the situation with those most directly concerned with recruitment, but I am also including this item in the newsletter because many of you are involved in some way, and we are all affected.  The main point I wish to make is that we need to grasp every opportunity to attract students – particularly overseas students, but home students are important too.  We may have enjoyed the luxury in the past of sitting back and waiting for applications, then playing safe by accepting only those we could be quite sure were of an appropriate standard, but our current (falling) rate of recruitment leads to a staff-student ratio that is simply not financially sustainable.  The Dean is extremely supportive, but we need to show that we are helping ourselves.  I had a meeting with him on Friday morning where I was not helped by the perception he has picked up from Faculty staff (based on their numerous interactions with members of the School) that we are not really taking the problem seriously, and show little enthusiasm to explore new opportunities when they arise.  We now have an External Affairs team doing sterling work on our behalf, but this is something for which we all need to take some measure of responsibility.  We certainly need to demonstrate to the Faculty that we are doing everything we can to improve the situation.  Any ideas you have, any energy you are prepared to invest, will all be gratefully received.  I am determined that we must minimise any detrimental effect on standards, but we have to turn this around.  For my part, I recognise that the internal competition with Informatics is doing neither School any favours, and have been trying, through the External Review Implementation Group, to ensure that the Institution takes this problem seriously.  I hope to be able to report progress on this soon – the Group is due to report by the end of February at the latest.

2005/06 University Researcher of the Year

Schools have been invited to nominate a ‘Researcher of the Year’, and I would welcome suggestions.  The individual should be someone whose research has successfully challenged dogma, created a new field of research, elucidated a new paradigm, made a fundamental change in thinking, or impacted significantly on society.  It should be possible to identify some milestone reached within the past year (approximately).  Faculties can make one nomination each and the University deadline for nominations is Friday 24th February.  If we wish to propose an individual for the EPS nomination we need to put together a written case of no more than one page by noon, Friday 17th February.  Suggestions copied to me, John Gurd, Ursula and Lynn please.

Seminars                                                                            top

Optimization of the PML Absorbing Boundary Condition New                15 Feb

Dr Jean-Pierre Berenger. Centre de Analyze de Defense

1415-1515, Lecture Theatre 1.5, Kilburn Building

More Information

Modifying Query Plans at Runtime without Recomputation New      15 Feb 06

Kwanchai Eurviriyanukul

1300-1400, Atlas 1, Kilburn Building

More Information

Spin-out Companies: Employment, Insurance & Tax Issues New    16 Feb 06

Janet Knowles and Helen Cookson, Eversheds LLP, Solicitors
Nigel Musson from McParland Finn, Science & Technology Insurance Brokers.

Good Practice in Academic Intellectual Property & Commercialisation - a seminar series commissioned by UoM, Salford & MMU

1025-1245, Chancellors Conference Centre (followed by free lunch)

To register email by 14 February

Biomedical Resources for Text Mining New                                            23 Feb 06

Dr Olivier Bodenreider, NIH, National Library of Medicine

1300-1400, H11 lecture theatre, Renold 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


Dancing the Molecules New                                                                         20 Feb 06

Bringing Molecular Biology to Life and Systems Biology to Practice
Inaugural Lecture of Professor Hans Westerhoff
1700 Reception, 1800 Lecture
, Renold Building, Lecture Room C9
More Information and Register to Attend

Industrial Funding for Research New                                                                           23 Feb 06

Barriers and Incentives to Working in the UK

The University is hosting the first of a number of national events sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering to debate the climate for industrial research funding in the UK, with the aim of influencing future Government policy.   The event will be led by Mr John Baxter FREng, Chief Engineer with BP, with a series of talks from leading industrialists, ranging from multinationals (eg AstraZeneca) to university spinouts.

0930-1600, Manchester Conference Centre

More Information

North West Grid Workshop: Bioinformatics and the Grid  New          20 Mar 06

E-Science North West (ESNW) & NW Institute for Bio-Health Informatics (NIBHI)

0930-1615, Atlas 1&2.

Registration: email name and organisation to

More Information

Enabling a Business Process Revolution                                               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

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                                                              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             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                                   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

Stuart Owen – Software Engineer – IMG from 3.2.2006

David Withers -Software Engineer –IMG from 1.2.2006

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

Academic Staff


Research Staff


Administrative Staff