School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

6th March 2006


News from HoS


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Funding Opps

Prize & Award Opps

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News from Head of School

Gas Leak

As you all know, the Kilburn and IT Buildings (along with the Precinct, Waterloo Place and Crawford House) had to be evacuated on Friday afternoon, due to a major gas leak caused by one of the contractors fracturing a gas main outside our goods entrance.  I know that this was inconvenient for many of you, so I am grateful that the vast majority of staff and students behaved responsibly and left the premises as quickly as possible.  I gather, however, that a few individuals chose to continue working for around an hour after the start of the evacuation, necessitating a second search of the building, which put others at risk.  We will speak to the individuals concerned, but I want to take this opportunity to remind you all that, when the full alarm sounds, it is VITAL that you leave the building(s) immediately. You may be endangering others as well as yourself if you remain on the premises.

AUT Action

I am sure you are all also aware of the AUT action planned to begin with a strike on Tuesday, continuing with action short of a strike for an indeterminate period.  I recognise the legitimacy of this action but I am concerned to ensure that we minimise the consequential damage to innocent parties.  Students are the obvious at-risk group, though I suspect that the AUT itself will wish to stop short of damaging their prospects.  I am more concerned about the potential effect on administrative and support staff – many of whom are themselves members of AUT.  Even under normal circumstances, these staff are under a great deal of pressure to get marks in and processed in time for exam boards, with virtually no slack in the system.  I know that, following similar AUT action a couple of years ago, incredible and quite unfair pressure fell on this group of staff to complete the necessary work on an even more compressed timescale, in order that students should not be disadvantaged.  I will do all I can to protect these members of staff, but I would urge those of you who are members of AUT, and wish to support the action, to organise matters so as to avoid a similar situation arising on this occasion.  Ii would be inappropriate for me to suggest how this might be achieved, though I would be happy to discuss the problem with interested parties if that would be helpful.

Presidents Visit                                                                                                                

The President will be making one of his regular visits to the School on Monday, 27th March 2006.  He has said that he is ‘keen to find out about the priorities and work of the School and to learn for himself how we are responding to the ambitious goals for the University set out in the 'Manchester 2015 Agenda'. He is also extremely keen to meet a cross-section of staff in their normal working environment. A programme is being prepared which will allow us to raise some of our key issues and concerns with the President and to give him the opportunity to meet as varied a cross section of staff as possible within the constraints of a two hour visit.

Research Event                                                                                                                

Following on from the successful event in 2003, we are planning a research ‘retreat’ for all academic staff, senior research staff and administrators.  We have booked the Palace Hotel, Buxton for 29th-30th June 06.  Detailed plans will be put together over the next few weeks, but please set aside the time in your diary, if you possibly can, and pass on ideas for how you would like to see the event organised to Ursula.

Seminars                                                                            top

Towards Query Answering for Expressive Description Logics New   8 Mar 06

Birte Glimm (change to advertised seminar)
13:00-14:00, Kilburn Building, Atlas 1

The ONDEX Framework                                                                                17 Mar 06

Uniting Concept-based Data Integration, Biological Homology Searches & Data Analysis. Dr Jacob Koehler, Rothamsted Research
1400-1500, E7 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

North West Grid Workshop: Bioinformatics and the Grid                   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-IBM Lecture                       21 Mar 06

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM Vice President, Technical Strategy and Innovation.
A digital revolution, led by continuing advances in IT, and an Internet revolution, born of open standards, are begetting a business process revolution. It, in turn, is creating conditions for a “perfect storm” of collaborative innovation with the potential to restructure individual enterprises and entire industries, perhaps even entire economies. 

To find out more and to register to attend the lecture please visit Website

President’s Visit New                                                                                    27 April 06

An opportunity for the President to meet informally with a cross-section of staff in their natural habitat.

Grantsmanship Training sessions                                                      6 & 7 April 06

Grantsmanship courses are organised by Faculty, but run by EPSRC. The last set of these were attended by some of our staff who found them very useful - especially the mock panel sessions. The courses are also very popular, so if you would like to attend I would suggest you put your name forward asap to avoid disappointment.  The courses are aimed at new staff (young as well as recent appointments who are new to the UK) and established members of staff who have not had any recent interaction with the EPSRC, either as applicants, grant holders or referees/panel members.  Please forward me the details of any members of staff you wish to nominate to attend:

Research Retreat New                                                                        29 & 30 June 06

Palace Hotel, Buxton

Events Calendar                                                                 top

EPSRC Public Engagement Workshops                                                    9 Mar 06

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

Manchester Inter Varsity Debating Tournament                                    12 Mar 06

Grand final of the Inter Varsity Debating Tounament.  An opportunity to enjoy stimulating debate and support Sivaraja Sivanesan, one of our students who has acted as convenor for the competition this year.  If you wish to attend email for tickets.

1330 – 1600, Lecture Theatre A, Roscoe Building

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

eProtein Scientific Meeting and Workshop                                      24-26 April 06

The EMBL-EBI, together with Imperial College London (IC) and University
College London (UCL), are delighted to invite you to attend a one-day scientific meeting on Protein and Genome Annotations on 24th April.  The meeting will be held on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus at Hinxton and is funded by the UK Department of Trade and Industry, BBSRC and the BioSapiens EU Project. The aim of the meeting is to describe the current approaches, both technical and scientific, which will allow contributions and access to annotations from many different laboratories, based on GRID DAS technologies.  The meeting will be followed by a two-day practical workshop addressing the use and implementation of the systems designed by the eProtein partners.  All of the systems and results of the project are freely available for the academic community to access and use, or implement within your own lab.

More Information and Registration

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 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.

BCS Distinguished Dissertations                                                             10 April 06

The Conference of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC), in conjunction with the British Computer Society (BCS), annually selects for publication the best British PhD/DPhil dissertations in computer science.  The scheme aims to make more visible the significant contribution made by Britain - in particular by post-graduate students - to computer science.

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

David Willmor - IPG

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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