School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

13th March 2006


News from HoS

This Week

School Events

External Events

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

AUT Action

Can I thank all those of you involved in the AUT action for the reassurance I received, via John Latham, regarding your wish to minimise the impact of the action on administrative and support staff.  I’m also pleased that, after careful consideration, you decided that exam papers due to have been set before the start of the action, but which missed the deadline, should still be set.  This means that we can avoid any immediate detrimental effect on students.  The decision that supervisors should go ahead with a formative assessment of their students’ third year projects is similarly helpful though, clearly, any summative assessment will have to await a resolution of the action.  The next few weeks will, no doubt, be difficult for all concerned, but a shared wish to avoid harm to innocent parties should stand us in good stead.  Finally, can I remind you that, if you wish to record that you supported the strike action last week, you need to let Lynn know as soon as possible.

Pay and Grading Update

You may, out of idle curiosity, be wondering what is happening about the HERA pay and grading exercise.  This has now been dragging on for many, many months, and I appreciate how demoralising it is proving for some of you.  As I think you know, HR have been working on job evaluation and benchmarking for over a year but, because this is proving more complex and time-consuming than originally expected, they have proposed an interim arrangement which will allow most staff to be assigned to an appropriate point on the new 51 point pay spine. Implementation of this has been awaiting agreement with the unions and there has recently been some positive news though, unfortunately, not for all groups of staff.  AUT has reached an interim agreement with the University, and we expect to receive letters detailing the outcome for all academic and academic-related staff early this week.  Amicus South, which represents scientific and technical support staff who were previously employed by VUM, is close to agreement, and letters are expected in the very near future.  Amicus North which represents ex-UMIST staff is not so close to agreement, but that should not affect our School.  Negotiations with UNISON, which represents secretarial and clerical staff, have broken down, and there is no immediate prospect of progress.  This is particularly distressing, but it is not obvious that the School can do anything to improve the position.  All we can do is to thank you for your tolerance so far, and ask you to remain patient.  In the meantime, please accept my reassurance that no-one in the School will find themselves worse-off as a result of the exercise.

 Teaching Excellence Awards                                                                                       

The University has recently instituted "Teaching Excellence Awards", which focus on achievement in teaching (including learning support) and involve a grant of £5,000 to recipients for the further development of their teaching or their career.  If you believe you have a case to be considered for an award, please submit a statement of not more than five sides of A4 detailing your eligibility against the published criteria. Each Head of School has been asked to put forward one nomination only, so I will consult with the Heads of UG, PG and the Teaching Assessment Panel to select the strongest case. Nominations need to be with the Faculty by  28th April, so please get your case to Lynn by 18th April. 

Health & Safety Inspection Report

A report on the recent School Health & Safety Inspection is now available here.  There will be a meeting of the Health and Safety Committee on Thursday afternoon, so if you have any questions of comments please pass them on to one of the members of the committee before then.

Please note that we have made minor changes to the structure of the newsletter, with the aim of making it easier to find the information you need.


Events this Week                                                               top

School Board Meeting                                                                                    15 Mar 06

Postponed – new date will be confirmed in due course

Meet the University's Suppliers  New                                                          15 Mar 06

The Procurement Office would like to invite you to a Suppliers' Exhibition on Wednesday 15 March 2006, at which 39 companies with approved contracts with the University will be exhibiting their products and services, in order to encourage contract uptake and improved supplier-client relationships.

More Information

Good Practice in Academic IP and Commercialisation New                 16 Mar 06

Seminar 2: Confidentiality Issues, Agreements & Related Topics

Iran Kiani &  Michelle Locke, Eversheds LLP, Solicitors

0900 – 1200, Core Technology Facility, 46 Grafton Street, Manchester

Register by email to stating staff/student, UoM (series is open to other universities), full University postal address, dietary requirements (breakfast included).

A Neural Afternoon New                                                                                  16 Mar 06

Organised by the Alan Turing Institute, University of Manchester.

1320: Welcome

Professor David Broomhead, School of Mathematics

1330: Neuroimetic models for abnormal eye movements

Professor John Leigh MD, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio

1430: Information and neural systems

Dr Stefano Panzeri, Faculty of Life Sciences

1600: Delay embedding using interspike intervals

Dr J.P. Huke, School of Mathematics

Room M12, Maths and SS Building, Sackville Street Campus

School Health and Safety Committee New                                                16 Mar 06

Please direct any input to committee members. Recent H&S Inspection Report.

1430 – 1530, Mercury

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.


Future School Events                                                        top

Enabling a Business Process Revolution                                                21 Mar 06

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM Vice President, Technical Strategy and Innovation.

Distinguished lecture hosted by CS, MBS & Informatics. Details & Registration

President’s Visit                                                                                               27 Mar 06

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

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.

Research Retreat                                                                                   29 & 30 Jun 06

Programme under development, input welcomed (email Ursula)
Palace Hotel, Buxton


Future External 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

e-Infrastructure – Enabling the Research of the Future  New         20-21 Mar 06

Organised by the National e-Science Centre, MIMAS, MC, ESNW, and NCeSS.

The event will explore the emerging opportunities, with the aim of informing decision makers, researchers and system managers, and building communities of e-infrastructure users. Participants can choose to attend both days, or just one – though those intending to attend day 2 only should have some existing familiarity with e-infrastructure.

0900 – 1630 (both days), Manchester Computing, Kilburn Building

Free, but registration essential More Information & Registration

Genomes to Systems Conference                                                         22-24 Mar 06

An important conference concerning the latest concepts and breakthroughs in genomics and systems biology.

More Information

Centre for Excellence in Enquiry-Based Learning  New                           5 Apr 06

An update on CEEBL activities including:

·        results and plans of selected CEEBL funded projects;

·        Faculty initiatives from CEEBL Academic co-ordinators;

·        opportunity to talk to the CEEBL student interns;

·        EBL networks and events – a National and International perspective;

·        looking forward to 2006-07.

1300 – 1430, C24 Sackville Street Building (Lunch provided)

Limited to a maximum of 50 participants.  More Information & Registration

Grantsmanship Training Sessions                                                         6 & 7 Apr 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 we 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.  Email

eProtein Scientific Meeting and Workshop                                         24-26 Apr 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


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 Apr 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 Apr 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

RAEng Global Research Awards                                                                        Open

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 Apr 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

Teaching Excellence Awards New                                                               18 Apr 06

The University has recently instituted "Teaching Excellence Awards", which focus on achievement in teaching (including learning support) and involve a grant of £5,000 to recipients for the further development of their teaching or their career.  If you believe you have a case to be considered for an award, please submit a statement of not more than five sides of A4 detailing your eligibility against the published criteria. Each Head of School has been asked to put forward one nomination only, so I will consult with the Heads of UG, PG and the Teaching Assessment Panel to select the strongest case. Nominations need to be with the Faculty by  28th April, so please get your case to Lynn by 18th April.

René Descartes Prizes                                                                                    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

The IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal  New                                                  1 Jul 06

The IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal was established by the Board of Directors in 1986 'for exceptional contributions to information sciences, systems and technology.' The award is named in honor of Dr. Richard W. Hamming, who has had a central role in the development of computer and computing science, and whose many significant contributions in the area of information science include his error-correcting codes.  Recipient selection is administered by the IEEE Medals Council through the IEEE Awards Board.  It may be presented to an individual or group, up to three in number.  The award consists of a gold medal, bronze replica, certificate, and honorarium.

More Information

The IEEE John von Neumann Medal  New                                                    1 Jul 06

The IEEE John von Neumann Medal was established by the Board of Directors in 1990 and may be presented annually 'for outstanding achievements in computer-related science and technology.' The achievements may be theoretical, technological, or entrepreneurial, and need not have been made immediately prior to the date of the award.  Recipient selection is administered through the IEEE Medals Council of the IEEE Awards Board.  It may be presented to an individual or group, up to two in number.  The award consists of a gold medal, bronze replica, certificate and honorarium.

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

Academic Staff

Chair in Computer Engineering

Research Staff


Administrative Staff