School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

20th 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

ESNW Seminars

NaCTeM Seminars


News from Head of School

Visit of Prof Bernhard Palsson                                                                                      

Professor Bernhard Palsson, who is an extremely high-profile potential candidate for the EPSRC-funded chair in Computational Systems Biology, will be visiting the School on Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st March.   He will present a seminar at 1000 on Tuesday (see details below), which I encourage as many of you as possible to attend.  We have arranged for Professor Palsson to meet the President, the VP for Research and the Deans of EPS, FLS and MHS. There is also a programme of meetings with interested staff in Computer Science, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering & Analytical Science, and Life Sciences.

Distinguished Lecture                                                                                                     

A reminder about the Irving Wladawsky-Berger lecture on Tuesday.  Irving is IBM Vice President, Technical Strategy and Innovation, and should provide some interesting insights into the thinking of one of largest IT companies in the world.  The School has taken a leading role in organising the event, and we are aiming for a packed lecture theatre.  Over 200 participants are registered so far but there are places left, so please sign up and help to make the event a success.  Details & Registration

Research Retreat

A follow up to the announcement of the dates for the research retreat (29-30 June).  Capacity at the hotel is limited, so we need to start planning who will attend.  We hope that all Professors, Readers, Senior Lecturers, Lecturers and Career Development Fellows will be able to attend and help to make the event a success – please email with your availability by Friday 24th March.  Unfortunately space restrictions mean that we will probably not be able to accommodate all research staff and students who would like to attend. To help manage this situation, we are asking group leaders to discuss with their groups which individuals they think would contribute and/or benefit most from participating.  If you are a Senior Research Fellow, Research Fellow, Research Associate or Research Student, and would like to participate, please talk to your research group leader.

The programme for the event has yet to be finalised, but is unlikely to be the same as last time.  One possibility being discussed is to arrange for each group to meet with each other (like speed-dating, but without the dating … or the speed), with a view to exchanging ideas and stimulating new inter-group activity.  Whatever the format, there will certainly be time for informal interaction, including dinner on the first night.  If you have any innovative (or boring but good) ideas for how we might organise the event, please let Ursula know.


Events this Week                                                               top

New 'Dimensions' in Genome Annotation New                                        21 Mar 06

Professor Bernhard Palsson, Department of Bioengineering, UCSD

Traditional Genome annotation involves the enumeration of open reading frames and their functional assignment.  Currently, there are on-going efforts to identify all the interactions between these components.  The resulting map of interactions effectively represents a two-dimensional annotation.  It takes the form of a stoichiometric matrix, if the interactions are described with chemical equations.  The formulation and properties of this matrix are detailed and how it can be used as the basis for computing allowable phenotypic functions. The issues associated with the packing of the bacterial genome and the function of the interaction map in three-dimensions will also be discussed. Finally, we will go over the issue of genomes changing in space and time through adaptive evolution and describe the full re-sequencing of bacterial genomes to map all genetic changes that occur during adaptation.

1000 – 1100, MG.001 Lecture Theatre, MIB

Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre is marked as number 16 on the campus map at

A Practical Component Modelling Example New                                     22 Mar 06

Dr Trevor Hopkins. IBM UK

1415 –1515, Lecture Theatre 1.5, Kilburn Building

More Information

A Sports Betting Platform New                                                                      22 Mar 06

Alex Vakaloudis, Laverock von Schoultz -

1200 – 1300, F10a, Maths & Social Science Building

Olfoto: Designing a Smell-Based Interaction New                                   23 Mar 06

Prof. Stephen Brewster, Computing Science, University of Glasgow

1200 – 1300, F10 Maths & Social Science Building

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                  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                                    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

JISC ITT: Information Governance Gateway New                                     6 April 06

The JISC invites tenders to design, implement, host and maintain an online gateway containing resources of relevance to both the public and practitioners regarding the HE sector’s compliance with information governance legislation.
Initial funding of up to £50,000 is available for stage 1 of the project for the detailed scoping and pilot development of the JISC Information Governance Gateway, inclusive of VAT, if applicable, and all travel and other expenses. The successful bidder will be expected to commence work on the research and design of the Gateway by no later than May 2006, to be completed no later than by the end of September 2006.

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


Wellcome Trust Equipment Grants  New                                                 Apr/May 06

The Wellcome Trust consider applications for multi-user items of equipment, including equipment required to create a central resource for a number of disparate scientific programmes.  The maximum amount awarded is £1 million. It is expected that applications will include a contribution from the university, or other source, proportional to the total request.  Applications for less than £10 000 will not normally be considered under this scheme. Small, project-dedicated items of equipment can, however, form part of a project, programme or fellowship application.

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                                                                       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.

Renι 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                                                           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                                                             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

Title: SEALIFE  
Funding Body: EC
PI: Robert Stevens


Title: EPSRC Centres Call
Funding Body: EPSRC
PI: Carole Goble
Award Amount: £232149


Title: From Individual to Collective Behaviour in Large-Scale, Complex Systems
Funding Body: EPSRC
PI: Jon Shapiro
Award Amount: £71686


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