School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

1st May 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

Industrial Advisory Board

Last week saw the first meeting of the School’s newly constituted Industrial Advisory Board.  This replaces several existing forums for seeking advice from colleagues in industry on teaching, research and technology transfer.  The inaugural event, which was extremely well attended, concentrated on the proposed changes to our UG curriculum, and led to a stimulating debate.  There was general endorsement for the approach we are exploring, but it was interesting to hear similar ideas presented from a different perspective.  It was particularly striking that the message from representatives of companies as diverse as EA (computer games) and IBM (IT services) was very similar.  All endorsed the continuing need for deep knowledge and skills in core CS, but equally there was unanimity on the need for individuals with the knowledge and skills base to work effectively as members of multi-disciplinary teams.  The event also generated offers of practical help with guest lectures and organising events for schoolchildren and/or potential students. Many were also interested in discussing UG and PGT projects and placements.  Bernard and the staff in External Affairs will follow up these offers and ensure we continue the momentum by keeping all the Board members engaged with the School.

Action Short of a Strike

We are clearly reaching the stage where the action short of a strike is in danger of causing significant disruption, unless it is resolved very soon.  As you will have seen, the University has promised all students that their graduation (or progression) will not be delayed by the action.  There is, as yet, no guidance to Schools on how this is to be achieved, but it is expected imminently.  I am pleased that the University has chosen to take a non-confrontational, no-blame approach to the action, but also believe it is right that we have now made this commitment to our students.  Given the constructive approach that you have all taken thus far, I am extremely hopeful that we will be able to meet our obligations to students without great difficulty, even if the action continues.  Clearly, some flexibility will be required, and there may be concerns over standards, but I believe that we have a duty to ensure that results are issued in a timely way, and that no student is disadvantaged in the process.  I hope (and believe) that you all agree.

Impressive Run in London Marathon

Congratulations to John Halliwell who completed the 2006 Flora London Marathon in 3:13:46, just outside his PB time of last year (3:08:42), but still classed as ‘Good for Age’!  The sub 3:15 time also gives John automatic entry in the race for the next two years. 






Events this Week                                                               top

Grid: Agreement Terms                                                                                   2 May 06

One of a series on sharing Grid resources, hosted by ESNW

Zhu Tan, Michael Parkin, Marco Fargetta, Viktor Yarmolenko, Mike Daw

1400 – 1700, Room 1.10 Kilburn Building (ESNW AG Room)

Any questions, email Dean Kuo or visit wiki.

Ontologies and the Semantic Web Cancelled                                               3 May 06

Professor Ian Horrocks. University of Manchester

1415 – 1515, Lecture Theatre 1.5, Kilburn Building

More Information

Proteome Annotation Exploiting GRID Technology                                3 May 06

Professor Michael Sternberg, Imperial College Centre for Bioinformatics

1600 – 1700, Michael Smith Building lecture theatre

More Information

Publishing your Pedagogic Research                                                         4 May 06

Bland Tomkinson, University Advisor for Pedagogic Development

An interactive session – bring your ideas for potential books, papers etc.

1200 – 1330, Whitworth Council Chamber (lunch included)

Email to book (for catering purposes)at least two days in advance

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

BCS/IEE Accreditation Visit                                                                    17-18 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. PLEASE NOTE there was a misunderstanding over dates and this was originally advertised as taking place on the 18 – 19 May.

Requriements and Technologies for Provenance New                         23 May 06

ENSW technical meeting.  Volunteers required to give 10-15 min presentations.

1400 – 1700, Atlas 1

Email Dean Kuo or visit wiki

Research Retreat                                                                                       29-30 Jun 06

Palace Hotel, Buxton

Programme under development, input welcomed (email Ursula)

School UG Graduation Party  New                                                                   5 Jul 06

We will (hopefully) be celebrating their graduation with our UG students

1430 – 1530, prize-giving 1445, graduation ceremony 1645.


Future External Events                                                      top

Ask the President                                                                                              5 May 06

All staff are being invited to submit questions for an interview with President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Gilbert which will be broadcast on the web during May.  Questions should be submitted in advance by email (type `President's Webcast' in the subject line), or in person to the Internal Communications Office, Beyer Building (staff may remain anonymous if they wish).  Deadline for submissions 5 May.

OPEN MEETING ON eLEARNING                                                               10 May 06

You are invited to an Open Meeting on eLearning at which Professor Bob Munn, Vice-President for Teaching and Learning, will make a brief presentation and respond to questions about current initiatives to enhance e-learning.  Full details

Building the Business Infrastructure for the 21st Century New          11 May 06

North West Grid Seminar hosted by the Advanced Internet Methods and Emergent Systems (AIMES) Centre, Liverpool.

0930 – 1230, AIMES Centre, 10 Duke Street, Liverpool

More Information and Registration

Metamorphosis – Induction Issues New                                                    11 May 06

So how can we encourage students to use the academic and non-academic support systems that are available so that they will achieve their full potential?  What additional support strategies need to be put in place?  A range of speakers will consider the development of student support strategies – particularly induction programmes – from a student perspective, discuss the issues that need to be addressed, and what the student satisfaction survey can tell us. 

1200 – 1330 (lunch included),CEU Suite, 4th Floor, Simon Building

Email to book (for catering purposes)at least two days in advance.

TRDN Annual Symposium  New 23 May 06                                                                                                                                               

Manchester: a learning community?

Alison Johns, Head of Leadership, Governance and Management, HEFCE  

In addition to the keynote address, there will be sessions dealing with the University as a community, and with its relationships with the wider community both locally and nationally/internationally.  Posters are invited on the theme of 'community' or on wider educational issues.

1000 – 1500, Hulme Hall

Email Veronique Rizzuto to book or offer a poster

EPSRC Regional Academic Seminars New                          26 May & 14 June 06

The EPSRC regional academic seminars offer the opportunity to discuss issues of interest with colleagues from Higher Education Institutions.
There are two seminars coming up in Spring 2006.

26 May 2006 London - The Royal Society

14 June 2006 Manchester - Manchester Conference Centre

 The seminars will include a presentation from Professor John O'Reilly, Chief Executive of EPSRC, a Question and Answer session, and a session on Peer Review and the grant application process.  At the Manchester event, there will be a session on looking at opportunities for interaction between industry, academia and other organisations.  Deadline for receiving registration forms for the London event: 18th May  Manchester event: 2nd June.

More Information

Lunchtime Yoga Classes – Karon Mee                                              Tues & Thurs

People have been practicing yoga for over 3, 000 years. The benefits of practice can be experienced on many levels, physical and spiritual. A healthy spine, improvement to physical health and body awareness in general is experienced through asana (postures), while calmness of the mind and improved use of the respiratory system are effects of meditation and breath awareness.  Classes are non-competitive and suitable for all levels.  Do not eat at least an hour prior to class. UMSA members £1.50; non-UMSA £2.00 per class

1200 – 1300 Tuesdays, 1310 – 1400 Thursdays, Staff House


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

Wellcome Trust Equipment Grants                                                          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.

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 honour 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

None this week


Staff News                                                                           top

Awards and Promotions

None this week

Academic Arrivals

None this week

Academic Departures

None this week

Research Arrivals

June Finch – Project Manager, IMG

Neil Swainston – Research Associate, IMG/Faculty of Life Sciences

Henan Zhao –  Research Associate (part time), IMG

Pierre F J-M Cart-Grandjean – Software Engineer, BHIG/ESNW

Terry Child – Software Engineer, BHIG/ESNW

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 Computational Systems Biology

More Information

Research Staff

Research Associate in Automated Reasoning and Web Ontologies

More Information

 Administrative Staff