School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

2 February 2009


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News from Head of School


Details are starting to emerge as to how funding will flow to universities based on the results of the 2008 RAE. It seems likely that HEFCE will apply a 7:3:1:0 ratio to the 4*:3*:2*:1* scores to obtain a value that, when multiplied by volume, can be used to compute the fraction of QR that comes to each institution. Two things are clear: (i) the money will be spread much more evenly than was the case previously; and (ii) the schools that stand to lose the most are those that used to have 5* (in particular where their 2008 RAE position is not quite top on quality). You can safely conclude that the outcome will not be good for us.

Animation 09

The School of Computer Science has launched the UK Schools Computer Animation Competition 2009. The competition is open to all UK schoolchildren aged 7-19, and builds on the success of the 2008 competition, run as part of the Digital 60 celebrations, which attracted over 230 entries from 55 schools, and over 400 children attended the Film Show and Awards day at The University of Manchester.

This year the competition is being run in association with Electronic Arts, and the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, where a special prize-giving and activities day will be held on 26 June 2009. Launched on 19 January, we already have over 300 schools registered for the competition!

The deadline for submitting an animation of up to 1 minute in length, produced using Alice, Scratch or Flash, is 1 May 2009. Full details:

Communications Within EPS                                                                                      

The project aimed at improving Internal Communications in EPS proposes to run several meetings with different groups of staff. If you are interested in participating, please indicate your availabilities at:

School Planning Meeting                                                                               4 Feb 09

The meeting to discuss the school plan (which was circulated with the previous newsletter), which will be held in IT.407 from 1:00-2:00, will take the form of a question/answer/discussion session. As such, there will be no presentation on the plan, so please consider having a look at the plan in advance, and bring along a copy.

Research Staff Conference                                                                         26 Feb 09

This free one day event on the “21st Century Researcher” will be held on Thursday 26 February 2009 at the Manchester Conference Centre; for further information see:

President’s visit to School of Computer Science                                    9 Mar 09

2.30 p.m. Meeting with School Leadership Team – 30 minutes (Atlas 1)
3.00 p.m. Open meeting for all staff – 40 minutes (Room 2.19)
3.40 p.m. One-to-one with HoS - 20 minutes (HoS Office)
Please reserve the slot in your diary.



Manchester Turing lecture                                                                            3 Feb 09

This year’s lecture, titled ''Information Engineering and its Future", will be given by Professor Michael Brady (FRS FEng, BP Professor of Information Engineering).
The lecture will take place in Roscoe Lecture Theatre A at 6:00pm, is free to attend, and is open to BCS/IET members and The University of Manchester staff and students, as well as to the general public.

Places however are limited so pre-booking is compulsory.
The lecture will be followed by a hot fork buffet at Christies Bistro. Places are again limited and there is a charge for the buffet reception.

Further information and registration


New Funding and Award Opportunities                           top

Nominations sought for best PhD thesis prize                                     23 Feb 09                                                                                                                                             

The Research School invites nominations of dissertations for this year's
Best PhD Thesis Prize for the School.
Since 2005, this nomination process has been explicitly linked with the CPHC/BCS Distinguished Dissertations prize. The Research School carries out an internal evaluation before nominations from the School of CS are given the go-ahead, and the intention is to allow all dissertations that are judged of sufficient potential impact to go forward for the CPHC/BCS prize.
Rules for entering the School prize
Rules for entering the CPHC/BCS prize

The Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize                                     23 February 09

The Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize is the United Kingdom's premier award for science communication and is awarded annually for excellence in communicating science to UK audiences. The award was established by Council in 1986 and is given annually to the scientist or engineer whose expertise in communicating scientific ideas in lay terms is exemplary.   The Prize consists of a silver gilt medal and a gift of £2500.

More information

The Royal Society Kohn Award for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science                                                                                                   23 February 09

The Royal Society Kohn Award for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science is for UK-based early-career scientists or science communicators who have undertaken high-quality public engagement activities which has had (or will have) a strategic impact on institutions, organisations and cultures, and whose career and future public engagement activities will benefit from the award.
The award consists of a silver gilt medal, a gift of £2500 and a grant of £7500 for science communication activities, and is awarded by the Royal Society with the generous support of the Kohn Foundation.

More information


Research Awards                                                              top

None this week