School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

29 June 2009


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News from Head of School

Newsletter moving to fortnightly

Due to a lower level of potential news items over the summer period, the newsletter will be issued fortnightly until mid-September.

School Budget 2009/10

The budget now seems to have been finalised for financial year 2009/10. In essence, this seems to have been a challenging budget setting round, with significant increases in: salary costs due to recent pay awards; and central contributions, as the university tries to establish a stable surplus.

The tight negotiations mean that to meet the income targets, we need, as well as meeting our other student number targets, to: (i) significantly increase our overseas PGT numbers, following from an increase in applications; and (ii) continue the recent run of grant successes. There has to be some doubt that we will meet the income targets, which in turn is likely to mean pressure to cut expenditure during the year (e.g. by not replacing posts if people leave).

There has also been a cut affecting non-pay expenditure of 100,000 which impacts mostly on the equipment and building budgets. We anticipate that the equipment cut will not be problematic, as a significant equipment replacement programme is underway within the 2008/09 financial year, of which more details will be provided in a later newsletter.

eLearning drop in sessions for EPS staff

The EPS eLearning team is now providing drop in sessions for academic and admin staff so that we can help you promptly with your eLearning questions.
The idea of a 'Drop in Session' is to provide an easy route for staff to obtain 'face to face' help in using eLearning tools such as Blackboard.

A representative from the eLearning team will be available at these sessions to answer your eLearning and Blackboard questions. eLearning drop in sessions for EPS staff will run every Tuesday and Thursday at 12.00am-1.00pm. The session on Tuesday 2nd July is cancelled due to a Staff Away Day.


  • IT Cluster in Joule Library, Level E, Sackville Street Building.


  • Chemistry Cluster, Ground floor, Chemistry Building.

For further information on these sessions email Richard Jardine

Competition Successes

Many congratulations to 2nd year undergraduate students Nick Bloor and Michael Uzoho for their recent successes in the BCS Student Content. Nick won the Beginner strand of the contest, as well as the Award For Professionalism. Micheal won the Open Strand. Both received an Asus Eee PC. For full details please see

Updating the Duties Database

The following is the process for updating the duties database if you think that details are inappropriate: email the proposed change to Ruth Maddocks (, who will seek approval from the relevant Head of Function.


Events this week

A quick way to learn a mixture of exponentially many linear models

29 June 09

Professor Geoff Hinton, FRS. University of Toronto

14:00, Lecture Theatre 1.4, Kilburn Building

POD-2009 29-30 June 09

Problem-Oriented Development is an emerging paradigm of computing that considers problems, rather than requirements, to be the primary subject of investigation for Software Engineers. The POD-2009 workshop will be co-located with the TOOLS-EUROPE 2009 conference at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technolgy (ETH) in Zurich.

POD-2009 website

CICADA one day conference 30 June 09

Computation and Dynamics of Continuous and Discrete Processes

9.30 am - 4.50 pm

Room G107, Alan Turing Building

Friday 19 June 2009

For further information please contact Helen Harper

Conference information (pdf)


Funding opportunities

IISF in Japan Travel Grants Call for Applications 30 June 09

The International Information Science Foundation (IISF) in Japan invites applications to support the travel expenses of outstanding young computer scientists who wish to visit Japan for research purposes.

The award is worth 250000 yen (1626).

More information