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School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

5 Oct 2009


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News from Head of School

Student Recruitment

The semester is now well and truly underway, and the overall picture in the school with respect to student numbers is becoming clear. The following graphs show the principal trends in terms of registrations:



The following seem to be the headlines:

  • Undergraduate: home numbers have held up well, in the context of somewhat increased entry grades, though the recent growth in overseas recruitment has not been sustained.
  • PGT: home numbers remain fairly flat, but strong growth in overseas numbers has continued; this will be important for our financial wellbeing this year. Ironically, PGT is recruiting particularly well at exactly the moment when we are about to change all our programmes!
  • PGR: the focusing of studentships on home/EU students is reflected in modest growth, but the near total lack of funding for overseas students is reflected in a worrying reduction in our overseas cohort.

Overall, the current expectation is that we will miss our budget for student income by around £115K, which will have to be matched by expenditure savings elsewhere; as our targets seem quite tight across the board, this is somewhat better than I had feared.


This year, we have received 974 UG Applications (up by 12%), 1230 PGT Registrations (up by 16%), and 196 PGR Registrations (up by 6%). I am very grateful to the various admissions teams for their ongoing conscientious work on this essential task, which will continue to be central to the viability of the school.


For information, the following are our planned and actual overall and intake FTEs:












UG Home







UG Overseas







PGT Home







PGT Overseas







PGR Home







PGR Overseas








Overall, we are slightly closer to targets for overall numbers than for intake, because progression rates exceeded expectations. (Thanks to Bernard and Gill for the data in this uncharacteristically information-rich article!)

Computer Systems Engineering Programme

The School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering has indicated that it proposes to withdraw from this joint programme, the current version of which will thus admit its final cohort in 2010/11. Discussions are now staring on what the school might seek to offer in its place; if you are interested in being in the loop, please consult Ian Watson.


On 25 September the School announced Animation10 - the 3rd Annual UK Schools Computer Animation competition. This year the competition is co-funded by Electronic Arts and Google, and run in association with the BBC 21st Century Classroom, and the Queen Mary (University of London) cs4fn project. The Awards Day will be held at The Lowry, Salford Quays, in July 2010.

The response to the 2009 competition exceeded all expectations, with 800 entries from more than 200 schools all across the UK. In June 2009 over 300 schoolchildren, teachers and families attended the Animation Festival and Awards Ceremony held at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry.

Full details of Animation10:



Model-based base calling and quality assessment of second-generation sequencing data†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5 Oct 09

Hector Corrada Bravo, Johns Hopkins University

14:00, IT building room 407

Part of the Machine Learning seminar series

Text mining hands-on course and training seminar††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5-6 Oct 09

The European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and the National Centre for Text Mining are organising a joint training event at EBI (Hinxton, near Cambridge).The purpose of this event is to teach basic techniques in information retrieval and information extraction in the biomedical domain and to give hands-on training on existing solutions provided by the two centres.

Who should attend: Biomedical researchers, biocurators, bioinformaticians, medical informaticians and any other researcher active in biomedical research.

Registration: Closed

Further information

Faculty Open Meeting†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7 Oct

All members of staff in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences are invited to attend a Faculty Open Meeting with Professor Colin Bailey, the Acting Vice-President & Dean on Wednesday 7 October, 2 - 3pm in Room C9, Renold Building.

Colin will give a short presentation, which will include updates on the research profiling exercise, financial matters and shared service costs. This will be followed by a presentation from Professor Phil Withers on the new Henry Moseley X-ray Imaging Facility with the remainder of the meeting given over to an open question and answer session on any matters of interest. There is no need to submit questions in advance of the meeting.

All are welcome. Seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Presentation of Dalton Medal to Sir Bernard Lovell††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7 Oct

Sir Bernard Lovell FRS OBE is to be awarded the prestigious Dalton Medal by the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society. The Society was formed in 1781 and the first Dalton Medal was given in 1898.The Dalton Medal is given in John Daltonís memory for 'Eminence in the Field of Science' and has only ever been awarded on twelve occasions.


7pm, Manchester Academy, Moss Lane East, Manchester M14 4PX (please do not confuse this with the music venue). Staff and students of The University of Manchester are invited to attend the lecture and presentation.


Please reserve your seat by contacting the Lit & Phil on 0161-247 6774 or

There is no charge, but seats must be reserved by 4.00pm on 6 October.

Text Mining for Scholarly Communications and Repositories Joint Workshop†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 28-29 Oct 09

This event is being hosted jointly by NaCTeM and held at MIB at the University of Manchester.

The aim of the event is to examine the issues, challenges and priorities associated with integrating text mining technologies in applications to support scholarly communication and repository initiatives.†† The audience is expected to consist of researchers, information management professionals, librarians, text miners, repository providers, publishers, policy makers and JISC service representatives.
There is a cost of £30 for the 2 day event which includes your lunch.Accommodation should be booked independently.If you wish to attend please go here for further information.


Funding Opportunities

RAEeng/EPSRC Research Fellowships††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4pm, 5 Oct 09

The RAEng/EPSRC Research Fellowships are designed to promote excellence in engineering. They provide support for high-quality engineers and encourage them to develop successful academic research careers.
Applications are welcomed from outstanding researchers from all branches of engineering who are about to finish their PhD or have up to three years Post-Doctoral research experience. The scheme provides funding for five years to encourage the best researchers to remain in the academic engineering sector. In addition to the direct financial support, the scheme offers:

  • freedom to concentrate on basic research in any field of engineering;
  • time to establish a track record in the field;
  • the services of a mentor (a Fellow of The Academy) to offer advice and to facilitate industrial links as the research progresses; and
  • restrictions on teaching and administrative duties.

For further information, see guidance notes