School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

26 Oct 2009


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News from Head of School

Sad News

We recently learned of the sad death of Margaret Huzar, following a battle with cancer. Margaret joined the Department in October 1973. At that time, the Department employed a number of ladies to type input data on cards (punch cards) for staff and students, although Margaret did her punching on tape. She then transferred to punching exclusively for Professor Derrick Morris on a research project, until Professor Morris moved to a position at UMIST. At that point, Margaret moved into Finance & Stores where she remained until her retirement in June 2000. Following retirement, she enjoyed coming in twice a year to help with the checking of exam marks. Margaret was 73 when she died. Her funeral will be held this Thursday at Stockport Crematorium at 2.15pm. The family have requested no flowers, but any donations to Christie’s.

Manchester Science Festival

On Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 October the School took part in the "Speedy Science" event for schoolchildren, part of this year's Manchester Science Festival. The event was held in Pure at the Printworks, with over 500 schoolchildren visiting. Our activity was "Race the Baby", where the kids could download a Java simulator of the original Baby into their mobile phones, using Bluetooth, and then race that against the simulator in the PhotoBaby running at the original Baby clock speed. The event proved extremely popular with the kids, and we met several budding computer scientists! Thanks to the team: Andrew Robinson, whose idea it was, Dave Thorne, Ros Cooper, Jez Lloyd and Toby Howard.

Also as part of this year's Manchester Science Festival, Steve Furber will be presenting a public lecture in University Place on Thursday 29 October. Full details:

World University Rankings

On the assumption that at least some of you are curious about this sort of thing, the following links (thanks to Dave Lester) provide some rankings and commentary on the THES world rankings:



For less recent information, the university prefers the Shanghai Jiao Tong index (, a position easily defended in this context by the fact that we do rather less well in that than in the THES (40th in the world, though 5th in the UK).



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.

Public Engagement Networking Lunch                                              6 Nov 09

The above is a Faculty run event and will take place in the Kanaris Lecture Theatre, Manchester Museum between 12.00 and 14.00 on Friday 6th November.  Open to all researchers in the faculty. To attend please email



ACM call for nominations                                                                            30 Nov 09

ACM has issued a call for nominations for the following awards:

ACM A. M. Turing Award

ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award

ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award

ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award

ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award

ACM Software System Award

The deadline for submissions is November 30th 2009.