School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

8 March 2010


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News from Head of School

Information Systems Team Update

Following on from the earlier news on hardware procurement, here is an update from the Information Systems Team on progress with installation.


  1. Work is nearing completion on the installation of a new webmail service for the students. We are going to trial two pieces of free software, Squirrel mail and RoundCube mail. These will be run on a virtualised server and we will be looking for feedback on their suitability. (Approx one week to completion).
  2. LDAP, a replacement for the Sun Network Information System, is now running the authentication service on the Linux PCs in the teaching labs. There is still some work to be done to have it fully operational in the generation of the students email aliases and mailing lists. The new student file servers, which are reliant on this new service, will be online shortly and a new format csinfo utility will be available soon. (Approx Easter for completion).
  3. The student printing service had been upgraded to the latest version of CUPS (Unix printing service) and is now operational.
  4. The Mac backup server is up and going. It requires extra disk storage before it can realistically be used to back up the desktops/laptops used within the school.
  5. A new staff printing server should come online during the Easter Vacation.
  6. The new backup server and tape jukebox are online and successfully being used.
  7. A project to improve/replace our internal Ethernet network is progressing well. (Approx completion 2010).
  8. The web server restructuring project is ongoing. Csonly is now available offsite.
  9. A web based library database is due to be rolled out in the summer of this year.
  10. The old Windows NT network domains used in the teaching labs and for some of the admin staff (winnie and mucs) will be replaced by Microsoft Active Directory. (Approx Summer for completion).


Mike Keeley



Proving that programs eventually do something good                       10 Mar 10

Dr Byron Cook. Microsoft Research

14:15, Lecture Theatre 1.4, Kilburn building

Seminar page

Open meeting – Insight in to the Higher Education Academy           10 Mar 10

John Pritchard, Assistant Director (Institutions) will be holding an open meeting for Manchester staff from 10.30 – 11.30 am on 10th March, 2010. He will be giving an overview of the role of the Academy, its mission, and the role of the subject centres, and taking questions. This is a great opportunity to find out how you can get involved in the work of the Academy, how you can receive accreditation for your teaching and learning practice, and how the Academy can help you in your professional development.

If you would like to attend please register your interest with Emma Stonier in the Teaching and Learning Support Office and you’ll be sent more information when the details are confirmed.

Royal Academy of Engineering Regional Lecture                                11 Mar 10

18:00, Lecture Theatre C9 Renold Building followed by a Reception at 19.00

Keith Ridgway OBE FREng, Research Director and HEFCE Business Fellow, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing at Sheffield University.

The talk will examine the challenges facing manufacturing engineers when producing high-value products and components.  The presentation will demonstrate how technology can be used to address these challenges and produce these items better, cheaper, faster and greener.

Admission free.  Email Sue Neesham for further information.

Preconditioners                                                                                              12 Mar 10

Performance of iterative solves with a novel Gauss-Seidel-type preconditioner

Prof. Seiji Fujino.  Kyushu University, Japan

16:00, Room 1.212, Alan Turing Building

The OpenCL language and DX11 class GPUs                                       15 Mar 10

Dr Lee Howes. AMD, California.

14:00, Atlas 1, Kilburn Building.

Presentation by the European Patent Office                                          22 Mar 10

10:00, Room C18, Ferranti building

Mr. Yannis Skulikaris and Ms Dafni Koutsorodis from the European Patent Office will give a presentation on the role of the EPO. The presentation will be illustrated with case studies on the granting and refusal of patents for inventions in engineering and physical sciences. This presentation is specifically tailored for academics.

Computational Science Open Meeting                                                     25 Mar 10

10:00-14:00, Atlas rooms, Kilburn Building

Please register your place.  Lunch will be provided after the meeting, please indicate on the form if you require lunch.  Email Manchester Informatics Admin with any queries.

Energy Institute Event                                                                                  25 Mar 10

LED Lighting Developments

Colin Pearce, Lighting Engineer, Philips Solid State Lighting

18:30, Room 1.218, University Place

Colin, a qualified lighting engineer with over 20 years experience in the lighting industry, will provide an overview of the latest lighting developments using LED (light emitting diode) technology. Both energy and cost savings are achievable in all types of businesses including offices, industrial, retail and public sector. This presentation will highlight examples of both interior and exterior uses including what options are available and the potential energy savings achieved with new equipment. Operational samples of some of the LED products will also be on display to enable comparison between LED and tungsten lamps.


Funding Opportunities

BBSRC Fellowships Call for Proposals                        Mar & May 10 deadlines

Enterprise Fellowships

BBSRC and The Royal Society of Edinburgh seek proposals to the Enterprise Fellowships scheme to support researchers who wish to play a key role in the commercialisation of their research. The Fellowships provide salary and formal business training, allowing the Fellows to focus on developing the commercial potential of their research over a 12-month period.

The Fellowships are available to academic staff, research staff and postgraduates with relevant experience employed by a UK Higher Education
Institution or a BBSRC-sponsored Research Institute. The business idea may be in any area within BBSRC's remit provided the original research was largely funded through the Research Council.

The next closing date for applications is 5pm on *4 May 2010*.  Interviews will take place in early 2010 and Fellowships are expected to start in October 2010.

Further information


Industry Fellowships

The Industry Fellowship scheme promotes collaboration between the UK science base and industry by supporting the exchange of mid-career researchers either from the science base to industry or vice-versa. The Fellowships are administered by the Royal Society, co-sponsored by the BBSRC and BBSRC Institute employees are now eligible to apply for a fellowship. The scheme has successfully supported researchers in the biosciences and has involved a range of industry sectors, from large pharmaceutical companies to Biotech SMEs.

The deadline for applications for the next round of funding is *24 March 2010*.

Further information

Royal Society Call for Proposals: International Joint Projects         25 Mar 10

The Royal Society International Joint Project programme is designed to enable international collaboration by providing a mobility grant for researchers and members of their research teams to cover travel, subsistence and research expenses. It also aims to provide seed money for research that will lead to further collaboration and greater funding in the future from larger funding bodies.

*Subjects Covered:* All areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine.

The Project Leaders must be from academia, of at least postdoctoral status or equivalent and hold a permanent or fixed-term contract in an eligible organisation which, if it is the latter, continues at least for the duration of the project. Collaborations should be based on a single project including two teams or individuals: one based in the UK and the other based outside the UK. A relationship between both parties should already be established prior to making an application and the collaboration should involve bilateral visits between the UK and the country with which the overseas collaborator is based.

*Length of Tenure:* 2 years

*Value of Grant:*
Up to £6000 a year for 2 years for travel and subsistence. Within the £6000 available each year, up to £1000 can be used for research expenses (excluding computer hardware).

*Countries covered:*
Currently Joint Projects are available to those in European and Former Soviet Union countries, China, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa and certain countries in Latin America. Please check appendix 2 of the scheme notes for eligible countries.

More information

Royal Society Call for Proposals: International Travel Grants         31 May 10

The International Travel Grants scheme enables UK scientists to engage in collaborations with overseas scientists in order to explore opportunities for building lasting networks or  participate (excludes organising/selection committee and poster contributions) in overseas conferences, workshops and seminars which are of particular strategic importance in order to engage with scientists (available to UK scientists only).  The International Travel Grant Scheme is available for all countries outside of the UK.

Eligibility: Conference participation applications must have confirmation of their invitation or acceptance of oral paper presentation. Collaboration applications must have a letter of support from the host Head of Department. UK based scientist must hold a fixed or permanent contract at an eligible UK institution. Scientists must have completed their PhD or have extensive experience at an equivalent level. Only one application can be submitted per round.

Length of tenure: Lasting up to 12 weeks (except in the case of UK applicants presenting at overseas conferences, workshops and seminars, in which case the maximum duration of award is 10 days).
Value: A maximum of £4000 is available for activities.

More information