School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

19 April 2010


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News from Head of School

Steve Furber Shortlisted for Millennium Technology Prize

Congratulations to Steve Furber on his shortlisting for the 2010 Millennium Technology Prize, the world’s largest award for technological innovation. He is one of three laureates announced in Helsinki last week by Technology Academy Finland.


The winner of the 2010 Millennium Technology Prize will be announced at a ceremony in Helsinki on June 9.


The full press release can be found here.

Travel Disruption

The following appears on the University website regarding the current travel disruption:


A number of University staff and students will have had their travel plans disrupted as a result of the closure of airspace across the UK and parts of Europe.


The University's primary concern is to ensure that staff, students, and anyone else travelling on University business, remain safe and reasonably comfortable.  This may mean that anyone currently abroad will need to incur additional expenditure on accommodation and/or on alternative means of travel.  Budget holders should expect to meet any reasonable costs incurred in this way.

The University's Travel Insurance policies include cover for curtailment and cancellation costs.  It may not be possible to recover all additional expenditure incurred from the insurers.  However, in order that claims can be considered, travellers should ensure that:

  • they obtain documentary evidence of any cancellation that affects them
  • they take steps to recover whatever costs they are entitled to from airlines, etc.
  • they obtain receipts for any additional expenditure incurred.

A travel claim form is available at:

 The wording of the University's Travel Insurance policies in respect of Disruption is available at:

Undergraduate Admissions Update

Our undergraduate numbers target always seems quite challenging, and we have for some time been dependent on ever increasing conversion rates to meet this target. So far this year, we have received 903 (673 home, 230 overseas) applications this year and have made 544 (366 home, 125 overseas) offers, with 110 (89 home, 21 overseas) applicants accepting Computer Science as their first choice.  We currently have a conversion rate at a remarkable 49% (compared to 34% last year). Whilst it is still early days, with 63% of offer holders yet to respond, this represents a very encouraging start.


Many thanks to all staff who contributed to the Undergraduate Visit Days to make them such a success. 


Although the visit days are over for this academic year, the External Affairs Office would still like your help with a Visit Day Review – we are hoping to review our visit day process and guidelines, so if there is any feedback you would like to pass on to the Visit Day team please contact Sophia Lewis-Martyr.

Open Days

The University Open Days will be held this summer on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th June. As usual, the School will be holding events throughout the two days, and academic members of staff will be required to man the Computer Science stand in the Schuster Building, and meet, greet and talk to prospective students and their families. It is really important that we ensure there is a ‘buzz’ about the place for these events. Volunteers are needed to help on both days. If you are able to assist – ideally for at least two hours between 10:00 and 16:00 – please contact Mike Stead with your availability.

Student Profiles

We are always looking to add student and graduate to offer commentary about their student experience for use in our school brochure, website and blogs. If you know of any current or past students who you think might be willing to contribute, please pass on their contact details to Mike Stead.



On the Saturation of YAGO                                                                        21 April 10

Prof Christoph Weidenbach. Max-Planck Institute

15:15, Lecture Theatre 1.4, Kilburn Building

Seminar home page

IMG/RCS Seminar - Open Distributed Social Networks                    21 April 10

Henry Story, Social Web Architect

13.00 in Atlas 1, Kilburn Building

WiSET Industry Speed Networking, sponsored by Deutsche Bank 21 April 10

Speak to representatives from Deutsche Bank, IBM, Imagination Technologies and Teach First. Includes free buffet!

This is your chance! Meet representatives from four companies currently recruiting female graduates in Computer Science and related disciplines. At this fast paced informal networking event, each representative will speak to a group of students for 10 minutes, discuss relevant graduate schemes and answer your questions. The group sessions will be followed by a light buffet lunch, with time for some more networking. Sign up now!

To book your free place, please email

State of the Art in Game Console Graphics                                           23 April 10

Naty Hoffman, Activision Inc.

14:00-15:00 Room 1.10, Kilburn Building


Funding Opportunities

EPSRC Knowledge Transfer (KT) Account:

Call for Applications

The University of Manchester was awarded an £8.3m Knowledge Transfer Account (KTA) based on its plans to increase the impact, uptake and exploitation of research investments from EPSRC.

Since the start of the KTA in October 2009 the schemes have proven to be highly successful. The University’s KTA Operations Board would like to issue the fourth call for proposals for funding under these mechanisms:

Secondments Scheme
Concept and Feasibility Study Scheme
Knowledge Transfer Fellowships scheme

The closing date for applications to this next call is 26 May 2010 at 12pm (noon).

Final Call for KT Fellowship Scheme – 26 May 2010

Due to the high demand for KT Fellows, we have already awarded six KT Fellowships in the following research areas:

Photonic Device and Sensor Technology
Material Chemistry Technology
Laser Processing
Advanced Manufacturing
Applied Mathematics

The KT Fellows’ role is to respond to the demand for multiple, short-term, ‘problem-focused’ industrial projects from a range of companies.

The KTA team is announcing the final opportunity for academics to apply for funding of up to £160,000 for two-year KT Fellow posts.

The next call for Concept and Feasibility and Secondment schemes will be 16 July 2010 at 12pm (noon).

Further information about the different KTA schemes, guidance notes and application forms are available online at:

Prior to submitting an application, academics are strongly advised to contact a member of the KTA team for advice and guidance at:

0161 3066815 or