School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

7 June 2010


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News from Head of School

Programme Changes

A number of changes are at various stages of planning that will affect the degree portolio offered by the school for 2011/12.  These are:

  • MSc in Informatics. Planned action - drop programme (status - under discussion).  This conversion programme generally attracts quite modest numbers of students, and is quite expensive to deliver.
  • MSc in Mathematics and Computational Science (status - decision made).  This advanced programme, like Informatics, generally attracts quite modest numbers of students, and is quite expensive to deliver.
  • BSc in Computer Systems Engineering. Planned action - revise programme (status - concrete proposal being discussed). This programme used to be 50:50 with EEE, who have decided to withdraw. The current revised proposal is much more centred on Computer Science units, but with some input from EEE.

In all cases, the above changes will reduce the number of distinct units offered (or delivered) by the school. It seems important, during a period when academic staff numbers are planned to reduce and student numbers are increasing, that we reduce the numbers of units taught to small numbers of students, with a view to keeping teaching loads at a sustainable level.  If you have comments or questions relating to the MSc in Informatics please contact Uli Sattler, and if you have comments relating to the BSc in Computer Systems Engineering please contact Doug Edwards.

Gavin Brown interview in Times Higher Education

Link to our news and article

Public Engagement award opportunities

Two new sources of money to promote Public Engagement in your research have recently been announced.

Can I encourage you to please consider adding a Public Engagement component to your research, if you do not already have one! It can be very rewarding, give you new angles on your work, and lots of fun.

I'd be happy to help with preparation of proposals.

* EPSRC Partnerships for public engagement starter grants (deadline: 6 July). This call is for researchers with no, or limited, public engagement experience and is designed to provide researchers with an opportunity to develop their public engagement skills. Details:

* The Beacon/Vitae NW Early Career Researchers Awards 2010 (deadline: 23 July). Small grants up to £1500  to develop public engagement activities with early career researchers during the period 2 August – 31 October 2010. Details:

Toby Howard



Algorithmic Trading Conference                                                             11 June 10

09:30-15:00, University College London

UCL’s Financial Computing Centre, in association with Microsoft, is organising a conference to bring together university researchers and financial industry professionals to discuss future directions and job opportunities in Algorithmic Trading. This event will be of interest to PhD students, Post Docs and Masters students as well as industry professionals, and companies seeking to recruit PhDs to work in Algorithmic Trading. The Microsoft Banking Science Algorithmic Trading Prize of up to £10,000 will be launched.

Further information (pdf)

CS Event: FP7 Best Practice and Future Opportunities for ICT     14 June 10

09:30 – 13:15, Atlas 1 and 2 Kilburn Building

This event aims to let attendees gain an understanding of
European R&D funding opportunities in ICT.

Attendees will learn about available European funding, details of the forthcoming Work Programme for ICT 2011-2013 and the Future Internet Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative. The event will also be attended by representatives of SMEs in the north west. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with regional and national support teams and network with potential partners and experienced FP7 participants.
The event is organised jointly by the School of Computer Science and the Enterprise Europe Network North West in partnership with FP7UK and the Digital Communication KTN. Representatives from Diagnostic Solutions Ltd and C-Tech Innovations Limited will present case studies showing how their organisations have benefited from participating in FP7. A buffet lunch will also be provided.

For further information, agenda and *registration* for this event please access the event webpage.

*Please note that if you would like to attend this event you will need to register*
There is only a limited number of places available and priority will be given to those who register in advance.

EPS Grantmanship Workshop                                                           18 June 10

This study day aims to give university researchers who are thinking of applying to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council an overview of how the organisation works and an insight into the peer review process. The day typically involves:

  • Presentations – introduction to EPSRC, the peer review process and funding opportunities
  • Tips on proposal writing – first steps in grantsmanship from Professor Richard Winpenny
  • Mock panels – attendees have the chance to practice a prioritisation panel meeting with real grant proposals
  • And plenty of Q&A time

If you wish to attend this workshop please contact:

VIII Symposium of Mexican Students                                                   2 July 10

The VIII Symposium of Mexican Students will take place Friday 2nd July. The symposium is an annual meeting aimed at providing a forum for Mexican students to present their work, exchange knowledge and ideas.

We are delighted to report that we have received nearly 100 abstracts and in total 150 students have registered to attend.

We are also pleased to announce that the event will be attended be senior members from the Mexican Embassy, CONACyT, the Mexican Institute of Petroleum and the National Polytechnic Institute.

Any member of staff is more than welcome to attend however we do need you to register for this event. If you would like to attend, please can you email Emma Jepson no later than Friday 18th June.

On behalf of the organising committee, we look forward to welcoming you to this event and if you have any further questions please feel free to contact Emma Jepson.


Funding Opportunities

Wolfson Research Merit Awards                                                          6 July 10

Jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and BIS, this scheme aims to provide universities with additional support to enable them to attract to this country, or retain, respected scientists of outstanding achievement and potential. Awards are made to the university and as such researchers must remain at the university named on the application.

The focus of the award is salary enhancement. Research expenses are also considered for research costs not suitable for Research Councils' research grants applications and for overseas applicants to support integration into the UK research and funding environment.

Eligibility: Applicants can be of any nationality and must hold, or be guaranteed, a permanent post at a UK university.  All applicants must have their basic salary wholly funded by the university.

Length of tenure: Five years funding after which the award holder continues with the permanent post at the host university.

Place of tenure: UK university.  Please note that these awards are made to the host university and cannot be transferred to another university.

Value: Salary enhancements have been made usually in the range of £10K to £30K per annum. 


Opening date: 11 May 2010
Closing date: 6 July 2010


Prize and Award Opportunities

IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal                                                         1 July 10

The IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal, established in 1986, is named in honor of Dr. Richard W. Hamming, who had a central role in the development of computer and computing science, and whose many significant contributions in the area of information science include his error-correcting codes.

Sponsor: QUALCOMM, Inc.

Presented to: An individual or team, up to three in number.

Scope: For exceptional contributions to information sciences, systems and technology.

Prize: The award consists of a gold medal, a bronze replica, a certificate, and honorarium.

Basis for Judging: In the evaluation process, the following criteria are considered: information transmission, coding, storage and recovery, subject areas include information theory, coding theory, data communication, computer networks, data storage and retrieval, image and speech understanding, originality, breadth, impact on technology, patents/publications, and the quality of the nomination.

Nomination deadline:  1 July

Further information

IEEE John von Neumann Medal                                                            1 July 10

The IEEE John von Neumann Medal, established by the Board of Directors in 1990, is named in honor of the eminent mathematician, John von Neumann, whose work at the Institute for Advanced Study led to the building of the IAS binary stored-program computer in 1952. The IAS machine served as the model for IBM's first all electronic stored-program computer (the 701).

Sponsor: IBM Corp.

Presented to: An individual.

Scope: For outstanding achievements in computer-related science and technology. The achievements may be theoretical, technological, or entrepreneurial, and need not have been made immediately prior to the date of the award.

Prize: The award consists of a gold medal, bronze replica, certificate and honorarium.

Basis for Judging: In the evaluation process, the following criteria are considered: achievements may be theoretical, technological, entrepreneurial, and need not have been made immediately prior to the date of the award, truly outstanding contributions in computer hardware, software or systems art, scope is the processing of information and includes the subject areas of computer architecture, base technologies, systems, languages, algorithms and protocols and application domains, work cited could have appeared in the form of publications, patents, products or simply general recognition by the profession that the individual cited is the agreed upon originator of the advance, overall strength of the nomination.

Nomination deadline: 1 July

Further information