School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

12 July 2010


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News from Head of School

Carole Goble Elected as Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering                  

Congratulations to Carole on her election as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, where she joins Steve Furber, Alasdair Rawsthorne and Chris Taylor from the school. The Fellowships exist to honour “the UK's most distinguished engineers” and only around 60 are elected each year from all branches of engineering.

Animation 10 Festival                                                                                                     

The Animation 10 Festival (, including the prize giving and a computer science workshop, was held at The Lowry on Friday 9th July, attended by 450 school pupils, plus teachers and families. This is a high profile event, coordinated by Toby Howard with the support of a large team helping with organisation, judging, audio-visual, etc. The team deserve considerable credit for putting on such a successful and professionally run event, which is certainly enhancing the reputation of the school, while hopefully playing a significant role engaging young people with computer science,

Doctoral Training Centre Proposal

The school has been invited, along with 9 others, to bid for a Doctoral Training Centre in Computer Science, with a deadline for the proposal in August.  Jon Shapiro is coordinating the bid from the school, and may well in due course send round requests for input or action. As such centres are not only prestigious, but of significant financial value (around £2 million), please try to support Jon in this important task.

Academic Management Tree

The current management tree for academic staff is available here; it hopefully contains few if any surprises.  If you have any comments/objections, please let me know.

Newsletter Frequency

The Newsletter will be published every two weeks from now until September.

Alan Turing                                                                                                                       

Alan Turing was voted best 'Information Pioneer of all time'.  To read more and to see who he beat, click here.



School barbecue reminder                                                                         16 July 10

The School barbecue will be held on Friday from 3pm in the Kilburn quad.  Food will be served but if you would like to drink please bring your own.

CICADA Conference on Mathematics and Industry                            14 July 10

One-day Conference on Mathematics and Industry

9:15-17:15, Frank Adams 1, Alan Turing Building

In this conference we are bringing together eminent speakers who have worked at the interface between mathematical research and industrial applications with a group of young researchers who are employed in the CICADA project. The whole meeting will have a strong applications bent and will demonstrate how mathematical ideas can unlock diverse, difficult problems of practical importance:

    *  how do we estimate the risk of rare---potentially catastrophic---events?

    *  the use of the theory of networks to devise marketing strategies

    *  how to devise/design auctions (as has been done for the allocation of 3G bandwidth)

    *  given the ubiquity of embedded digital control systems working in

      physical, noisy environments, how do we design these and verify

      the safety of such designs?

More information

If you would like to register for the event please email Helen Harper.

An insight into Research - Dinosaurs and Jet Engines                        28 Jul 10

1-15.00, in room G107, Alan Turing Building.


The event will consist of:

1. Dr. Kevin Tan talking on:  "3D journey through Jet engine". An
innovation in Engineering education- 3D Jet Engine Design. The year's
Royal Academy of Engineering prestigious award winner!

(Brief intro: Students, using 3D glasses, can watch an exhilarating
interactive video that takes them on a tour of a Rolls-Royce Trent 900
jet engine created by Dr. Kevin Tan. The video shows the research,
modern materials and novel manufacturing techniques and testing needed
to create environmentally friendly aircraft. The talk will give
stimulating insight into the work of material scientists and engineer

2. Dinosaur models in 3D stereo equipments. (Animations in a virtual
reality set up)

3. Zartasha Mustansar talking on: Advanced Engineering and Computer
Methods in Palaeontology Strength of Tyrannosaurus rex Bones after
Injury and Healing

The talk will discuss the strength of the upper arm bone (humerus) of
the largest known Tyrannosaurus rex, named ?Sue?. In life, Sue?s
humerus was damaged by a tendon avulsion and became infected with
bacteria, eroding away healthy bone. X-ray tomography scans provide
evidence that this injury was repaired through bone remodelling.  The
aim of the study is to determine whether the healed humerus could
support a compressive load of 400kg along its axis. This load is a
ball park figure of what palaeontologists believe the bone would have
experienced during normal usage. This talk also seeks to educate the
audience in the use of computers and engineering techniques to test
the mechanical strength of the fossil bones. This will help biologists
design virtual reality experiments for better understanding of how
materials like bone behaves.

The event will be hosted by WiSET (Women in Science, Engineering and
Technology) but everyone is welcome.  Refreshments will be provided.

To reserve a place email your name and School to


Research Awards

Visualising G-Protein Coupled Receptors

Steve Pettifer

Funding body: EPSRC Vacation Bursary Scheme 2010

Award amount: £2,500

Advanced Sleep Activity and Rest Monitoring

Paul Abeles and Steve Pettifer

Funding body: NWDA

Award amount: £40k