School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

16 May 2011


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News from Head of School

Impact Studies for Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The forthcoming REF will include an assessment of research impact as 20% of the overall assessment ( As such, this will be extremely important to the reputation and income of the school.


The assessment of impact will involve case studies, at the level of one for every 10 members of staff submitted, so the school will need to return around 6, and is be seeking to identify a larger collection of candidates. The assessment of impact covers non-academic impact, potentially of many different kinds. Thus research that has given rise to spin-out companies or that has been implemented in products, would be considered to provide mainstream examples of impact. There are quite specific criteria, however; for example, the impact must have taken place between 1st January 2008 and 31st July 2013, but the research can have taken place up to 15 years before the assessment period.


We are currently approaching members of staff who may be associated with candidate case studies to ask them to complete pro formas that relate case studies to the criteria. If you have been approached by Howard Barringer to complete such a pro forma, please do so within the timescales he has provided, as we need to know where we stand and to identify follow-on actions. If you have not been approached but can think of a possible case study, please discuss this with Howard in the near future. The details are at:


Encryption of Laptops note from Faculty

Having improved in our experience in encrypting laptops, we would like to update you on what the current situation is.


We have well established processes for Windows and Linux single boot systems. These have been working well across the University with over 1800 encrypted.


Following on from initial problems, we now have an agreed process for encrypting MACs. We have yet to build up our experience here but initial testing by the Encryption Group has proven successful.


We are still testing encryption multiple boot configurations.


Regardless of the configuration of your own laptop, we would like you to register it for encryption so that we can understand and plan for our upcoming workloads in conjunction with other activities. You can do this by contacting the Service Desk on 65544 or by completing the web form at Please provide as much information about your configuration when logging the call, including notes on problems encountered if you have previously tried to encrypt your own.

We will then contact you and arrange an appropriate time for the work to be completed.


Many Thanks, EPS IS Team.



Resource Constrained Reliable Processor Micro-/Architectures against Soft Errors 16 May 11

12:30, Atlas 1, Kilburn Building

Prof. Jie Hu, New Jersey Institute of Technology, NJ, USA

CloudCache: Expanding and Shrinking Private Caches 16 May 11

16:00, Atlas 1, Kilburn Building

Hyunjin Lee, Department of Computer Science, University of Pittsburgh

Efficient and Scalable Cache Coherence for Many-Core Architectures 17 May 11

12:00, Atlas 1, Kilburn Building

Alberto Ros, Technical University of Valencia

Mixed Speculative Execution Models 17 May 11

15:15, Atlas 1, Kilburn Building

Polychronis Xekalakis, Intel Labs Barcelona

APT seminar 19 May 11

A Declarative Language and Compiler for Hardware System Modeling and Design

16:00, 2.15, Kilburn Building

Rishiyur S. Nikhil, CTO, Bluespec Inc.


Prize & Award Opportunities

Reminder: Low Carbon and Environment Competition 2011 20 May 11

UMIC and UMIP are pleased to announce the launch of the Low Carbon and Environment Competition 2011.

The competition is open to all University of Manchester academics and staff members and we are looking forward to hearing your ideas.

Visit the UMIC Innovation Portal to find out more.


New Grants and Awards

Arabic speech recognition and understanding: a hybrid approach

Funding Body: Qatar University
PI: Allan Ramsay
Award Amount: $206200


Staff news


Norman Paton - 1 year from 1st November 2011 following on from HoS position.
Sean Bechhofer - Lent Term 2012 (Oxford e-Research Centre & short visit to Mark Musen's group in Stanford USA).
Sophia Ananiadou - January-July 2012 (strengthening existing collaboration between NaCTeM and Elsevier).
Suzanne Embury - February to August 2012 (gearing up to a normal level of research activity following maternity leave and period of part-time work).

The School also supports a case from Terri Attwood, subject to this being approved by FLS - January to September 2012 (to carry out feasibility project with Wiley-Blackwell).