School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

25 July 2011


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News from Head of School

Another Farewell!

This week sees another ERVS departure with Doug Edwards leaving at the end of July. Doug originally came to the University in 1971 as a lecturer in Electrical Engineering. He then left us briefly for a two year period starting in 1973 to work for Ferranti before returning to the School of Computer Science in 1975 - and he has been with us ever since! Doug has contributed to the School in many, often colourful(!), ways over the years and we would like to thank him for all his efforts. Doug will be retaining some research links with the School over the coming years, but we would also like to wish him well for his retirement, which I am sure will involve orienteering amongst other things.

Research Support Services Survey

As part of a university review of research support, the faculty is considering revising the structure of research offices.  With a view to obtaining some top-level insight into the views of current users of the research office in the school, during the last week a survey has been carried out among staff on the acstaff mail list.  The following questions were asked:


Question 1: Which of the following models would you prefer for delivery of research support services in the school:

  1. A research office located in the school, where there is a risk from single points of failure impacting on continuity of service provision (this is the model that applies at the moment).
  2. A research office located outside the school, where there is a much reduced risk of single points of failure.


Question 2: How satisfied are you with the current research office in the school:

  1. Extremely satisfied.
  2. Satisfied.
  3. Neither satisfied nor unsatisfied.
  4. Not satisfied.
  5. Extremely unsatisfied.


The following results were obtained (from 33 responses).


Question 1:

  1. 93%
  2. 7%

Question 2:

  1. 97%
  2. 3%
  3. 0%
  4. 0%
  5. 0%


These results show remarkably high levels of satisfaction with the current office, and clearly reflect very positively on Ursula, Helen and Anna.

It has been noted that the first question was expressed in a loaded manner; the wording was mine, and was used to guard against any complaint, when the results are presented as part of the review process, that the survey was carried out in a way that was fishing for the answer (1).

The review process followed so far has been far from satisfactory; we seem to be in a situation in which issues relating to the administration are discussed by senior administrators with little or no reference to academic leadership structures or the users (!) of the services. My take is that the school should vigorously defend the provision of user-facing services close to the users of the services.  The research office clearly provides a user-facing service, and thus should be in the school. The survey clearly supports this view, and its results will be fed into the review process; the way things have been going, our response may be something of a rearguard action, but we are doing our best. 



Energy-Aware Memory Management for Multidimensional Signal Processing 25 July 11

Dr. Florin Balasa, Dept. of Computer Science and Information Systems,

Southern Utah University (SUU).

12:15, Atlas 1, Kilburn Building.

System architecture research at Oracle Labs 25 July 11

Mario Wolczko, Oracle Labs.

14:00, Atlas 1, Kilburn Building.

Please let me know (Lynn) if you would like to talk one-to-one with him.

Opportunities and Challenges for 3-D Integrated System 26 July 11

Vasilis F. Pavlidis, Integrated Systems Laboratory -- Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL).

10:00, IT building room 406.

Asynchronous Network-on-chip 26 July 11

Dr John Bainbridge, Sonics Inc, California.

15:30 in IT building room 406.


If you are considering applying for EU project there will an interesting meeting in October 2011.



FP7 CALL 8 will be launched on 26 July 2011, deadline for submission of proposals: 17 January 2012 (17h Brussels local time)

The FET newsletter may also be of interest:


Research Awards

Cloud Analytics for the Life Sciences

Funding Body: TSB
PI: Carole Goble
CI: Andy Brass
Award Amount: 152123