School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

21 November 2011


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Children in Need

The 9th Annual School of Computer Science Charity Booksale raised £194 and the Auction raised £606, a grand total of £800 for Children in Need. The auction inspired some fierce bidding, with two items raising £70 or more – see for details. Thanks to all who helped to set up the event and to all who contributed.

Dean’s fund

The Dean has announced the outcome of applications to his Strategic Fund. Overall about 50% of applications were funded by value, and the School secures £78.7k out of bids totalling £148k. The successful applications were:


Mikel Lujan “Computer Architecture & Engineering Prototyping using large FPGAs” £20,000

Tom Thomson “Dynamic measurements of nanomagnetic materials and graphene” £20,000

Aravind VijayaraghavanMulti-process ball bonder” £20,000

Nick Filer “Wireless Ray Tracing Educational Land”  £18,702


Nick’s project is an extension of a Second Life educational tool developed as an MSc project by Mona Demaidi.


The School was visited by a joint BCS/IET panel to review the accreditation of our taught programmes, and simultaneously by a Faculty Panel conducting a 5-year review. The combined review provided different perspectives on our teaching and many useful suggestions that will be considered in due course. There remains some work to be done, with some decisions for the school to make, but we hope to achieve accreditation for most of our programmes during 2012.

Quiz Night Thursday 24th November.

CS Soc and the School are organising a Quiz Night this Thursday (24 Nov) at Jabez Clegg. The quiz starts at 6pm and food and drink will be provided. Students, staff and Industry Club members will be allocated to teams on the night. Free to all but places are limited -- registration required -- so don't delay:



Turnitin & GradeMark Workshops                                            22 Nov & 2 Dec 11

Who should read this: Anyone who wants to make use of the Turnitin and GradeMark tool within Blackboard 9.

The EPS eLearning Team are offering two Faculty wide workshops to provide an overview of Turnitin and Grademark. These are in addition to School specific workshops, please check with your Academic Champion for eLearning for further details on those.


TurnitinUK is an online service accessed via standard web browsers and through Blackboard that enables the institution and staff to carry out electronic comparison of students' work against electronic sources including other students' work. Grademark is an application that allows staff to annotate student submissions, use online rubrics for marking and to create reusable feedback and comments.


To book your place on either of the following dates go to the website.

Tuesday 22nd November 1:00 – 2:30 PM

Friday 2nd December 1:30 – 3:00 PM

School Board meeting

1530-1700 in IT building room 407.

Wednesday 23 November 2011 (UG report and Teaching Strategy report)

Update on the Contracts Policy and redeployments

Comments on Policy and Procedure on Contracts of Employment document

Election of the Chair of School Board

Faculty of EPS Open Meeting                                                                    23 Nov 11

All members of staff in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences are invited to attend a Faculty Open Meeting with Professor Colin Bailey, the Vice-President & Dean on Wednesday 23 November, 2 - 3pm in Room J17, Renold Building.


At the meeting Colin will give an update on the Faculty’s Annual Performance Review (APR), outlining the Faculty’s key achievements over the last 12 months and key goals for the next year. The remainder of the meeting will be given over to an open question and answer session on any matters of interest. There is no need to submit questions in advance of the meeting.


You do not need to reply to this invitation. All are welcome. Seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

RCUK Digital Economy Theme: Invitation to apply to participate in Sub-theme Workshops and Networks                                                             30 Nov 11

Call type: Call for participants 

Invitation to apply to participate in workshops to develop research challenges and research networks


The Digital Economy Theme

The Research Councils Digital Economy (DE) Theme is supporting research to rapidly realise the transformational impact of digital technologies on aspects of community life, cultural experiences, future society, and the economy.

EPSRC leads the DE Theme on behalf of the partner research councils AHRC, ESRC and MRC, bringing together a unique community of researchers from diverse disciplines including computer science, engineering, social science, the arts and medical research; a combination of research and skills that coupled with user-led design will deliver impact.


Digital Economy Sub-themes

The DE Theme has formed four 'sub-themes' to describe the research we support (further described at the end of this document):

  • Communities and Culture - As people interact more and more over the web, what might 'community and culture' mean within a digital society?
  • Sustainable Society - Digital technologies can be used to make services more sustainable and enhance current systems (economic, environmental and social), in a way that is accessible, affordable, bespoke and popular.
  • IT as a Utility - To realise the digital economy, digital infrastructure should be so simple, accessible and reliable it is invisible to the consumer.
  • New Economic Models - New business models in a digital economy will create a more flexible, dynamic, resilient and individual-centred economy for the UK.


We now wish to further develop these sub-themes, and so are seeking applications from interested researchers and users to attend a number of one-day workshops, to explore the opportunities and associated research challenges in these sub-themes and also to create a longer term network of researchers and users around the sub-themes.


Closing date:12:00 on 30 November 2011

Issue date: 01 November 2011

Further details

Advanced Investigator Grants and Synergy Grants - Information and Proposal Writing Events                                                                              14 Dec 11

The ERC National Contact Point will hold one of their national information and proposal writing events for Advanced Investigator Grants and Synergy Grants here in Manchester on 14th December. 

The event is open to anyone including those outside the University.  As these sessions have proved very popular in the past please register as soon as possible to ensure you have a place.

The event is open to academic and administrative staff and there is no limit on the number of attendees from one institution.



Funding Opportunities

DE collaboration development awards proposal                                 30 Nov 11

This is a funding opportunity for small travel grants, the UK-US Collaboration Development Award programme, with a focus on the digital economy. The programme is run by the UK Science & Innovation Network with support from the UK's Research Councils. Our goal is to establish long-term collaborations between UK and US research groups and institutions. We will be looking for 1) excellent science and 2) a clear commitment and vision for long-term collaboration.

More information

Further questions

Research in to aging grants                                                                       21 Dec 11

Grant call from Age UK for research to improve the health and wellbeing of older people.  


In this call, we are inviting applications for PhD Studentships, Research Fellowships and Clinical Fellowships. Further information and application packs for download are on this page of the Age UK website:


We are advising anyone interested in applying for a grant to act promptly because the deadline for email submission of Expressions of Interest is Wednesday 21 December 2011 at 5.00pm.