School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

5 December 2011


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News from Head of School

Bank Of America Merrill Lynch Optimization Challenge 

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch recently staged an "optimization" competition, where the task was to present optimized pseudo-code to process share price data. Congratulations to Robert Clarke (2nd year) who won the competition and an iPad2.

ACM international programming competition 

Congratulations to our team: Edgars Sedols, Mihail Kovachev and Pez Cuckow, who took Manchester to 4th in the UK, and 18/70 in the whole of Europe in the European final of the ACM international programming competition last weekend. Full scoring details of our team "Man U are here" are at:

Christmas Party                                   

The Christmas Party this year will be held on Friday 16th December from 3.30pm in the Staff Common Room/Atlas Rooms. Pizza will be provided, as well as music, but please can you bring a bottle of whatever is your preferred tipple!

Festschrift to celebrate Howard Barringer’s 60th birthday

The 60th Higher-Order Workshop on Automated Runtime verification and Debugging (HOWARD-60) Festschrift, celebrating Howard Barringer's 60 Birthday, will be held at the School of Mathematics in the Franck Adams Room, Alan Turing Building, on December the 20th, 2011.

BCS Academy of Computing Symposium, York, April 11th – 12th

The School has two invited speakers (out of 5) at the Symposium - Steve Furber and Carole Goble. The aim of the symposium is to bring together computer science researchers from across the UK to talk about research challenges, policy and strategy.

Nominations required for University Distinguished Achievement Awards

The 2012 University Distinguished Achievement Awards process is underway. Awards will be made in the six categories listed below, please suggest names in any of the categories to one of the people listed before 20th January 2012.


1) Teacher of the Year suggestions to Steve Pettifer, Toby Howard, Graham Gough or Uli Sattler.

2) Researcher of the Year suggestions to Robert Stevens.

3) Undergraduate Student of the Year suggestions to Toby Howard or Graham Gough.

4) Postgraduate Student of the Year (this category is open to both PGR and PGT students) suggestions to Alvaro Fernades or Uli Sattler

5) Professional Support Services and Academic Services Members and Teams of the Year suggestions to Ursula Hayes.

6) Distinguished Achievement AwardGeneral  (any exceptional achievement or contribution not covered by one of the categories above) suggestions to Ursula Hayes or Jim Miles.

Revised Health and Safety Policy

The Health and Safety Policy has been revised, there will be a further revision early in the New Year. All staff should be familiar with the Policy, and suggestions for improvement are welcome. The Policy can be found at:



Global Navigation Satellite Systems: reliance and vulnerabilities      5 Dec 11

A talk by the BCS President, Jim Norton, based on a recent Royal Academy of Engineering report on the hazards of over-reliance on SatNav!

18-20:00, John Dalton Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, M15 6BH


The Geometry of Synthesis: How to make hardware out of software    7 Dec

School Seminar

Dr Dan Ghica. University of Birmingham

14:15, Kilburn Lecture Theatre 1.4

Seminar page

Lodanet workshop                                                                                          7 Dec 11

Manchester Informatics and MDDA are holding a workshop on Wednesday 7th December in the Kilburn building at 10:00am-12:00pm. This is a follow up workshop to the Lodanet Meeting which was held in July. The workshop will discuss setting up student projects that could use the information and data gathered by the Lodanet Sensor that has been placed on Oxford Road.


Funding Opportunities

Future ICT-enabled manufacturing – cross-disciplinary research clusters   

Closing date:   16:00 on 08 February 2012
Issue date:        30 November 2011
Call type:           Invitation for outlines


Funding is available for cross-disciplinary research and networking activities to help new information and communication technologies (ICT) to transform future manufacturing. Advanced manufacturing is highly knowledge intensive and ICT has a huge role to play in improving manufacturing intelligence, supporting collaboration, increasing efficiency, speeding up innovation, and enabling new business models and technologies.

Around £12million is available for this call through EPSRC’s Manufacturing the Future theme and we expect to fund 5-7 grants. Your proposed 5-year programme should bring together innovative ICT/digital research and innovative manufacturing research. To be in scope for this call, the ICT/digital research challenges must relate to the software components of ICT, information science and/or aligning ICT systems with people and processes.

Your programme should include a suite of interlinked research projects and feasibility studies plus substantial networking and outreach activities. Collaboration with industry is essential and we strongly encourage cross-sector approaches and the inclusion of both manufacturing and ICT companies.

More information

EPSRC Knowledge Transfer (KT) Account: Call for Applications

The EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Account (KTA) offers a comprehensive portfolio of flexible support mechanisms designed for EPSRC researchers to overcome barriers as they arise in all of the possible routes to exploitation and application of their EPSRC research base. The Manchester KTA has seen 9 calls for proposals since its start in October 2009.


The University’s KTA Operations Board is pleased to announce a 10th, and final call, for proposals for funding under the following mechanisms:


• Exploitation Secondment Scheme

• Exploration Secondment Scheme

• Concept Development and Feasibility Study Scheme


The closing date for applications to this next call is 18th January 2012, 12 noon.


The University’s Knowledge Transfer Schemes Panel will assess applications on a competitive basis, and proposals that demonstrate strategic alignment with Faculty of EPS will be particularly welcomed.


Projects must spend KTA allocations by 30th September 2012, but longer projects may be supported where there is sufficient additional external contributions and front-loading of costs to KTA allocation agreed.


Academics are eligible to apply for funding from the KTA if they hold a current or closed EPSRC grant, provided the proposed project will support the application or exploitation of their EPSRC-funded research.


Further information about the different KTA schemes, guidance notes and application forms are available online at: Please note that guidance notes and application forms are regularly updated; please download the latest versions from the website.


Prior to submitting an application, academics are strongly advised to contact a member of the KT Team for support and guidance as soon as possible at:


    * 0161 306 6815 or


This Call will be the last in the EPSRC KTA award. There is an on-going and regular application process for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, with next deadline of 16th February 2012.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships in ICT                                                                

There will be funding available from the Welsh Government to fund approximately 3-4 Knowledge Transfer Partnerships of 2 years duration in the broad area of ICT, with a specific request for at least one in electronics.  KTP Advisers have been asked to start bringing Expressions of Interest forward. 


This is only available for projects with the company partner in Wales. 


If anyone has an existing relationship with a company in Wales, please contact Caroline Stanton to discuss opportunities and eligibility for putting an expression of interest forward. 


The funding for KTPs nationally has been reduced over the past 6 months so this opportunity to access additional funding is worthwhile pursuing. 


Caroline Stanton

Knowledge Transfer Team
B48 Sackville Street Building

0161 306 6814