School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

23 January 2012


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News from Head of School

EPSRC visit

The School hosted a visit from the EPSRC ICT Theme on Wednesday 18th January. As well as a number of small topical meetings with EPSRC portfolio managers, Liam Blackwell (ICT Theme Leader) addressed an open meeting at which he explained EPSRC’s Capability Shaping exercise and the meaning of ‘Importance’, which must now be identified for in grant application. Liam concluded by showing that because of the profile of existing commitments there will be substantially more funding available for EPSRC grants submitted during the coming 6 months, but after that new funding will become much harder to obtain. The School is considering how to exploit this situation.

Gifted and Talented visits

Last week the School hosted two days of visits from 70 Gifted & Talented schoolchildren (aged 13/14) from around the North West. The events were organised by John Latham and Dave Thorne, and on each morning the kids had inspirational talks and demonstrations from IBM, Samantha Bail, Sean Bechhofer, and Toby Howard. In the afternoon John and Dave ran introductory programming workshops. Feedback from the students and the teachers was very positive, making this another successful and rewarding outreach/long-term recruitment event. If you'd like to get involved with Schools Liaison activities, please contact David Rydeheard.

Thierry Scheurer - retirement

Thierry will be retiring at the end of January after over 36 years’ service.

There is a card for you to sign, and a collection, in the ACSO office (room 2.127).

There will be a presentation and leaving event (drinks & nibbles) on Friday, 27th January at 3.30 p.m. in the Staff Common Room.


University of Manchester Image-based Modelling Club                      25 Jan 12

The inaugural meeting of the University of Manchester Image-based Modelling Club will be held from 2.00pm to 4.00pm on 25 January 2012 in room 0.1.6 Dover Street Building (building number 70 on the Campus Map).


The aim of the club is to promote cross-disciplinary networking between all researchers on campus interested in the use of imaging to generate models for computer simulation. The club provides the opportunity to learn about techniques used in other disciplines and make new contacts for collaboration on research proposals. It also provides a voice with critical mass which may have an input into how University IT Services for research are organized in this area. The latter point is particularly timely when faced with reduced research budgets and the growing pressure to more effectively share resources.


This initiative is led by Manchester Informatics and the Manchester X-ray Imaging Facility with organizational support from IT Services. It follows the format of the successful University GPU Club. 


Please send an email to register.

Winning EU R&D Funding event                                                               25 Jan 12

Framework Programme 7 Forming a Team & Writing a Proposal Master Class
The Palace Hotel, Oxford Street, Manchester, M60 7HA
Registration: 09:30 – Event closes 16:30


Could you benefit from?

·         A share of the €52 Billion R&D funding available

·         Being at the cutting edge of innovation and working in collaboration with world class organisations

The event is applicable to all sectors and the topics covered provide a comprehensive view of the main areas that any organisation planning to participate in FP7 should be aware of.

·         Making the right strategic decisions about participation

·         Taking the right approach to minimise the cost of participation

·         Working with the EU Commission on your proposal

·         Available support

·         Building a team

·         Work integration

·         Matching roles to partners

·         Consortium organisation

·         Partner search methods

·         Building a proposal

·         Proposal section by section view

This event will offer an opportunity for in depth examination of the task of putting together a winning proposal under Framework 7 and provide you with all the information you require to make strategic decisions about participation.

Grant Writing: Pathways to Impact Statements                                     26 Jan 12

10:00 – 14:00 (includes lunch), Sackville Street Building, G13D


Academics are required to articulate the potential ‘impact’ that their research may have on society, culture and the economy by writing a ‘Pathway to Impact’ in grant funding applications. The session provides:

  • Input from academic colleagues talking about the impact of their research and their experience of writing a ‘pathway to impact’
  • Examples of pathways to impact and the chance to review and critique from reviewer perspective
  • Context of the impact agenda– including definitions and distinctions between impact summaries and ‘pathways to impact’, funding body requirements & REF context
  • An introduction into the key elements of articulating impact through the development of a ‘pathway to impact’
  • An opportunity to discuss barriers and considerations for carrying out research impact

To register please email Dee-Ann Johnson.

More information (PDF)

8th annual IET/BCS Manchester Turing Lecture                                  28 Feb 12

The School of Computer Science are delighted to announce that the 8th Annual IET/BCS Manchester Turing Lecture will take place on Tuesday February 28th 2012 at University Place Theatre B - registration from 5:00pm, lecture at 5:30pm.


This year's speaker is Professor Ray Dolan, Mary Kinross Professor of Neuropsychiatry, UCL and Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL. Ray will be delivering a lecture titled 'From cryptanalysis to cognitive neuroscience - a hidden legacy of Alan Turing'.


The lecture will see Professor Dolan discuss the heritage of Turing's work and its ongoing effects on computing today. It promises a fascinating insight into Turing's strongly Bayesian problem solving approaches and how they have advanced developments in understanding the workings of the brain and the human mind.

The lecture is open to BCS and IET members, University staff and students and the general public. Following the talk the IET are hosting a drinks reception and book signing in the foyer of University Place.  Both the lecture and the reception are free of charge.

Further information and registration

Standing up for science media workshop                                              23 Mar 12

Sense about Science will be holding a Standing up for science media workshop at the University of Manchester on Friday 23 March.  This full day event is free and for early career researchers in all sciences, engineering and medicine (PhD students, post-docs or equivalent in first job).


During the workshops we combine discussion about science related controversies in media reporting with practical guidance and tips for how to deal with the media.  Please find further information here.


These workshops are very popular and places are limited.  To apply send a CV and covering letter explaining your reasons for applying and stating any affiliations you hold to Victoria Murphy.

Closing date for applications is Friday 9th March.


Funding Opportunities

Funding available for small projects to enhance the student experience       

                                                                                                                              3 Feb 12

We are once again accepting applications for funding for small projects aimed at enhancing the student experience for current Manchester undergraduate and postgraduate students. This funding is available from the Learning Enrichment Fund, which is made up of donations to Your Manchester Fund from alumni, staff and friends of The University of Manchester.


Projects should complement the University’s strategic agenda and should potentially benefit multiple groups of students, or the student body as a whole. The funding is open to both University of Manchester staff and students to apply for.


Application forms and  guidelines along with further information can be found online at


Projects that have been supported before include: the Manchester Leadership Programme, JRUL, Manchester RAG, Halls of Residence schemes, Disability Support Office, the International Society, the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra and the Peer Support & PASS Scheme, amongst many others. Just under £400,000 has been given out to deserving projects to date. So far this year, we have awarded funds to projects aimed at improving facilities in the library and welcoming international students to Manchester.


If you have any questions please contact my colleague, Rob Summers on 52192.


Applications should be sent to by 5pm on Friday 3 February 2012.


Research Awards

Exploiting DSToolkit and Quorator for Data Integration with Entity Resolution for Greater Manchester Police

Funding Body: EPSRC (KTA Exploitation)
PI: Norman Paton
Award Amount: £47979


Funding Body: EU
PI: Terri Attwood
Award Amount: £121552


Funding Body: EPSRC
PI: Steve Furber
Award Amount: £418560