School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

26 March 2012


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News from Head of School

NaCTeM featured in Time magazine

Time magazine ran an article on the future potential of text mining:

The article describes NaCTeM’s role as the first publicly funded text mining centre in the world.

NUDT delegation visits the School

The School was visited by a delegation from the National University of Defense and Technology (NUDT), P. R. China, led by the President of NUDT, Professor Yang Xuejun, will visit Manchester on the 23rd of March 2012. Prof. Yang has been the Architect-in-Chief of Chinese Supercomputers including Yinhe–III, Yinhe-X, Yinhe-Y and recently Tianhe-1 and Tianhe-1A (the World No.1 Supercomputer of Top 500 in November 2010 - The group was particularly interested in the early history of the School as NUDT had built the first computer in China and had studied the designs of the Baby before building their own machine. A Memorandum of understanding was signed by the Dean that should bring 10 funded PhD students to the Faculty.


eHealth Webinar                                                                                               3 Apr 12

The Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership will be conducting a webinar on the 3rd of April for all interested UoM staff to join.


Please dial in using the number and web address on the email below at 12:30pm on the 3rd of April


The Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP) is a public-private partnership between the US FDA, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association, data owners, and academia.  

OMOP is designed to help improve the monitoring of drugs for safety. The partnership is conducting a multi-year initiative to research methods that are feasible and useful to analyze existing healthcare databases to identify and evaluate safety and benefit issues of drugs already on the market.  Utilizing databases of patient medical records and administrative claims, researchers are developing and testing various analytical methods for their ability to detect and evaluate drug safety issues over time. OMOP promotes transparency by placing all information of interest in the public domain as quickly as possible -

We will discuss with you an overview of the first three years of OMOP research activities including the infrastructure/tools, methods, and initial results.

Additional information

Dial In Details:


Step 1: Dial-In

United Kingdom: 08004960576 (Toll Free)

Access Code: 4025311


Step 2: Web Login

Manchester Energy Challenges Event                                                     16 Apr 12

Manchester Energy is aiming to bring together the energy related ranging research and educational expertise we have at the University. This coordination is beginning with the Manchester Energy Foresight programme which is funded by the KTA scheme and which is bringing together futures studies, horizon scanning, capacity building and strategic development. It aims at creative linkages between producers of scientific research, and its users in the private and public sectors.  This programme has been running for around 1 month and has mainly focused on developing a better understanding of the  strength of the University of Manchester position on both the international and national scales. The colleagues from Manchester Business School who are carrying out this work are considering the RCUK, EU and industrial landscapes to judge the sustainability of future funding positions. They are also examining where opportunities exist to maximise impact of our energy research.


The next major step as part of the foresight programme is an event on the 16th of April. At the event we hope to develop a shared understanding of the strengths of the University in energy and then attempt to identify a number of energy grand challenges both in specific research themes and, most importantly, across our research themes. The cross-research theme challenges  would ideally provide platforms for cooperation between academics working in different areas of energy and would show vision and thought leadership by the University. The grand challenges should be provocative and inspirational, not just incremental. An example of an area in which we could have a grand challenge is attached having been kindly drafted by colleagues from Tyndall. Should the University decide to pursue the Electric City as an area for a  grand challenge, colleagues in areas such as renewable energy, energy storage, electrical networks, demand reduction, human behaviour, the built environment and urban planning  would work together to try and develop a roadmap for this agenda. In the discussions on the 16th we will invite a small number of carefully selected externals who will also ensure we can justify the relevance of the proposed challenges to both the public and private sector.


If you work in the energy area and if you feel you can contribute to this agenda through the development of energy challenges, I encourage you to attend. Participation of colleagues from across the University working in different areas of energy is vital to the process. If we do not have representation from each area in which we carry out energy research, it is possible that this area will not be included in any of the grand challenges. Registration can be made on-line via


In addition, if you have any ideas for cross-theme grand challenges, I would encourage you to submit them to me for consideration. To re-iterate the above, these challenges should be longer term ‘inspirational’ ideas that could bring together colleagues from across the research community and which could provide a platform for Manchester to be noticed on the national and international stage.


Any comments or feedback on the above and the concept of developing a number of grand challenges at the University level would also be very much appreciated.

Ian Cotton


Funding Opportunities

School Research Office

There is information about support for grant writing and submission at

EPSRC: Interdisciplinary Research Collaborations (IRCs) in Sensing Systems for Healthcare                                                                                12 Jun 12

Invitation for outlines: EPSRC is making up to £25M available to fund up to 3 IRCs in disruptive sensing systems in Healthcare. Intentions to submit must be submitted by 16 April 2012 and the deadline for outline proposals is 12 June 2012.


Closing Date: 12 June 2012


More information

UK ICT Pioneers 2012                                                                                  13 Jun 12

Expression of interest: This is a unique partnership between EPSRC and key stakeholders that aims to recognise the most exceptional UK PhD students in ICT-related topics who are able to communicate and demonstrate the excellence and exploitation potential of their research.


Closing Date: 13 June 2012


More information