School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

22 October 2012


News from HoS

This Week

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NaCTeM Seminars


News from the Head of School

2012 SCS Careers Fair

The 2012 SCS Careers Fair held on Tuesday 16th October was the biggest and probably the most successful ever, overflowing from its normal home on the Lower First floor to fill the Ground floor foyer as well.  There were 21 companies and organisations from ARM to Goldman Sachs and from Coca Cola to Amazon.  The Fair was packed with students, several of whom spontaneously expressed their thanks to the School for organising it. The companies were very satisfied with the attendance and the contacts they made with our students. Thanks to Mabel Yau and her student helper Andrew Ellul for organising the event.

Macmillan coffee morning success                                                                           

The University's first coordinated Macmillan Coffee Morning on 28 September raised nearly £2,000 for a very worthy cause.


Staff and students who’d never met before worked together to organise events ranging from a homemade cake sale in University Place and a cake competition in the Alan Turing Building, to a dedicated Coffee Morning at Christie’s Bistro. Food On Campus also donated money from their drinks sales on Friday morning.

Adam Woof, Manager of Christie’s Bistro, who was one of the Coffee Morning organisers, said: “On behalf of all the organisers, I’d like to thank everyone who donated, baked cakes and helped out. We’ve raised a fantastic amount for a great cause.”


You can see photos from the Coffee Morning at: 

Wear It Pink Day                                                                                              26 Oct 12

We are supporting The Breast Cancer Campaign once again:

I am looking forward to seeing people wearing pink on Friday 26th Oct, but if you don’t feel able to do that (or if you just don’t own anything pink), we are organising a tombola for Friday 26th October, so please support this by donating items NOW - unwanted gifts, bottles, chocolates, teddies etc.  Please bring gifts for the tombola to ACSO - Kilburn room 2.127.

ACM Programming Competition                                                                                 

The School will be supporting up to 2 teams (each of 3 students) in entering the international ACM programming competition.  Details at


Teams will have to register by 9th November, but before that we have to decide who will enter.  Our school policy will be to give first refusal for places on one team to whoever entered in the previous year, so others can benefit from experience.  The other team will be decided by Gavin Brown (and by self-nomination) based on enthusiasm and excellence in programming ability.  Next Thursday, 25th October, at 5pm in G23, we will have trials, tackling hard coding challenges.  Please encourage your students to come along and have a go.

Images of Research Competition - Cast Your Vote Now!                                    

Researchers at The University of Manchester were challenged to share their work using a single, inspiring image and short description.  This year’s theme is “Making a Difference”. The images demonstrate how research being carried out at The University of Manchester is affecting the wider world. You can help to decide on the winning entry. Voting is open to all staff and students at the University and beyond (closes 5 November).


The shortlisted entries are being exhibited at the John Rylands Library Deansgate (17 October – 5 November 2012), but you can also vote online at:

News from the Dean

£1 billion campus Master Plan announced

In the last few days, you may have seen reports about the decision by the Board of Governors to approve a new Estates Master Plan and invest £1 billion in our buildings and facilities over the next ten years. The Master Plan proposes the creation of a new Engineering campus, relocating the Schools of CEAS, EEE, MACE, and Materials. Whilst this is great news for EPS and the University, the new masterplan will not affect the plans already in place for continued maintenance and improvement on the North Campus, which will remain home for the existing academic Schools for the next six years until the new engineering campus development is complete.


It is important that we manage communication about these changes carefully in order to manage expectations and reassure students. The move to the new engineering campus will occur largely in a single move once the new campus is complete (expected to be 2018) in order to avoid any gradual decline in activity and services on the North Campus. In addition, there will continue to be investment in both development and maintenance projects to ensure that the environment for teaching and research remains high quality throughout this interim period.


Further information about the development and maintenance of the North Campus, along with the development of the new campus, will be communicated regularly through School and Faculty communication channels.

Colin Bailey


Featured publications this week (by Robert Stevens)

This is a regular section in the weekly newsletter.  This is a small step to help us all to know what research is happening in the School and what is being published. Please continue to add all of your new publications to eScholar, but also send ones that you wish to advertise in the newsletter to



School seminar: The Theory of Darwinian Neurodynamics              25 Oct 12

15:00, lecture theatre 1.3 Kilburn building

Chrisantha Fernando (Lecturer in Cognitive Science)

EECS, Queen Mary University of London

Seminar website

OpenACC Directives Programming for Accelerators                           25 Oct 12

Cray, the supercomputing company, are running a session on OpenACC Directives Programming for Accelerators on Thursday 25 October. In theory, you can take a serial FORTRAN or C code and add a handful of OpenACC directives (aids to the compiler) to produce executables that will run in parallel on multicore and accelerators such as GPUs.

Full details and booking forms

Security Guest lecturers                                                                                  Various

The Computer and Network Security, and IT Governance modules have many guest speakers which you may like to attend.


Lectures are:

  • Will Roebuck, E RADAR, Governance, Compliance and Risk across the online economy 5 Nov '12, 11:45 to 12:30 (Room 2.15)
  • Royd Whittington, Barclays, IT Governance 5 Nov '12, 16:00 - 17:00 (presentation) and 3 Dec '12, 15:30 to 16:30 (Q&A/discussion) (Room 2.15)
  • Jon Noel, Websense, Mobile/BYOD/Social Networking: threats and risks 6 Nov '12, 14:00 to 15:00 (Room 2.19)
  • Paul Vlissidis, NCC Group, Penetration Testing 13 Nov '12, 12:00 to 13:00 (Room 2.19)
  • Mark Jackson, CISCO, Security Architecture 13 Nov '12, 14:00 to 15:00 (Room 2.19)
  • Ben Hanson, NCC Group, Digital Forensics 20 Nov '12, 12:00 to 13:00 (Room 2.19)
  • Tim Armit, Clifton Risk Management, Business Continuity 26 Nov '12, 15:30 to 16:30 (Room 2.15)
  • Jon Carpenter. McAfee, 27 Nov '12, Malware 12:00 to 13:00 (Room 2.19)


Very informal...but just in case the numbers are likely to swell beyond the room capacity, please contact Daniel Dresner to give an indication of which session you're thinking of coming to. (Just to give you some 2.15 has 50 seats and there are 39 students taking the module.)


Funding Opportunities

School Research Office

There is information about support for grant writing and submission at

Neuroscience Research Institute - Invitation to apply - 2013 PhD Studentship Scheme                                                                                    14 Nov 12

The Neuroscience Research Institute invites applications under its 2013 PhD studentship scheme. 


The project begins in October 2013 and provides full support for UK/EU tuition fees, associated research costs and a tax-free stipend.  (Applications are limited to UK/EU nationals due to the nature of the funding)


Six potential PhD studentships are available providing research opportunities in the following areas:

·         Quantifying the contribution of melanopsin to the processing of complex visual information.

·         The role of reverb genes in neural control of behaviour, learning and memory.

·         Defining the parameters of efficient and lasting word learning: an fMRI study of language training with control and aphasic participants.

·         A cross-disciplinary experimental and computational approach to Information Processing in the Thalamo-Cortical Microcircuit.

·         Identifying the role of neuroinflammation and microgliosis in lysosomal storage diseases.

·         Social Cognition, Antipsychotics and Oxytocin.


Deadline date is the 14 November.

Further information