School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

 12 November 2012


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News from the Head of School

HackManchester Success                                                                                            

A team from the School recently took part in HackManchester, a 24 hour coding challenge.  On the 28th October our team coded the night away in the depths of the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) competing in the University Challenge against teams from Leeds, MMU, Salford, Cambridge and others.  And they won!


Miso Zmiric, Ted John and James Roberson built a "Chinese Whispers" program, that using 8 programming languages, 6 encodings, and 6 protocols, sent and encrypted (and then decrypted) a message between 3 different computers (running different OSs) and ended up sending the decoded message to a phone via SMS.


Thanks to Gavin Brown for the work he has put into encouraging students to enter competitions and succeed.


Duncan Hull’s Movember team has already raised awareness for men's health and £118, racing into an amazing 8,315th place! It’s still not too late to join the team and grow your own Mo (subject to ability), or just donate, donate, donate:

Atlas 50th Anniversary                                                                                     5 Dec 12

The first production Atlas was inaugurated at Manchester University on 7th December 1962 by Sir John Cockcroft, the Nobel prize-winning physicist who was Director of the UK’s Atomic Energy Authority.  At the time of its inauguration, Atlas was reckoned to be the world’s most powerful computer. This event marks the 50th anniversary of Atlas and will bring together many of the scientists and engineers who built and operated the machine. To find out more and register for the Symposium, look here:

Annual Children in Need Online Auction                                                  14 Nov 12

A reminder that we're running the annual online Children In Need auction this week, opening on Weds 14 Nov. Last year’s auction raised £606 and to rival that we need your donations of items for the auction. Examples: cameras, bikes, golf clubs, wine, cuddly toys, white wine, toiletry gift packs, sparkling wine, any unwanted gifts you want to re-gift!, hardback books, designer clothes, red wine, gifts, speedboats, jewellery, makeup, games... anything really!


This is a great opportunity to clean out your loft!


Please bring items in to ACSO (Kilburn Room 2.127)  ASAP and they will do the rest...except for bidding, which will be down to you.

Raspberry PI Teachers’ workshop in the School                                                  

60 teachers came to the school last Wednesday for Raspberry Pi workshop.

They learned how to get started with Raspberry Pi and found ideas for livening up lessons. There was a real buzz as the teachers got their hands dirty and built a reaction timer and other games with Python and Scratch. The workshop was supported by student volunteers.

Women Leaders                                                                                                              

Carole Goble was included in BBC Radio 4’s Power List this week – hear Muffy Calder’s interview on iPlayer: 

Kilburn heating experiment announced                                                                   

Following investigations into the Kilburn Building heating system by Estates and external consultants, it has been agreed that tests are required to determine what the impact of a wet heating system (radiators with hot water circulating through them) would be.  During the next couple of weeks a number of oil filled radiators will be placed within offices along one corridor within the building which was identified as a cold spot from reports to the Estates Help Desk (see, it does pay to tell them when rooms are too hot or too cold). Please continue to report any issues regarding hot, cold or stuffy rooms to If there are any questions about the pilot project please speak to Karen Varty.

The BBC @MediaCityUK is looking for academic experts

The BBC in Manchester is looking for academic experts, could it be you?

MIB rebrands to Manchester Institute of Biotechnology

The Manchester Institute of Biotechnology is celebrating its name change this week through a series of events. It’s felt the new brand will help people understand better the wide range of research work taking place at the centre.

MIB has 60 research groups with approximately 120 postdoctoral researchers and 300 full time postgraduate students who come from the disciplines of Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, Chemical Engineering and Medicine.


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


Christian Y. A. Brenninkmeijer, Chris Evelo, Carole Goble, Alasdair J. G. Gray, Paul Groth, Steve Pettifer, Robert Stevens, Antony Williams and Egon L.
Willighagen. Scientific Lenses over Linked Data: An approach to support task specific views of the data. A vision. In 2nd International Workshop on Linked
Science 2012-Tackling Big Data (LISC2012), co-located with 11th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC2012), Boston, MA, USA, 12 November 2012.

Daniel Goodman, Behram Khan, Salman Khan, Mikel Lujan, Ian Watson, Software transactional memories for Scala, Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing, Available online 5 October 2012, ISSN 0743-7315, 10.1016/j.jpdc.2012.09.015.


S. Pettifer, J. Velterop, T. K. Attwood, L. Harland, J. Marsh, D. Thorne, and A. Tunbridge. Reuniting data and narrative in scientific articles. Insights,
25(3):288-293, 2012.


School seminar                                                                                              14 Nov 12

Dr Eerke Boiten. University of Kent “Formal methods and cryptography: the beauty and the beast” 14th November, 14:15, Lecture Theatre 1.4, Kilburn Building

Seminar home page

FutureEverything - Manchester Hackathon                                           17 Nov 12

FutureEverything, Manchester City Council and Open Data Manchester are running a day event for coders and developers to use the open data sets from DataGM to develop applications and lay the groundwork for future digital services in Manchester and beyond.


The event is free to enter, all developers of course retain ownership of their work and there are a series of cash prizes to be won. The date is 17th November 2012.

Further information

School seminar                                                                                              21 Nov 12

Correct and efficient GPU programming

Dr Anton Lokhmotov. ARM

21st November, 14:15, Lecture Theatre 1.4, Kilburn Building

Seminar home page

Engagement@manchester                                                                         21 Nov 12

13:00 - 14:00, University Place 2.220

Are you interested in public engagement? Do you want to meet other like-minded people at the University? Would you like to hear some inspiring ideas?


Then come along to this series of lunchtime meetings exploring different aspects of public engagement. There is a wealth of expertise across our university and we are running these free events to help us share engaging ideas and experiences.


This month we explore - Collaboration between the Arts and Sciences. We look at how arts and sciences disciplines across the university and beyond have worked together to create some amazing engagement activities and opportunities. We hear from Jenna Ashton (School of Arts, Histories & Cultures), Naomi Kashiwagi (The Whitworth Art Gallery), and Kate Dack (Nowgen).


No need to book – just turn up and bring your lunch. We will supply tea, coffee and biscuits. 

Further details


Funding Opportunities

School Research Office

Please contact us through

There is information about support for grant writing and submission at

Faculty of EPS Strategic Fund                                                                7 Dec 2012

·         Closing date: 7 Dec 2012


This call was emailed to all EPS staff on 08/11/12.

The Faculty has strategic funding to further support research and teaching activities in the following areas:

·         Proposals for Pump-Priming Research (up to £10K)

·         Proposals for Teaching Equipment (up to £20K)

·         Proposals for small-scale research equipment (up to £20K)

·         Proposals for enhancing our PhD education (up to £10K)

·         Proposals for enhancing the UG and PGT student experience (up to £10K)


All proposals (2 pages maximum) must be submitted to Prof. Colin Bailey ( by 7th December 2012. All projects must be completed by the end of July 2013.

Industrial partnership awards (IPA)                                                        9 Jan 2013

·         Next closing date: 9 Jan 2013


The BBSRC has a science-led responsive mode grant for research that is linked with industry. The industrial partner is required to contribute in cash at least 10% of the full economic cost of the project; however the BBSRC has stated that these IPA projects are normally funded in preference to standard grants of equivalent scientific merit.

CHIST-ERA: Call Open                                                                             22 Jan 2013

·         Closing date: 4pm 22 Jan 2013

The European Coordinated Research on Long term Challenges in Information and Communication Sciences and Technologies (CHIST-ERA) Call is looking for highly innovative, multidisciplinary and trans-national collaborative projects to start in Oct 2013.

In general projects will last 2 or 3 years, include investigators from at least 3 countries and cover the EPSRC’s research topic on Context- and Content-Adaptive Communication Networks (C3N)

More detailed information on CHIST-ERA 2012 is available.