School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

 7 January 2013


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News from the Head of School

Happy New Year

I hope you all had a good break over Christmas and the New Year and that the coming year is a good one for you.

National Science Museum Phantom Limb Exhibition

Steve Pettifer and Toby Howard’s research work into Phantom Limb pain is being showcased in the Pain Less exhibition at the Wellcome Antenna gallery in the National Science Museum. Phantom limb pain is a condition where a person experiences painful sensations in a limb or organ they no longer have, with about 60–80% of amputees developing pain in their missing limb.




Watch a video clip of how one man, Peter, finds rare relief from his chronic Phantom Limb pain through immersive virtual reality developed in the School and in partnership with pain medicine consultant Ilan Lieberman.

Using a specially modified Xbox Kinect, patients with amputations or lost limbs can control the movement of their virtual body on the screen, giving the sensation of controlled movement and gradually rewiring the mismatch between the mind and body.

Raspberry Pi on Granada TV

Andrew Robinson’s raspberry Pi initiative featured on Granada Reports with a demo of a system that helps enforce dieting by issuing shaming tweets when you raid the cupboard. The Granada Reports article is here: and a fuller version is here:

Kilburn Fire alarm test – time changed

The normal time for the Kilburn Building fire alarm test has been changed from 2:00pm Wednesday to 1:55pm Wednesday.

LT1.1 AV equipment

Parts of the AV equipment in LT1.1 have been replaced over the vacation, AV Services report that the system is now fully functional. Please would any staff who have experienced problems over the last semester or anyone who intends to use its more complex features next semester try it out to make sure that there are no remaining issues, if possible well before the start of teaching.


Funding Opportunities

School Research Office

Please contact us through

There is information about support for grant writing and submission at

Royal Society-DFID Africa Capacity Building Initiative                           4 April 2013

·         Closing date: 4 April 2013


The Royal Society and the UK’s Department for International Development are looking to strengthen the research capacity of universities and research institutions in sub-Saharan Africa by developing multidisciplinary, collaborative research consortia with researchers in the UK.


The 3 research priority areas are:

·         Water & sanitation

·         Renewable energy

·         Soil-related research


Two awards are available:

i) Scientific Network Awards; small start-up grants, of up to £25,000 to assist the formation of research consortia and the preparation of applications for the subsequent Programme Grants

ii) Programme Grants; provide up to £1,243,000 over a 5 year period, to support Research Consortia, consisting of three African groups and one UK-based laboratory.

NEMODE Network+ 3K Open Call                                                                     N/A

·         Closing date: N/A


Small research funding of £3,000 for up to 3 months is available from the RCUK Digital Economy Theme, New Economic Models in the Digital Economy (NEMODE) network.


This 3K Open call is especially interested in the development of research concerning:

           Technical innovations relevant to the DE (e.g. Internet of things, Cloud Computing paradigm, Big Data)

           Societal changes in the DE

           Concept of value in the DE

           Value proposition platforms

           Value creating systems (e.g. partnerships, constellations, capabilities, competences) in the DE

           Intellectual Property issues in the DE

           New Business Models in the DE

           Impact of DE in existing supply chains

           Impact of the DE in public sector (e.g. Open Data, transparency, government)

           Digital Marketing

           Privacy, consent, security and trust in the DE

           Virtual property

           Crowd funding

           Digital technologies as enablers of servitized business models.

           Case studies for teaching purposes (e.g. Impact of DE in UK firms, strategic management) 


Although applications may be submitted at any time they will be reviewed on the following dates: 1 Feb, 1 June, 1 Sept and 1 Dec. Successful applicants should commence within 1 month of award. Applications should be submitted by e-mail to

Harvey Prizes for Science & Technology – nominations invited  7 Feb 2013

·         Closing date: 7 Feb 2013


Nominations for the annual Harvey Prize are being invited by the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, rewarding outstanding breakthroughs in science, technology and human health. Two prizes of $75,000 each in the field of Science and Technology are available. These prizes are prestigious; 13 Harvey Prize recipients were subsequently awarded the Nobel Prize.

There are no restrictions on nominees, although self-nominations are not allowed and nominators are requested not to inform the proposed candidates. Nominations are to be submitted by email to by 7 February 2013.

First international conference on internet science               10-11 April 2013

·         Early fee registration (€130) deadline: 10 Mar 2013 (€245 thereafter)


The EC’s first international conference on Internet Science (aka the “In3 conference” [Internet, Interdisciplinarity, Innovation]) will take place on 10 and 11 April 2013 in Brussels.

This highly multidisciplinary conference will cover the areas of Computer Science, Sociology, Art, Mathematics, Physics, Complex systems analysis, Psychology, Economics, Law, Political Science, Epistemology, amongst others. It will also give delegates the opportunity to link with the FP7 EINS network (Network of Excellence in the field of internet science).

A Call for Papers (CfP) has been launched, inviting papers shedding light on Internet Science from all involved disciplines and in particular papers crossing rigid disciplines boundaries.


For Research Councils other than BBSRC and ESRC, most RCUK grants with an end date on or after 1 January 2013 will no longer require a final report. Grants ending before 1 January 2013 will still require a final report in the normal way, unless this requirement has previously been waived.


Research and Grant Awards

Congratulations to all those involved in the following successful awards!

A study using techniques from clinical text mining to compare the narrative experiences of patients with medulloblastoma with factors identified from their hospital records

John Keane (PI), Goran Nenadic

Funding body: The Christie NHS Foundation Trust Paediatric Oncology

Charitable Fund.

Award amount: £9,046 (SCS); total grant award: £25K


This project aims to capture the narrative experiences of patients with medulloblastoma and compare them to the themes and influences that are identified by text mining of the Christie Hospital health records. The findings are intended to provide an evidence-base for clinical service development. Project involves the Christie Hospital and the University of Salford.

EPSRC Small Equipment Fund

An impressive 7 awards of up to £10,000 each have been awarded to the following researchers in the School, following internal competition across the Faculty. The EPSRC funding is being used to purchase small computer science equipment, with the aim of upgrading the small equipment base for early career researchers in the Engineering and Physical Sciences.


·         Mikel Lujan (3 awards)

·         Javier Navaridas (2 awards)

·         Vasilis Pavlidis

·         Aravind Vijayaraghavan

INPUT – Interconnection Networks: Practice unites with Theory

Steve Furber (PI), Mikel Lujan, Javier Navaridas, (led by Durham University)

Funding body: EPSRC

Award amount: £265K (SCS); total grant award: £317K


It’s widely acknowledged that interconnection networks are one of the limiting factors in scaling up computer systems, essentially because of the communication and synchronisation penalties suffered by applications increase with the size of the system. Our overarching objective is to improve the interaction between the practical utilisation of interconnection networks in various (large-scale) parallel and distributed memory systems and the theoretical study of their topologies as a branch of graph theory.


Working with Durham University, and bringing together both theoretically and practically-minded researchers focussing on topologies, network component architecture and performance evaluation, will provide tremendous benefits for designing interconnection networks.


Have we missed something? If you have some award news that you would like us to know about please contact Sarah Chatwin.