School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

 4 February 2013


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News from the Head of School

Matthew Harrison: new PGR Admissions Officer

Matthew Harrison has taken up post as PGR Admissions Officer, covering Chris Farrington until November 2013.


Matthew has recently relocated to Manchester having worked for the last three years for the School of Social Sciences at The University of Edinburgh. In his most recent role at Edinburgh he had a variety of responsibilities supporting PGR students, both on their traditional PhD programme and on their CDT. He also co-ordinated the allocation of PhD studentships.

FET Flagships

The first phase of the EU’s FET flagship programmes have been announced. The FET Flagship programme is a 10-year, 10B programme to undertake grand challenges. Two projects have been funded, and the School is participating in both – staff from NEST are involved in the Graphene flagship and staff from APT are involved in the Human Brain Project (HBP).

The mission of the Graphene Flagship is to take graphene and related layered materials from academic laboratories to society, revolutionize multiple industries and create economic growth and new jobs in Europe.

The HBP Flagship aspires to gain profound insights into what makes us human, to develop new treatments for brain diseases and to build revolutionary new computing technologies. If the project succeeds it will create a paradigm shift for computing as a whole, moving away from current models of “bit precise” computing towards new techniques that exploit the stochastic behaviour of simple, very fast, low-power computing devices embedded in intensely recursive architectures. The economic and industrial impact of such a shift is potentially enormous. The APT group expects to form a major part of the project, especially during the second phase during which APT will be building a revolutionary new computer.

Government funding for Computer Science

On 24th January David Willets announced an additional £600M of research funding:

The funding includes £189 million for big data and energy efficient computing for analysing big data sets.

Computer Science to form part of new EBacc

The Royal Society’s 2012 report chaired by Steve Furber called for the inclusion of Computer Science in the new English Baccalaureate. On 30th January 2013 Michael Gove announced that Computer Science will be a part of the EBacc:

The rapid shift from IT to CS teaching in schools that is taking place should make a substantial change to public understanding of Computer Science and change the nature of recruitment to Computer Science degrees.

Where Manchester leads, Google follow

The School will be issuing a free Raspberry Pi to each 1st year undergraduate student in September 2013. On 29th January Google announced a similar scheme:

Byte Cafe refurbishment

£20k has been obtained from the Dean’s strategic fund for improvements to the Byte Cafe. The specific changes will be decided after consultation with students and Food on Campus, but it is expected that the money will be mainly spent on new furniture and coffee making facilities. This adds to the funding obtained for the refurbishment of IT407 announced in January.



Copyright Guidance Service

The Library’s Copyright Guidance Service supports academic staff, students and researchers with regards to copyright issues affecting their day-to-day work.


The practice of good Copyright awareness is becoming evermore important, especially in the creative atmosphere of Higher Education institutions.  Increased use of online resources and developing technologies mean there is more scope for copyright infringements. It is crucial that whilst creativeness is fostered and rewarded we at the same time ensure the protection of your own work and that of others.


Our online copyright guide answers common queries and outlines the practical measures that you can take both to protect your own work and to avoid infringing copyright law. The guide also provides useful web resources highlighting sources of digital media you can use in developing your teaching materials.


For more information visit our web pages or contact us via email.

Francoise Sullivan


School seminar                                                                                              12 Feb 13

Dr Sebastian Rudolph.

14:00, Lecture Theatre 1.5, Kilburn Building

Seminar home page

School seminar                                                                                              13 Feb 13

Optimising fixed point arithmetic with Meta IP cores

Dr Matthew Fortune. Imagination Technologies.

14:00, Lecture Theatre 1.4, Kilburn Building.

Seminar home page

Faculty of EPS Open Meeting                                                                     13 Feb 13

All members of staff in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences are invited to attend a Faculty Open Meeting with Professor Colin Bailey, the Vice-President & Dean on Wednesday 13 February, 1.30 -2.30pm in the Rutherford Lecture Theatre, Schuster Building.


At the meeting Colin will give an update on the Faculty’s current position followed by an open question and answer session on any matters of interest. There is no need to submit questions in advance of the meeting. A more detailed agenda will follow shortly.


All are welcome. Seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

The 9th Annual Turing Lecture 2013                                                   19 Feb 2013

The University of Manchester, in partnership with the BCS, IET and Oxford University Press, is delighted to announce Suranga Chandratillake FREng as the speaker for the 9th annual Turing Lecture on 19th February 2013: “What they didn't teach me: building a technology company and taking it to market”

The Royal Academy of Engineering - 13th Annual Regional Lecture 5 Mar 13

Guest speaker: Professor Philip Withers FREng, University of Manchester

5 March 18:00, lecture theatre C9, Renold Building, University of Manchester

The lecture will be followed by a reception and poster session.  For further information about the lecture and poster session please contact Sue Neesham.

Admission is free and registration is not required.

Horizon 2020 – call for advisory group members                                    6 Mar 13

Closing date: 4pm 6 March 2013

The EC is currently asking for experts for their advisory groups for setting up Horizon 2020 (FP7’s successor). Registered experts will also potentially be asked to act as reviewers throughout the course of H2020 - the call for expressions of interest will stay open for the lifetime of the Programme and experts can register at any time - however only those having expressed their interest no later than 6 March 2013 at 17.00, Brussels local time (CET) will be taken into account for the setting up of the first advisory groups. Expressions of interest received after this date will be taken into account for the renewal of groups at the end of each mandate.

Please let Liz Fay know if you register.


Funding Opportunities

School Research Office

Please contact us through

There is information about support for grant writing and submission at

ACM-Women Scholarships for Attendance at Research Conferences - 4 calls coming

ACM-W provides support for women undergraduate and graduate students in Computer Science and related programs to attend research conferences. This exposure to the CS research world can encourage a student to continue on to the next level (Undergraduate to Graduate, Masters to Ph.D., Ph.D. to an industry or academic position). The student does not have to present a paper at the conference she attends.

Further information

For other information related to ACM-W, contact Eva Navarro (ACM-W Europe Committee Member).

LWEC Initiative in Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity - Town Meeting

                                                                                                                              7 Feb 13

·         Closing date: 4pm 7 Feb 2013


The BBSRC’s Living With Environmental Change (LWEC) is calling for researchers with expertise in areas of sensors, remote sensing, diagnostics, computer modelling, bioinformatics and other areas that might be applied to problems in tree health and associated plant biosecurity.

A new initiative, with at least £6.5M available for research projects, will soon be announced to fund research into tree pests and pathogens, and associated plant biosecurity. More information will be available at the Town Meeting in London on 14 February (free of charge).

Reserve a place by emailing

Future perspectives in Synthetic Biology – joint academia/ industry discussion meeting                                                                                                          8 Feb 2013

·         8 Feb 2013 10am – 3.15pm in MIB


Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB) submitted a broad expression of interest to bid for an IKC in Synthetic Biology in 2012 (approx £10M). MIB are inviting participants from across the University to attend a one day meeting on 8 Feb to explore interests in synthetic biology and its application and to link with industrialists. There will be discussions on what the IKC should look like and the core resource it should provide – there is only one national IKC likely to be funded and understanding what industry wants will be key.

Prof. Ralf Wagner (Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University Regensburg) is the keynote speaker and Prof. Eriko Takano (new FLS chair in SynBio) will introduce Industry Perspectives of SynBio.


Contact Sarah Chatwin for a copy of the programme. Please register through the registration link. Posters are welcome.


Featured Publications

Please send any research publications to Robert Stevens.


Firczuk H, Kannambath S, Pahle J, Claydon A, Beynon R, Duncan J, Westerhoff H, Mendes P, McCarthy JEG (2013) An in vivo control map for the eukaryotic
mRNA translation machinery. Molecular Systems Biology 9:635


Eleni Mikroyannidi, Robert Stevens, Luigi Iannone, and Alan Rector.
Analysing syntactic regularities and irregularities in snomed-ct.
Journal of Biomedical Semantics, 3(1):8, 2012.


Research and Grant Awards

Congratulations to all those involved in the following successful awards!

ECO2Clouds – Experimental Awareness of CO2 in Federated Cloud Sourcing

(SCS): John Keane, Usman Wajid, Xiao-jun Zeng; (MBS) Nikolay Mehandjiev, Pedro Sampaio

Funding body: EC

Award amount: (SCS) £86.6k


ECO2Clouds is a two year research project joint between SCS and MBS funded by the European Commission’s FP7 programme. ECO2Clouds will provide a challenging and innovative approach to Cloud computing service by developing strategies that can ensure effective application deployment on the Cloud infrastructure while reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions.


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