School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

 25 February 2013


News from HoS

This Week

School Events

External Events

Funding Opps

Prize & Award Opps

Research Awards

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School Strategy

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School Seminars

ESNW Seminars

NaCTeM Seminars


News from the Head of School

President’s visit to the School

The President’s annual visit to the School is on Tuesday 12th March. Open meetings include:

3.00 - 3:30pm            Open Meeting with Students (undergraduate and postgraduate): Room 2.15, Kilburn Building

3.30 – 4:00pm           Open Meeting with Staff to include Opening Address by the

and Vice-Chancellor followed by Q&A session: Room 2.15, Kilburn Building

Please come along to the staff meeting and have your say, and encourage students to attend the student meeting.

Web changes

A reminder from the last newsletter that the School’s external-facing web pages are being transformed to something with this look and feel:

This will require significant work from many people as the content will have to be reviewed and in some cases there will be significant restructuring. If you are asked to review pages, please do take this opportunity to improve the way that we present ourselves to the world.

Survey Time

It is student survey time.

NSS – students satisfaction for final year undergraduates has now been open for four weeks, around 50% of students have completed the survey so far.

The comparable PTES survey for PGT students has been open for 1 week, 15% of students have completed it so far.

DLHE, the graduate employment survey for last year’s UG graduates is also underway.

These surveys are important to us – NSS and DLHE statistics are used in almost all University league tables, and it’s important to get high completion rates so that the statistics are representative.

Equipment Booking

Equipment Booking across FLS, EPS and MHS can be accessed via the Staff Portal:  

This system will show the availability of equipment and makes it possible to book access on-line, as well as allowing users to view a complete record of their existing bookings. The Equipment Booking Handy Guide has been circulated by email and the official launch will be marked by the publication of an article in e-update shortly. 



Behavioural Nudge with an Always-on Smartphone Application to Promote Physical Activity                                                                                               7 Mar 13

Dr. Parisa Eslambolchilar (Assistant Professor), Swansea University of Wales.

16-17:00, Turing Seminar room, Coupland 1 building.  All members of the Faculty and students are welcome to attend.

Tea/coffee and biscuits will be available.

Rail Research UK Association (RRUA) Event                                        19 Mar 13

·         How safe will tomorrow’s railway be? 19 Mar 2013, York


The RRUA are running a series of events bringing together industry and academia to investigate better predictive models of the future safety risk profile. This workshop aims to identify specific areas where the rail industry could fund further research and development and ultimately how to improve rail’s ability to predict future risks.  The scope of the day is likely to include the use of predictive analytics and modelling techniques to understand emerging trends in safety data, and characterising uncertainty in future predictions.


Please contact Sarah Chatwin if this is of interest so that we can look into RRUKA membership (required for attendance).

EPS Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference                   20 Mar 13

This event will be open to all in the Faculty who are involved in Teaching and Learning. The intention is to promote an ongoing discussion of the importance of teaching and learning (and research/development into this) and ways in which we can improve our teaching, networking and collaboration. As a result we hope to encourage the development of special interest groups where new ideas can flourish and be supported.


We shall be showcasing examples of good practice across the Faculty (including internal and nationally funded projects).The Higher Education Advisors for Engineering & Materials and Physical Sciences will also be speaking about current priorities for HE and networking and funding possibilities and teaching & learning specialists will be discussing the Manchester agenda concerning these areas.


This should be of interest to all but may be especially relevant to anyone wishing to seek accreditation for their teaching through the Higher Education Academy. We are now required to evidence awareness and participation in the scholarship of teaching and learning, so this event is intended to provide food for thought. For more information around this, please see UK Professional Standards Framework (PDF).  To reserve a place, please contact Lynn Davies.


Funding Opportunities

School Research Office

Please contact us through

There is information about support for grant writing and submission at

Technology Inspired Innovation Feasibility Studies                              3 Apr 13

·         register before noon 27 Mar 2013

·         Closing date: noon 3 Apr 2013


The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is investing up to £2m in small and micro businesses in the UK for technical feasibility studies in:

·         advanced materials;

·         biosciences (incl. bioinformatics);

·         electronics, sensors and photonics;

·         information and communications technology (incl. data exploration and software engineering)


The competition is open to small and micro companies only, working either singly or in collaboration with one partner. Projects can last up to four months (being completed by 30 Nov 2013) and total project costs must not exceed £33,000.


A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 21 February 2013.


Research Awards

Synchronized Attention Grant Enabler                                                                     

Simon Harper (with the BBC and Manchester Informatics)

Funding body: EPSRC IAA Relationship Incubator

Award amount: £23.3k


This project builds on the KTA Concept and Feasibility Study with the BBC, which looked at transferring our models of user attention (eye trackers) created in the EPSRC SASWAT project from Web 2.0 Ajax applications, such as Rich Internet Applications and Mashups, to complex digital TV broadcasts comprising multiple widgets and on-screen ‘panels’, such as those found in sports and news broadcasting.


Our long term technical objective is to produce a software application that will assist program providers and broadcasters in deciding when to apply additional content to a personal mobile device (smartphone or tablet) and details how attention will be synchronized between these devices. Pilot studies will aim to identify a suitable methodology to synchronize unified content between multiple devices.

SAMS: Software Architecture for Mental health Self management

John Keane (with Lancaster University; King's College, London)

Funding body: EPSRC

Award amount: £430k (with FHMS)


SAMS aims to non-intrusively promote self-awareness of change in cognitive function.  It will track changes in performance in people with different levels of clinically established cognitive impairment and early dementia and explore the potential for technology-enhanced continuous detection of cognitive dysfunction and change in cognition. A cognitive function self-awareness system is an example of a wider class of emerging systems that require adaptive sense making with user-centred feedback.