School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

 11 March 2013


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News from the Head of School

Meet the President on Tuesday this week

The President and Vice-Chancellor’s Visit to the School of Computer Science will take place between 2.30 – 4.00 pm on Tuesday, 12 March 2013. Students are encouraged to attend the open student meeting at 3:00 in Kilburn 2.15, staff are encouraged to attend the open meeting for staff at 3:30 in Kilburn 2.15.

Note that staff may not attend the student meeting.

My Manchester is coming...

The University is running a pilot for My Manchester, the framework for the delivery of all online resources to staff, including tools and in-house applications. If you have opinions about how the University’s online resources and tools should work, then please do register for the pilot – you will get a chance to make your views heard by trying it out while it is being developed. To find out more and register for the pilot go to:

Wellbeing Week

It’s Wellbeing Week in the University:

Tony McDonald is keen for staff to try massage for aches and pains. Information about massages was sent by email to all staff in CS 4th March, please let Tony know if you try it out.

International Conference on Systems Man, and Cybernetics            Oct 2013

The 2013 IEEE International Conference on Systems Man, and Cybernetics (SMC) will be at the Midland Hotel Manchester in October 2013. The conference covers many topics of interest to the School including: Enterprise Information Systems, Systems Biology, Artificial Intelligence, Bioinformatics, Brain and Cognitive Engineering, Data and Information Fusion, Evolutionary Algorithms and Computing, Knowledge-Based Systems, Machine Learning, Medical Informatics, Natural Language Processing, Neural Networks, Pattern Recognition, Semantic Web Cognitive Computing, Haptics and Teleoperation Human, and Human-Computer Interaction. See

Nature Biotechnology paper in the news

A Nature Biotechnology paper on mapping human metabolism in health and disease for personalised medicine with several authors in the School has featured in the news. The paper is here:

Authors from the School include Neil Swainston, Duncan Hull, Daniel Jameson and Pedro Mendes.

Pedro Mendes has featured on the University news pages on the web:

He also spoke about it on BBC Radio Manchester’s Beswick at Breakfast.

SCS - building links with funders

The School has made some funding available to encourage staff to build links with funders and to understand more about upcoming research areas and opportunities. Funding is available to cover costs associated with events and meetings, where increased knowledge will benefit the School. Recent examples include Ross King’s attendance at one of the EPSRC’s Regional Sessions for Researchers in ICT and Kung-Kui’s attendance at an ARTEMIS brokerage event.

Requests for funding should be emailed to Robert Stevens for approval. There is a requirement to report-back findings to the School.


ITaaU Network+ Smart Spaces & Diversity workshop                        11 Mar 13

·         11 Mar 2013, Southampton

This rescheduled IT as a Utility Network+ Smart Spaces & Diversity workshop focuses on how IT as a Utility enables rapid progress to be made in designing and constructing smart environments that are inherently adaptable to the multiple needs and preferences of the inhabitants. Speakers include Prof. Lizbeth Goodman, UCD Chair of Creative Technology Innovation, Professor of Education (Design for Inclusion) and Executive Board member of the Innovation Academy.

HEA Computing in Teaching                                                                14-15 Mar 13

There are still free places available at this year’s HEA Computing ‘New in Teaching’ event to be held next week. The two-day workshop will be held at the MacDonald Hotel, Manchester on 14 & 15 March from lunch-time to lunch-time. This event is held exclusively for Computing academics, (or post-graduates set on an academic career in Computing) but is not restricted to those who are new to teaching. It will focus on new and exciting developments in teaching that are relevant to both new and established staff.


Attendance is free and includes lunch on both days together with an evening meal on March 14. Accommodation is not included but is available at a reduced rate at the MacDonald.


The full agenda and registration details are available at:


UKERC Summer School 2013 – nominations welcome                      17 Mar 13

·         Closing date: midnight 17 Mar 2013


The 9th annual UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) Summer School is targeted at 2nd year PhD students from a range of disciplines engaged in energy-related research, including technical, physical, social, economic, environmental and business aspects of energy and energy systems. 100 places are available for UK and international students and the School runs on 7-12th July 2013 at the University of Warwick.


Supervisors are invited to nominate students to attend. There is no charge for registered research students to attend; UKERC will provide accommodation and all meals and materials for activities.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference                            20 Mar 13

Deadline for registration is Friday 15 March.

Please register and detail dietary requirements to Lynn Davies.

12.30-1.15: Lunch and networking

1.15-1.45:  Higher Education Academy Advisors

1.45-2.00: Introduction from the Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning

2.00-2.45: Parallel sessions

2.45-3.15: Refreshments and networking 

3.15-4.00: Parallel sessions

4.00-4.30: Plenary discussions and action plans


Presenters for Parallel Sessions:

·         Richness, responsiveness and relationship: using rich media materials to enhance teaching of core concepts … Fiona Saunders (MACE)

·         Distance learning, challenges and opportunities’… Andy Gale (MACE)

·         ‘Textiles has talent’: enhancing delivery, content and assessment of professional and employability skills…Liz Barnes (Materials)

·         ‘Embedding employability enhancement: the use of surveys to establish efficacy’… Frances Hill (MACE)

·         ‘The Journey’: a web resource to help students to acclimatise to the expectations of the University of Manchester and expectations in the UK…Mark Hughes (Physics)

·         ‘Support to first year UG students in Mathematics in EEE’… Fumie Costen (EEE)

·         ‘A blended approach to embedding employability skills and global societal responsibility: an NTFS study through a Masters unit in managing humanitarian aid projects’… Bland Tomkinson (MACE)

·         ‘Learning styles: variations amongst students; differences between cultures and disciplines’… Frances Hill (MACE)

·         ‘The impact of research, reading and training on 1st Year UG student performance: dealing with plagiarism’… David Schultz (EAES)

·         ‘Student views on aspects of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning’… (Students from Physics and Astronomy)

·         ‘Gender difference in the conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics: a UK cross-institution comparison’… Marion Birch & Niels Walet (Physics)

European Data Forum annual meeting (EDF2013)                              8-9 Apr 13

·         Closing date: 8-9 Apr 2013, Dublin


Industry, research, policymakers and community initiatives will come together to discuss the emerging opportunities around Data Economy, and Big, Linked and Open Data challenges. EDF2013 will involve networking and presentations from invited high-level keynote speakers and from those selected from an open call for contributions.


Registration is free of charge.


Funding Opportunities

School Research Office

Please contact us through

There is information about support for grant writing and submission at

Royal Society Industry Fellowships                                                         05 Apr 13

·         Closing date: 5 Apr 2013


Industry Fellowships are available for academics wanting to work on a collaborative project with industry (or not-for-profit research organisation) and vice versa. Funding provides the applicant’s basic salary whilst on secondment and limited research expenses (up to £2,000 per year) for up to 2 years prop rata. This scheme does not have an interview-round and results are expected around 5 months after submission.

Synthetic Biology China Partnering Awards                                          30 Apr 13

·         Closing date: 4pm 30 Apr 2013

The BBSRC, EPSRC and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) are inviting proposals in Synthetic Biology (incl. ICT) for partnering awards with China. 5 co-funded Synthetic Biology China Partnering Awards are available, lasting up to 4 years and at a value for UK partners of up to £25k. Applicants must hold a current EPSRC or BBSRC grant. The aim of a Partnering Award is to provide pump-priming, enabling UK research groups to embark on creating links with overseas scientists and forge long-term relationships, so funds can only be used for travel, subsistence and other networking or collaborative activities.

RAEng Industrial Secondments Scheme                                               13 May 13

·         Closing date: 5pm 13 May 2013


The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Industrial Secondment Scheme is now open for academics to gain up to date knowledge and first-hand experience of current industry working practices and pursue a research project hosted in industry. The scheme is open to engineers from all disciplines including ICT, covering pro-rata salary cost for up to six months full-time or part-time (up to 1 year). All secondments must start before 30 Nov 2013.

Newton International Fellowship                                                               10 Apr 13

·         Closing date: 10 Apr 2013


Royal Society Newton International Fellowship are for non-UK scientists who are at an early stage of their research career (no more than 7 yrs of active full time postdoc experience upon application) and wish to conduct research in the UK. Fellowships last for 2 yrs from Jan 2014 and approximately 40 are available, although they are incredibly competitive. Funding consists of: £24k per annum for subsistence costs; up to £8k per annum research expenses; a one-off relocation payment; and a limited contribution to the overheads incurred, at a rate of 50% of the total award to the visiting researcher.