School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

 25 March 2013


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News from the Head of School

Animation 13

Animation13, the School's 6th annual UK schools computer animation competition, closed for entries at midnight on Friday 22 March. This year we had a record number of schools registered, 667, and we received 1,120 entries from 1,583 students in 154 schools. The team will be watching all the entries over Easter, shortlisting for the Education/Industry external judges who come on 1 May to make the final awards. Festival day is Friday 12 July at Martin Harris -- come in the afternoon and join in the fun (the morning is sold out).

National Science and Engineering Week Science Fair

CS PG and UG students exhibited stands on Augmented Reality and Nanoscience at the National Science and Engineering Week Science Fair at the Great Hall, Sackville Street Building. Over 850 school students, mostly Y7 - Y9, attended the science fair over 4 days. This year included a special session for primary school students as well. Thanks to Aravind Vijayaraghavan for organising the School’s contributions.

Recruitment and Admissions Manager

Cassie Barlow has been offered and accepted the post of Recruitment and Admissions Manager.  Cassie is currently the University's Admissions Officer in the central admissions team, she was previously an International Officer and has also worked at UCL.



2013 Karen Spärck Jones lecture                                                   23 May 2013

Professor Barbara Liskov will be presenting the 3rd Karen Spärck Jones lecture, honouring women in computing research. This is an evening event, with sponsorship from IBM and BCS, that will follow the London Hopper Colloquium at the BCS London office.  Professor Liskov is the winner of the 2008 Turing Award, and combines the roles of Institute Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Associate Provost for Faculty Equity, MIT, USA. Professor Liskov's lecture is titled 'The power of abstraction' and will discuss how the abstraction mechanisms we use today came to be, how they are supported in programming languages, and some possible areas for future research.



Hitting the Sweetspot: Economic Rewriting of Knowledge Bases  25 Mar 13

Prof Birte Glimm. University of Ulm

14:00, Lecture Theatre 1.3, Kilburn Building

Seminars web page

The incredible ELK                                                                                        26 Mar 13

Dr. Yevgeny Kazakov, University of Ulm

15:00, Lecture Theatre 1.3, Kilburn Building

Seminars web page

Seminar: Building social media theory from case studies: A new frontier for IS research                                                                                                     26 April 13

Manchester Informatics will be hosting a seminar on “Building social media theory from case studies: A new frontier for IS research” on Friday 26th April, from 12.30pm to 2:00pm in Room IT407, IT Building, Oxford Rd.


The seminar will be led by Professor Chris Holland, Manchester Business School, the speaker will be Professor Cathy Urquhart, Chair of Digital and Sustainable Enterprise, Research and Knowledge Exchange, Manchester Metropolitan University


Tea/coffee and cakes will be available – please register here so that we have an idea of numbers.


Funding Opportunities

How safe will tomorrow's railway be?"  workshop report

Richard Banach's report on the "How safe will tomorrow's
railway be?"  workshop.

RRUK (Rail Research UK) ran a workshop in York on "How safe will tomorrow's
railway be?" on 19 March. The idea was to explore ways of reducing risk
associated with the railways even further, prompted by a desire to reduce
costs by a billion or so. (No one said "get rid of the lawyers",
unfortunately.) Anyway, there is a small amount (100k) to fund a small number
of feasibility studies in this area. You have to be part of a consortium
involving a participant at the workshop (me, RHB) to play. From what was said
by presenters, it seems to me that there are certainly opportunities for
machine learning and text mining (and any other "big data" technologies).
Industry participants seemed unusually keen to talk, perhaps because all
projects have to be university led. Proposals (4-5pp.) to be submitted by 29
April, to start by 5 Sept and finish by 6 June 2014. Perhaps unfortunate that
there was a fatality on the line on my way back. Guess this stuff is really
For further information contact Richard Banach.


Featured Research Outcomes


Martin Grymel's thesis "Error Control with Binary Cyclic Codes" was passed with no corrections on 18th February 2013 (supervisor Steve Furber).

Eleni Mikroyannidi's thesis "Detection of Syntactic and Semantic Regularities inOntologies" was passed with minor corrections on 22nd February 2013 (supervisors Robert Stevens and Alan Rector).