School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

 29 April 2013


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News from the Head of School

3rd year project presented at AMEE conference

Three Computer Science undergraduate students have been taking part in a collaborative project with students from Medicine, co-ordinated by Fastbleep, and the project has been accepted for poster presentation at the Association for Medical Education in Europe 2013 conference in Prague. Qas Ashraf (CSwIE), Oana Bradulet (CSBMwIE) and Radu Asandei (CSBMwIE) were supervised by Andy Brass and John Gurd. Qas's work has been on the use of Q-sort strategies for widening participation activities, while Radu and Oana have been looking at IT systems to improve the management of the volunteer effort. This is an excellent demonstration that collaborative projects with external partners can produce great results for our students as well as the School, and this is a form of project that we will try to expand in future.

Animation 13

The annual Animation Awards Day (12th July) draws closer - today (1st May) the external judges are meeting in the School to decide the winners. This year 667 schools registered, and we received 1,120 entries from 154 schools, from 1,583 students. The Animation Competition was featured in the latest Alumni Newsletter with a full-page article.

London Hopper Colloquium

The London Hopper Colloquium will take place on 23rd May, to be followed by the Karen Spärck Jones lecture: “The power of abstraction” by Prof Barbara Liskov (MIT).

Steve Furber in the news

Steve Furber talked about brain mapping and the SpiNNaker project on Radio 5 Live’s Outriders programme (first item).

Food in Advance

Did you know that you can save 10% at all Food on Campus outlets (including Byte Cafe and the Common Room)? Your University ID card can be charged with credit and used to pay with a 10% discount.



Open Access

Since 1st April 2013 all RCUK-funded work submitted to peer-reviewed research articles and conference proceedings should be Open Access – this also applies to research carried out with shared funding and to students.

Detailed information is available at:



Computer Science Students versus Staff Coding Comp                     1 May 13

The Coding Dojo is proud to announce the first annual Students vs Staff Coding Competition!


Wednesday 1st May, 3pm-6.30pm, Collab.

Teams of two required, LIMITED PLACES.

Registration at by Monday 29th April.


Join us for an afternoon of tough coding problems, free snacks, followed by one free beer each at Jabez Clegg!

Big prizes to be won by the top teams!  Join the Facebook event for updates!


Looking forward to the challenge!

School Board meeting                                                                                   1 May 13

15:00, IT building room 407

Research Report and PGR report

Board home page

"Apps for Good" - teachers event                                                               2 May 13

The School is taking part in a new venture with a charitable foundation called Apps for Good. The aim of this foundation is to bring the excitement and understanding of new technology to schoolchildren through giving them the skills to develop apps. The organisation has a good track-record in schools and considerable industrial support.

In a new venture, we are collaborating with the foundation to host a teachers' event, briefing teachers on the benefits of partnerships with Apps for Good, and providing an opportunity for our students to demonstrate apps they have developed (volunteer students needed). The intention is that this leads to an ambassador scheme in which our students visit schools to help teachers and school students in app development.

This has turned out to be a very popular event with teachers - we advertised it in the morning and had filled the 50 places by lunchtime on the same day!

Event: Thursday May 2nd, 5pm-7pm in IT407. If you would like to call in and see what we are up to, please do so, but let David Rydeheard know in advance.


Funding Opportunities

Research Support Office

Please contact us through

There is information about support for grant writing and submission at

Daiwa Adrian Prizes 2013 – Call for Applications                             07 Jun 2013

·         Closing date: 07 Jun 2013

·         Award ceremony: 27 Nov 2013, Royal Society

Applications are now open for Daiwa Adrian Prizes, which are awarded in recognition of significant scientific collaboration between British and Japanese research teams in the field of pure or applied science, including computer science.

The Daiwa Adrian Prizes acknowledge those research teams who have combined excellence in scientific achievement with a long-term contribution to UK-Japan relations.

A step towards an intelligent information infrastructure                18 Jun 2013

·         Outline closing date: 4pm 18 Jun 2013

·         Closing date for full proposals: early Dec 2013


Good for most researchers including those interested in text mining, big data and low power systems.

Outline proposals are being accepted for the EPSRC’s Towards an intelligent information infrastructure (TI3) priority with up to £5M available through this call. At least 2 of the following sub-challenges must be addressed:


·         Protocols for a 21st Century Internet new and potentially intelligent protocols to deal with the increased complexity and volume of data and information that needs to be communicated and stored.

·         Energy Efficient Communication and Data Systems for sustainable Information and Communication systems.

·         Building Context and Content Aware networks future network hardware and software will need to meet the demands of future communications networks.

·         Extracting Understanding from Data the better we can understand and extract understanding from the data we have, the more efficiently we can handle and communicate it.

·         Seamless mode adaptive communications to deal with ever more complicated networks, with the beginnings of the emergence of the cloud and the internet of things.


This call provides applicants with an opportunity to address particular aspects of the sub-challenges through research projects which are speculative, look well beyond current or developing solutions, and are potentially transformational in nature.

Communities and Culture Network+ seed project funding call

·         Reviewing dates: June, September, December, March


EPSRC funding for projects of £1-4k is available to fund small discrete projects investigating digital transformations of communities and culture (as part of the Digital Economy theme); addressing the actual, claimed and potential impact of mobile and digital technologies on everyday life, citizenship, culture and community.

Short proposals should be submitted by email to


Research Professional is a useful search engine for finding other funding opportunities.


Featured Research Outcomes


Carole Goble and Terri Attwood were co-organisers of the ELIXIR-UK/GOBLET workshop, which was hosted at The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) in Norwich, 25-26 March. The aim of the workshop was to shape the training for bio-informaticians to analyse the wealth of data generated by life scientists.

Press release


Congratulations to all those involved in the following successful awards!


REVES: REasoning in VErification and Security

Andrei Voronkov, Konstantin Korovin

Funding body: EPSRC, GCHQ

Award amount: £747k


This three year award from the UK’s Second Cyber Research Institute aims at developing methods and tools for making software and Web services more reliable and secure. The aim is to advance the theory and practice of first-order automated theorem proving in verification and program analysis, with a special emphasis on security, and in collaboration with the Institute, industry (Intel and Microsoft) and the Austrian RiSE project. Our approach is to develop fully automatic methods and tools for verification and security analysis based on formalisation of the verification problem in formal logic and applying automated theorem proving to prove that the security properties are satisfied, or otherwise find security vulnerabilities.


One of the milestones of in this project is verification of access policies of a large scale Web service EasyChair, which is implemented in the UK and alone has about 840,000 users world-wide. Since the developed methodology and tools will be largely re-usable for other Web services we expect high impact on developers and the users of such services.

Snap-on Semantics

Sean Bechhofer with Snap-on Business Solutions

Funding body: EPSRC IAA Relationship Incubator

Award amount: £4,356


Snap-on produce workshop service manuals allowing Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to manage an increasingly large and complex body of knowledge on a complex and diverse range of products in the automotive, agricultural and construction vehicle segments. In many OEMs there exists little or no integration between different information ‘silos’, so users have to swap between different documentation systems or manuals in order to complete a task. In addition, technical knowledge contains inconsistent terminology and use of language; it is not possible to re-purpose the embedded knowledge in the data; and much legacy information is typically only available in PDF form.


Over the 5 month project we will explore the potential for the application of semantic technologies, in particular the introduction of shared vocabularies (conceptual models) and the enhancement of authoring tools to provide documents annotated using those vocabularies to improve cross-linking and cross-referencing:

  • Supporting semantic annotations during the author process
  • Automating extraction of semantic information through mining
  • Rendering annotations to the end user in useful ways
  • Cross linking across document silos through the use of ontologies


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