School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

 20 May 2013


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News from the Head of School

Manchester Teaching Awards

The School had 12 nominations from students this year and Alasdair Rawsthorne, Gavin Brown, Steve Pettifer and Gavin Donald were shortlisted.


The Manchester Teaching Awards give students the ability to recognise their excellent teachers and support staff members. Any student could submit a nomination. The nominees were then short listed and a panel of course reps picked the winners.

Saba Mirshafiei

Saba has left the External Affairs Office in order to take up a post in Widening Participation. Thank you Saba for all your effort and achievements in the School and good luck in your new job.

Graduation Day: Please come along on 17th July

Graduation Day is the 17th July. Academic staff who have supervised final year project students, been 1st or 2nd year UG tutors, taught UG course units or supervised PhD students who are graduating this year should come along to meet students and their parents. There will be food in the School at 12.00, with a short Prizegiving at 1245. The main Graduation Ceremony will be at 2:30. Graduation is a major event for our students who have invested a great deal of time, effort and money in achieving their degrees, please come along and celebrate their success with them, meet their family and friends, and join in the procession in the Whitworth Hall.

Open Days June 21st and 22nd

June 21st and 22nd are University Open Days. The School will be putting on a CS Tech Fair in the Kilburn Building. This is a major part of our UG recruitment activity, and there will be calls for help going out. Please find a way to help out if you can.

Notices Placed Around the Building

If you put notices up around the building for an event, please will you take them down again after the event is over. If you put a date for the event on the notice then other people can take it down for you when you forget.



SCS Co-authorships for W3C Recommendations

The W3C Provenance Working Group Working Group has published the PROV Family of Documents as W3C Recommendations, along with corresponding supporting notes. PROV defines standards for expressing and exchanging provenance information about digital and real-life resources, such as attribution and derivation, which can be detailed by expressing interactions between activities.


The PROV primer gives a brief introduction to the core models, and the PROV Overview presents the individual PROV specifications, including how to express provenance in formats like OWL/RDF and XML. The school has been represented by Khalid Belhajjame and Stian Soiland-Reyes who made key contributions to the success of the Provenance Working Group, and are co-authors on three PROV Recommendations and three PROV Notes.

Opportunity to collaborate with Astrazeneca                                                          

There is an opportunity to apply for CASE awards with AstraZeneca. To apply, please complete the outline project proposal slide and return to  before 30th May. All project proposals will be reviewed within AZ and feedback will be provided. AZ will contact selected project proposers by 15th June 2013.

Further details: slides (PDF).

BMVA/UoM Computer Vision Summer School 2013                                             

Enrolment is now open for the BMVA/University of Manchester Computer Vision Summer School for research students.

Please note that research students from CS would normally be expected to pay the full non-residential fee of £225. However, since the list of speakers is not yet totally finished, and we will probably need some volunteers to help out during the school itself, this payment may be negotiable!


Any further queries/offers of support, please contact Carole Twining.

ARTEMIS workshop report

Kung-Kui Lau’s report from ARTEMIS brokerage events.


ARTEMIS is a research programme jointly funded by ARTEMISIA (ARTEMIS Industrial Association, of key R&D actors in embedded systems in Europe) and the EC.

For each ARTEMIS call, there is a brokerage event, for people to pitch project ideas and to form project consortia (of interested industrial and academic partners); an Expression of Interest, for projects that have formed after brokerage; a post-brokerage event, for project officers to give feed back on Expressions of Interest, and for further consortium building.

For the 2013 call, with the School's funding, I attended brokerage in London and Paris, and post-brokerage in Brussels. The result is that I am participating in a proposal (EMC2), with submission planned for 6 June 2013.

For further information contact Kung-Kiu Lau

Looking forward to Horizon 2020

Lots of overlap with SCS research…From the recent EC Consultation, the following topics have been identified as ICT areas ‘with high potential and with merit for future Horizon 2020 actions for integrating and opening existing national research infrastructures’.

·         Distributed, multidisciplinary European Infrastructure on Big Data and Social Data Mining

·         A Research infrastructure for the Study of Archived Web materials.

·         Infrastructure for Referencing and citation of research data and other scientific content

·         Access to a Global Federated Data Infrastructure for Scientific Data from Physical and Analytical Facilities and integration with a Data Analysis Framework

·         Integrating activity for facilitating access to HPC centres

·         Infrastructures for Information Visualization and Interaction Technologies



UK Device Developers' Conference                                                        22 May 13

A conference for the developers of' "intelligent systems and intelligent devices".  Suitable for anyone involved in Embedded Systems development, Software Development, Electronics Design, Enclosure Design and Manufacturing Services.


The Device Developers' Conference 2013 will be your chance to learn about the latest development technologies from around the world. Whether your expertise is hardware design, enclosure design, software development, test and manufacture or project management, this event will enable you to explore the latest technologies and latest thinking.

Conference website

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.

Robots for a better living?                                                                          24 May 13

Room 3.97 MBS West

A two-part Workshop on using robots to solve some of today's most challenging problems.  This workshop will introduce Aldebaran Robotics and their signature product, NAO.


In the coming years robots will positively impact our lives to the same extent as PCs and mobile devices did during the past 3 decades. Robots will change the way we learn, work and communicate. A robotic companion to assist humans is no longer science fiction but a realistic answer to the requirements of an aging society. Aldebaran Robotics is developing practical solutions for everyday life by conducting research in areas such as autistic child therapy, human-robot interaction and personal robotics.


Aldebaran Robotics is a world leader in humanoid robotics. More than 450 universities, labs and schools worldwide are daily working with NAO in research and education. For the future, Aledebaran have embraced the ambitious goal of developing humanoid robots for use by the general public. There are more than 180 people at Aldebaran, including 40% in R&D, are involved in the development and production of NAO and future robots.


If you plan to attend, please contact Willy Barnett to register.

CHIST-ERA Conference 2013                                                               13-14 Jun 13

·         13-14 Jun 2013, Hôtel Manos Conference Centre, Brussels, Belgium

The annual CHIST-ERA Strategic Conference 2013 brings together ICT researchers from across Europe and European research funders with the aim to identify promising scientific and technological challenges for the upcoming CHIST-ERA Joint Call. The two broad topics that have been identified for the 2013 CHIST-ERA Joint Call for proposals are:

·         Adaptive Machines in Complex Environments

·         Heterogeneous Distributed Computing

Register to use this opportunity to directly participate in scoping the Call topics content.

North West Health Hack                                                                       15-16 June 13 

Barclay's HQ, Radbroke Hall, Cheshire


Organised by Manchester Informatics, Barclays, Health 2.0, TechHub and Hudson (IT recruitment specialists), the Health Hack is the first event of this type in Greater Manchester, with the purpose of shaking up ideas and innovation to benefit the UK Healthcare  industry.


Whether you’re a regular hacker or this is your first coding event, the Health Hack will give you access to the people and experience that can help you develop and promote your ideas in super quick time. In less than 36 hours, NW Health Hack will be your opportunity to bring to life new or existing ideas.


eHealth solutions are becoming one of the fastest growing sources of technological development to sustain the multi billion pound UK healthcare industry in the 21st Century. Meet and work with people and skills and expertise from the healthcare and technology industries; all with a common goal of wanting to make a lasting impact.


NW Health Hack is open to everyone, regardless of how developed your idea may be.

-          Access experts and mentors to help you mature a concept you might already have

-          Find a team to help bring your idea to life

-          Be part of a winning team and help to solution a great idea.

The event will be fast-paced and ill reward creativity, innovation and value for healthcare patients, users, or employees.

Further information and free registration


Funding Opportunities

Research Support Office

Please contact us through

There is information about support for grant writing and submission at

British Council India Knowledge Economy Partnerships (KEP)      05 Jun 13

·         Closing date: 5pm, 5 Jun 2013


For teaching staff: Knowledge Economy Partnerships support collaboration between UK and Indian academic institutions by providing seed funding for project activities and exchange visits between India and the UK for the primary purpose of building capacity and to strengthen policy and practice of Higher Education in both countries.

The Partnerships must be in collaboration with an Indian partner, for a maximum of one year and with £5,000 and £20,000 funding.  

Please complete the application online and email the electronic copy to followed by a hard copy with approval from institution authorities. For queries, contact


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


Featured Research Outcomes


Ananiadou, S., Thompson, P. and Nawaz, R.. (2013). Enhancing Search: Events and their Discourse Context. Computational Linguistics and Intelligent Text
Processing, Lecture Notes in Computer Science Volume 7817, pages 318-334, Springer

Batista-Navarro, R. T. B., Kontonatsios, G., Mihăilă, C., Thompson, P., Rak, R., Nawaz, R., Korkontzelos, I. and Ananiadou, S. (2013). Facilitating the Analysis of Discourse Phenomena in an Interoperable NLP Platform. Computational Linguistics and Intelligent Text Processing, Lecture Notes in Computer Science Volume 7816, pages 559-571, Springer


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