School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

 15 July 2013


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News from the Head of School


This year’s School’s Animation competition and festival was bigger and better than ever. 667 schools registered, and there were 1,120 entries from 1,583 students at 154 schools,. On Friday 12 July 330 school students from 40 schools attended the Festival and 41 students from 24 schools collected nearly 50 prizes.


The competition inspires school students of all ages and enables them to show what they can achieve. The animations shown on Friday were of awesome quality and the enthusiasm of the students and staff who attended was tremendous.


Many staff and students from the School have worked long and hard to make the competition a great success – showing all the visitors that CS can be demanding, rewarding and great fun. The list of people who contributed is far too long for the newsletter, but the competition and the Festival are something that they should all be very proud of.

Gavin Brown getting a robot and some students to dance gangnam style.


More information can be found at the Animation website:   and the University newsletter:

Manchester Digital                                                                                                          

Duncan Hull has been elected to the 12-strong council of Manchester Digital for two years. 20 candidates stood for 7 places. Manchester Digital’s vision is “that by working together we can make Manchester and the North West an even better place for digital business”

Noisy lights finally banished                                                                                        

The noisy lights in IT407 have been removed. Flat LED panels are being installed that should not only use less power but also be silent. In addition new furniture should arrive in Byte Cafe soon and some areas of Kilburn and IT will be recarpeted. Most importantly of all the hideous eyesore backup generator on the lawn outside the IT Building has been somewhat concealed again.

What If...                                                                                                                             

Somebody you were working with or a student in a lecture or lab class was taken ill? Would you know what to do? There will be a short talk about what to do, where to go and who to call, and a demonstration of some basic techniques. It’s not a first aid course and it won’t turn you into a designated first-aider, but it might mean that when something does happen you know what to do.

Kilburn Building, 4th September, 1:30 – 2:30pm, if you can’t make that the session will be repeated in Alan Turing Building, Sept 12th, 10am. 



Steve Furber in the news…

Many appy returns’, in the Daily Mirror, 11 July: Steve Furber in the news talking about apps.

The App Store celebrates its fifth birthday this week, and today there are 900,000 apps available which have been downloaded a total of 50 billion times.  Prof Steve Furber, from the School of Computer Science, said: “The App Store has given us much more ready access to the information that we need. It has made so many aspects of life so much more efficient.”



Controlling robots using brain-machine interfaces                             16 July 13

13:30, C14, Sackville Street Building.

Jose M. Azorin, Miguel Hernandez University of Elche.

Further information

NA-HPC seminars                                                                                         17 July 13

14:00-15:30, Frank Adams 1, hosted by School of Mathematics.

14:00 -- 14:45:    Julien Langou (University of Colorado Denver)

14:45 -- 15:30:    Jack Dongarra (University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Manchester)

15:30 -- 15:45:    Award of NAG Prize in Numerical Analysis

                           Award of NAG Prize in Mathematical Finance

                           Award of SIAM Student Chapter Certificate of Recognition

Graduation Day                                                                                             17 July 13

Graduation day will be Wednesday 17th July at 2:30. There will be a reception in the School before the ceremony.

Reception begins at 12:00 in Atlas rooms/quad, Kilburn building

Prize giving from Professor Jim Miles at 12:45

School Barbecue                                                                                          19 July 13

The School barbecue will be held on Friday 19 July at 3pm in the quad.  As usual food and some drinks will be provided but please bring along a contribution of something to drink.


Funding Opportunities

Research Support Office

Please contact us through

There is information about support for grant writing and submission at and the EPS blog The Word contains features News, Events and comment relevant to Postgraduate Researchers, Research Staff and Supervisors or PIs.

Summer Request

Please contact Sarah Chatwin with brief details of any applications that you are considering submitting over the summer period to help with our planning process. Thank you.


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


Featured Research Outcomes

Congratulations to all those involved in the following successful awards!

Developing an enhanced Green Open Access service at UoM

Steve Pettifer and Robert Stevens have been awarded £100k from the University of Manchester Library to develop tools to improve the experience of depositing and retrieving articles from eScholar.

Virtual Reality Phantom Limb Prototypes

UMI3 have awarded Steve Pettifer £7k through the Social Enterprise Competition and OpCare Ltd to develop prototypes of the Virtual Reality Phantom Limb system so that they can be showcased to different companies.



Jon Ison, Matúš Kalaš, Inge Jonassen, Dan Bolser, Mahmut Uludag, Hamish McWilliam, James Malone, Rodrigo Lopez, Steve Pettifer, and Peter Rice. EDAM: an ontology of bioinformatics operations, types of data and identifiers, topics and formats. Bioinformatics 2013 29: 1325-1332

Miwa, M., Ohta, T., Rak, R., Rowley, A., Kell, D. B., Pyysalo, S. and Ananiadou, S. (2013). A method for integrating and ranking the evidence for biochemical
pathways by mining reactions from text. Bioinformatics, 29(13), i44-i52 and Proceedings of ISMB 2013.


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