School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

 28 October 2013


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News from the Head of School

Rose Day

We are sad to announce that Rose Day passed away on Saturday 26th October.  Many of you may remember Rose who served in our staff Common Room for many years.  She was always friendly, outgoing, bubbly and ready to chat.  A lover of meerkats and a follower of Reading football club, she brightened our lives every day whenever we called in for refreshments.  She will be sadly missed and our sincere condolences go out to the family.


A wonderful photograph of Rose as we want to remember her from one of our Children in Need events ….



Wear it pink for the Breast Cancer Campaign

The School organised a Wear it Pink Cake sale and Tombola on Friday - we raised £120.00 for the Breast Cancer Campaign - thanks to all who came and all who donated gifts and baked yummy cakes!


ACM Trials

On Wednesday 23rd October the School ran trials to select a team to represent us at the ACM-ICPC trials.  We are very pleased to announce that the winners are Clara Diaconeasa (Y2, CMwIE), Mihail Kovachev (Y3, CSwIE) and Tudor Morar (Y4, CS4)


These lucky winners struggled through 5 immensely difficult algorithmic problems, including dynamic programming, binary search, max-flow, and other tough stuff. They will fly to Delft in the Netherlands with our victors from last year (Marius Popescu, Victor Paunescu, Alex Grigoroi) to represent Manchester in the Northwesteren European Regional Contest 2013 (NWERC) of the ACM-ICPC.


It’s nearly November which means students and staff will be growing extremely silly moustaches to raise money for charity. Help us beat the £1,233 we raised last year! Sign up => http://moteam.co/csmcr

Who wouldn’t want to be part of this team?


Ultimate Programming Workshop

1-UP.  Manchester Ultimate Programming will be hosting the Ultimate Programming Workshop'13 on Weds 13 Nov. They will be attempting to cover 7 programming languages in 3 hours. Check the website, watch the video, get excited and prepare for action: https://sites.google.com/site/1upworkshop 


Strike action on 31st October

The University has been formally notified by the three campus trade unions, UCU, UNISON and UNITE that they will be taking strike action on Thursday 31st October 2013.  UCU has also confirmed that their members will be “working to contract” from 1st November 2013.


Whilst recognising the rights of individual members of staff to take strike action, it is the University’s intention to endeavour to maintain normal operations on Thursday 31st October 2013 in order to safeguard the interests of students and also of staff and other stakeholders.


Therefore, unless you will be on strike yourself you should expect to work normally on the 31st October. It is possible that there may be some picket lines on the campus on 31st October. The purpose of any picket line is to pass on information - in a peaceful manner - about the reason for the strike action. We expect all pickets to behave in a respectful way to their colleagues who are attending work. Refusal or failure to cross a picket line is not an acceptable reason for a day’s absence.


It is important that the School responds to this in a collegial manner and that all staff recognise the rights of other staff to participate in the strike or not to participate according to their own opinions and conscience.


In the event that lectures or seminars need to be cancelled as a consequence of the strike action, Schools have been instructed by the University to provide an early and clear communication to affected students, including details of when any lectures or seminars, for example, will be reorganised and rescheduled.


There is no legal obligation upon individuals to give any prior notification of their intention to strike, and the unions are sending their own advice to their members on this issue. If you do plan to be on strike then it would be helpful for anyone who may be affected to know about this in advance. In particular if you are involved in any student activities or teaching on the 31st that you know will be affected, please will you inform the students concerned.  This could be done directly or by informing the appropriate Director of UG, PGT or PGR (Toby Howard, Uli Sattler or Jon Shapiro) who will inform the students. Similarly if you are involved in any activities with other staff or outside organisations that will be affected, please consider them in deciding whether or not to inform them of your intention to strike.


Following the 31st October I will be asking all staff in the School to inform me if they were on strike. The University is entitled to withhold pay for staff who take strike action and it has been decided to deduct pay at 1/260th of annual salary for each day of industrial action taken. Staff will be informed when the deduction will be made. 


Announcements and news

Global publication exposure via Library's Green Open Access initiative

Do you have a digital manuscript that you'd like to make freely available to a global readership through Manchester eScholar?


To celebrate Open Access Week (21-27 Oct) the Library is promoting its Green Open Access initiative. Simply send your manuscripts to uml.openaccess@manchester.ac.uk by 22 November and the Library will do the rest (check publisher policies, create a Manchester eScholar record and deposit your publication into Manchester eScholar).

More information

Library Open Access team: 61517

HEFCE Board membership                                                                          7 Nov 13

The Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) wishes to appoint 2 new HEFCE Board members for 2014, particularly from under-represented groups.


Board members are expected to attend 6 Board meetings a year (mostly in London), and to participate in additional Board and committee work, for a term of 3 years. Remuneration will be £5,000 per annum, plus expenses.


Interviews will take place w/c 18th Nov and w/c 2nd Dec 2013 in London.


Closing date: 7 Nov 2013

Important: Changes in EU Funding Opportunities

Information sessions and draft documents are becoming available for Horizon2020 (the successor of FP7 EU programme). EU research funding is important for the School so please keep an eye-out for information – calls are expected to open at the end of the year.

Reminder - H2020 drafts available

EU funding-related documents are placed by the University's EU team at:
The easiest way to find these documents is to search using the keyword: 'Horizon 2020'.



Dalton Nuclear seminar series                                                                    30 Oct 13

14:00, Lecture Theatre G.53, Chemistry building

Monitoring Redox Speciation of Actinides Using Optical Fingerprinting, Dr Louise Natrajan.

There will be light refreshments afterwards.  This is the first of the Dalton Nuclear Seminar Series and is hosted by the Centre for Radiochemistry Research (CRR).

The Dalton Seminar Series is to promote exchange and offer informative events of The University of Manchester institutions and facilities associated with Dalton Nuclear Institute (DNI). The Series will continue in November and December, with seminars organised by the Materials Performance Centre and the Research Centre for Radwaste and Decommissioning.

Tyndall Manchester seminar                                                                       30 Oct 13

17:00, C1, George Begg Building, Sackville Street

Is natural gas the answer to the UK’s energy challenges?

Professor Jim Watson, Research Director of the UK Energy Research Centre and Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Sussex

For further information please email Amrita Sidhu.

H2020 Information Session                                                                        12 Nov 13

13:45-15:30, Kanaris Lecture Theatre, Manchester Museum


Dr Octavio Pernas, is the UK national contact point for the Health, Demographic Change and Well Being societal challenge of Horizon 2020. Ahead of the release of the 2014/15 Health and Wellbeing work programme and the announcement of the first calls for funding, Octavio will be visiting the University of Manchester to discuss the likely content of the work programme and first calls. Octavio will also give a brief overview of other EU funding opportunities in the health area. Register for this formal presentation, with an open Q&A session by contacting Claire Faichnie. A copy of the draft work programme is also available from Claire.

INNOVUS funding and networking event                                               11 Nov 13

9:00-15:30, Castle Green Hotel, Kendal, LA9 6RG


Innovus is a £800k fund supporting proof of concept – helping to commercialise bright ideas. This free event is focussed on Oil and Gas opportunities, with an interest in:

·         Robotics, remote engineering & inspection

·         Remote sensing, data collection & transmission

·         Cost-effective power sources for remote operations

·         Subsea welding

·         Tackling corrosion & erosion

·         New material opportunities

·         Extending asset life


Register for the event and use the opportunity to meet a range of businesses, both SMEs and big corporations, including BP and ITF.

Support for Fellowship applications                                                        26 Nov 13

10-13:00, Renold Building F1.

A training and development course is available for Applying for Fellowships, as well as tips and thinking points on applying for Fellowships. Plug in your headphones to hear professors share their know-how:



Funding Opportunities

Research Support Office

Please contact us through researchsupportcsm@manchester.ac.uk.

There is information about support for grant writing and submission at

http://staffnet.cs.manchester.ac.uk/reso/ and the EPS blog The Word contains features News, Events and comment relevant to Postgraduate Researchers, Research Staff and Supervisors or PIs.

ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) Pilot                                     25 Nov 13

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has awarded The University of Manchester £500k to deliver a pilot Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) for social knowledge exchange and impact related activities based on any UK Research Council funded research.

The 2nd call for proposals is now open for all researchers (including PhD students):

·         Placements - with a civil society, business or public sector organisation

·         Policy or evidence seminars - to encourage evidence-based policy through an exchange between researchers and policymakers

·         Research into practice - new, applied, user-led or collaborative research where researchers are engaging directly with users in shaping the research agenda and in applying social science to current issues relating to policy, strategy or practice.


The panel is looking for projects which i) can deliver strong impact/KE activities with spend completed by 31st July 2014 and ii) have strong external partner commitment.


Closing date: noon 25 Nov 2013

NERC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) Pilot                                       4 Dec 13

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has awarded The University of Manchester £100k to deliver a pilot Impact Acceleration Account (IAA), based on NERC-funded research, and running until April 2014 for:

·         Relationship Incubation (up to £10k available) to develop early stage contact and strategic alignment between business and academics

·         Concept Development and Feasibility Studies (up to £30k available) to bridge the gap in support for early stage commercialisation of ideas





Prior to submitting an application, academics are strongly advised to contact a member of the KE Team for support.


Closing date: noon 4 Dec 2013

Environment Agency University Flash Flooding Challenge              14 Feb 14

Could your students or researchers help protect communities at risk of flash flooding? The Environment Agency (EA), with the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), has launched the Flash Flooding Challenge competition open to students and researchers from universities across the north, which aims to encourage innovative thinking, explore a range of approaches and methods to address the impact of flash flooding. The competition is divided into three categories:

·         undergraduate,

·         postgraduate and

·         post doctoral researchers


Finalists from each category will be invited to attend a conference / prize day on 19 Mar 2014 in Leeds and present their ideas to representatives of the EA, CIWEM, and other members of industry.  This will give them an opportunity to attract interest, support and potentially funding for their ideas.  Winners will also receive a financial prize.


Closing date: 14 Feb 2014


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


Research Outcomes

Best Paper Award to Goran Nenadic

The paper "PathNER: a tool for systematic identification of biological pathway mentions in the literature" (by Chengkun Wu, Jean-Marc Schwartz and Goran Nenadic) won the best paper award in the 12th International Conference on Bioinformatics (InCoB2013). The paper has been published in BMC Systems Biology 2013, 7(Suppl 3):S2

Research poster for presentation at SIS2013

MSc postgraduate student Somdip Dey has had a poster paper ‘Privacy Issues in Social Networking Websites: Is Facebook Revealing Our Social Life?’ accepted for presentation at Symposium on Information Security (SIS 2013), which will be held at BITS-Pilani, Hyderabad, India on 15-16 Nov 2013.


Modelling interfacial coupling in thin film magnetic exchange springs at finite temperature" L. Saharan, C. Morrison, J.J. Miles, T. Thomson, T. Schrefl,
G. Hrkac. J. Appl. Phys. 114 (2013) 153908.

doi: 10.1063/1.4826365


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