School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

3 February 2014


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News from Head of School


Champagne party well attended! was a pleasant surprise to see so many people turn up for free champagne on a Friday afternoon. Any suggestions for more social events welcome, but I’m sorry to say we that we can’t afford the same budget every week. The next event is this Friday, see “Ramp Up The Red” under Events below.




Announcements and news

Web issues and new web officer in Computer Science

As announced last week Philip Wolstenholme, the School’s dedicated support person from the Faculty Web Team, is now based in Iain Hart’s office room 2.83. Phil will be available between 10 and 5pm to provide advice or information on aspects of the public-facing school website and provide help making changes in T4 for staff who use it.


If you would like to meet and discuss anything with Phil, please could you use the following doodle to book a slot.


If a meeting or face-to-face discussion isn’t required, simple issues with the Computer Science website should be sent directly to to raise a support request or via


If you have any queries regarding this, please let either Karen Varty or Simon Harper know.

My Learning Essentials Update: New online Resources

Two new online resources are now available as part of the Library’s My Learning Essentials training programme:


  • Better safe than sorry: proofreading your work: explores three vital elements to review when proofreading – flow, clarity and accuracy – and gives students the chance to learn about and apply some techniques to ensure they check their work properly
  • Get a grip: understanding your task: takes students through the process of analysing their task, giving them some useful techniques to ensure that their work remains focused on the requirements of their assignment and directly addresses the question at hand.


If you would like to discuss how to embed the Library’s My Learning Essentials training into your module or programme please do not hesitate to contact Francoise Sullivan.

Further information

Eureka Innovation Challenge

The Library’s Eureka Innovation Challenge, a competition for students to improve Library services, is back bigger and better!  The competition has proven to be a great success and a number of winning ideas from last year have already been implemented into the Library’s service developments.

If you have an innovative idea to enhance the customer experience within the University Library, enter our Eureka Innovation Challenge and you could win up to £1,000! If you are shortlisted, you will have the opportunity to showcase your idea to our specialist panel at the Eureka Event Final on the 12th March.

Further info on Eureka

New Newspapers Guide

The library provides comprehensive access to a vast archive of British and overseas newspapers, including electronic access to many current publications and digital archives.

See details of our new Newspapers Guide, available via the Library homepage and all our subject guides, providing an overview of our extensive UK and International collections.

Newspapers page

Free ACM mobile app for Android and iOS devices

ACM has launched a mobile app for access to the ACM Digital Library (DL) on Android and iOS devices.  Use the free ACM DL App to search, browse, read and download content from the ACM DL.


A new feature of the app supports conference program schedules from ACM conferences.  For many conferences, this means attendees and other users can browse the schedule, read the presentation descriptions, and tap through directly to the published paper.  The App integrates with other mobile device capabilities, so users can post presentation times to the calendar, record directions to the conference location, and even share papers with others.  The DL App can be viewed as a way to distribute proceedings.


Praise from ACM members includes:

Google Play:  Full content on my phone?! I'll never ever be bored again! This is the best ACM related app so far.’


iTunes Store:  This application is ‘delightful’ (the ultimate accolade of usability), as it enables simple navigation, search and access to ACM publications and the subscriber's chosen content.’

Open Access

Have you published any papers since April 2013 that were not Open Access but contained RCUK-funded research?  If so, the library would like to hear from you.

Environment Agency looking for H2020 partners

The Environment Agency are interested in developing Horizon 2020 proposals with UK universities and have highlighted what they consider to be their priority topics (see attached).

When expressing an interest with working with the Environment Agency please ensure that Liz Fay is copied into any correspondence.



Sensing Systems in Healthcare: a interdisciplinary network for the development of new sensing technologies for healthcare applications                             

                                                                                                         3 Feb 14

12:00-13:30, University of Manchester (tbc)

UMRI funding is available to develop a clear strategic community in sensing technologies for healthcare applications across the UoM. Over the next few months, a series of workshops will run to link technologists with clinicians, with the ultimate aim of producing fruitful collaborations and grant applications.

If you would like to be part of the network led by Prof. Bruce Hamilton and Prof. Chris Taylor (and be able to bid for funding), please complete this short online survey.

An initial lunchtime information event will take place on Mon 03 Feb. This event, primarily aimed at technologists (but open to all), will introduce the network and include a break-out to scope existing capabilities and the particular areas of interest. Register through the survey link (as above).

Please direct any queries to the network coordinator Katherine Boylan.

School Board meeting                                                                      5 Feb 14

15:00, IT building room 407

Research Data Management (Mary McDerby and Lorraine Beard from the library)

PGT Report (Uli Sattler)

CPD Report (Andy Brass)

RAMP UP THE RED                                                                           7 Feb 14

We will be “Ramping Up the Red” to raise awareness for the British Heart Foundation by holding a number of fundraising events on Friday 7th February.



  • Wear Red to work – and donate £1 to BHF for the privilege!
  • Clothes Swish & Everything Goes! Sale - Cakes, crafts, books, DVDs, unwanted Christmas gifts, and a clothes swap. Friday 7th Feb, 1-3pm, Atlas, Upper First, Kilburn Building


How can I help?

Wear RED to work… Donate £1 for the pleasure of wearing red to work, and we will give you a BHF promotional sticker to wear with pride! Pop into ACSO or External Affairs on 7th Feb to make a donation.


Cakes & Crafts… Feeling creative? Donations of cakes and crafts for the sale are very welcome (heart or red themed particularly!) Please bring them to ATLAS between 9-10am or 12-12:30 on Friday 7th February. Or if you prefer consuming rather than creating, just come along from 1pm and purchase something that somebody else has made!


Books, DVDs & Gifts… Do you have unwanted Christmas gifts? Already read all your books? Bring them to ATLAS between 9-10am or 12-12:30 on Friday 7th February and we will re-home them for you at our Everything Goes! sale from 1pm.


Clothes Swish… Do you have any good quality clothes or accessories that you no longer wear? If you donate items you get half-price entry to the Swish = £1 entry. No donations = £2 entry. Entry fee entitles you to up to five items of clothing. You are welcome to more – just pay an additional entry fee! Includes men’s, ladies’ and children’s clothes and accessories; any left over at the end will be donated to The British Heart Foundation. Please bring donations to ATLAS between 9-10am or 12-12:30pm on Friday 7th February.

IET and BCS Turing Lecture 2014                                                   26 Feb 14

17:30-21:30, Lecture Theatre A, University Place, The University of Manchester

Register for the prestigious Manchester Turing Lecture: Beyond Silicon and much, much more by Dr Bernard Meyerson, VP Innovation and IBM Fellow.

HC2014 – National Health IT Conference                                   19-20 Mar 14

Manchester Central, Petersfield, Manchester, M2 3GX


The BCS and HIMSS National Health IT Conference is being held in Manchester with complimentary places available for academics. A wide range of healthcare providers, industry experts and other delegates will be attending – potential future partners perhaps?

Faculty open meeting                                                                      30 Apr 14

13:00-14:00, Wednesday, (venue to be confirmed)

Meeting with Professor Colin Bailey, the Vice-President & Dean.  Colin is happy to cover any issues that colleagues would find helpful within the Open Meetings and so if there are items to be considered then please let Ian Bradley know.


Funding Opportunities

Research Support Office

Please contact us through

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


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'

A great resource recommended by the ICT National Contact Point is, which also provides handy overview documents.

Reminder - EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account – 5th call                5 Mar 14

Closing date: 12 pm 5 March 2014


The 5th IAA call for proposals is open. Funding is for research based on EPSRC funded research:

·       Relationship Incubator Scheme – To develop early stage contact and strategic alignment between business and academics

·       Concept Development and Feasibility Study Scheme – To bridge the gap in support for early stage commercialisation of ideas

·       Exploitation Secondment Scheme and Academic Secondment Scheme - To increase the exchange of knowledge through mobility of people between the University and user organisations


Simon Harper and Sean Bechhofer have both previously been successful in IAA calls.

Newton International Fellowship                                                     10 Mar 14

Closing date: 10 March 2014


Royal Society Newton International Fellowships are for non-UK scientists who are at an early stage of their research career (no more than 7 yrs of active full time postdoc experience upon application) and wish to conduct research in the UK. Fellowships last for 2 yrs from Jan 2015 with approximately 40 available, although they are incredibly competitive. Funding consists of: £24k per annum for subsistence costs; up to £8k per annum research expenses; a one-off relocation payment; and a limited contribution to the overheads incurred, at a rate of 50% of the total award to the visiting researcher.

MRC funding                                                                                   28 Mar 14

Closing date: 1pm, 28 Mar 2014

The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices (MeDe) have funding for at least 6 research feasibility studies (up to 6 months, £50k each) in Medical Device Manufacturing. You must contact the MeDe team prior to application.


Featured Research Outcomes


Did you know… papers featured in the newsletter also go on display in the Kilburn Building (outside 2.7)? Send your new publications to Robert Stevens so that more people get to know about your research.


N8 BioHub Information and Knowledge Management System

Robert Stevens, Goran Nenadic (with Unilever (lead), Croda, British Sugar Plc, Cybula and University of Sheffield)

Funding body: TSB

Award amount: £176k


This second TSB grant with Unilever will continue work to build a demonstration information and knowledge management system (IKMS) to facilitate access to new bio-based materials from renewable biomass.

With current manufacturing processes, many by-product materials are lost to waste streams. Through rapid identification and the ability to recommend the best feedstocks for a particular function, materials can be exploited in a way that's not possible with current manufacturing processes. This has benefits of i) realising additional value from manufacturing; ii) in reducing the use of unsustainable material sources; and iii) exploitation of novel feedstocks for novel functional materials with new application benefits. There are two big data challenges involved: the automation of large scale information analysis and text-mining, and in development of many-criteria optimisation algorithms to pin-point innovative candidate materials from the large numbers of possible options. Semantic tools already exist in the biotechnology domain so the innovation will be in the tailoring of these tools and in the creation of robust algorithms to run semi-autonomously and in bringing these tools together into a single IKMS with an interface suitable for use in the chemicals industry.

COD: Context-preserving Ontology Decomposition - Development and Application

Chiara Del Vescovo

Funding body: EPS Strategic Research Fund

Award amount: £9,000


A major challenge in ontologies is to make the relevant knowledge available to users. On the one hand, a user should be able to select only a fragment of the ontology, which deals with their current topic of interest. On the other, irrelevant, or sensitive knowledge should be hidden from some of the users. Usual approaches for handling this issue make use ontology decomposition techniques where the identification of fragments to provide to users follows one of the two following alternative approaches: 1- fragments are defined by the author, but are prone to miss key information, or to include irrelevant one; 2- logic-based approaches, where the decomposition obtained satisfies logical properties, but it is likely to be too different from the one that authors have in mind.

This project aims at defining, investigating, implementing, and evaluating a new decomposition technique, called the Context-Oriented (Atomic) Decomposition, which combines the benefits of both approaches: it allows authors to identify relevant fragments, while guaranteeing the strong logical properties of the atomic decomposition.


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