School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

17 March 2014


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News from Head of School

Facebook Success

4 teams from the School entering entered the Facebook London Hackathon, and Team Goat won it! Congratulations to Mark Larah (Y2, CS4), Bartlomiej Siemieniuk (Y1, SE4), Antonio Marino (Y2, SEwIE), and Jessie Abramson (Y3, AI), who battled against 21 other UK teams to emerge triumphant with their powerful yet simple to understand programming language ZuckerScript: They'll be flying to California representing the UK later this year in the world finals. 

Pic of the 4 Facebook Hackathon winners


Steve Furber and Gavin Brown were on CBBC’s Newsround last Friday, talking about modelling the human brain and the future of AI.

Screengrabs of Steve and Gavin on the BBC

3rd year project showcase                                                             19 Mar 14 

It was great to go to last week’s project showcase and see the impressive things that our students can do. So many students wanted to demonstrate that the session had to be split into two shifts. If you didn’t manage to see it this year, it will happen again next year...

Two photos of Project Showcase: a robot and a VR HMD.

Babbage’s Analytical Engine @MOSI                                          18th Mar 14 

The Computer Conservation Society Lecture on Tuesday evening will be about Babbage’s analytical engine:

Steve Furber features in the Big Issue

The Big Issue in the North (10th Mar edition) featured Steve Furber talking about SpiNNaker and the Human Brain Project – see the front page:



Seminar: Computational Support for Scientific Discovery              19 Mar 14

Dr Oliver Ray, University of Bristol.

14:00, lecture theatre 1.4 Kilburn building

Seminar home-page

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?

Research workshop at the School of Mathematics                         19 Mar 14 

New Directions in Nonlinear Optimization, Wednesday 19 March 2014, at the Alan Turing Building.

The workshop aims to highlight recent advances in nonlinear optimization and indicate future research directions.

It is an activity of the EPSRC Network Numerical Algorithms and High Performance Computing which is providing financial support.

Further information


Digitisation, you and the University Library                                      2 Apr 14

Benefits for research and teaching

Lunch: 12:30-13:00, Classics foyer, Samuel Alexander building

Event: 13-15:00, A101 theatre, Samuel Alexander building

Digitisation provides valuable opportunities to improve the range and reach of your research and teaching.

Specifically created for those involved in teaching and research, this event highlights the experience of academic colleagues who have already engaged in the digitisation process, illustrating the processes and demonstrating the benefits of doing so.


Participants will learn how to:

         promote their specialist area of work;

         increase the range and depth of materials available for teaching;

         improve resource access for students;

         make specialist materials more easily available;

         associate their work, and the University, with international provision of unique resources;

         achieve better integration of the teaching process with Library provision.



Mary Begley – SALC

Laurence Brown - SAHC

Carol Burrows – The University of Manchester Library

Martin Dodge – SEED

David Denison – SALC

Martin Snelling – The University of Manchester Library


Booking required.  Click here to register.


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

More detailed information is available now that for Horizon2020 has started (the successor of FP7 EU programme). EU research funding is important for the School and it’s important to understand what’s available


Reminder - H2020 information 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. Details on upcoming events are available, including focuses on graphene, HBP and FET.

Energy Resilient Manufacturing                                                        4 Apr 14

Closing date: 16:00 4 April 2014

Expressions of interest are invited for research ideas (incl. ICT) to explore the potential of Energy Resilient Manufacturing, reducing through systems, strategies and technology, the exposure of the manufacturing industry to risks in the future supply of energy.

Novel analytical methods for biological molecules feasibility studies             

                                                                                                         7 Apr 14

Outline application deadline: 17:00 7 April 2014


EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Emergent Macromolecular Therapies is offering funding to academics outside the Centre (incl. those in CS) for research feasibility studies related to the development of novel analytical methods for biological molecules. Up to £20k per (6-12 month) project is available, excluding the costs of the collaborating Centre researcher(s) which will be met by the Centre.

It may be possible to extend a successful feasibility study of a novel technology that shows outstanding potential with funding for a further 6 to 12 months.

NERC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) – second call                    9 Apr 14

Closing date: noon 9 April 2014


Funding is available from the University NERC IAA for projects based on NERC-funded research to:

·        develop early stage contact and strategic alignment between business and academics through relationship incubation;

·        bridge the gap in support for early stage commercialisation of ideas through concept development and feasibility studies;

·        increase the exchange of knowledge through mobility of people between the University and user organisations through exploitation secondments.

Projects awarded must be in a position to complete spend by 31 March 2015.

Manufacturing Fellowships - Call 4                                                 17 Apr 14

Intent to submit deadline (compulsory): 17 April 2014


Open to CS – not just for engineering…EPSRC is looking to support a number EPSRC Fellows in Manufacturing who have the potential to be future research leaders in their field in Manufacturing Research. The call is to support either academics who have recently moved from industry, or people in industry, involved in innovation, looking to move into academia for up to 5 years. Proposals must articulate the vision for utilising the Fellow’s industrial experience to inform their future research direction.

Brian Mercer Award for Innovation                                                 23 Apr 14

Closing date: 23 Apr 2014


This Royal Society scheme provides an award of up to £250k (including VAT where applicable) for projects of up to 2yrs in duration for scientists who wish to develop an already proven concept or prototype into a near-market product ready for commercial exploitation. It is not available for medical devices.


For scientists who wish to investigate the feasibility of commercialising an aspect of their research, the Royal Society Brian Mercer Feasibility Award is available (up to £30 for up to 12 months - no closing date).

Software for the Future II                                                               28 May 14

Intent to submit deadline (compulsory): 16:00 28 May 2014


Up to £4M of funding is available from EPSRC for projects focused on the development of software that is used in computational science and engineering. This call covers the development of novel code, the development of new functionality for existing codes and the development and re-engineering of existing codes. Strategic drivers are: developing code for emerging hardware architectures; developing researchers with key software engineering skills and software sustainability.

BBSRC’s Anniversary Future Leader Fellowships                          26 Jun 14

Closing date: 26 June 2014


The Future Leader Fellowship is a new programme for Early Career Researchers (incl. final yr PhD students and PDRAs) with no more than five years’ research experience who wish to undertake independent research and gain leadership skills. It is expected that 8-15 fellowships will be awarded for 3 years each and at a value of up to £250k.

International Research in Security (IRIS)                                        28 Aug 14

Closing date: 28 August 2014


EPSRC is inviting proposals from UK academics for projects which will support visiting Fellows from India, Israel or Japan to carry out cyber security research in, and build collaborative links with, the UK.


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.


The SpiNNaker Project

Steve Furber, Francesco Galluppi, Steve Temple and Luis Plana have had their paper The SpiNNaker Project accepted into the Proceedings of the IEEE on-line system. The paper provides a review of the project so far, which has already delivered systems with up to 2500 processors, as well as presenting the real-time event-driven programming model that supports flexible access to the resources of the machine.


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