School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

7 April 2014


News from HoS

This Week

School Events

External Events

Funding Opps

Prize & Award Opps

Research Awards

Staff News




News Submissions

Newsletter Archive

School Strategy

School Intranet

School Seminars

ESNW Seminars

NaCTeM Seminars


News from Head of School

Open Access Publishing required for next REF

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Department for Employment and Learning have announced that from 2016 they will expect all articles submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) to be available by open access. More information can be found here.

Staff-Student Coding Competition

The annual staff-student coding competition took place on Wednesday afternoon. There were 23 teams (6 staff teams, 17 students) who enjoyed an intense 3 hours of coding and pizza eating.


The winning team was Team.class.getDeclaredField("name").get(null) (members: Will Brown and Adrian Nenu, year 1 UG students)


In second place was

Freefood (members: Stefan Katov and Tomo Simeonov, year 3 UG students)


and in third place was

Wintemuted (members Dave Lester (staff) and James Knight (PhD student)


Congratulations to all who joined in and thanks to the organisers of a great event.



News and announcements

BCS Doctoral Consortium – call for presentations                           2 May 14

·       Presentation submission closing date: 2 May 2013 (latest)

·       Registration closing date: 13 May 2014 (latest)

·       Event: 16 May 2014, 9.30am-6pm, BCS London Conference Centre, Covent Garden


For PhD students…Registration is now open for the free 6th annual BCS Doctoral Consortium. The event provides an outstanding opportunity for PhD students (primarily in Computer Science and Informatics) from across the country to network and discuss the latest research. The Consortium includes a Keynote Address, short presentations from some students, with time for questions and discussion, and networking sessions. If you are interested in presenting you must register first.

Early registration recommended. Please contact Adrian Hall on with any queries.

Water-related research – NERC web tools

Attracting new partnerships with industry, and increasing the impact research is a major challenge.  To help address this, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has developed two new web tools to help improve industry access to academic expertise. NERC are inviting academics to upload information about water related expertise and Case Studies onto these two sites.


1.   The Directory of UK Water Research is a searchable database listing the expertise of >1000 individual researchers. Using key words to identify expertise, users of the Directory can navigate back to each researcher’s personal webpage on their university website. NERC are particularly inviting staff with expertise in the physical sciences and engineering to be added to the Directory. 


2.   The Water Research to Business website hosts >50 Case Studies showing how water related research has been used to improve business efficiency and competitiveness, or to support policymakers. WaterR2B seeks to describe industry challenges and solutions from an industry perspective and in the language of industry – and not the language of the research community.


Both websites are being publicised across industry and government departments and are being used by UKTI to identify specialist expertise and to promote the UK on global markets.


NERC leads on water across all Research Councils and hence you are encouraged to upload water related expertise and Case Studies from any disciplinary area.  Your feedback is most welcome on how these sites could be improved.


A Guide to Authors is available (contact Sarah Chatwin), and proforma’s are available from each website to assist you upload material. For technical enquiries on uploading content contact Rob Flavin. For general enquiries about the NERC Water Security Knowledge Exchange Programme (WSKEP), please contact Kay Heuser.

Astra Zeneca – resources for external academics

AstraZeneca (AZ) are collaborating with external scientists more than ever before. They have just launched an exciting initiative to make it easier for researchers to access our compounds and technologies and for collaborations. 

The AZ openinnovation website is a gateway to the full range of Open Innovation programs, including:


  • The Clinical Compound Bank and Pharmacology Toolbox - information on a number of AstraZeneca ‘live’ and discontinued patient-ready compounds, including clinical compounds in the AstraZeneca early drug pipeline. An easy-to-use tool is available to submit proposals to access the compounds for clinical and/or preclinical investigation.
  • Target Innovation - helping investigators validate a potential new drug target that they are researching. This can involve a grant from AstraZeneca to support the work and access to our discovery capabilities, including our compound library.
  • Our New Molecule Profiling - providing new information about a new compound synthesized by an investigator.
  • R&D Challenges - looking to collaborate with, and reward, those who bring innovative solutions to AZ R&D challenges and hurdles.


Please send any views on this initiative and further ideas to (Contact us).

Comments from workshop

Richard Banach participated in the Workshop on Fostering Innovation for Cyber-Physical Systems, Advanced Computing & Manufacturing, 19-20 February 2014, in Brussels, the idea being to garner further interest for an EU proposal in this area. With 17MEUR in the specific Smart CPS budget, and about 150 participants present (i.e. not counting interested individuals who weren't there), Harald Reuss (who some may remember as a colleague here some years back) said "It'll be a slaughterhouse."



Teaching with Mobile Devices - Learning from Experience             10 Apr 14

14-16:00, C24 Sackville St Building

The EPS eLearning team would like to invite you to an event showcasing best practices within the University of Manchester in the use of mobile technology to enhance teaching and learning.


Teaching with Mobile Devices - Learning from Experience


Through a series of presentations, demonstrations and discussions led by academic and learning technologists from the University of Manchester, participants will be introduced to various mobile teaching and learning approaches and see exemplars applied in practice.


Speakers include Dr Colin Lumsden from Manchester Medical School, Dr Nathan Proudlove from Manchester Business School, Dr Richard Kirkham from the school of MACE and Professor Niels Walet from the school of Physics & Astronomy.  


Please bring your own devices (laptop, tablet, mobile and etc.) with internet access. There will be some live interactive demonstrations!  


To register, please go to Eventbrite at

Emerging Technology Conference for Scientific Computing           11 Apr 14

Scientific computing has advanced rapidly in recent years enabling modelling and simulations that are groundbreaking and revolutionary in their scope and accessibility.  The emergence of novel hardware has been key to this development (GPUs, hybrid chips, FPGAs, multi-cores, etc.) placing the power of supercomputers from 5-10 years ago inside our mobile devices.  The hardware being developed by the major vendors continues apace however, faster than the scientific and industrial communities can keep up! To address this need, we are launching a new conference at the University of Manchester focusing on how to exploit and optimise Emerging Technology (EmiT) for scientific computing.  We are bringing together leading key figures in the scientific computing community, the end users of new software & hardware in industry and the vendors including INTEL, nVidia, mathworks to discuss all these issues.


We invite you to join us at this 1-day inaugural event and be part of the exciting collaboration between all the major players to lead the next generation of ideas and development.

Event website

Women in Science Panel Discussion                                              22 May 14

Kanaris Lecture theatre, Manchester Museum.

Panellists for this discussion include Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell (President and Vice Chancellor of the University), Professor Dame Tina Lavendar (Professor of Midwifery), Professor Dame Nicky Cullum (Professor of Nursing) and Professor Helen Gleeson (Professor of Physics).

You can sign up now for this event (100 places) by emailing Helen Dutton to secure your place. 

Hacktivism; a joint event between the People's History Museum and Working Class Movement Library                                                                7-8 Jun 14

Hacktivism: The Unlocking Ideas Hackathon

Saturday 7 June – Sunday 8 June, 13:00 – 13:00, Islington Mill.

Unlocking Ideas Worth Fighting For, a collaborative project between the People’s History Museum and the Working Class Movement Library, is excited to announce details of its 24 hour hackathon weekend.

From 13:00 on Saturday 7 June to 13:00 on Sunday 8 June, Unlocking Ideas Worth Fighting For is inviting programmers, campaigners, designers and anyone in between to team up in Salford’s Islington Mill and create the next generation of protest tools.

During the last two centuries the people demanded change by taking to the street.  From the Chartists to the suffragettes to the peace movement, those demanding change expressed their views publicly by bearing the tools of protest; placards, banners and posters. 


Now, activism is being redefined by the digital age. started this process; we’re looking at where it goes from here: could campaign music make the world a better place?  Could short notice protests be bigger and better?  Could movements realise what material has the biggest impact?


Get inspired by these questions and more and use the digitised collections of the People’s History Museum and Working Class Movement Library to hack new ways of speaking truth to power.


WiFi will be supplied and enabled by the fantastic Get Me Connected making sure you can get connected on the device (or devices) of your choice at any time. Food will be provided and our event hosts, Islington Mill, will kindly be putting on an honesty bar for the event.  Booking is via eventbrite and please check the People’s History Museum and Working Class Movement Library events pages for more information. Hacktivism is a free event, suitable for adults.


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 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.

External Horizon 2020 events                                                            Various

Details on upcoming events are available, including focuses on graphene, HBP and FET.

Funding opportunities brochure

Do you want to see the funding opportunities highlighted in this newsletter all in one place? Wait no longer! The first monthly Manchester CS Funding Opportunities brochure is available. Hardcopies available in the staff common room and soon to be online:

Send any comments to Sarah Chatwin.

Reminder - NERC IAA                                                                        9 Apr 13

Closing date: noon 9 April 2013

The NERC Pilot Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) makes funding available (for previously 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 organizations through Exploitation Secondments

Please contact the Knowledge Exchange Team to discuss potential applications. 


LMS Computer Science Small Grants - Scheme 7                           15 Apr 14

Closing date: 15 Apr 2014


The London Mathematical Society (LMS) supports short visits for collaborative research at the interface of Mathematics and Computer Science. Up to £500 is available either for grant holder visits to another institution within the UK or abroad, or by a named mathematician from within the UK or abroad to the home base of the grant holder. The applicant should be a mathematician based in the UK and non LMS members will need to ask an LMS member to support the 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.


Sampo Pyysalo, Sophia Ananiadou: Anatomical entity mention recognition at literature scale. Bioinformatics 30 (6): 868-875 (2014)

Source code, resources all freely available from


DYVERSE: From formal verification to biologically-inspired real-time self-organizing systems. E.M. Navarro-López. Computation for Humanity - Information Technology to Advance Society. Editors: Pieter J. Mosterman, Justyna Zander. ISBN-10:1439883270, CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. Chapter 12, pp.

301-346, 2013.


Group and total dissipativity and stability of multi-equilibria hybrid automata. E.M. Navarro-López, D.S. Laila. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, vol. 58(12), pp. 3196-3202, 2013.


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