School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

14 April 2014


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News from Head of School

Students as Partners Celebration Evening - Computer Science PASS Scheme Nominated for Award


At the recent Students as Partners Celebration Evening held at the Palace Hotel the Computer Science PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) Scheme was one of the three nominated schemes for ‘PASS Scheme of the Year’. The School came 2nd with Aerospace being named as the winners. This is an excellent achievement for the whole PASS team as there are 23 schemes in total running through all the Schools in the University. Gavin Donald sat on the panel of judges although he was unable to vote on this category.


So congratulations to our Student Coordinators Matt Akerman and Dalwinder Bagdi, 2nd Year PASS Coordinators Danielle Grayston and Jack Evans, all of our 33 PASS Leaders and Staff Coordinators Andrea Schalk and Gavin Donald. Computer Science also received tremendous support from the Students as Partners Sabbatical Intern Natasha Irwin. Those who attended the Celebration Evening said it was a very entertaining event and many of our students enjoyed learning new programmes and showing off their ‘algorithms’ on the dance floor as the evening ended with a traditional Ceilidh.


CBE awarded

Carol Goble was awarded her CBE on Friday 4th April. Doug Kell (Chemistry, MIB) was also honoured in the same ceremony.



From The War of Nature

Andrea Schalk and Colin Caine (2nd year CDT PhD) were thanked at the official opening of Manchester Museum’s “From the War of Nature” Exhibition. The exhibition’s title comes from Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species”, published in 1859. Drawing upon more recent scientific discoveries about the relationships between living things, the exhibition explores the place of war in nature, and the idea of a ‘struggle for existence’. Colin Caine features in the exhibition discussing his simulations of conflict and co-operation and how life evolves.The museum can be found by leaving the Kilburn Building from the goods entrance and crossing Oxford Road – It’s the big stone building right in front of you and can easily be visited during a lunch break.



IPython: From interactive computing to computational narratives  28 Apr 14

14-16:00, Lecture Theatre G20, Mansfield Cooper building

Fernando Perez, UC Berkeley

Python has become one of the most important programming languages for modern scientific computing and is steadily replacing proprietary systems such as MATLAB, Mathematica and SPSS. The Ipython (Interactive Python) project brings interactivity, parallel programming and collaboration to the Python eco-system.


Fernando Perez is a leading light in the use of Python for scientific computing and leads the IPython project. He is also a core member of the new Berkeley Institute for Data Science.

Consortia for Exploratory Research in Security – conference        16 Jun 14


The Research Councils UK Global Uncertainties Programme is holding a one-day meeting to highlight research funded through the CEReS (Consortia for Exploratory Research in Security) call. Registration required.


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.

External Horizon 2020 events                                                            Various

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

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.

MQ Fellows Award 2014 – transforming mental health                    24 Apr 14

Closing date: 17:00 24 April 2014


This Programme is open to researchers from all disciplines related to mental health research.  MQ Awardees will be either newly independent or finalising their transition to independence, and so at a stage where their career is committed to mental health research. Key features of the programme are:

·       £75k per year; flexible as to how funds are allocated and whether to salary &/or research costs

·       For early career scientists from any discipline making the transition to independent status

·       Interdisciplinary approach is essential


The Programme follows a 2-stage application process. The deadline for Stage 1 Letter of Intent applications is Thursday 24th April, 2014, 17:00 BST.

Please contact with any queries.

CDE enduring challenge competition                                              29 Apr 14

Closing date: 17:00 29 April 2014 (deadline every month)

Dstl's Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) proves the value of novel, high-risk, high-potential-benefit research sourced from the broadest possible range of science and technology providers including academia, to enable development of cost-effective capability advantage for UK Armed Forces and national security.

enduring challenge competition is an open call for all highly innovative ideas that challenge existing conventions and have a high potential benefit for the military end user. The enduring challenge competition seeks innovative, proof-of-concept research proposals in areas including:

• protection
(personnel, platforms, facilities, digital systems, materials)
• situational awareness (sensors, precision navigation and timing, reduced GPS dependability, persistent surveillance, status of digital systems)
• power (provision/sources, non-fossil, hybrid, management, fuel efficiency)
• communications (secure, unsecure, mobile, novel forms)
• data (cyber, information, big data, management and processing, sense-making, visualisation, delivery, interoperability)

Proposals must be submitted via
CDE’s online Portal and are considered monthly. For further information contact: .

CDE Innovation Network Call: Information processing and sensemaking     

                                                                                                       26 Jun 14

·       Launch event: 22 May 2014, London

·       Closing date: 17:00 26 June 2014

Good for Text Mining and MLO…This CDE themed competition is looking for solutions to the challenges arising from the future intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) environment. Traditional, well-modelled, structured information sources are supported by a growing amount of unstructured, less well-defined sources. The addition of non-traditional data sources, which have different error variables and scales, creates the following challenges in sensemaking:

  • data association and correlation of both unstructured and structured data
  • uncertainty propagation and management across multiple data representations
  • automated hypothesis generation
  • automated learning to understand complex relationships
  • autonomous model generation
  • techniques that cope with large-scale data.

Current government information processing and sensemaking is a human-intensive process with a high cognitive burden. This process does not easily scale. Through this CDE themed competition, we are seeking projects to demonstrate solutions as prototype software. They must be designed, from the outset, to cope with large-scale data and must run at near-operational speeds.

Dstl owns or has access to a number of computer environments that process operationally relevant data. We aim to use the solutions developed through this competition on these environments to allow rapid pull-through into operational use. Deliverables must include executable source code, ideally as components in open-source frameworks, e.g. Ozone Widget Framework, so they can rapidly be evaluated.
Dstl will provide successful bidders with access to a large-scale data set for testing solutions and provide a licence to an integrated analytical toolkit for network and geospatial analysis.

We are seeking projects of technology readiness level (
TRL) 3-5 for 12-month duration. Solutions will be expected to be developed to a maturity that will allow them to take part in a live information processing experiment in September 2015.

This competition will launch at the CDE Innovation Network event on Thursday 22 May 2014.  Registration required.

Stand Up to Cancer Fellowships                                                      28 Jul 14

Closing date: 28 July 2014

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), on behalf of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and Cancer Research UK, is accepting applications for SU2C-Cancer Research UK Translational Research Fellowships that will offer up to $315,000 each in research funding.

The grants provides 4 yrs of research fellowship support (from Feb 2015) to the most talented and promising US and UK early-career investigators (with less than 2 yrs post-doc experience), who have completed their PhD or clinical training and demonstrate clear potential to become leaders in their fields. Research projects must be translational in nature and address critical problems in cancers with the potential to deliver patient benefit.

Fellows funded through this initiative will gain translational research training in top US and UK research institutions, allowing them to develop their own ideas and preparing them to establish and lead their own research groups, towards becoming outstanding leaders in their own fields. Proposals must include plans to promote new significant transatlantic collaborations and active exchange of knowledge and expertise between the US and UK.

28 July 2014, noon (ET). Applications must be submitted online using the proposal CENTRAL website

Applicants must identify one qualified host laboratory and mentor, both in the US and UK. The work must be performed in two phases, one in the US and one in the UK. Mentors should be established leaders in cancer research with a track record of success in mentoring postdoctoral or clinical research fellows. Program Guidelines available.

CRUK are encouraging a greater quantity and quality of applications for the next rounds of these funding cycles. For more information contact Milla Nakkeeran.


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.


Recent publications

The paper ‘Balancing risk appetite and risk attitude in requirements: a framework for user liberation’ by Dr Daniel G Dresner and Dr Joy Garfield (alumna, now: University of Worcester) has been accepted for the upcoming UK Academy for Information Systems conference in Oxford (7th-9th April)

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