School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

28 April 2014


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News from Head of School

Heritage Films – break in to the movies!

Dr James Hopkins, University Historian & Heritage Officer is currently producing a series of 60 second films about key individuals from the University’s past.


“The approach we're using is asking members of staff or students to say who a key individual was and why they find them inspiring. We're going to include Freddie Williams and Tom Kilburn and I wondered if you'd be able to talk very briefly about who they were, what their major contribution is, and why they are inspiring?”


The filming doesn't take long at all, if you wish to take part in this, please email James Hopkins.


Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA)

David Wiiletts has announced measures to modernise the Disabled Students’ Allowances, which are available to Higher Education students from England. The changes will apply to all full-time, full-time distance learning, part-time and postgraduate students applying for DSA for the first time in respect of an academic year beginning on or after 1 September 2015. There is a petition opposing the changes here.


News and Announcements

Survey: Creating Facilities to Support World-class Research at Manchester

Your chance to have a say in the University’s future investment in e-science/e-research tools and win an iPad mini!


(Author: Cath Riley, on behalf of Professor Douglas Kell)


Thank you to all those who have already participated in our e-Science/e-Research Survey, for those of you who haven’t yet there is still time!


The University is prepared to invest in tools and people to ensure that we take a leading position in e-research/e-science in the future - so the purpose of this survey is to inform the University’s future strategy. There are (at most) 12 questions in the survey and any question may be skipped so it need take only a few minutes.


1. If you feel you know enough about e-science and e-research to give an informed view of the software, datasets and computing facilities (and the people to help you exploit them) that you will need in the future, feel free to go straight to the survey:


2. If you would like a bit more explanation: The principle of e-science/e-research is that “3 months in the lab, or slaving over a pile of survey responses, can save a whole afternoon on the computer…”   – in other words e-science /e-research provides methods that can enhance productivity (and creativity) massively. For example, research on multiple candidate ideas or ‘experiments’ can be performed computationally so as to determine which ones might best be done ‘for real’. This requires different resources and a different kind of expertise in addition to the typical domain expertise of users.


So if you want access to these tools, now or in the future, to support your research, now is the time to stake your claim! Please go to the survey.


Cath Riley, on behalf of Professor Douglas Kell

Royal Society Pairing Scheme for Scientists, Parliamentarians and Civil Servants                                                                                         23 May 14

Closing date: 23 May 2014

Call for applicants. This scheme helps scientists to understand political processes and decision making by shadowing either an MP, a member of the House of Lords or a Civil Servant. Applicants should have a strong interest in science policy, a proven ability to communicate their research and at least 2 years of postdoctoral or equivalent professional research experience in industry. For information on how to apply click here or email:

News from the library: Mendeley Premium

Mendeley is a free reference management tool and academic social network that can help you organise your research, collaborate with others online and discover the latest publications in your field. As part of a collaborative project between The University of Manchester Library and Mendeley, the Library is providing access to the Mendeley Premium product to all University of Manchester researchers and students.


Anyone signing up to use Mendeley during 2014, and any existing users who upgrade during this period, will have access to the enhanced features:


·       5GB of personal storage space (rather than the standard 2GB).

·       Creation of unlimited groups for social networking and collaboration (rather than the standard 1 group)

·       Group team plan of 25 members (rather than the standard 3 members)

·       Plus advanced features such as Mendeley Suggest


The Library will be providing ongoing support and training so whether you are new to Mendeley or an existing user who wants to explore the enhanced features of the Premium version, you can sign up to our sessions or contact us for further support.


The sessions will all take place in the Teaching Suite (Blue 4) of the Main Library at the following times:


Thursday 8 May, 10am – 12pm

Wednesday 14 May, 2-4pm

Wednesday 21 May, 2-4pm

Friday 30 May, 10am – 12pm


Book your place: Library Mendeley Training Sessions  

For enquiries contact: Library Mendeley Support


Further information on Mendeley, and details of how to access Mendeley Premium, can be found the Library Website:

About Mendeley Premium


Anyone signing up, or upgrading, to Mendeley Premium will be invited to submit comments and feedback to support ongoing product enhancements.

The association "Sit with me" has recognised the 1st ACM womENcourage

The association Sit with me has recognised the 1st ACM womENcourage Celebration of Women in Computing held in the School of Computer Science in Manchester in March 2014. You can check it at this link and see how many inspiring men and women supported this event.

For more information about the conference check this link. Additionally, you can download the opening speech of this unique event here.



Guest lecture for COMP35112                                                         28 Apr 14

Dr Anton Lokhmotov of ARM.

15:00, lecture theatre 1.3, Kilburn building.

The main topic is ARM's Mali (high performance SIMD attached processor) system, including interesting stories accompanied by demos. Anyone with an interest in this kind of material is welcome to attend.

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.

Digital Music Research: from Music Objects to Social Machines    30 Apr 14

David De Roure, University of Oxford

14:00, lecture theatre 1.4, Kilburn building

Seminars page

Faculty open meeting                                                                      30 Apr 14

13:00-14:00, Wednesday, (Room C2, Renold Building)

Meeting with Professor Colin Bailey, the Vice-President & Dean.  Colin will:

  • Give an update on the Faculty’s current position
  • Review the Faculty’s key actions to date in response to the Staff Survey
  • Provide an update of the University’s Campus Master Plan and our Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) project

If there are any topics that you would like to see covered now or in the future then please let Rachel Hobson know.

All are welcome. Seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Women in Science, Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at The University of Manchester followed by Women in Science Panel Discussion                           22 May 14

10:30-16:00 (Edit-a-thon), 16:30-17:30 (Panel discussion)


On Thursday 22 May 2014 The University of Manchester is holding a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon event. The aim is to improve and increase the content on Wikipedia's pages about female scientists. Both new and experienced editors are welcome; there will be a training session for those new to editing, and experienced helpers will be available throughout the day.


The event will conclude with a panel discussion about the participation of women in science. Our 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).

If you are unable to attend the Edit-a-thon but wish to attend the panel discussion please email Helen Dutton.


Further info


Session structure:

Training for new editors, 11:00-12:00

Wiki-edit Sessions: 12:45-14:00, 14:15-16:00

Wiki Panel Discussion: 16:30-17:30

Lunch and Refreshments will be available.


There are limited tickets available. Please book online here:

Book online (Eventbrite)


If you have any questions about Women in Science, Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at The University of Manchester please contact Daria Cybulska from Wikimedia UK.

EPSRC Assistive, Adaptive and Rehabilitative Technologies Sandpit             

                                                                                                       5 June 14

Closing date: 5 June 2014

Event: 1-5 September 2014


Call for participants: The EPSRC is running a sandpit in the broad area of assistive and rehabilitative devices in order to try to engender a radical change in the research undertaken in this field in the UK.


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.

Royal Society India-UK Scientific Seminars                                 10 Jun 2014

Closing date: 10 June 2014


This scheme is for mid-career scientists who want to organise a small three-day scientific seminar between groups of scientists from India and the UK (20 attendees max; max. £12k). The scheme provides funding to cover the cost international airfares for up to 5 scientists, local travel costs for attendees, accommodation for all external attendees for up to 4 nights, hire of meeting rooms and audio visual equipment and all meals whilst the meeting is taking place.

CONICYT Chilean-led research with the UK

A new ‘Newton Fund’ exists for UK science and innovation collaborations with Emerging Powers, including Chile. The following CONICYT (the Chilean research council)/ RCUK opportunities must be led by Chilean partners but involve UK researchers.


1.     CONICYT academic mobility grant

·       Closing Date: 29 May 2014 16:00hrs (Chilean time)


Aim: to support scientific networking between British and Chilean researchers, and so to contribute to the development of Chilean human resources in specific areas relevant to national development.
Can cover: training internships for Chileans in the UK, academic workshops in Chile, academic visits in both directions and for access to equipment in the UK.

Amount of funding: Maximum grant is around £18,000 ($CLP 16.500.000).

Eligible fields: all

How to apply: The application must be made to CONICYT by Chilean researchers/research groups, but must include the participation of British researchers.

Further information (contact Sarah Chatwin for English version).


2.     CONICYT joint research grant

·       Closing Date: 5 July 2014 at 16:00hrs (Chilean time)


Aim: to strengthen collaboration between teams of researchers in Chile and the UK with the aim of achieving global-standard scientific research, and contributing to the development of Chilean human resources in areas relevant to national development.

Can cover: The funding may be used for salaries for project participants, travel and living expenses  for internships in the UK for Chilean researchers, travel and living expenses for visits to Chile for British researchers, equipment, consultancy, seminars etc.

Amount of funding: The maximum grant is around £55,000 ($CLP 50.000.000) per year for three years.

Eligible fields: all

How to apply/eligibility: The application must be made to CONICYT by Chilean researchers/research groups, but must include the participation of British researchers with a grant from the Research Councils.

Further information (contact Sarah Chatwin for English version).


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.


Sophia Ananiadou will give a keynote speech at the 19th International Conference on Application of Natural Language to Information Systems (NLDB 2014), to be held in Montpellier, France, from 18-20th June 2014. The NLDB conference aims at bringing together researchers, industries and potential users who are interested in various application of Natural Language in the Database and Information Systems field.  The topic of Sophia's s talk will be Biomedical Natural Language Processing.

Conference website:


Towards l2-stability of discrete-time reset control systems via dissipativity theory. J. Carrasco, E.M. Navarro-López. Systems & Control Letters, vol.

62, pp. 525-530, 2013.


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