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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Thursday, 26 July 2018

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Taking a summer break

    This will be the last Newsletter until the start of the new academic year. I hope that the summer allows for some kind of break and that it is most enjoyable and all that you'd wish.

    We had our summer graduation on Thursday 19 July. Despite the heat, suits, gowns and hats, it was a joyful occaision and we had some nice feedback from students, families and friends. Again, the marquee arrangement seemed to work very well. Many thanks to the staff that gave a good presence on the platform and to Kath Hopkins, Gavin Donald, Jean Davidson, Alyson Owens and all the others that made it run so well.

    The gallery of photos is here

    Do have a good summer and thank you for all the effort that makes the School work so well.

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    Changes to our Teaching and Learning Leadership

    As announced at the School Board, there are some changes in our Teaching and Learning Leadership Team. for the new academic year, the team will be:

    - Director of Teaching Strategy will remain as Steve Pettifer.
    - We have a new Director of Teaching and Learning who will be Sean Bechhofer.
    - We have a new Director of PGT, who will be Caroline jay.
    - Director of Undergraduate Studies remains as Toby Howard; Paul Nutter will become Deputy Director of UGS and will take over as DUGS in the academic year 2019/2010.

    Separating out the DoTL role from the DoTS role seeks to enable us to join together common parts of the UG and PGT offering. One example will be in a common approach to improving our feedback to students on assessments. we have a general aim of seeking to make our teaching and learning approach avoid replication  of work and give as a consistent approach as possible. You will be hearing more towards the start of the new academic year.

    I also take this opportunity to thank Norman Paton for all his work as Director of PGT and on the School Leadership Team.

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    New Academic Appointments

    We have two new appointments that I want to introduce to the School. I want to start doing so with a short biography and photograph in this Newsletter and will continue this as we make new appointments.

    Professor Angelo Cangelosi

    Angelo Cangelosi is our new Professor of Machine Learning and Robotics. This follows on from his professorship of Artificial Intelligence and Cognition, and his founding director role, at the Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems at Plymouth University. Cangelosi studied psychology and cognitive science at the Universities of Rome La Sapienza and at the University of Genoa, and was visiting scholar at the University of California San Diego and the University of Southampton. Cangelosi's main research expertise is on language grounding and embodiment in humanoid robots, developmental robotics, human-robot interaction, and on the application of neuromorphic systems for robot learning. He currently is the coordinator of the EU H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Industrial Doctorate “APRIL: Applications of Personal Robotics through Interaction and Learning” (2016-2019). He also is Principal investigator for the ongoing projects “THRIVE” (US Air Force Office of Science and Research, 2014-1018), the H2020 project MoveCare, and the Marie Curie projects SECURE and DCOMM. He has been coordinator of the FP7 projects ITALK and RobotDoc ITN, as well as UK projects BABEL and VALUE. Overall, he has secured over £30m of research grants as coordinator/PI. Cangelosi has produced more than 250 scientific publications, and has been general/bridging chair of numerous workshops and conferences including the IEEE ICDL-EpiRob Conferences (Frankfurt 2011, Osaka 2013, Lisbon 2017, Tokyo 2018). In 2012-13 he was Chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Autonomous Mental Development. He has been Visiting Professor at Waseda University (Japan) and at Sassari and Messina Universities (Italy). Cangelosi is Editor (with K. Dautenhahn) of the journal Interaction Studies, and in 2015 was Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Development. His latest book “Developmental Robotics: From Babies to Robots” (MIT Press; co-authored with Matt Schlesinger) was published in January 2015, and was recently translated into Chinese and Japanese.


    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    New Academic Appointments

    Dr Mustafa Mustafa

    I am pleased to introduce to you a new member of staff - Mustafa A. Mustafa (  Mustafa has re-joined our school as a Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Fellow. Prior to that he completed his PhD on smart grid security at our school in 2015 under the supervision of Dr Ning Zhang. After that he joined the COSIC research group, KU Leuven, Belgium, where he worked with Prof Bart Preneel.  Mustafa's current research interests include applied cryptography, data privacy and trust. More particularly, he focuses on analysis and design of secure and privacy-friendly solutions for various application areas such as Smart Grid, Smart City, e-Health, IoT, etc. You can find more about his research and publications here and here.  For the next few months you can find him in G12, Kilburn building. Please drop by his office or send him an email. He is eager for new collaborations.

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    [ top ]News and announcements

    Best paper award at the 23rd International Conference on Natural Language & Information Systems

    The paper "Classification of intangible social innovation concepts" by Nikola Milosevic, Abdullah Gok and Goran Nenadic has won a best paper award at the 23rd International Conference on Natural Language & Information Systems (NLDB 2018).

    It presents a method that catalogues mentions of social innovation concepts by applying text mining and machine learning techniques. The work is a part of Horizon 2020 KNOWMAK project that looks into how the knowledge is made in the European society.The paperis available at:

    gravatar Karon Mee

    Congratulations from the British Computer Society for Computing at Schools Team

    Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell passed on her thanks to David Rydeheard and the CAS team following a letter of congratulations from the British Computer Society for the achievements of the team.  The letter from Julia Adamson, Director of Education, BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT read:

    "I wanted to write to thank you formally for your commitment to the Computing At School (CAS) network.  Through the support of universities such as yours, the CAS network has achieved some amazing successes, delivering over 80,000 teacher hours of CPD, inspiring and supporting over 14,000 teachers in over 5,000 schools, enabling tens of thousands of students to achieve higher grades in Computer Science.    I would like to think that the forthcoming government investment of £84m in computing education is, in no small part, due to the success of our collective efforts. In particular, I would like to pass on my gratitude to the team at The University of Manchester - including Sarah Zaman, Carol Murray, David Rydeheard, David Ames and Carl Simmons  -  which has been an instrumental part in the overall success."

    The schools-outreach team here in Computer Science has indeed achieved extraordinary things in schools, both Primary and Secondary,  right across the Northwest. They have provided training for thousands of teachers, developed inspirational activities for schoolchildren, run a library of exciting equipment for schools, etc. In addition, they have focussed on the gender imbalance in the subject with local and national initiatives to correct this, and also on schools in “educational priority areas” where the need is greatest but the difficulties are also the greatest.

    Congratulations to David and the CAS team once again.




    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    Computer Science at at the Bluedot Music Festival

    The Bluedot Festival is one of the major music festivals of the summer. It takes place in the grounds of the Jodrell Bank radio telescope and combines science, comedy, talks and a vast range of music. The School of Computer Science had a marquee with activities for children and adults, run by our staff, students, schoolteachers and other volunteers. It was all superb fun and there was a great demand from families to take part in the activities with a range of robot programming, from Ozobots and Spheros for young children, through Lego machines to dancing Edbots. Thanks to Sarah Zaman for arranging the team and activities and thanks to all the staff, students, teachers and volunteers who made this possible.

    If you would like to be involved in our Public Engagement activities, contact Lucas Cordeiro.

    David Rydeheard


    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    [ top ]Events

    UK-Japan Symposium: SHITSUKAN approach to digital colour sensing - 8-9 August 2018

    The JSPS London Symposium and Seminar Scheme are sponsoring the UK-Japan Symposium: SHITSUKAN approach to digital colour sensing: human colour vision for material quality.

    Date: 8th to 9th August 2018

    Venue: School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Manchester

    This event is free to attend. For more details and to register, please go to the following link:

    gravatar Su Smith

    [ top ]PGR News

    The Schmidt Science Fellows Program

    The Schmidt Science Fellows Program has just launched the nomination and application process for the next round of Fellows for commencement in 2019-2020.  The quality of nominations and applications was outstanding and they were thrilled to be able to announce the first Fellows in April at a ceremony in New York.

    We have now opened the nominations process for the second class of Schmidt Science Fellows, for commencement in 2019-2020 and we are aiming to increase the number of fellowships we award. The selection of initial applicants will continue to take place through nomination from the world’s leading science institutions and the Schmidt Science Fellows Program would value nominations from the University of Manchester.

    The aim is to provide the world’s best emerging scientists with new perspectives, skills and networks so they can develop novel solutions to society’s challenges. Global problems do not follow discipline boundaries and, therefore, require interdisciplinary science approaches to find solutions. The Schmidt Science Fellows Program has a unique interdisciplinary emphasis and aims to expand the horizons of the next generation of leaders and innovators in the natural sciences, engineering, mathematics, and computing. They want to enhance the ability of the world’s most promising new scientists to develop cutting-edge research, and equip them with the skills to serve as leaders in their fields and in society.

    Nominations are welcome for our most outstanding, intellectually first-rate PhD students in the natural sciences and computing due who will complete their PhDs by July 2019. Successful Fellows are expected to combine scientific curiosity with extraordinary academic achievement. They should have demonstrated a collaborative spirit and have the ambition to make a lasting impact in science and in society, conducting research and pursuing knowledge that will benefit the world.

    Fellows receive a stipend of $100,000 and are supported by the Program to undertake a full-time, 11-month or longer postdoctoral study in a world-leading laboratory in a field different from their existing area of expertise. Fellows also spend five weeks during their fellowship year at four residential meetings around the globe. In these meetings the fellows are introduced to new research ideas, techniques and questions and are exposed to a wide-range of leading thinkers and institutions. The meetings also begin to foster a lifelong Schmidt Science Fellows community.

    The Program is supported by the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation, in partnership with the Rhodes Trust.

    The selection process is being run fia Faculty and so you need to nominate by Monday 6 August 2018 – I just need information on the student and their suitability (the eligibility/criteria for selection is below) back to . 


    In order to be eligible for nomination and potential selection as a Schmidt Science Fellow, candidates must meet the following requirements:

    • Have conducted their graduate degree in the natural sciences (life, physical, and earth sciences), engineering, mathematics, or computing.
    • Have completed or expect to complete all of the requirements for the conferral of their PhD in one of these fields between 1 May 2018 and 30 June 2019.
    • Be available for the entire period of the 2019-2020 program, from July 2019 to July 2020.

    Selection criteria

    Applications for the Schmidt Science Fellows program will be judged against the following selection criteria:

    • Scientific curiosity - Desire to achieve a broad level of exposure to and knowledge in cutting-edge innovations and research across the sciences.
    • Extraordinary achievement - Clear record of academic achievement in the sciences at leading institutions of higher learning.
    • Intellectual spark - High degree of intelligence, energy, and intellectual curiosity that will drive future scientific discoveries.
    • Global ambitions - The will to make a lasting impact in the sciences and society, pursuing knowledge that will benefit the world by engaging in ambitious research and displaying great perseverance throughout the scientific process.
    • Character - A genuine and demonstrable interest in society and global challenges combined with a desire to use personal talents and expertise to make a positive difference in the world .
    • Collaborative spirit - Demonstrated history of effective collaboration with diverse team members.
    • Use of innovative tools - General interest and comfort in using innovative technological tools, such as modern computing and data science techniques.
    • Alignment with the Program - Interest in pursuing a year or more of postdoctoral study in a field different from the topic of study for which the applicant received their doctorate. 
    gravatar Simon Harper

    [ top ]Research Funding Opportunities

    FSE Impact Support Opportunities

    The Faculty of Science and Engineering are pleased to announce financial support for projects that aim to deliver non-academic impact from excellent research. Based on the UK Research and Innovation definition, impact concerns “an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia”.

    The Faculty will provide support under two schemes: an EPSRC Impact Support Fund (specifically for work with previous or current EPSRC funding); and a more general FSE Support Scheme to support work funded from non-EPSRC sources.

    All research-active staff (that is those with research listed in their employment contract as an expectation) are eligible to apply.


    Applications will be considered at any time in the year, however, awards will be made on a first come first served basis. Early applications are encouraged.

    Form of application

    Applicants should complete the attached form, which can also be found on staffnet. For any costings, such as staff time or travel costs, please ask your local Research Support Services team for guidance. Applicants will receive acknowledgement of their application and be informed of a decision.

    Should you have any questions or queries, please contact Dr Natalie Theodoulou, FSE Impact Officer.

    gravatar Su Smith

    EPSRC IAA 5th Call - deadline 17/10/18 (initial contact with KE team at least one month before)

    The Knowledge Exchange Team is pleased to announce the 5th Call for Proposals under the following mechanisms:

    • Relationship Incubator Scheme (£10k, Open call) - Fostering new relationships between industry and academic researchers, creating opportunities for collaboration and exchange of knowledge and skills

    • Proof of Concept Scheme (£25k) - Support for the very early stage of transforming research outputs into commercial opportunities

    • Secondment Scheme (£50k) - Flexible support for secondments between The University of Manchester and businesses and other organisations


    Applications are only permitted for projects focused on the exploitation / application of knowledge or technology generated through EPSRC-funded research.

    Eligible collaborators are UK-based businesses (including UK sites of international businesses), UK charities, and UK public sector organisations such as the NHS. If you have any queries regarding user organisation eligibility, please contact the Knowledge Exchange Team.

    Do you have a potential project?

    The Knowledge Exchange Team provide active support for the development of EPSRC IAA submissions. Prior to applying, academics are strongly advised to contact a member of the KE Team for support, and at least 1 month before the call closing date of 17th October 2018.

    Further details are on the scheme webpage.

    Initial contact should be made via

    gravatar Su Smith

    Knowledge Transfer Partnerships - 19/09/18 and 31/10/18

    Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) give academics opportunities to observe and influence the practical application of their research. This supports the increasing demand to provide evidence of the impact of research investment, while informing the pathway of ongoing and future research.

    Benefits to academics are wide-ranging, but you can expect to:

    • apply knowledge and expertise to important commercial challenges;
    • develop industry-relevant teaching material;
    • identify new research themes, and undergraduate and postgraduate projects;
    • publish high-quality journal and conference papers;
    • contribute to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise;
    • develop strategic relationships with regional and national organisations.

    If you have a project that you think may be suitable for KTP, contact us for more information.

    gravatar Su Smith

    H2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions Individual Fellowships (IF) 2018 - deadline 12/09/18

    What is a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellowship?
    - An individual grant for experienced researchers undertaking mobility between countries.
    - The fully funded (salary, travel & research costs) Fellowship provides an opportunity to undertake world class research in any research field and enhance a researcher’s career development through training and the transfer of knowledge.
    - An application is made jointly by the researcher with a supervisor from the host institution.

    What does a Marie Curie Fellow Do?
    Undertakes a research project and advanced training. The researcher is therefore expected to implement the research/innovation activities by organising/taking part in training courses, workshops, summer schools, seminars, conferences with the aim of sharing knowledge, acquiring new skills and developing their career prospects.
    Communicates and disseminates the research findings and participates in public engagement activities.
    Secondments during the Fellowship are highly recommended. Secondments must take place in Europe, preferably in a non-academic sector and they must facilitate knowledge transfer or provide training opportunities.

    If you plan to host (and supervise) a researcher please contact the Research Support office as soon as possible so we can send you the latest call factsheet and relevant information for submitting an application.

    gravatar Su Smith

    [ top ]Research News

    Best paper award at the 23rd International Conference on Natural Language & Information Systems

    The paper "Classification of intangible social innovation concepts" by Nikola Milosevic, Abdullah Gok and Goran Nenadic has won a best paper award at the 23rd International Conference on Natural Language & Information Systems (NLDB 2018). It present a method that catalogues mentions of social innovation concepts by applying text mining and machine learning techniques. The work is a part of Horizon 2020 KNOWMAK project that looks into how the knowledge is made in the European society.The paper is available at:

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    [ top ]Tech Support News

    Small information breach

    We reported a small information breach to the IGO following a report from one of our academics. This involved the likely lifting of all email contacts from a smart phone that was Bluetooth-paired with a hire car. The IGO response is No Action, other than to advise staff not to do such pairings with vehicles they don't own (especially if the phone is used for work email).

    gravatar Ian Cottam

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks
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Last change: Thursday, 26 July 2018 12:20:10