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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Tuesday, 02 October 2018

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Our Future – your Big Ideas

    What should our vision for the future be? All University staff are being invited to help shape the University’s new strategic plan, by thinking big. What opportunities and challenges will be faced by the HE sector and our own University, beyond 2030? This new approach to collectively developing our strategic vision, gives our colleagues a voice and a chance to come up with some Big Ideas that will be considered by the University’s Senior Leadership Team.

    Two engagement sessions will run in the School on 17 and 24 October to collate your ideas (more information on these will be sent separately). There are also University-wide events that you can attend, or you can feedback individually via the Our Future webpages.

    To get a taster for the context of the activity, see the Our Future video on YouTube.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    BBC looking for female experts in science, technology and innovation

    The BBC is looking for female experts that would be interested to appear on BBC World Service English programmes. They are holding a free media familiarisation day for women with particular expertise that would be interested in appearing on video, radio and as online contributors to World Service programming.

    See the BBC news article on StaffNet for more information. The application deadline is Sunday 14 October.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    See the University’s new business analytics tool – Power BI

    The University is replacing the Discoverer reporting system with a new tool, called Power BI. We have arranged for the IT Services Data Team Lead (and Power BI Project Manager) Simon Eley, to come and give an information session about the new tool and plans for rolling it out. These will take place on Tuesday 2 October and Thursday 4 October in Atlas 1, from 11am-12pm.

    Whilst the session will be focussed to a PSS staff audience anyone is welcome to attend, so please drop in if interested.


    gravatar Karon Mee

    A Farewell do

    Several people are leaving the School after a collected long service - around 150 years of service to the University. To mark this occasion we will have a Farewell bash at the Christie Bistro on Friday 16 October between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Drinks and nibbles will be supplied. Do put the date in your diaries.

    Those academics leaving the School at some point this Semester will be:

    - Andy Carpenter.

    - Alvaro Fernandes.

    - Ernie Hill

    - Allan Ramsay.

    - David Rydeheard.

    There are a collection of cards for signing and so on in ACSO.


    gravatar Karon Mee

    ARCADE Silver Jubilee

    ARCADE Silver Jubilee

    On the afternoon of Tuesday 28th September 1993, John Latham and Pete Jinks, formerly of this parish, debated a problem. The department had just changed its first year structure for the academic year 1993-1994 from the students taking 5 one year-long modules to 6 in each semester. Previously only 3 of the 5 modules had laboratory work, and it had not mattered too much that each had been run differently, whereas now most of the 12 would have continuous assessment. So there was a concern about consistency and management of deadlines.

    John sent an email on Tuesday 28th September 1993 at 18:48:00 to all the first year lecturers proposing the new management regime. This moment marks the conception of the system we now call ARCADE. Over the past twenty five years ARCADE has been used to manage a substantial part of the Undergraduate laboratory system.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    [ top ]News and announcements

    Library News

    Computer Science Newsletter

    Sept 2018

    Get Started 2018

    Get Started is the Library’s flagship campaign where we introduce new students to our services. Please visit our website which will help students to discover the services we offer and how they can access them, all in their own time.

    My Learning Essentials Maths, Stats and Data Handling Drop-In

    Every Wednesday 12-1pm

    Alan Gilbert Learning Commons Training Room (-104)

    If any of your students need help with Maths, stats or data handling then please direct them to the Library’s My Learning Essentials Maths support drop-in (Wednesdays 12-1pm). These are quick informal sessions, there’s no need to book. The drop-in is open to all University of Manchester staff and students. Please contact for more details.


    Maths Club

    5/10 12-2pm, 19/10 12-2pm, 2/11 12-2pm, 16/11 12-2pm, 30/11 1-3pm

    Alan Gilbert Learning Commons Training Room (-104)

    If your students are working on some maths, stats, engineering or data analysis then invite them to come along to Maths Club where they can work in a focussed and supportive environment with likeminded people, and there will be some staff on hand to answer any questions you have along the way.

    This is an informal session so there’s no need to book, just turn up and get working!

    We’ll also have free tea, coffee and biscuits. Please contact for more details.

    Order a Book

    The Library understands that students get frustrated when they can’t get the books they need for their studies. To support students, the Library is providing the ‘Order a book’ service: if you need it we’ll get it! If the Library doesn’t hold a copy of the book needed, the student can fill in the Order a book form and the Library will get it for them.



    gravatar Karon Mee

    [ top ]Events

    The Engineering to Medicine Metamorphosis 10/10/18 KB L.T1.4 14:00

    Title: “The Engineering to Medicine Metamorphosis” by Dr Sani Nassif

    We computer engineers are justifiably proud of the tremendous success that integrated electronics has enjoyed over the last 50 years. After all the world has been irrevocably changed by the pervasive connectivity and computing capability we have enabled. Today’s smart devices are just the beginning of an avalanche of “intelligence” that will be enabled by the internet of things and further change our lives for the better. But it can sometimes be difficult to explain to a layperson what part we have played in this narrative, somehow a 2% improvement in device density or circuit noise immunity sounds quite far from “the next iPhone”.

    As technology slows down, matures, and the industry consolidates, we are presented with opportunities for applying our talents for the analysis, modeling, optimization and solution of difficult large scale problems in adjacent fields. This talk is about one such opportunity in the area of radiation therapy, where Medical Physicists work hand-in-hand with Oncologists to provide life-saving treatments for Cancer. Making the transition from EDA to Medicine required some significant sacrifices and humility -but the end result is a commercial and scientific success and a far greater level of relevance to people’s lives.


    Short Biography

    Sani received his Bachelors degree from the American University of Beirut in 1980, and his Masters and PhD degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1981 and 1986 respectively. He worked at Bell Laboratories until 1996, then joined the IBM Austin Research Laboratory where he had various technical and management positions. In 2014 he formed the Radyalis company which is focused on applying electronic design automation techniques to the area of Cancer Radiation Therapy. He has authored one book and numerous conference and journal publications, received many Best Paper awards (IEEE Trans. CAD, ICCAD, DAC, ISQED, ICCD, SEMICON) and given Keynote and Plenary presentations at DATE, ESSCIRC, ASPDAC, SISPAD, SEMICON, PATMOS, VLSI-SOC, GLVLSI, and ASAP. He is a Fellow of the IEEE (2008), was president of IEEE-CEDA, was a member of the IBM Academy of Technology, a member of the ACM and AAAS, and is an IBM Master Inventor with more than 75 patents.

    There will be refreshments available in the Staff Common Room for informal discussions after the seminar.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    Graphene: Recent developments and its potential for application in healthcare - 17/10/18

    Last remaining tickets are available for the FBMH ‘Forging New Links’ event: Graphene: Recent developments and its potential for application in healthcare, to be held on Wednesday 17th October, 5.30-7.30pm at Citylabs 1.

    Registration and agenda:

    gravatar Su Smith

    Research Lifecycle Programme October events: Computational Research Workshops & Open House

    The RLP’s successful business case has led to more funds specifically geared towards investing in Research IT infrastructure this year, and for the next four years. The first phase, this autumn, will be an investment of over £900k in local computational platforms, aimed at addressing the needs of researchers who require High Performance Compute capabilities.

    The following Computational Research Workshops are a good opportunity to have your say on how funds should be prioritised, particularly with regards to expanding researcher’s computational infrastructure including anything from more GPUs to a server with 3TB of RAM inside.

    • Wednesday 17th October – Mansfield Cooper, in Room 2.03 from 15:00-16:30
    • Tuesday 23rd October – University Place, in Room 5.206 from 10:00-11:30


    The next RLP open house event is taking place from 1pm-2pm on Tuesday 30 October 2018, in Room 3.40 of the Simon Building.

    Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions directly to members of the programme team.and be updated with the latest developments, including an introduction to the Digital Image Viewer project.

    Register for October’s open house event

    gravatar Su Smith

    Wellbeing lecture series

    The University has added to its calendar of wellbeing events this year, with the introduction of a new lunchtime lecture series which is open to all staff and students. Led by international experts and speakers in their fields, current topics planned for October through to December 2018 include Positive Psychology, Wellbeing and Place, and Resilience and Strength.

    See the Wellbeing lecture series on StaffNet for more information and dates.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    Brilliant and BAME: Celebrating Black History Month

     ‘Brilliant and BAME: Celebrating Black History Month’  is taking place at the University on Wednesday 3 October, 12pm-3.30pm.

    This exciting University-wide event will consist of guest speakers, an exhibition of stands showcasing different organisations and opportunities, live music, street food and art and is open to staff, students and the local community.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    Tue, 02 Oct 2018 12:49:40 +0100

    Cyber security...hands on!

    If you have been bitten by the cyber security bug of enthusiasm or wonder if you'd like to be...then get on to Immersive Labs ( who offer exactly the right kind of progressive on-line cyber security learning experience to complement our studies. Your University of Manchester of Manchester will get you a free registration.

    And what's more, every time you complete a lab, you earn points for the University in an International league table! (In August we ranked 68 out of 365 institutions.) Enjoy. Learn. Develop the skills...let's make the connected world a safer place for all.

    All I ask is an occasional e-mail to let me know how you're getting on. (

    gravatar Karon Mee

    Seminar on 3rd October in Kilburn

    Social Loafing: Why Good People Breach Security And What To Do About It

    Digital Trust & Security Guest Seminar

    Speaker: Prof. Debi Ashenden (Portsmouth University)

    Date: Wednesday 3rd October 2018

    Time: 13:00 - 14:30

    Venue: TH_1.5, Kilburn Building, University of Manchester, M13 9PL

    The new Digital Trust & Security guest seminar series starts the 2018/19 academic year on the 3rd October by hosting Professor Debi Ashenden of Portsmouth University. Professor Ashenden will address insider threats, user behaviour and the social element behind security breaches.


    There is a category of insider threat that has so far been under explored. This is the ‘everyday insider threat’, where people are committing small breaches of security policy, are aware that they are doing it but are not intending it to have a detrimental effect on the organisation. Motivations for these actions have, until now, not been explored in detail and yet the impact of these small breaches can have a disproportionate impact on an organisation.

    This talk will explore how current security research relies both explicitly and implicitly on rational choice models to explain employee behaviour. An examination of rational choice theory and behaviour change demonstrates that while this delivers effective interventions in some instances there is significant evidence to demonstrate exceptions to the applicability of the theory. The talk will move on to examine social loafing (including the sucker effect and the free rider effect) as an explanation for the everyday insider threat. Finally, a range of recommendations for interventions will be identified that focus on identifiability, feedback and evaluation; personal involvement of employees; social facilitation and group cohesiveness and morals, ethics and self-concept maintenance.

    This seminar will appeal to staff and students with interests in both technical and behavioural aspects of security. All postgraduate students and faculty members welcome, please sign up for the event by clicking this link.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    Inaugural Lecture. Prof. Angelo Cangelosi 12/12/18

    Professor Angleo Cangelosi, School of Computer Science

    Title: Developmental Robotics: An Interdisciplinary Journey from Psychology to AI and Cognitive Robotics

    Date: Wednesday 12 December 2018, 17:30

    Location: Lecture Theatre 1.1, Kilburn Building


    Developmental Robotics (Cangelosi & Schlesinger 2015) is the interdisciplinary field that aims to design sensorimotor and cognitive capabilities in robots, by taking direct inspiration from child psychology experiments. This relies on the combination of cognitive- and neural-inspired AI and machine learning methods. Such a highly interdisciplinary approach nicely fits Cangelosi’s own journey and epistemological approach which started with a background in humanities and experimental psychology, and then led to research in AI and cognitive robotics. During the talk we will present several examples of developmental robotics models of language learning and grounding. This will include studies with the iCub robot on early word and grammar learning, on embodied number learning. and a neurorobotics model combining the iCub and SpiNNaker. The implications and use of these models for human-robot interaction applications, such as robot companions for older people, will also be discussed.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    Inaugural Lecture. Prof. Simon Harper 20/02/19

    Professor Simon Harper will present his inaugural lecture on Wednesday 20th February 2019.

    Details to come.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    [ top ]Research Funding Opportunities

    EPSRC NetworkPlus in Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security - deadline 06/12/18

    EPSRC would like to establish a NetworkPlus to develop and build on industry-academic relationships in Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security (TIPS). This network will bring together relevant parts of the TIPS community and a variety of stakeholders, including the CyberInvest members and other users, to identify the key opportunities where industry-academic collaboration is needed, build collaborations and grow the area of research and innovation for the benefit of the UK.

    Up to £1.7 million (at 80% fEC) is available for this call to support one single NetworkPlus.

    A webinar will take place on 18 October at 14:30 which will feature a presentation from EPSRC contacts and an opportunity to ask any questions. Please visit the call guidance for full details:


    gravatar Su Smith

    [ top ]Research News

    Brexit - UK Government Underwrite of H2020 Projects - UKRI Portal

    Message from Liz Fay, EU Funding & Development Manager:

    At the end of last week, the website announced that, as part of the UK Government’s underwrite guarantee should the UK leave the EU with no deal, UK recipients of Horizon 2020 funding (and FP7 projects which are still running) be invited to provide data about their projects on a portal managed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The portal is designed to ensure that UKRI has the information about projects and participants in order to underwrite guarantee payments if required.

    It is likely that PIs in your schools will be aware of this and may ask for advice on what they need to do, at the moment the Research Operations Team in the Central Research Office are looking in to what needs to be done so they do not need to do anything.

    I’ll get back to you once I know more about the process with further details.

    You can check out the website here: New UKRI system needs community input on Horizon 2020 grants

    Any questions please ask.

    gravatar Su Smith

    European Commission - New Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal (Particpant Portal)

    The European Commission has released a new corporate portal covering EU funding programmes beyond Research & Innovation, aiming to replace the current Participant Portal which will cease its function at the end of the year.

    The new portal will become the single entry point for finding and managing EU grants and procurement contracts covering all centrally managed programmes by the start of the next EU multiannual programme period in 2021. This portal provides all the functions available under the current Participant Portal while introducing a new layout and graphic design and an improved keyword search function with new features and search behaviour. It also integrates the calls for tenders system.

    The Commission encourages applicants and other users to start using the new Funding and Tenders Opportunities Portal immediately, searching and applying for funding opportunities and tenders, managing grants and procurement contracts, as well as for registering as experts or managing contracts and payments online.

    gravatar Su Smith

    [ top ]Tech Support News

    Changes for IT Services support

    To help better distribute the support for our School and increase knowledge share for IT Services colleagues, as of Monday 1 October all requests for IT Services support should be made to the IT Support Centre via the IT online support portal or by calling ext. 65544. Tim Furmston, who has been based locally up in the School recently has returned back to IT Services. Mike Keeley will remain in his office in the School, but should only be contacted as an escalation point or for emergencies, to help manage those incidents through.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    gravatar Karon Mee
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Last change: Tuesday, 02 October 2018 14:45:35