Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Friday, 01 February 2019

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]Events

    Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) visit to UoM - 13/02/2019, 14:00-16:30

    DASA will be visiting Manchester on 13 February for a University-wide event, open to academics from any discipline.

    There will be a general briefing from Jonathan Jones, DASA Innovation Partner, who will provide an overview of how DASA finds and funds innovation from academia which can then be implemented across defence and security. This will be followed by a Q&A session and one-to-one meetings for anyone wanting to discuss a project (registration required).

    For further information and to register vist: DASA briefing at the University of Manchester

    gravatar Su Smith

    UKRI GCRF Manchester Event - 07/03/2019

    UKRI are continuing to announce details of the GCRF Collective Programme <>, a series of calls designed to enhance the overall impact across the six strategic GCRF Challenge portfolios (further details to follow from James Evans shortly).

    To publicise the calls, UKRI have arranged a programme of GCRF engagement events, one of which will take place at the University on 7th March. For full details and to register visit:

    The Manchester event will provide an update on live and upcoming ODA calls/activities including the Collective Programme and will also provide an opportunity to discuss key topics e.g. interdisciplinary approaches, building equitable partnerships, and maximising impact. There will also be an opportunity to engage with GCRF Challenge Leaders who are responsible for the building and success of individual GCRF challenge portfolios, Dr Jaideep Gupte – Cities and Sustainable Infrastructure and Professor Helen Fletcher – Global Health will be present at the Manchester event.

    gravatar Su Smith

    Inaugural Lecture Professor Simon Harper - 27th February 2019

    27th February, 5.30pm, Lecture Theatre 1.1, Kilburn Building

    Professor Simon Harper
    "Behavioural Modelling for Good not Evil"

    Monitoring, modelling, and changing behaviour have been getting a bad ‘rap’ recently; but it’s not all Russian Troll farms on Facebook, Cambridge Analytica swinging Brexit, Amazon recommending things you don’t want, or a social media bubble better tailored to the views of you and your friends. Measuring behaviour has a long and deep history which is not just limited to cynical manipulation. From its simplest form tracking fitness and sports performance to deeper understandings of health and wellbeing, my work is based on the three pillars of Unobtrusive Measures, BioMedical Telemetry, and Human-Machine Symbiosis. I’ll talk about working with Blind people, Older users, people with Parkinson's Disease, and people with mental health conditions. We’ll look at different technologies and ways to understand behaviour and how we allocate meaning to that behaviour so that we can adapt ‘apps’, systems, environments and a person's behaviour to benefit them in their everyday lives. We’ll finish up with a cautionary note, elaborate what's coming up in the next 20 years, and elucidate a couple of ‘left-field’ ‘Friday night experiments’.


    gravatar Karon Mee

    Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) visit 13/02/19

    The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) will be visiting the University on Feb 13th. This is a University-wide event, open to academics from any discipline; funding opportunities will be discussed.

    There will be a general briefing from Jonathan Jones, DASA Innovation Partner, who will provide an overview of how DASA finds and funds innovation from academia which can then be implemented across defence and security. This will be followed by a Q and A session and one to one meetings for anyone wanting to discuss a project (registration needed).

    Anyone interested can find further information and register via the following link - DASA briefing at the University of Manchester

    People can book a 1-2-1 with Jonathan to discuss a project, by emailing Prof Lin Li‎ (AssocDean for Business Engagement and Development)

    gravatar Karon Mee

    Atlas Lecture 6th February 2019

    Dr Paul Rayson Wednesday 6th February 2019 in Kilburn L.T 1.4 at 2pm

    Twenty eight years of semantic tagging

    In this talk, I will explain the motivation for the Natural Language Processing (NLP) task of semantic annotation, and how it can be applied widely along with Corpus Linguistics (CL) methods for content analysis, market research, political discourse analysis, metaphor analysis, topic modelling, as well as in number of forensic, legal and policing scenarios. I will provide an overview of my work spanning 28 years on the UCREL Semantic Analysis System (USAS) which will serve to illustrate how challenging a task it is to teach a computer to understand natural language semantics, as well as showing the changing trends in methods in NLP from knowledge-based and empirical approaches utilising vast corpora and web resources that are now available. Originally designed for British English, I will highlight experiments we've undertaken to extend the methods and linguistic resources to more than 12 languages, working with multiple teams of researchers around the world. Finally, I will describe our recent research to expand coverage over time with a much larger and historically sensitive taxonomy in the Historical Thesaurus Semantic Tagger (HTST), employ crowdsourcing, learn Welsh, and adapt USAS to specific biomedical domains in the Gene Ontology Semantic Tagger (GOST).


    gravatar Karon Mee

    [ top ]PGR News

    PhD/PGR Student External Prizes

    As part of REF - and in general for our own advertising -  we wanted to create a list of external prizes that PGR students have received. From BCS prizes to conference prizes, competition prizes - everything.

    Can you send me ( anything that has been won, 1st, 2nd 3rd places and the like. And keep sending them each time a new prize is won.

    I need the Student Name, Supervisor Name, Prize Title, Venue, Year, and Author List (if more than student and supervisor). You can also send me the citation if you have it.

    Don't wait for your supervisor, if you are a PGR student and have won - send me the details!

    Looking forward to a deluge!

    gravatar Simon Harper

    Important News for Teaching Assistants

    Some of the other Schools in FSE have identified some serious Health and Safety risks on their GTA programmes. Apparently, there is quite a culture of “informal” demonstrating where the official demonstrator cannot make his/her session for one reason or another so they ask their “mates” to do the session for them.

    This is not an issue provided the “mate” has done the training and has a current contract to demonstrate; but if they haven’t, the informal demonstrator is not insured.

    If there was an accident under these circumstances (involving either the demonstrators or the students they were demonstrating to) there would be very serious consequences for both the GTA, unit coordinator, and the University overall.

    I don't think we have such a problem in Computer Science. Asking another demonstrator on the same unit to cover sometimes happens and is just fine. I also realize that TA-Lecturer contact is quite strong and also that the course materials very specific and so a random PGR student turning up to demonstrate doesn't really happen.

    However, we need to be mindful. And so TAs please don't exchange with others not already TAing on the unit. And Unit coordinators/lecturers please make sure the people TA-ing on your unit are the ones appointed to do so.



    gravatar Simon Harper

    [ top ]Research Funding Opportunities

    Royal Society International Exchanges Scheme (Standard Programme) - deadline 13/03/2019

    The RS International Exchanges 2019 Standard Programme Round 1 is now open to applications and closes at 3pm on Wednesday 13 March 2019.

    The programme is designed to offer a flexible platform for UK based scientists to interact with the best scientists around the world and intended to stimulate new collaborations. Funds for a contribution towards travel, subsistence and research expenses can be requested for either a one-off short visit to explore opportunities for building lasting networks or for bilateral visits to strengthen emerging collaborations.

    Duration of funding: Awards are available for either up to 3 months, 1 year or 2 years.

    Value: The funding available is dependent upon the length of the visit. Applicants may request up to £3,000 for one-off travel lasting up to 3 months; up to £6,000 for multiple visits to be completed within 1 year (including a maximum of £1,000 for research expenses); up to £12,000 for multiple visits to be completed within 2 years (including a maximum of £2,000 for research expenses).

    How to apply and further guidance

    gravatar Su Smith

    [ top ]Social Responsibility

    Emmeline's Pantry

    Emmeline’s Pantry Foodbank

    February Knicker Appeal



    Emmeline’s Pantry is a local foodbank and they are desperate for donations so that they can support vulnerable women and their families.

    This month they are appealing for food, toiletries and donations of new underwear for women and children.


    Items always needed

    1. Tea / coffee / sugar
    2. Tinned fruit, vegetables, baked beans, meats and fish
    3. Biscuits /crisps (treats for families)
    4. Toiletries for mums, babies, children & teens
    5. Nappies (all sizes) and sanitary products
    6. Clothes detergent
    7. Quality used clothing / footwear for women, children and teens


    Drop off location


    Your local drop off location is: Kilburn room 2.03 (ACSO) with Karon

    For support on collections please email

    gravatar Karon Mee

    gravatar Karon Mee
Generated: Thursday, 02 April 2020 22:58:19
Last change: Friday, 01 February 2019 15:37:17