School of CS newsletterPublished: Wednesday, 22 May 2019
Weekly newsletter for the School of CS
[ top ]News from Head of School
I'm pleased to announce the following promotions; congratulations to all.
Danny Dresner, promoted to Professor (Teaching track)
Suzanne Emburey, promoted to Reader (Teaching and Research track)
Caroline Jay, promoted to Reader (Teaching and Research track)
Graham Riley, promoted to Senior Lecturer (Teaching and Research track)
Xiao-Jun Zeng, promoted to Professor (Teaching and Research track)
These promotions take effect from 1 August 2019. again, congratulations to all.
[ top ]News and announcements
There is a big link between wellbeing and working somewhere that aligns with your values.
As a direct response to your feedback throughout the 'Our Future' exercise, the University is involving colleagues in uncovering a single set of University values, which will be at the heart of our University’s new strategic plan in the 'Our People Our Values' theme.
There are a couple of ways that you can get involved in the discussion and directly feed in your views:
- Get involved by sharing your stories and experiences and/or feedback on the University's existing set of guiding principles and values, via a short online form available up to 7 June. For more information see the StaffNet article.
- Take a look at and if you wish, add a comment to the new senior blog site - Viewpoint. There are several discussion themes on-going at present, the most recent one being from Registrar Patrick Hackett on our University values which has attracted a variety of comments, many of which Patrick has responded to.
Monday 10 June will mark the start of Men's Health Week 2019 and the University is offering a range of opportunities for all staff to think and learn about important wellbeing issues, as well as the chance to find out more about your own health through some short free health checks.
There will be seminars on energy, sleep and prostate cancer, as well as a range of daily blog content on on the University's Wellbeing blog. Attendees to the seminars will also receive a free men’s health booklet.
You can find details on all of the week’s activities, book a free health check and register for the seminars, on the University's Wellbeing - Men's Health Week page.
[ top ]Events
Nancy and the wider SLT are holding an open meeting for all University staff on Tuesday, 4 June in Lecture Theatre B, University Place, from 1.30pm-2.30pm.
This will be an opportunity to hear from Nancy and other SLT members about our University’s progress, and future opportunities and challenges.
There will also be an update on Our Future and our University’s new vision and strategic plan, as well as an overview of the headline results of the Staff Survey 2019.
To book your place, sign up through Eventbrite.
Quantum Computing - From Qubits to Quantum Accelerators
Speaker: Prof Koen Bertels (Delft University of Technology)
Host: Mikel Lujan
22nd May 2019 at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.4
Quantum computers will revolutionize the way current computer machines operate and will open a completely new paradigm of computation. By exploiting quantum phenomena, these computers will be able to solve problems that are currently intractable even for the most powerful supercomputers. Since 1982, when Richard Feyman formulated the idea of a quantum computer, a lot of progress has been made. However, we are not yet at the commercial implementation of such computing systems. Currently, several research groups and also some companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Alibaba and Google are very active in this domain and are in the race for achieving `quantum supremacy?, when quantum computers outperform classical ones. On top of that, I believe that quantum computers will be on the market like accelerator technologies, just like GPUs and FPGAs currently are.
In my talk, I will introduce what quantum computers are but also how they can be used as a quantum accelerator. I will discuss why a quantum computer can be more powerful than any classical computer and what the components are of its system architecture. In this context, I will talk about our current research topics on quantum computing, what the main challenges are and what is available to our community. Finally, I will introduce the accelerator idea and give an example for quantum genome sequencing.
Quantum computing has always been dominated by the quantum physics community. We are now reaching the phase where a real quantum computing system can be built, which is why it is very important that our community starts being involved in this quantum initiative
How Automated Tools Change the Way We Write Code
- Speaker: Peter Schrammel (University of Sussex)
- Host: Lucas Cordeiro
- 3rd June 2019 at 14:00 in Kilbutn L.T 1.4
Agile development methodologies have been widely adopted in software development. Well-scoped tasks, peer code reviews and early testing are core elements of these processes. Developers frequently need to get acquainted with new code bases, they have to quickly understand the behaviour of a piece of code, reason about corner cases and evaluate the impact of code changes on dependent components. Automated analysis tools promise vital support for developers to cope with these demands and increase their productivity. In this talk I will discuss the opportunities and challenges involved in integrating automated code analysis tools into the development work flow to provide software developers with the essential information they need.
Peter Schrammel is Lecturer in Computer Science at University of Sussex, and CTO and co-founder of Diffblue, a software company in Oxford that aims at revolutionizing software development through AI for Code. He has co-authored more than 30 publications in the area of program analysis, model checking and testing. Peter worked in several research and industrial projects on formal methods, automated verification and embedded systems design. He developed and contributed to several software analysis tools, such as 2LS, CBMC and JBMC.)
[ top ]Research Funding Opportunities
A couple of UKRI calls to flag up with deadlines over the summer:
EPSRC Stephen Hawking Fellowships Deadline: Letters of intent due by 4pm, 20 June 2019; full applications due by 4pm, 24 July 2019
Tenable for up to four years
These support postdoctoral researchers in the field of theoretical physics or fundamental mathematical and computer sciences that underpin them. The objectives are to fund new high quality research and support the development and training of early-career researchers in the field of theoretical physics and train a cohort of researchers with the skills to continue a legacy of public engagement in the field of theoretical physics. Proposals are welcomed from all areas of theoretical physics and areas of mathematics and computer sciences which underpin and contribute to the development of theoretical physics. Proposals are also welcome from across the fundamental mathematical and computer sciences where the applicant can demonstrate that the research will underpin these approaches and can directly build capability in the area of theoretical physics, such as quantum computing.
Applicants must hold a PhD by the start date of the fellowship or have equivalent research experience. Applicants who have taken a non-standard career path after their primary degree and those who wish to reestablish themselves after a career break or a period of absence from active research may also apply.Applicants must not currently hold a permanent academic post or equivalent.
More details: https://www.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/stephen-hawking-fellowships/
Please contact Gavin Brown if you are interested in applying to this call
UKRI-JST Joint call on artificial intelligence and society Deadline: 17th July 19 Available funding: £288K - £400K
Proposals are welcomed on the following thematic areas: impacts on humans and society; economic implications, skills, work and education; transparency, responsibility, governance and ethics. Proposals are encouraged to use the following approaches to explore the themes:
•interdisciplinary approach exploring how to co-design the research with different disciplines within and beyond the social sciences, arts and humanities;
•collaboration with non-academic stakeholders such as policy makers, public, third sector and business;
•comparative research looking at key similarities and differences in the context of Japan and the UK;
•use of innovative research design and methods.
Proposals must have a lead partner from each country. The lead partner from the UK should be listed as the PI on the UK submission and must be based at an eligible research organisation for UKRI funding.
More details: https://esrc.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/ukri-jst-joint-call-on-artificial-intelligence-and-society/
EPSRC Healthcare Technologies Discipline Hopping awards Deadline: 27th June 2019 Available funding: 3-12 months PI salary plus travel and non staff resources
These awards are to enable researchers to visit a different research or user environment to understand the impact of and need for research in STEM or ICT in addressing health challenges.
Academic employees of an eligible organisation who are resident in the UK may apply. The following researchers are prioritised:
•engineering, physical sciences, mathematical sciences or ICT researchers, who wish address key healthcare challenges and need to widen their expertise, or want to spend time in a non-academic environment, such as an NHS trust;
•researchers in other relevant disciplines, including clinicians with academic appointments, who want to spend time in an academic engineering, physical sciences, mathematical sciences or ICT research environment.
More details: https://epsrc.ukri.org/funding/calls/htdisciplinehopping/
[ top ]Tech Support News
This is part of the ongoing call for software applications which has a HARD DEADLINE of Friday 31st May 2019. Requests made after that date are unlikely to happen in time for the start of the academic year, and may be pushed back to the next year.
IT Services also want to be informed if any PC cluster software applications are no longer required (but see the note below!)
The process to find out what is installed, and to request additions is:
Visit http://support.manchester.ac.uk and search for the article "Teaching Computer Clusters: Software refresh for start of the academic year"
This article contains all the information required, including a list of currently available software applications and a guide on how to request new software applications.If you have any questions after reading this article please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to request new software to be installed, Chris Page is happy to assist with the request on your behalf.
Please note: if you intend to request a removal of, or update to, any software, please contact Chris Page beforehand so that we can make sure it won't impact other people using the software.