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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Monday, 23 March 2015

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    New Lecturer: Markel Vigo

    Markel Vigo has been appointed as a lecturer in Health Informatics, to start on 1st May 2015.


    Markel studied for his BSc, MPhil and PHD in the University of the Basque Country followed by research positions in Spain until 2011, when he joined the School as a postdoc on the COPE project and then the whatif project.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Kilburn Club - The Future of Computing

    Tuesday 24 March 2015

    18:00-19:30, Lecture theatre 1.1, Kilburn building

    The next meeting of our Kilburn Club will take place on Tuesday 24 March with a Keynote talk from Professor Steve Furber on Computers and Brains. This will then be followed by a panel discussion, chaired by Steve on the Future of Computing with computer scientists from the University and Industry including Dr Ross King (UoM), Tom Higham (FutureEverything) and Mark Ewart (Barclays Bank). There will be challenging questions for the panel of experts as they have been submitted by the school children from our Kilburn Club teacher’s computing classes, covering areas such as robotics and digital biology. The event will also see the launch of the first School of Computer Science podcast, which will be available to download next week.

    Please feel free to pop down and join us from 6pm in lecture theatre 1.1 to join in the discussion and network with our school teachers.

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    Lovelace Lecture

    Steve Furber was presented with his BCS Lovelace Medal on Thursday 19th March in a packed hall at the Royal Society. A great evening included the award of the medal, Steve’s Lovelace lecture, talks about aspects of Steve’s career by Simon Segars, CEO of ARM and Andy Hopper CBE FRS FREng FIET, Professor of Computer Technology at the University of Cambridge, and an excellent description of Steve's contribution to the School given by Carole Goble. In due course the video of the evening will be available here: 

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Official Opening of the National Graphene Institute

    George Osborne officially opened the National Graphene Institute on Friday 20th March. The £61M building, which was funded by EPSRC and ERDF, is gradually being occupied with the main clean rooms expected to be fully operational and in use by the end of May. The 7,825 square metre, five-storey building features cutting-edge facilities and equipment with 1,500 square metres of clean room.The School has been closely involved in the project from the outset, especially through Ernie Hill who has been closely involved in the design of the building, labs, clean rooms and services from the outset. More information here:

    gravatar Jim Miles

    [ top ]News and announcements

    Carole Goble JISC Digital Festival speech in THE

    Professor Carole Goble spoke at the Jisc Digital Festival 2015 about scientists producing unfindable work. The Times Higher Education reported on her speech and produced a podcast.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Events

    Innovate UK: Protecting Data in Industry

    Event: 31st March 2015 (London)

    Registration of interest deadline: 29 April 2015

    Innovate UK (previously TSB) is investing up to £4 million in collaborative (industry-led) research and development projects (up to £750k) that tackle the risks of disruption to internet-enabled businesses and their digital supply chains. With the Internet of Things providing new sources of data and end-users' ever-increasing digital footprint, protecting the interests of industry/ sector is becoming increasingly challenging. Desired proposals should address the challenge of protecting a business, industry or sector from digital disruption.

    A 'Protecting Data in Industry' Funding Briefing will take place on 31st March 2015 in London. Please click here for registration and further information.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Enterprise Europe Network North West – Lunchtime Information Session

    Event: Tues 31 March 2015 - 12:00 -2:00pm - Alan Turing Building G.107

    Enterprise Europe Network North West is a local organisation funded by the European Commission which provides support and advice to businesses throughout Europe, helping to build collaborations and project consortiums.  The advice and access to databases is free. They deliver free of charge tailor-made services to help European SMEs and Universities form commercial and technology/research partnerships across all sectors.

    Members of the Enterprise Europe Network European Business Team will be running an information session on Tuesday 31st March where they will be presenting details of their services including a hands-on demonstration of their database. The database Opportunities Across Europe is also free to access.

    If you would like to attend please email - quoting EENW Session in your email subject line.

    A sandwich lunch will be provided from 11:30 before a prompt 12:00 start.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    EPSRC Interdisciplinary Transport Energy Demand Scoping Workshop

    Closing Date: 10 April 2015 at 16:00

    Event Date: 01 May 2015 (Oxford)

    The RCUK Energy Programme is inviting Expressions of Interest to attend a one day workshop on Friday 01 May 2015 to engage in discussion, to identify research challenges and to initiate new collaborative working partnerships in the area of transport energy demand (including ICT). The outcomes of this workshop will feed directly into a subsequent call for proposals.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Simon Singh - The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets

    14 April 2015, 16:00-17:30, University Place, Theatre A

    The University of Manchester Mathematics Society is delighted to welcome Simon Singh, author of Fermat’s Last Theorem and Big Bang, to talk about his latest book: “The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets”.

    Everyone knows that The Simpsons is the most successful show in television history, but very few people realise that its team of mathematically gifted writers have used the show to explore everything from calculus to geometry, from pi to game theory, and from infinitesimals to infinity.

    Event webpage

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    IMA Conference on mathematics of robotics

    9 – 11 September 2015, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford


    The IMA Conference on the Mathematics of Robotics aims to bring together researchers working on all areas of robotics which have a significant Mathematical content. The idea is to highlight the Mathematical depth and sophistication of techniques applicable to Robotics and to foster cooperation between researchers working in different areas of Robotics.

    Invited Speakers:

    Professor Roger Brockett, Harvard University

    Professor Gregory Chirikjian, Johns Hopkins University

    Dr Josef Schicho, University Linz

    Important Dates

    Extended submission deadline: 7 April 2015

    Notification of acceptance: 1 June 2015

    Final version due: 1 August 2015

    Conference Dates: 9 – 11 September 2015

    Further information

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    EPSRC Funding - various

    UK ICT Pioneers 2015

    Closing Date:           16 April 2015 at 12:00

    UK ICT Pioneers is a unique partnership between Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and key stakeholders that aims to recognise the most exceptional UK doctoral students in ICT-related topics who are able to communicate and demonstrate the excellence and exploitation potential of their research. The 2015 competition is being sponsored by: Dstl, HP, EPSRC, BCS, BT, Facebook and Samsung. The call for expressions of interest is now open.


    Healthcare Technologies Challenge Awards

    Closing Date:           14 May 2015 at 16:00

    The EPSRC Healthcare Technologies theme invites applications to an initiative designed to create a cohort of the most promising future leaders (Early Career Researchers) who will develop new research capabilities across the EPSRC portfolio to address unmet healthcare needs. £10M is available for ~10 projects.

    The four Grand Challenges are:

    • Developing Future Therapies - Supporting the development of novel therapies with technologies to enhance efficacy, minimise costs and reduce risk to patients.

    • Frontiers of Physical Intervention - Restoring function, and optimising surgery and other physical interventions to achieve high precision with minimal invasiveness.

    • Optimising Treatment - Optimising care through effective diagnosis, patient-specific prediction and evidence-based intervention.

    • Transforming Community Health and Care - Using real-time information to support self-management of health and wellbeing, and to facilitate timely interventions.


    Applicants should also state how they will advance the cross-cutting research capabilities relevant to their proposal. The six capabilities are:

    • Advanced Materials • Disruptive Technologies for Sensing and Analysis • Future Manufacturing Technologies • Medical Device Design and Innovation • Novel Computational and Mathematical Sciences • Novel Imaging Technologies

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    Royal Society Funding - various

    Closing Date: 30 April 2015

    The SABMiller Royal Society Exchange Programme will provide awards of three years' duration to enable African scientists in sub-Saharan Africa to partner with UK-based institutions. The programme will focus on, but not be restricted to Ghana and Tanzania, and will concentrate on three research areas:

    • Water and Sanitation – including water engineering and irrigation, waste water management, and other related projects
    • Agriculture (except animal or veterinary science) and Crop Science (land, soil management and crop production)
    • Renewable Energy – including solar-/wind-/hydro-energies, energy capture and storage and other related projects


    Closing Date: 03 November 2015

    This scheme is for world-class scientists who would benefit from a period of long-term support to allow them to focus on research and collaboration based at an institution in the UK. The scheme provides salary costs, a one-off start-up grant and research expenses. Appointments are usually made for up to 10 years.

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    Innovate UK to invest up to £500K in Improving User Experience

    Registration Closing Date: 25 March 2015

    Up to £500k is available from Innovate UK for feasibility studies in the area of user experience (UX). The aim is to encourage new and improved ways for machines, their computing systems and people to interact. Proposals can address technologies that contribute to these new approaches, such as sensing information about the user, or they may address technologies that help with specific types of experience, such as mobile or wearable devices. 
    Projects may be a single SME or a business led collaboration with either another SME or an academic/research partner. The competition is open only to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, with the option to collaborate with one additional SME or research organisation/academic partner. 

    Please click here for further information.


    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Bill and Amanda Gates Foundation

    Closing Date: 13 May 2015

    Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to encourage innovative and unconventional global health and development solutions, is now accepting grant proposals for its latest application round.  Applicants can be at any experience level; in any discipline; and from any organization, including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations and for profit companies.

    Proposals are being accepted online on the following topics:

    • Addressing Newborn and Infant Gut Health Through Bacteriophage-Mediated Microbiome Engineering
    • Explore New Ways to Measure Delivery and Use of Digital Financial Services Data
    • Surveillance Tools, Diagnostics and an Artificial Diet to Support New Approaches to Vector Control
    • New Approaches for Addressing Outdoor/Residual Malaria Transmission
    • Reducing Pneumonia Fatalities Through Innovations that Improve Pneumonia Diagnosis & Referral of Malnourished Children
    • Enable Merchant Acceptance of Mobile Money Payments

    Initial grants will be US $100,000 each, and projects showing promise will have the opportunity to receive additional funding of up to US $1 million. Full descriptions of the new topics and application instructions are available at

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    JSPS London Pre/Postdoctoral Fellowship (Short Term) 2nd/Final Call for FY2015

    Deadline: 01 June 2015

    The final call for FY2015 is now open for the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science's (JSPS) Short Term Pre/Postdoctoral Fellowships.

    The Pre/Postdoctoral Fellowship for Foreign Researchers (Short Term) provides the opportunity for researchers based outside of Japan to conduct collaborative research activities with leading research groups at Japanese Universities and Research Institutions for visits of between 1 to 12 months. Eligible applicants need to be either within 2 years of finishing their PhD at the time of applying to start their fellowship in Japan or have obtained their PhD after 2 April 2009. Eligible research fields are not limited. Fellowships must start between 1 November 2015 to 31 March 2016.

    Please visit the JSPS London website here for further information:

    Case studies including former JSPS Fellows who have taken part in this programme can be found here:

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    New papers

    • Requirements and risk: singing from the same hymn-sheet

    Dresner, D.G. and Garfield, J.E.'s paper was presented on the 17th March at the UKAIS Conference 2015, Oxford. Proceedings available from (now numbered 13 in the proceedings).


    Fu  Xiao, Batista-Navarro  Riza, Rak  Rafal, Ananiadou Sophia, Journal of Biomedical Semantics 2015, 6:8


    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    PhD congratulations

    Zoya Pourmirza (supervised by Dr John Brooke) has been awarded her PhD, entitled The Communication Network in the Smart Grid.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Big Data for hearing aids

    Generating and using "Big Data" to identify hearing aid patterns of usage in order to optimise and personalise fitting.

    MRC/ESPRC - ~£103K

    Keane (SCS) and Stone (SPS and Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust).

    Modern hearing aids have the capacity to “log” data to characterise the soundfields and the settings with which the aid is used.  These data can be used to check usage patterns, but little other use is currently made of them.  This logging is but one component of the dataset gathered during the process of hearing aid prescription and fitting, operation and user interaction.  This proposal will co-ordinate collection of these disparate data to build complex Big Data sets that characterise the use of, or failure to use, hearing prostheses. Identifying interaction between user, aid and resulting lifestyle should verify existing practices, but, more long term, should generate inferences to enhance understanding of what improves outcomes for users both as a group (better performing devices) and as an individual (personalised fitting).

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    gravatar Jim Miles
Generated: Friday, 10 April 2020 11:28:21
Last change: Monday, 23 March 2015 20:13:48