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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Monday, 20 April 2015

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Year 3 project showcase

    This year’s 3rd year project showcase is this Weds 22 April 13:00-15:00 in Collab, come and see what some of our Y3 students have achieved in their final year projects.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Another great year of outreach

    David Rydeheard writes: A big thank-you to everyone involved in school outreach activities over the last academic year, enabling us to work with schools locally and nationally, running the annual UK Schools Computer Animation Competition  => ), presenting “Discover Computing” days, and a new co-operative venture with the BBC. The School has also been appointed a regional centre  for the Computing At School group (=> ), which is a major achievement! The pictures below show programming daleks to navigate a maze at BBC Stargazing Live, developed in the School by a team of students led by Charlie Reynolds (Y2, AI4wIE); creating immersive virtual landscapes using recursive functions and randomness,a workshop for schools developed by Dan Underwood (Y3, CS); and a robotic Rubik’s Cube solver developed in a local girls’ school by Sakina Valiyeva (Y3, CSBM), for her 3rd Year Project (each year we have several 3rd Year Projects on this area).

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Jim Austin

    Jim Austin was on BBC2 Collectaholics last week with his bonkers (his words!) computer collection Jim's section is from 9:40 onwards. If you want to know what a proper shed should look like from the inside, take a look.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Upgrades to the Kilburn Building

    The Kilburn Building was scheduled for major refurbishment in phase 2 of the University's capital spending plans which are scheduled between 2018 and 2022. I am pleased to say that as a result of the work that will be done on the IT Services space for their restructure the University has brought forward major aspects of the refurbishment. Below I've listed some of the main things that will happen. Plans are not yet finalised and remain at risk of change or cancellation, but I feel that the balance of probabilities is such that it is worth letting you know what is likely to happen. Much of this is likely to happen during the next academic year, though plans aren't finalised. Estates are aware that they have to work around the academic timetable, but given the scale of works some disruption is inevitable. I believe that the long-term benefits of the work should outweigh the disruption.

    Subject to final tests that the replacement windows on the 2nd floor have improved the thermal efficiency of the building I now expect that all external windows in the building will be replaced with double glazed windows with openers.

    The IT services space on the ground floor will be moved onto a new heating system. As a result there will be more capacity on the system and Estates will work to improve the air flow in the LF, 1st and second floors using the extra capacity. This should improve the heating and ventilation of the building.

    IT Services expect to open up a rooflight into the courtyard. As a result other significant changes will be required in the courtyard. There isn't a clear plan for that yet but I believe it will give us a better, more usable space. In replacing the external windows and refurbishing the courtyard I hope that the closed off section of the walkway along the side of the courtyard will be turned into usable space with the windows moved out to the edge of the building line, which should allow more seating to be put in there.

    The detail of what work can be done on the courtyard and the walkway is still unclear. As this becomes clearer we will inform staff of what is possible and consult where there are options. These two aspects of the refurbishment connect to the common room and this has somewhat delayed improving the common room following the departure of Food on Campus, but the former serving space will be improved as soon as the overall plan is clear.

    We will also be upgrading the PGT lab space this summer to turn it into a better working environment for our MSc students.

    I realise that this will cause significant disruption through the next year. We will work with Estates to minimise the impact of that, I hope that you will all be able to tolerate that in the expectation that the Kilburn Building can be significantly improved.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    [ top ]News and announcements

    Updated RCUK guidance for funding applications involving animal research

    The Research Councils and the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) have reviewed and aligned their guidance to clarify for researchers what information they are expected to provide to allow robust evaluation of applications for funding involving animal research.


    The Animal Research section on the Joint Electronic Submission System (Je-S) has been altered to reflect these changes. The MRC website has further information.
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    PhD Tutorials - 18th May - Room 2.19 - Sign up essential

    Do you want to learn a new skill and improve your research?  Would you like to learn about research tools others are applying in their PhD?

    Then come along to the PhD tutorials.  Organised by the CS Mentors team, this day of exciting events will give you the chance to learn research skills from experienced PhD students.  The talks will contain a mixture of up front presentation and practical sessions. Sign up is essential as places are limited.

    The schedule is below and abstracts are at the end of this mail.

    10.00 - 11.30 Introduction to LaTeX and TikZ - Andrew Mundy
    11.30 - 13.00 An introduction to statistical testing and estimation - Kostas Sechidis
    13.00 - 14.00 Free Lunch.
    14.00 - 16.00 Experimental Setup for Empirical PhD Research - Concepts and Tools - Nico Matentzoglu

    Please sign up by sending an email to with the following details:
     - Your name
     - Which talks you would like to attend
     - Whether you will attend the free lunch
     - Any dietary requirements you would like us to consider.

    Further details:

    10.00 - 11.30 Introduction to LaTeX and TikZ
    Speaker: Andrew Mundy

    11.30 - 13.00 An introduction to statistical testing and estimation
    Speaker: Kostas Sechidis

    13.00 - 14.00 Free Lunch for all who would like to attend.  A great chance to ask speakers and mentors any burning questions and to network with other PhD students.


    14.00 - 16.00 Experimental Setup for Empirical PhD Research - Concepts and Tools

    Speaker: Nico Matentzoglu

    We hope you will be able to join us at this event.

    The Mentors

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    Find out what our colleagues in MACE are up to

    The latest MACE research newsletter is available through

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS) 2015 open

    Have your say on your experience as an employed researcher here in Manchester
    Read more

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Events

    Truth is Lie: Rules & Semantics from a Crowd Perspectives

    29 April 2015, 14:00, Kilburn Lecture Theatre 1.4

    Speaker: Dr Lora Aroyo, VU University Amsterdam

    Host: Stephen Pettifer

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    Wellcome Trust Arts and Science Networking Event

    Event: 14.00-16.00 13 May 2015, University of Manchester Innovation Centre on Grafton St.
    Engaging the public with current research is becoming ever more important, and in order to reach above and beyond the usual audiences of family groups and schools, increasingly much more creative approaches to engaging with the public are being explored. 
    The Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Funding (ISSF) and Nowhen are hosting a networking event looking to support new collaborations in the coming months.
    Book via Eventbrite
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    4th IMA Conference on Mathematics in Defence 2015

    Science and technology play an increasingly important role in equipping and supporting the armed forces. Mathematics is fundamental to these disciplines, providing a framework for understanding and solving the varied and complex problems faced, and is used to model military systems and scenarios. These models can be used to estimate system performance, suggest improvements, or find weaknesses of real systems.


    This conference brings together a wide variety of mathematical methods with defence and security applications. The programme will include keynote speakers, contributed presentations and poster sessions as well as refreshment breaks for informal discussions. It is intended for mathematicians, scientists and engineers from industry and academia, as well as government and military personnel who have an interest in how mathematics can be applied to defence problems.

    Further info


    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    H2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) Individual Fellowships - information

    Supervising a Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow in Manchester - Information Session - 19th May 2015
    Event: 19 May 2015, 10:00 – 12:00 Lecture Theatre A – Zochonis Building
    The 2015 MSCA Individual Fellowships call is now open. After the University’s recent success securing a number of MSCA Individual Fellowships following the first H2020 call  we are holding an information session for PIs/Supervisors  who are intending to, or interested in, applying to the 2015 call for this scheme which has a deadline of 10 Sept 2015.
    The session will include presentations from successful Marie Curie Individual Fellowship supervisors and fellows plus general information about the schemes and the proposal process.
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Reminder - CS KTP lunch event

    Are you interested in working with companies through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)? Want to find out more about this funding?

    Event: Mon 20th April 1-2pm Atlas 1

    This lunch and networking session will be a good opportunity to find out more about the KTP scheme from Caroline Stanton (Knowledge Transfer Manager) and academics who have KTPs in place. The lunch will include:

    Please let know if you would like to attend (and with any food requirements).

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    NC3Rs David Sainsbury Fellowship Scheme

    Deadline: 16:00 GMT, 15 May 2015
    The Fellowship supports researchers with up to 5 yrs postdoc experience the training and career development of future leaders in the 3Rs who will push the boundaries of how research is conducted across a wide range of fields. Five awards are available, with funding at a fixed value of £195K over 3yrs.
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Royal Academy of Engineering opportunities

    This year’s first round of the Newton Research Collaboration Programme is a call for exchanges between UK researchers and their counterparts in Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam. Exchanges can last from three months up to a year and are funded at a flat rate of £2000 per month of exchange, up to £24,000. All applications must be received by 4pm on Thursday 18 June 2015. For more information please contact
    These awards provide up to £6,000 to host an international academic expert at an UK university engineering department. Visits can last up to one month and Visiting Fellows can be from any overseas academic centre of excellence. This is great opportunity for researchers or a research community to learn from overseas expertise. The scheme opens Friday 24th April 2015. Applications must be received by 4pm on Thursday 25 June 2015. For more information please contact
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    RCUK Digital Economy Opportunities

    1. Internet of Things Research Hub call

    2. Deadline for ideas: 30  April 2015

      The DE Theme are preparing a call to set up a £10M research hub (comprised of a small number of universities working together) to address Internet of Things research challenges associated with the security and resilience of systems, including people interactions. The DE Theme are welcoming input on scope, in particular ideas helping to take forward some of the recommendations in the Blackett Review on the Internet of Things: “Making the most of the Second Digital Revolution” ( things-blackett-review) please email your ideas to using “IoT Call” in your subject line.
      Please let know if this of interest to you.


    4. Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security (TIPS) Fellowships

    5. Digital Economy has introduced a new fellowship priority area at early and established career stages.

    6. From 1st April 2015, The DE Theme, in partnership with the cyber security strand of the Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security (PaCCS), welcomes fellowship applications against this TIPS priority area. Further details are available at:


    8. Coming soon Digital Catapult Researcher in Residence

      A new Researcher in Residence programme is launching soon jointly with the Digital Catapult. For further details and to pre-register your interest in participating, please visit the Digital Catapult website residence-programme/ 

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    London Mathematical Society "Scheme 7" grant programme for maths and computer science

    Deadline: 15 April 2015

    The programme provides small financial awards (max £500) to help support a visit for collaborative research at the interface of Mathematics and Computer Science. This is a great opportunity to cover the costs of a brief visit with a (named) Computer Scientist or Mathematician - either travelling to see them at another institution within the UK or abroad, or having them come to you. The scheme is overseen by the Computer Science Committee of the LMS, which exists to promote the development of links between Mathematics and Computer Science.

    The application and reporting processes are deliberately very lightweight. See:

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    Open Mining Infrastructure for Text and Data (OpenMinTeD)

    A project funded by H2020 on managing, preserving and computing big research data.  

    The development of an interoperability framework and service-oriented platform for the integration of text mining services, content and language resources.  NaCTeM will develop an interoperable text mining infrastructure, align text mining platforms to support use cases in the Life Sciences i.e. the curation of the EMBL-EBI chemical databases and the curation of the KnowledgeSpace developed by the Human Brain Project.
    PI: Sophia Ananiadou; CI: Jock McNaught
    36 months, €514,000 for Manchester 
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    gravatar Jim Miles
Generated: Thursday, 02 April 2020 23:55:04
Last change: Monday, 20 April 2015 10:24:16