Department of CS newsletterPublished: Thursday, 24 February 2022
Weekly newsletter for the Department of CS
[ top ]News and announcements
House Services will empty the bins in communal areas on a daily basis. So this is a reminder to take all general rubbish and dispose of it in one of these bins (located in communal areas: landings, corridors). It is everyone's responsibility to collect their own rubbish and dispose of it - please do not initiate the use of bins in offices as these will not be emptied and if left with food in could create a hygiene issue. Your help is much appreciated in this matter.
[ top ]Events
Speaker: Wendy Jephson, CEO & Co-Founder of LetsThink, former Head of Research & Ideation for Market Technology at Nasdaq
Date & Time: 16th March 2022 | 13:00 – 14:15
Venue: Alliance Manchester Business School
Technological and data analytic advances over the past few decades have fundamentally changed the way in which we work. Each has driven the other forward with larger datasets requiring technological innovation and technological innovation resulting in the creation of more data. New and continually developing skillsets have emerged and recognition of the necessity of interdisciplinary collaboration is rising. Even so there is a strong direction towards the automation of tasks and replacement of apparently fallible human intelligence with artificial intelligence wherever possible. But what are we losing as we run at pace down this path? What about automation bias? What about the loss of expertise and its development? What about autonomy and engagement? This talk will discuss new approaches and the journey so far from Wendy Jephson, former Head of Research & Ideation for Market Technology at Nasdaq and now Founder of LetsThink.
Please join us for our forthcoming Atlas Talk (online) in Computer Science on Wednesday 9 March at 14:00
Title – Systems Software for emerging non-traditional hardware topologies
Host – Pierre Olivier
Antonio BARBALACE (Associate Professor)
University of Edinburgh
Today’s computer hardware is increasingly heterogeneous, including several special purpose and reconfigurable accelerators that sit along with the central processing unit (CPU). Emerging platforms go a step further including processing units (CPUs and/or accelerators), in the storage, network, and memory hierarchies (near data processing architectures). Therefore, introducing hardware topologies that didn’t exist before — non-traditional, e.g., a single computer with multiple diverse CPUs, other than accelerators.
Existent, traditional, systems software has been designed and developed with the assumption that a single computer hosts a single CPU complex. Therefore, there is one operating system running per computer, and software is compiled to run on a specific CPU complex. However, within emerging platforms this doesn’t apply anymore because every different CPU complex requires its own operating system and applications, which are not compatible between each other, making a single platform look like a distributed system – even when CPU complexes are tightly coupled. This makes programming hard and hinders all of a set of performance optimizations. Therefore, this talk argues that new systems software is needed to better support emerging non-traditional hardware topologies and introduces new operating system and compiler design(s) to achieve easier programming, and full system performance exploitation
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 915 5153 8062
[ top ]Research News
Congratulations to Dr Christos Kotselidis for his 2021 Intel Outstanding Researcher Award on Bridging Intel oneAPI to Managed Programming Languages.
Christos' research bridges Intel oneAPI and managed languages. XPU features are exposed to the Java* platform through interfaces in SPIR-V*, Level Zero*, and the University of Manchester's TornadoVM*. The runtime dynamically strives to optimize code based on the target hardware, enabling dynamic reconfiguration of the application for an improved hardware/code combination.
Professor Steve Furber is quoted in a Daily Mail story about their campaign to 'Back British Tech' - Steve, who helped design the original Arm microprocessor, said that although the present-day business is 'intrinsically global' he 'would certainly like Arm to be a British company.' (18-Feb-22)
The New Scientist spoke to Dr Riza Theresa Batista-Navarro about DeepMind, a UK-based AI company which has taught its machines to write computer software almost as well as an average human programmer. (11-Feb-22)
Prof. Steve Furber talks about SpiNNaker in an Arm Research Article 'SpiNNaker: Next-level thinking'. (31-Jan-22)
[ top ]Research Funding Opportunities
The EDI Innovative Bid Scheme is a new funding scheme aiming to celebrate and raise the visibility of our diverse researcher community and to promote inclusive research culture and practice.
Open to all researchers, research related or research support staff at the University. The scheme will provide up to a maximum of £5,000 to individuals or teams to unlock diverse researcher potential and to promote inclusive research practice and culture change in your area or discipline or more broadly across the University.
Applications are now being accepted until January 2023 or fund expires.
Deadline: 12 May 2022
Up to 4 projects of £750k is available per project to apply for funding to investigate high priority use cases for future supercomputers. Projects must be two years in length and start on 01-Dec-2022.
You can be from any area of the UK research community. You do not need to be a researcher working within EPSRC’s remit.
This funding is through the Exascale Computing ALgorithms and Infrastructures Benefiting UK Research (ExCALIBUR) programme, which is part of the Strategic Priorities Fund.
We are looking for projects which will research methodologies to redesign the use cases for supercomputers of the near future and beyond.
You will be expected to engage with the ExCALIBUR programme ExCALIBUR Hardware and Enabling Software Group to discuss access to their facilities. Engagement and collaboration with other projects funded by the ExCALIBUR programme is a requirement for all proposals.
This is the second phase of ExCALIBUR high priority use case funding. The first phase included 10 Design and Development Working Groups (DDWGs) which were funded in 2020 to identify and investigate a high priority exascale software use case. Following this, three high priority use case grants were funded in 2021.
Collaborations are expected throughout the programme to develop approaches to common computational elements that have relevance to multiple codes and applications.
Applicants should evidence current and future collaborations with other research institutes, industry and international outfits.
Phase two project objectives
The ExCALIBUR programme is built around four fundamental pillars that describe the principles that guide the development of its research. The pillars are designed to ensure that the outcomes are future proofed against the constantly evolving landscape of hardware design.
Your project will need to capture the principles of the four pillars, to redesign the use cases for supercomputers of the near future and beyond. The four pillars are:
- separation of concerns, which is separating the mathematical problem from the computer science implementation
- co-design, including holistic, collaborative system design by mathematicians, domain scientists and computer scientists
- data science, covering new workflows to manage and analyse vast volumes of simulation data
- investing in people, which is interdisciplinary research software engineer (RSE) career development driven by forward-looking scientific software design.
The Faculty recognises that many members of staff have caring responsibilities which can affect their ability to attend conferences, training, research related events and professional development opportunities.
Staff within FSE with caring responsibilities are encouraged to apply for the fund, which is a maximum of £500 per person (includes academics, PDRAs, TAs, PS staff).
Internal EoI deadline: 04-Mar-2022
The aim of the Rosetrees 2022 Interdisciplinary Award is to encourage collaboration between Clinicians/Scientists and experts in Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning. We hope that the merging of skills and experience in these areas will lead to innovative research that addresses unmet clinical needs.
Applicant proposals must include details on how AI and ML can result in patient benefit within 5-10 years. Projects last 3 years (worth £300k) and will address logistical problems within the NHS that will result in more efficient services, reduce costs and/or improve patient experience.
At this first stage, we are seeking expressions of interest which will be reviewed by an internal panel in March 2022. Please complete the EoI form and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org on or before 3pm on 4th March 2022. Please contact your research support contact or email@example.com if you are interested in the scheme.
Deadline for applications for the March panel – 14 February 2022
Deadline for applications for the May panel - 29 April 2022
Providing support and relief to staff disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
The Faculty Leadership Team is acutely aware that the COVID-19 pandemic, associated lockdowns and other restrictions have had a significant impact on our working lives.
The second round of the Faculty’s COVID-19 Fund is open for applications. The Fund aims to provide some support and relief to staff and Graduate Teaching Assistants whose work, teaching and/or research has been disproportionately affected - especially colleagues with caring responsibilities and those who have suffered long-term physical or mental health problems.
Who is eligible?
All Academic and PS staff inFSE.
Students are not eligible to apply, unless they are Graduate Teaching Assistants and COVID-19 has had an impact on their teaching role.
What types of support can be applied for?
As part of the application, applicants must outline their need and how potential solutions could be implemented.
Available funding will be used flexibly. Examples could include:
- Providing relief from marking or demonstration by recruiting additional Graduate Teaching Assistants for a course unit
- Providing additional support for a project/workload, creating time for professional development
- Covering the salary of extending a member of staff on a research project.
[ top ]Sustainability and Green Impact News
Geological subsurface energy storage: minimising uncertainties towards decarbonisation & Translating research into effective Green Infrastructure practice: Policy, finance and interventions in urban planning
This Sustainable Futures Seminar will bring together researchers from across UoM and key external stakeholders to discuss sustainability activity at UoM. We invite internal and external delegates to attend this event consisting of two 25-minute presentations, each followed by an interactive Q&A.
Date and time | 14:00 to 15:15 on Thursday 10th March
Dr Ian Mell, Reader in Environmental & Landscape Planning, Faculty of Humanities, Manchester Urban Institute at The University of Manchester
Presentation Overview: The increased focus on parks and greenspace due to Covid elevated the political currency associated with Green Infrastructure planning. However, there remain misconceptions regarding the costs, benefits, and value of urban greening in local government decision-making. Alternative pathways for intervention are however visible linking policy, finance, and he creation of greener and more sustainable places. However, the evidence based used to support investment is often fragmented and requires greater alignment between natural and built environment professionals. Evaluating existing Green Infrastructure in the UK provides scope to identify who, what, and how investment in urban greening be achieved. Taking a purposely multi-partner approach to assessment enables advocates to navigate the complexities of policy formation, ratification and implementation whilst also making robust economic arguments for intervention. Reflecting on existing practice allows us to set out further opportunities to integrate of green infrastructure within urban planning debates.
Professor Kevin Taylor, Professor of Sedimentology and Tectonics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Dalton Nuclear Institute & Manchester Environmental Research Institute at The University of Manchester
Presentation Overview: Short- to medium-term storage of energy, particularly heat and hydrogen, within rocks in the subsurface provides opportunities for wide-spread and large-scale decarbonisation of heating and power generation. Recent research has shown that ample storage is available in the UK, both onshore and offshore. However, the efficiencies and impacts on system behaviour as a result of repeated injection and extraction of the stored energy (fluids, gases, heat) are poorly constrained. This talk will provide an overview of multi-scale imaging (2D and 3D lab and synchrotron X-ray tomography) and characterisation (pore networks, mineralogy, water-rock-gas interactions) research that we are undertaking in order to better constrain these uncertainties.
You can find full details of all the Sustainable Futures Seminars here. If you would like to present on your research at a future seminar then please contact, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connect with Sustainable Futures