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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Tuesday, 23 June 2015

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Alan Turing's birthday celebration and Special Effect Charity

    An annual celebration of Turing’s birthday has started to evolve, details are below. I have agreed to provide the basic donation, if anybody would like to add to it there is a collection in ACSO. The event is on 23rd June, the collection will close on Friday 26th June and whatever is collected will be forwarded to the organisers of the event.

    As well as celebrating Turing’s birthday the event generates contributions to the charity Special Effect, which is a UK based charity that uses video games and technology to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities. You can see what they did with last year’s collection here:, Special Effect can be found here:

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Library changes

    The Main Library is undergoing a major redevelopment as part of the University’s Campus Masterplan. Building work will begin in the Summer of 2016 and is scheduled to be completed in the Summer of 2019. Once the work is completed the library will offer a more comfortable and richer variety of study spaces together with easier navigation and access to books. While the work is underway the library will have less space available and so those books that have not been borrowed in the last 7 years will be temporarily moved to the Library store. Books will be moved out in number order from September 2015 until June 2016. Books in the library store will still be visible in the catalogue and can still be used but will not be instantly available. 

    Further details connected to the project are available via the Library Redevelopment pages.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    [ top ]News and announcements

    EPS joggers take on a 24 hour challenge

    Mike Keeley (CSIS) and John Halliwell (our ex Head of School Finance and now in Faculty Finance) will be taking to the track with 6 other runners for a 24 hour relay race on Saturday 4 July.  They will be jogging from midday Saturday till midday Sunday 5 July to raise funds for Manchester Cancer Research Centre.

    See their fundraising page here:

    And the EPS Tumblr article here:

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    The School's Hardware Library of computing equipment

    A message from David Rydeheard:

    You may not be aware but the School has an extensive Hardware Library of computing equipment which may be borrowed and reserved online:

    The library is run by Stephen Rhodes ( 



    We already have a great variety of equipment, for example: aerial drones (quadcopters), virtual reality headsets, robots and robotic arms, Arduino boards and Raspberry Pis, encephalographs (headgear sensing brain activity), a 3-D printer, motion detectors, a collection of high-performance laptops, game controllers, Makey-Makey kits, a variety of physical sensors, etc. The library is expanding, being reorganised and the online system upgraded over the summer. If there is equipment you want but is not in the library, let Stephen know. 

    Use it!

    This equipment is for internal use, so may be borrowed by staff and students and can be used, for example, for experiments and for student projects. It is also available for our outreach activities to schools and to the general public. A considerable number of activities with schools use this equipment in workshops developed by our student volunteers. The library is a great enabler - making possible what would otherwise be difficult or impossible. Do use it!

    Computing equipment around the School:

    With  the library in existence, we need to consolidate the equipment we have around the School. We know that staff hold quite a lot of equipment which isn’t known to others. This leads to duplication and a poor use of equipment. If you hold equipment of any sort (other than standard desktops/laptops/tablets) can you let Stephen know ( This doesn’t mean you lose control of it, but it does mean that it is visible to others. You can still control its use if you wish, or allow it to be borrowed with your permission.

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    [ top ]Events

    Next Biohealthy Lunch Club

    Event: 24 June at 13:00, 2.33, Kilburn building

    Last time we decided to organise a series of informal workshops to explore opportunities that Devo Manc might bring to us in the area of health informatics. The first such brain-storming meeting is likely to be with Mental health colleagues on Friday 3rd July.

    If you are interested in this area, please subscribe to the list if you wish to send/receive further annoucements about bio-health informatics related activities.

    - Goran Nenadic

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    School Seminar: Instance Queries Relaxed by Concept Similarity Measures over Ontologies

    14:00, 26 June 2015, Lecture Theatre 1.4, Kilburn building

    Speaker: Dr. Anni-Yasmin Turhan, Dresden University of Technology

    Host: Professor Uli Sattler

    In Description Logics (DL) ontologies, information is typically captured by clear-cut concepts. For many applications querying the knowledge base only by crisp concepts is too restrictive---precision of the query may be traded for a larger selection of answers. Concept similarity measures, which assess the similarity of two concepts by a number, can offer a controlled way of gradually relaxing a query concept within a user-specified limit.

    In this talk we recapitulate the basics of Description Logics and investigate the task of instance query answering for DL ontologies using concepts relaxed by concept similarity measures. We identify relevant properties for the similarity measure and investigate computation algorithms for the description logic EL---regarding whether unfoldable or general TBoxes are used. For the case of general TBoxes we define a new family of concept similarity measures that take the full TBox information into account, when assessing the similarity of concepts.

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    Urban Big Data Centre: Addressing the Challenges Seminar

    Event: 26 June 2015 from 09:30 to 12:30; rm 2.07 Humanities Bridgeford Street Building

    This seminar will give an overview of The Urban Big Data Centre ’s research. The Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC), funded by the ESRC, contributes to the UK’s national data infrastructure by addressing challenges facing cities. Our vision is innovation for sustainable and socially just urban environments.

    Click here to register and for more information.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    FET Open funding opportunities for Research projects - webinar

    Webinar: 06 July 2015

    Call deadline: 29 September 2015

    Under Horizon 2020, FET (Future Emerging Technologies) Open continues its mission to support early-stage joint science and technology research around new ideas for radically new future technologies. FET Open covers now ALL technological areas. FET Open calls for early-stage joint science and technology research towards radically new future technologies. Being entirely non-prescriptive with regards to the nature or purpose of the technologies that are envisaged, this call targets the unexpected. It is open to collaborative research that satisfies the FET-Open 'gatekeepers': long-term vision, ambition of the scientific and technological breakthrough, foundational character, novelty, high-risk and deep synergistic interdisciplinary approach. FET-Open aspires to be an early detector of new and promising ideas, but also of the new high-potential actors in research and innovation (such as young researchers and high-tech SMEs) that may become the scientific and industrial leaders of the future.

    You can follow the live webstreaming of FET Open InfoDay on 6 July 2015.

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    IT as a Utility Network+ community conference 2015

    Event: 06-07 July 2015, Southampton at the Solent Conference Centre

    As one of the challenge areas of the RCUK Digital Economy Programme, the IT as a Utility Network+ is celebrating another successful year with a two-day programme of talks, demonstrations and conversations. Full details of the programme and registration: Some bursaries are available - contact for further information before you register.
    Join the ITaaU mailing list:

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    Internet of Things (Privacy, Security and Trust) Research Hub

    Intention to Submit: 20 July 2015

    The Commitment to Privacy and Trust in Internet of Things Security Research Hub call aims to invest up to £9.8M over 3yrs to support a small number of leading UK universities working coherently together as a single internationally recognised ”Research Hub”, across the relevant disciplines, carrying out inter-related and interdisciplinary research. The research focus will be on the challenges associated with privacy, security and trust in the IoT, including the various interactions, policy and governance, beliefs and behaviours between people and the IoT systems.
    If you are planning to apply, please email your intention to submit to stating the provisional investigators, institutions and user organisations involved in your proposed bid, as well as the proposed research challenges for your hub.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    EPSRC funding opportunities

    Reducing Energy Demand in the Transport Sector

    • EoI closing date: 31 July 2015
    • Closing date: 16:00, 19 August 2015

    EPSRC, as part of its contribution to the Research Councils UK Energy Programme, is looking to support interdisciplinary collaborative research in order to reduce energy demand in the transport sector. In particular we are seeking proposals with innovation in engineering, physical sciences or ICT together with an application, business and economic modelling and considering behavioural aspects of transport systems. Up to £4M is available from EPSRC for this call, and we expect to fund 2 projects for a period of 3 yrs.

    Resource Allocation Panel (RAP): Top-up of ARCHER resource on EPSRC grants (Summer 2015)

    Closing Date: 21 September 2015 at 16:00

    Applicants to this call can request ARCHER compute resource - only to facilitate the remainder of their existing EPSRC grant.

    Resource Allocation Panel (RAP): Access to ARCHER (Summer 2015) 

    Closing Date: 21 September 2015 at 16:00

    EPSRC offers access to ARCHER through calls for proposals to the Resource Allocation Panel (RAP). Users can request significant amounts (>1,000kAUs or >66,667 ARCHER core hours) of computing resource over a maximum one-year period. The aim of this call is to provide access to our national state-of-the-art high performance computing facility for proposals of high scientific quality that would benefit from ARCHER.

    A non-exclusive list of eligible projects include:

    • Short computational projects that do not warrant a full grant application
    • UK led collaborative projects with international and/or industry partners
    • Joint applications from students (as Co-I) with proven HPC experience (e.g. a successfully completed instant access project) and their PIs
    • Projects that link consecutive standard grant applications or that aid the preparation of a grant or fellowship application
    • Extended feasibility studies and trialling application developments at scale


    Call for ARCHER Leadership Projects

    Closing Date: 21 September 2015 at 16:00

    This is a call for applications for direct access to the UK's national supercomputing facility for computationally intensive individual projects (>100,000 kAU or 6666667 core-hours on ARCHER) for a maximum of 24 months, from academic and non-academic research groups. The resource is for pre-competitive research only and the research area must lie within the remit of either the EPSRC) or NERC. This call is for compute resource only, including core Computational Science and Engineering support as provided by the ARCHER Service to all users. However, no additional support for staff or consumables can be applied for. Thus applicants must demonstrate substantial high performance computing expertise within their team in order to be considered for funding.

    A non-exclusive list of eligible projects include:

    • Leadership calculations that push the boundaries of scientific HPC, for example whole systems approaches, multi-scale modelling, etc.
    • Calculations that require a large number of processing cores (1,500 - 118,080 cores)
    • High-risk, high-reward projects that rely heavily on high performance compute resource and have significant potential for large future impact.
    • Substantial computational projects by experienced teams that need large compute resources, but do not rely on additional support by EPSRC or NERC.
    • Pre-competitive computational production runs by non-academic research groups within sectors related to the remits of the ARCHER partner research councils.
    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowships 2015/16

    Application Deadline: Monday 14 September 2015 at 12 noon

    The EPSRC Doctoral Prize is a prestigious scheme aimed at developing the very best EPSRC funded PhD students beyond the end of their PhD and help them launch a successful career in research as potential future research leaders. Successful applicants will be expected to take their research to the next level and undertake significant new research.

    • Successful applicants will be awarded a tax-free living allowance of £24,370 per annum (pro rata).
    • Awards are for up to 1yr

    Full applications, including application form and a letter of support from the Head of School where the EPSRC Doctoral Prize research will be carried out should be returned by e-mail to It is expected that interviews will take place in the last week of September and first week of October 2015.

    Application Form

    Head of School Letter of Support Template

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    NaCTeM research paper

    A new paper from NaCTeM on extracting phenotypic information: BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2015, 15(Suppl 2):S3  doi:10.1186/1472-6947-15-S2-S3 

    Using text mining techniques to extract phenotypic information from the PhenoCHF corpus. Noha Alnazzawi, Paul Thompson, Riza Batista-Navarro and Sophia Ananiadou

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    gravatar Jim Miles
Generated: Thursday, 02 April 2020 23:21:43
Last change: Tuesday, 23 June 2015 09:55:17