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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Monday, 06 July 2015

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Graduation Day on Wednesday

    Graduands, their guests, and members of staff are invited to the School of Computer Science's Graduation Party.  A light lunch will be served, please join us in celebrating the success of our latest graduates.

    The party commences at 11.30 am in the Kilburn Building.

    Prize-giving will begin at 12.00 midday.

    The Graduation Ceremony begins at 10.00 am in Whitworth Hall.  Please will members of the platform party ensure you are there 1 hour  before the ceremony begins.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    School BBQ on Friday

    The Computer Science Summer Barbecue on Friday 10th July 2015 in the Computer Science Quad at 3pm.

    All welcome for food, music and the Brainstrust Charity cake-stall!

    Lots of lovely barbecue food for meat and vegetarian palettes will be served at our Annual Computer Science Barbecue. In addition, we will have a Charity cake-stall.

    Please come, bring your own drinks, your sunglasses and dancing shoes...

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Away Day for academic staff

    There will be an away day for academic staff all day on Friday 11th September, further details will be announced in due course but please will all academic staff keep this day available for the away day.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Ada Lovelace 200th Anniversary Symposium

    Registration has opened for Ada Lovelace’s birthday symposium and dinner in Oxford, 9/10 December 2015, an interdisciplinary event with historians, scientists celebrating the 200th birthday of computer visionary Ada Lovelace. There are a small number of free places for students.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    [ top ]News and announcements

    EPSRC research data requirements reminder

    The nine expectations are available on the University library RDM site. Each one expands on click to show the details:

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    CS Podcast Episode 2

    The CS@Manchester podcast episode 2 is now available on soundcloud and itunes and features interviews with PhD student Hannah Roberts, one of the organisers of the Pint Of Science festival and our own Dr Gavin Brown, and his talk on ‘The Robots Are Not Coming To Kill Us’ which was held in the Old Monkey Inn in Manchester last month. The Pint of Science festival aims to deliver interesting, fun, relevant talks on the latest science research in an accessible format to the public around the world in 50 cities across 9 different countries– all in the pub!

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    Lemn Sissay announced as next University of Manchester Chancellor

    Writer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE has been elected as the next Chancellor of The University of Manchester.

    The 150,000 electorate – comprising University staff, registered alumni and members of the General Assembly – chose the award-winning poet from a shortlist of three nominees, which also included Hallé Music Director Sir Mark Elder and former Cabinet minister and Labour peer Lord [Peter] Mandelson.

    The election of a new ceremonial figurehead for the University followed the completion of the seven-year tenure of current Chancellor, Tom Bloxham MBE, the founder of Manchester-based property development company Urban Splash. Lemn will take up his new role on 1 August and an installation ceremony will take place at the University in October.

    Lemn is an associate artist at the Southbank Centre, patron of the Letterbox Club and fellow of the Foundling Museum. He is also the author of a series of books of poetry, alongside articles, records, radio documentaries, public art, and plays.

    University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “The Chancellor of the University, while a ceremonial office, brings with it significant ambassadorial responsibilities in helping to promote the University’s achievements worldwide, which Tom has done with enthusiasm and dedication throughout his time in office.

    “I would like to pay tribute to Tom for his tremendous work over the past seven years and thank all three candidates in the election to be his successor for their interest in the Chancellorship.

    “Each one of the nominees had excellent credentials and would have made a fine ambassador for the University.

    “My warm and sincere congratulations go to Lemn on his election to be our next Chancellor. I look forward to welcoming him to the University community and working with him to promote our ambitious plans over the coming years.”

    Lemn said: “Reach for the top of the tree and you may get to the first branch but reach for the stars and you'll get to the top of the tree.  My primary aim is to inspire and be inspired. 

    “I am proud to be Chancellor of this fantastic University and extremely grateful to everyone who voted for me.”

    The University‘s President and Vice Chancellor also acknowledged the passion and interest shown in the University by both unsuccessful candidates and will be exploring with them other ways in which they may play a constructive role in supporting the University’s agenda going forward.

    The Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the University and, as such, acts as a figurehead and an ambassador, working with the President and Vice-Chancellor and other senior officers to promote the University’s achievements, regionally, nationally and internationally.

    The Chancellor presides over meetings of the University’s General Assembly and undertakes other ceremonial and representative duties on behalf of the University. The Office is held for a period of seven years and the holder may not be re-elected.

    The report of voting for the election, which closed on Thursday 18th June at noon, is as follows:

    Number of eligible voters: 143,915
    Votes cast by post: 111
    Votes cast online: 17,772
    Total number of votes cast: 17,883

    Lemn SISSAY, MBE .............................. 7,131 Elected
    Sir Mark ELDER, CBE ........................... 5,483
    The Rt. Hon. the Lord MANDELSON ........... 5,269

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    [ top ]Events

    Peer Marking in Blackboard

    Thursday 9th July 12pm - 1pm, Atlas 1, Kilburn building.

    Session on learning how to set up Peer Marking on your Units in Blackboard (etc.).

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    MOD Understand and interact with cyberspace

    CDE Innovation Network event: 09 July 2015 (London)
    webinar: 16 July 2015
    Deadline: 03 September 2015 at 5pm
    £500k of funding is available for this Phase 1 competition. The Ministry of Defence's (MOD) Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) proves the value of novel, high-risk, high-potential-benefit research sourced from the broadest possible range of science and technology providers, including academia and small companies, to enable development of cost-effective capability advantage for UK Armed Forces and national security.
    This themed CDE competition seeks innovative approaches to improve the way humans interact with data to allow them to understand what's going on in cyberspace. MOD's challenge is the need to predict and understand events in cyberspace and their impact in the real world.
    Current government information processing and sense-making is a human-intensive process with a high cognitive burden. It doesn't easily scale with the expected increase in data volume. Although ‘big data' techniques can be used to help analyse huge data sets, the traditional human-computer interface can severely limit analysis throughout.
    Areas of particular interest include:
    • visualising data in cyberspace including physical/virtual data manipulation and augmented reality
    • user interfaces and user-centred design
    • complimentary cognitive processes to help decision making
    • understanding how the above techniques and processes can increase the speed of operations, assess evolving risk and opportunities for mitigation, and optimise cyber response actions
    Proposals must be submitted through the CDE online portal.
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    British Council Newton Bhabha PhD placements 2015

    Deadline: 31 July 2015

    The programme is jointly funded by the British Council India and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and offers up to 30 short-term (3-6 months) PhD placements for Indian and UK PhD scholars to spend a period of their study at UK and Indian higher education or research institutions. Placements to be taken between: Jan – Oct 2016.


    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    The Multiple Sclerosis Scientific Research Foundation is seeking applications

    Deadline: 07 Aug 2015 at 16:00 EDT.

    The Multiple Sclerosis Scientific Research Foundation (MSSRF) is pleased to launch a request for applications to invite international academic investigators to apply for funding to specifically study the gut microbiome in collaboration with a larger, multi-site pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) study.

    If you are interested in submitting an application, please visit the following link for more information: MSSRF Homepage.
    There are two Q&A teleconferences scheduled with Dr. Brenda Banwell on July 23 at 11:00- 12:00 EDT and July 29 at 16:00-17:00 EDT.  
    Click here for call-in details. Passcode: 548692
    If your country call in details are not provided, please email

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    CHERIL invites project funding bids

    Funding launch event: 08 July 2015 (University Place)
    Conference: 07 Dec 2015

    The Centre for Higher Education Research, Innovation and Learning based within the Manchester Institute of Education is launching a programme of project funding for the 2015-16 academic year

    At present, we have 14 projects (all exploring cutting edge practice) under way, ready to present their findings – which will be for the benefit of the university and the wider higher education sector. The outcomes and impact of these projects – some of which are already the focus of national conference workshops - will be presented at a one day conference at the University and we will launch our next funding round, seeking bids that will take our understanding further of how we at the University of Manchester can be ahead of the curve in our thinking and practice with respect to university teaching and learning.

    CHERIL is based in the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE). The broad aims of the Centre are:

    • To provide University Senior Management with strategic advice on developments in teaching and learning across the sector and to identify agendas for research into higher education (HE).
    • To promote original, rigorous educational research into pedagogy, policy and practice in HE, through externally funded research and innovation projects (eg the HEA collaborative projects) across the field and within The University.
    • To promote inquiry into practice in HE teaching, through an evidence-based’ approach, exploring particular issues and creative responses, evaluating the impact of interventions in terms of ‘what works’ (ie impact analysis) and ‘how does it work’ (to enable other to learn from trialled approaches), and by maintaining a network and website that archives key publications and promotes colleagues’ reporting of pedagogical innovations.
    • To serve institutional needs of The University of Manchester, by helping University and Faculty teaching agendas to engage with day to day academic teaching practice, and by feeding back the findings and evidence of colleagues involved with frontline teaching to senior management.

    The Centre is interested in funding projects that support its broad aims and particularly welcomes bids in the following areas: Learning effectiveness; Learning Gain; Teaching Excellence Frameworks; changes to secondary education and implications for transition to higher education and review of External Examining.

    To find out more about the Centre or to register your attendance at the above event, please visit: CHERIL

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    MOD Open source big data insight

    Deadline: 13 Aug 2015 at 5pm


    £250k of funding is available for this Phase 1 competition, with a further £2 million potentially available for Phase 2.
    The Ministry of Defence's (MOD) Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) proves the value of novel, high-risk, high-potential-benefit research sourced from the broadest possible range of science and technology providers, including academia and small companies, to enable development of cost-effective capability advantage for UK Armed Forces and national security.
    MOD's Information Systems and Services (ISS) vision is to deliver information capabilities by developing closer alignment with industry partners. Hence, this CDE themed competition seeks to develop a prototype solution to provide an unstructured and open-source data analytics platform for defence. Phase-1 projects will be 8 weeks in duration, from 5 October 2015. All projects must be complete by 30 November 2015.
    Proposed solution should:
    • take in data from documents, raw files, scanned files and structured data sources
    • analyse data and integrate with multiple analysis tools using information structures provided by ISS
    • provide a configurable dictionary
    • visualise the data and its dependencies
    • allow further development of the platform
    • demonstrate innovation and interoperability to open standards
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    Robert Stevens and Sean Bechhofer RRUKA success

    Following the Rail Research Association UK (RRUKA) /Data to Improve the Customer Experience workshop, Robert and Sean's proposal was deemed successful. £37,102 has been awarded to carry out the feasibility study: “Shortly arriving at…” Development of an Innovative Framework for Customer-centric Rail Passenger Information Applications", which will start in the autumn.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    gravatar Bryony C Quick
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Last change: Monday, 06 July 2015 09:33:15