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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Monday, 08 February 2016

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    New Head of School

    Robert Stevens has been appointed Head of School with effect from 25th July 2016. I congratulate him on his appointment and wish him well.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    President's visit 17th February

    The President's annual visit to the School will take place on 17th February:

    2.30-3:00 Meeting with the School Leadership Team Kilburn 2.33

    3.00-3:30 Open Meeting with Students (undergraduate and postgraduate) Kilburn 2.19

    3.30-4:00 Open Meeting with Staff to include Opening Address by the President and Vice-Chancellor followed by Q&A session  Kilburn 2.19

    The President will be accompanied by Clive Agnew, Vice President for Teaching and Learning and by Michael Spence, Education Officer, Students Union

     

    gravatar Jim Miles

    New Lecturer: Giles Reger

    Dr Giles Reger joined the School as a lecturer in Formal Methods on 1st February 2016.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Gerry Pennell leaving

    Gerry Pennell has resigned from his position as Director of IT with effect from 31 March 2016 and will be leaving the University of Manchester. As a consequence, an interim Director of IT has been recruited and Adrian Ridpath will join the University on 15 February.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Ian Stutt retirement

    Ian Stutt retired on 29th January 2016 after over 40 years working fro the University. A collection for Ian raised £320 which he has donated to the Stockport branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. I wish Ian all the best in his retirement, which begins with a tour of Vietnam and Cambodia.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    SpiNNaker at the Art Gallery

    SpiNNaker will feature in The imitation Game, an exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery. 

    The Official launch of the SpiNNaker machine as one of the two neuromorphic platforms of the EU FET Flagship Human Brain Project will be on 22nd March, by which time the machine will occupy 5 rack units housing 500,000 cores and capable of simulating 0.5B neurones. The machine is located in the former mechanical workshop of the Kilburn Building.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Meeting Lemn Sissay

    Our very own Mel and Ruth met Lemn Sissay today while he was out selling the Big Issue to raise awareness of the homeless issue in Manchester.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    [ top ]News and announcements

    How to fit ten million computers into a single Supercomputer? – The ExaNeSt project

    European consortium becomes the trailblazer in the development of the most challenging architectures in next-generation computing.

    The next generation of supercomputers must be capable of a billion, billion calculations per second.  These are referred to as Exascale computers and with this ability to undertake such volume of calculations, they will transform our understanding of the world through advanced simulation and problem solving.

    A step towards the Exascale vision is being made by a European Consortium, funded by the Horizon2020 initiative of the EU and entitled ExaNeSt, which is building its first straw man prototype this year, 2016. 

    The Consortium consists of twelve partners, each of which have expertise in a core technology needed for innovation to reach Exascale.

    A broad range of expertise in the design of communication infrastructure is being supplied by the University of Manchester.  Javier Navaridas, Lecturer at the University of Manchester said: “Computing systems of the magnitude confronted by ExaNeSt feature highly challenging communication demands which cannot be complied with using current off-the-self technologies, therefore we will use our core expertise to produce an efficient, high performance communication infrastructure.”

    http://www.exanest.eu

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    EU H2020 FET Open and FET Proactive info day - link to resources

    An EU H2020 FET Open and FET Proactive info day took place last week.

    The Research Executive Agency (REA) organised this event in cooperation with the Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG Connect). The focus was on the calls for proposals to be launched in 2016 by the Future and Emerging Technologies Open (FET Open) and the topic ‘Emerging themes and communities’ of the FET Proactive schemes.

    The event targeted potential applicants for the call for Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) and for Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) under FET Open and FET Proactive under the topic 'Emerging themes and communities'. The FET Open calls for Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) and for Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) will have their first cut-off date on 11 May 2016 and the FET Proactive call on 12 April 2016.

    The following link contains recordings of the web-streamed presentations and slides: http://ec.europa.eu/rea/pages/fet_open_and_fet_proactive_info_day_en.htm

     

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    SiS.net Publication on 'Science With and For Society' Opportunities in Horizon 2020

    SiSnet, the network of National Contact Points for Science with and for Society in Horizon 2020, has published a document entitled "RRI Opportunities in Horizon 2020". The document lists current funding opportunities with relevance to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the different parts of the 2016-2017 Work Programme.

    This e-book is meant to be a guideline of the different funding opportunities with relevance to Science with and for Society stakeholders in the different parts of the Work Programme 2016- 2017. Thus it identifies topics with one or more SwafS dimension to guide SWAFS’ stakeholders through the different H2020 Work Programmes. The analysis covers six SWAFS dimensions: Engagement, Ethics, Open Access, Gender, Science Education and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).

    http://www.sisnetwork.eu/media/sisnet/D.5.3-SwafS-opportunities-in-Horizon-2020-WP2016-2017.pdf

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    EPSRC Strategic Advisory Network nominations 2016

    Deadline: 7th March 2016

    EPSRC is are looking to recruit around ten respected industrialists, academics and individuals working in the third sector and government organisations to join their Strategic Advisory Network.

    The Strategic Advisory Network provides the EPSRC Executive with strategic advice to develop and implement plans, and to make appropriate recommendations toEPSRC Council. The Network is a flexible resource, enabling the Executive to obtain the advice we need in a timely manner, drawing on a range of perspectives from across EPSRC's key stakeholder groups including academia, business, third sector and Government.

    https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/calls/sanrecruitment2016/

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    New starter

    New Starter

    Rebecca Ballinger has recently joined the Recruitment & External Affairs team as UG Admissions Assistant, covering Alyson Owens’ maternity leave. Amongst other things, Rebecca will be dealing with UG enquiries, helping with our Applicant Visit Days, and will be the main point of contact for our Student Ambassadors. If you are involved with UG recruitment or admissions, please pop into the office to say hello at some point.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    [ top ]Events

    School Seminar: The Hunt for a Red Spider: Conjunctive Query Determinacy Is Undecidable - 03/02/2016

    Date: 3rd February 2016

    Title: The Hunt for a Red Spider: Conjunctive Query Determinacy Is Undecidable

    Speaker: Professor Jerzy Marcinkowski. University of Wroclaw

    Time & Location: 14:00, Kilburn L.T. 1.4

    Host: Ian Pratt-Hartmann

     

    Abstract

     

    A good research question is one that you can explain to your neighbour, who is a retired city bus driver. And the question we are going to talk about -- call it "conjunctive query determinacy problem"

    -- is good, in this sense.

     

    Our scenario is as follows. There is a database D, which we do not see. This can be for efficiency reasons or security reasons. We however see a view V over D: V is what D answers when some set of queries is asked to D. And we have another query Q to D. Can we evaluate Q only seeing V, but not D? Of course sometimes we can and sometimes we cannot. But is there an algorithm deciding whether we can? Despite many attempts to answer it, this had been an open question for over 30 years. In 2015 we (me, together with my student Tomasz Gogacz) gave a negative answer to this question.

     

    The talk will not be very technical and no special background is needed to follow it. During first 30 minutes we will concentrate on the history of the problem  and show some simple examples. Last 15 minutes will be devoted to one particular idea of our proof (which itself is rather complicated) -- we will explain what a Red Spider is and what it is good for.

     

    http://www.cs.manchester.ac.uk/our-research/seminars/

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    Birth Announcement

    Birth Announcement

    Alyson Owens gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on 24th January. Juliet Catherine Owens arrived on her due date, weighing in at 6lb 15oz. Mum and baby are both doing well. There is a card for Alyson in ACSO (along with a collection in case you didn’t get chance to contribute to her maternity leave gift). If you would like to sign it, please pop in before Weds 10th Feb.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    Newton Funding Opportunities 2016

    The Newton Fund’s aim is to develop science and innovation partnerships that promote the economic development and welfare of collaborating countries.

    Current calls are for collaborations with Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Mexico, Malaysia China, India and Turkey. If you have existing links with researchers in these countries, you have a high chance of being successful.

     http://www.newtonfund.ac.uk/funding/funding-opportunities/

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    EPSRC Pilot call: Access to the Research Data Facility (RDF) for UK researchers

    Deadline: 12th February 2016

    This is a call for applications to access storage on the national Research Data Facility (RDF). The total amount of storage available for this pilot call is 1000TB.

    EPSRC envisage that the RDF will be used to:

    • Enable further analysis of computational research and experimental data.
    • Allow storage so that further publication of data can be achieved.
    • Allow storage of data that is valuable to a project community e.g. a reference data set.

    Applicants are required to complete an application form and technical assessment.

    Call details: https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/calls/rdfaccess/.  Further information on RDF can be found at the Research Data Facility website.

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation - call for proposals 2016

    The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation’s purpose is to support closer links between Britain and Japan. It does this by awarding scholarships for young British graduates to undertake a programme of language study, homestay and work placement in Japan; by providing grants to support collaboration between British and Japanese groups and individuals; and by organising a year-round series of seminars, exhibitions and other events at the Foundation’s headquarters in central London.

    Calls for applications in 2016:

    • Daiwa Adrian Prizes 2016 up to £10,000 for UK-Japan scientific collaboration in the field   of pure science (including maths) and applied science. Deadline: 10 June 2016   http://www.dajf.org.uk/grants-awards-prizes/daiwa-adrian-prizes .
    • Daiwa Foundation Small Grants of £2,000-£7,000 are available to promote and support UK-Japan interaction. They can cover all fields of activity, including educational and grassroots exchanges, research travel, the organisation of conferences, exhibitions, and other projects and events that fulfil this broad objective. New initiatives are especially encouraged. Annual Deadlines: 31 March, 30 September.
    • Daiwa Foundation Awards of £7,000-£15,000 are available for collaborations between British and Japanese partners, preferably an institutional relationship. They can cover projects in academic, professional, arts, cultural and educational fields. Annual Deadlines: 31 March, 30 September.

    Further information: www.dajf.org.uk

                

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    Publication news

    Christoforos Moutafis is an author of a paper in Nature nanotechnology.  http://www.nature.com/nnano/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nnano.2015.313.html

    The work has also been featured as News at IOP's Nanotechweb.http://nanotechweb.org/cws/article/tech/63836

    "Additive interfacial chiral interaction in multilayers for stabilization of small individual skyrmions at room temperature"

    C. Moreau-Luchaire, C. Moutafis, N. Reyren, J. Sampaio, C. A. F. Vaz, N. Van Horne, K. Bouzehouane, K. Garcia, C. Deranlot, P. Warnicke, P. Wohlhüter, J.-M. George, M. Weigand, J. Raabe, V. Cros & A. Fert

    Nature Nanotechnology (2016) doi:10.1038/nnano.2015.313

    gravatar Jim Miles

    gravatar Jim Miles
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