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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Distinguished Achievement Awards

    Congratulations to Rizos Sakellariou and Clara Diaconeasa who were nominated Teacher of the Year award and Undergraduate Student of the Year in the annual Faculty Distinguished Achievement Awards. The photos show Rizos with Louise Walker and Clara with Steve Pettifer, Associate Vice Deans for Teaching and Learning.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Staff Student pub quiz

    CSSoc have organised a pub quiz in Atlas 1&2 at 17:00 this Weds 4th May with drinks, pizza and amazing prizes! Tickets are £3 and all money goes to Macmillan Cancer Support. CSSoc will be selling tickets in the Byte Café from 12:0014:00 on Tuesday and Wednesday and any remaining tickets will be sold on the door.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Spring Ball

    Almost 200 people including 100 CS students attended the annual Spring Ball on Friday 29th April.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Quick Quest Challenge

    Drop in and see the Stendhal Quick Quest Challenge this week where 2nd year COMP23420 Software Engineering students will be implementing quests in Quick Quest as a part of their coursework: this Thursday at 11.00 in G102/KB2.25A, and Friday at 09:00 and 11:00, in Collab. Each of the 30+ teams has been mentored by our partners from a wide range of organisations including IBM, the BBC, Sage Group, Imagination Technologies, ARM Holdings, AppSense, Cheshire Data Systems,, NCC Group, Code Computer Love, Rental Cars, Web Applications UK, Data Centred, and

    gravatar Jim Miles

    [ top ]News and announcements

    Dr. Daniel Dresner discusses swift payments on the BBC World Service

    Cyber security expert Dr Daniel Dresner spoke to BBC World Service’s Business Matters about how swift payments work, as experts warn banks could be vulnerable to attack similar to the Bangladesh central bank hack.

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    [ top ]Events

    Seminar: Materials Challenges for Next-Generaion,.. - 3 May

    .. High-Density Magnetic Recording: Media and Read Heads

    Speaker: Prof. Kazuhiro Hono National Institute for Materials Science, Japan

    When: 14:00

    Where: IT Building, room IT407 (access via Kilburn Building)

    The hard disk drive industry is making continuous efforts to increase the areal density of magnetic recording. To realize an areal density of higher than 2 Tbit/in2 in the future, both media and readers need technical breakthroughs. Since the bit size will be in the range of 20 nm, the magnetic grains in the recording media must be reduced to less than 6 nm, requiring the use of ferromagnetic materials with high magnetocrystalline anisotropy such as L10 FePt. The shield-to-shield spacing of read sensors must also be smaller than 20 nm with low device resistance (resistance-area product RA » 0.5 W mm2), which is very difficult to achieve using MgO based tunnelling magnetoresistance devices.

    In this talk, we will address the materials challenges to the realization of an ideal media nanostructure using L10 FePt for heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) media and narrow readers for > 2

    Tbit/in2 areal density. Recently significant progress has been made in current-perpendicular-to-plane giant magnetoresistive (CPP-GMR) devices using highly spin-polarized Heusler alloy ferromagnetic layers and new spacer materials. The very high magnetoresistance ratios achieved in CPP-GMR are encouraging for future read head applications of CPP-GMR, or its laterally extended version, lateral spin valves. The devices with high magnetoresistive output at low RA may open new applications in addition to disk read heads.


    Kazuhiro Hono received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in materials science from Tohoku University in 1982 and 1984, respectively, and the in metals science and engineering from Penn State in 1988. After working as a postdoctoral associate at Carnegie Mellon University, he became a research associate at the Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, in 1990. He moved to the National Research Institute for Metals (currently National Institute for Materials Science, NIMS) as a senior researcher in 1995, and is now a NIMS Fellow and the director of the Magnetic Materials Unit. He is also a professor in Materials Science and Engineering at the Graduate School of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Tsukuba. His current research interest is materials science in magnetic and spintronics materials and their devices. He is also active in the development of high performance permanent magnets without critical elements.

    gravatar Karen Corless

    Seminar: Multiparty session types and their applications - Wed 4 May

    Where: Kilburn LT 1.4

    Time: 14:00 - 15:00

    Speakers: Prof Nobuko Yoshida & Dr Raymond Hu (Imperial College, London)

    Host: Giles Reger


    We give a summary of our recent research developments on multiparty session types for verifying distributed, parallel and concurrent programs, and our collaborations with industry partners. We shall first introduce the multiparty session types and then explain how we started collaborations with industry to develop a protocol description language called Scribble. We then talk about the recent developments in Scribble, the runtime session monitoring framework used in Ocean Observatories Initiative and network protocol verifications. We also demonstrate how our multiparty session synthesis theory is applied to Zero Deviation Life Cycle project in Cognizant; and static deadlock analysis for Google's Go language.

    Tea and biscuits will be served in the Staff tea room from 3pm for an informal chat with the speakers. Please bring your own mug if you have one.

    gravatar Karen Corless

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    University of Melbourne - University of Manchester Research Fund 2016–17

    Deadline: Friday 17th June 2016

    The University of Melbourne (UniMel) and the University of Manchester (UoM) Research Fund is an initiative of the respective Vice-Chancellors to enhance research collaboration between the two universities.

    The purpose of the fund is to enable staff at both institutions to undertake short-term exchange visits to deepen and extend collaborative research links (not necessarily new links) with a view to enabling collaborators to subsequently make joint proposals to external funding sources for the next phase of their research.
    The fund will be targeted to specific areas of overlapping /common interest. At Manchester, the priority areas are the research beacons as well as education, cities, arts and heritage, and digital humanities.

    Proposals may include, but are not limited to symposium, workshops, staff exchanges, giving research seminars/presentations and formation or development of a collaborative network.
    The scheme does not cover salaries, equipment, scholarships, conference attendance or tuition fees. Grants will be awarded for collaborative projects up to a maximum of GBP5k from Manchester and AUD10k from Melbourne per project.

    Applicants should apply online.
    Any queries should be directed to Joanne Jacobs, Senior International Officer
    e: t: 0161 306 1716.

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    Third Call for Proposals to the UoM/FAPESP Joint Research Scheme – 'SPRINT'

    Deadline for applications is: 25th July 2016.

    Message on behalf of Professor Steve Flint, Associate Vice-President for Internationalisation:

    In September 2013, the Sao Paulo Research Foundation known as “FAPESP” and the University of Manchester, signed a Cooperation Agreement for Research with the objective of implementing scientific and technological co-operation between researchers from the University of Manchester, and from the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, through the funding of joint research projects.

    Today we launch the Third Call for Proposals: this call is open to all permanent academic staff or fixed term academic or research staff whose contract exceeds the duration of the project.  FAPESP will provide funding of up to the equivalent of £10,000 per proposal per year to the Sao Paulo partner, and the Faculty will provide funding of up to £10,000 per proposal per year, for the duration of the grant to cover research-related mobility expenses.  Deadline for applications is: 25th July 2016.

    Full details, including guidance and application forms are available at the following link:

    If after reading the guidance you have a query regarding the scheme, please contact Vicky Holt, Head of Faculty Research Support Services EPS, 

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    EPSRC call: Human Dimensions of Cyber Security

    Application deadline: 8th June 2016

    EPSRC has up to £5 million available to support collaborative, international and problem-driven projects which address the human dimensions of cyber security.

    We are inviting proposals which address the challenges identified at the 'Human Dimensions of Cyber Security' (HDoCS) workshop in 2014. The challenges are titled:

    1. Design, build and measure
    2. A theory of everyone
    3. Risk, trust and response
    4. Understanding people
    5. Evolution of cybercrime

    These challenges must be the sole or main focus of any proposal submitted to this call and proposals must clearly and directly address one or more of them. All proposals should have advances in our understanding of cyber security, as represented by the contents of the technical scope, as their main aim.

    Details of EPSRCs Cybersecurity sub-theme can be found here:

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    [ top ]Tech Support News

    UoM Dropbox Project

    IT Services'  Secure External Collaboration project is part of the Cyber Security Programme to provide a secure external file sharing service for University of Manchester staff. Dropbox is about to be implemented with an additional integrated cloud security layer. It is planned to have the service ready over the summer. 

    The project is currently looking into how the University of Manchester Dropbox service will coexist with existing Dropbox accounts that staff may already use. If you are already using Dropbox it would be very helpful if you would complete this short survey online:

    If you would like further information about the project, please contact


    gravatar Ian Cottam

    WiFi Projection

    As we improve projection facilities in various meeting rooms (e.g. Atlas 1, IT401), as well as pop-up's for special events, it's useful to recall what software is needed to use WiFi projection (with the advantages: no dongles or trailing cables, rapid handover of presenters, not leaving your seat, etc).

    This article concentrates on AirParrot2 from Squirrels LLC. A 20 seat licence was originally bought so that Windows users could access WiFi projection via AirPlay to the Apple TV boxes. Five are currently in use and we can buy more when needed.

    It turns out that there are three cases for using AirParrot2.

    1. You have a Windows based device
    2. Your Mac, or its OS, is too old to support built-in AirPlay
    3. You want to WiFi project to multiple Apple TVs simultaneously (where they may be connected to a mixture of projectors and TVs)

    Case 3 applies to all Windows and Mac users. That is, AirParrot2 has this key functionality that Mac's built-in AirPlay does not currently support. It has a slightly odd implementation: you just duplicate the AirParrot2 application, and run the n copies, when you wish to connect to n Apple TVs.

    The latter use-case will be illustrated by the upcoming Software Engineering Showcase as well as a second iOS Workshop.


    gravatar Ian Cottam

    gravatar Thomas Wise
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Last change: Tuesday, 03 May 2016 12:36:02