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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Monday, 06 June 2016

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    James Elson Bequest

    James Elson was a 1st class MEng graduate from 1997 who sadly died from cancer around 3 years ago. His final year project was to build a robot vision system, supervised by Ulrich Nehmzov.

    In his will he left a sum of money to the School. After discussion with his mother, Mary Elson, it was decided that the bequest would be used to fund two PhD studentships for UK/EU students, one in applications of Computer Science to cancer, and one in intelligent robotics as a part of the School's strategic recruitment plan in that area. In addition the bequest has provided £20k for equipment for robots for use in schools outreach activities.

    The call for PhD projects in the area of cancer research was advertised in January 2016, resulting in the creation of seven research projects by academics from across the School in diverse fields of computing.

    These projects attracted a strong pool of applicants, and as a result, in addition to awarding the James Elson studentship, the School was able to offer funding to two other candidates. The three successful students will be undertaking the following projects from September:

    • James Elson Award – with £1,000 enhancement from the President’s Doctoral Scholar Award: “Literature-based Discovery for Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia.
    • Kilburn Award – with £1,000 enhancement from the James Elson Award: Early Self Diagnosis of Lung Cancer via Web Search and HCI.” Supervisor: Dr Simon Harper
    • Kilburn Award: “Making sense of the cancer genome: computing strategies to support “personalised” cancer care in a clinical setting.” Supervisor: Professor Andrew Brass

    The James Elson Studentship Award in Robotics will be advertised from January 2017.

    We now have a range of robots available for computing education in schools. Robots are ideal for the whole range of school education, from early primary age who are enchanted by what robots can do, to later primary age who can begin to program robots thus providing an exciting way of learning programming, through to secondary schools where many aspects of computing can be taught with robots, such as communications and control, real-time and physical programming, image processing, machine learning and algorithmics.

    The robots available in the School range from small programmable vehicles, to reconfigurable Lego Mindstorms, a Meccano robot and recently acquired sophisticatedly-humanoid Nao robots. They have already been widely used in schools, and other areas of our educational outreach, for teaching topics such as programming, computer control techniques, sensors and vision, navigation algorithms, and human-machine interaction.

    The School would like to express its appreciation of the James Elson bequest for the provision of studentships and the opportunity to build our collection of robots for children’s education.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    Alan Turing and flowers

    The University has recently published the solution to a mathematical conundrum proposed by Alan Turing, sixty years after his death. See Turing’s Sunflowers

    23rd June is Alan Turing's birthday, there is an annual collection here.

    gravatar Jim Miles

    [ top ]Events

    Consumer data for big data research - 12 July 2016

    Consumer data for big data research: An introduction to data, services and research from the Consumer Data Research Centre

    Tuesday 12 July 2016

    Alan Turing Building, University of Manchester

    Consumer data is a key source of new and novel data or “Big data”. Data previously available only within businesses are increasingly becoming available for researchers to use. These consumer data can be used to examine a wide variety of research questions. But how can you as a researcher get access to these kinds of data and what kinds of analyses could you do with them?

    Funded by the ESRC as part of Phase 2 of the Big Data Network, the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) provides researchers with access to a range of consumer data through its three-tiered service; from open and safeguarded datasets that can be downloaded, to controlled data accessed via a secure environment. At this event, managers and researchers from the CDRC will give an overview of the Centre’s data holdings and service, training and knowledge exchange opportunities and some examples of research using consumer data.

    Organised by the CMIST Data, Skills and Training research group, this event is free to attend and includes a free buffet lunch.


    9.30: Registration/Coffee

    10.00: Tom Fleming – CDRC Data and Data Service

    10.40: Researcher 1 – Vedran Lesic: ‘Do consumers know how much electricity is used by their appliances? Answers from big data’

    11.10: Tea/Coffee

    11.30: Amy O’Neill – CDRC Training and Capacity Building Activities

    12.00: Researcher 2 – Rachel Hollis: ‘Encouraging individuals to choose more environmentally friendly products - the role of big data’

    12.30: Close

    12.40: Buffet lunch and networking

    Registration is required. Please book a place on Eventbrite.

    gravatar Karen Corless

    School Board meeting dates for next academic year.

    Here are the provisional dates for our School Board meetings in the next academic year.  They are on Wednesdays at 3pm and generally take place in IT407.  Email reminders will send out one week prior to each meeting informing everyone of the date, time and suggested agenda.

    5th October

    16th November

    1st February

    8th March

    10th May

    5th July

    Note: Please keep an eye out for changes to committee email addresses in the coming months.  We are moving over to Listserv - everyone concerned will be informed when a list they are on changes.

    gravatar Karen Corless

    Volunteering opportunity – Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (WISET)

    Volunteers are urgently needed for a WISET event held in Sackville Street Building.

    IBM ThinkIT is an annual WISET event held at their Hursley site in Winchester. For the first time, this event will also be held in the North of England hosted by The University of Manchester. The 2 day event is run twice back to back, from 27th June to 30th June inclusive. There will be 160 female year 8 (12-13) students from 18 schools attending, 80 students per event.

    There are 2 types of volunteers needed:

    1. Group Mentors to support a group of 5 girls from 8.30-15.30. Ideally you will be able to do both 2 days for continuity, but if you can only spare one day that is fine. No requirements except you shouldn’t be averse to technology, and available to attend a training session (currently scheduled 1-2pm 23rd June but can be flexible if necessary)
    2. Additional volunteers are required to attend the exhibition event on the Tuesday and Thursday for one hour in the afternoon (around 2.30-3.15) so that the children can showcase their projects.

    Further details are available from Yvonne Hung in the Office of Business Relations ( If you wish to volunteer, please get your manager's approval if required.If you can volunteer to be a group mentor, please contact Natasha Kelkar ( Exhibition visitors you can just turn up on the day (it will likely be in the Great Hall but possibly in the Entrance Hall).

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    MIB Special Seminar ‘Working with Industry: Delivering Impact & Innovation’ 9th June

    As part of the MIB 10 Year Anniversary celebrations, the institute has invited the four members of the MIB Scientific Advisory Board to give seminars. The first of these is taking place on Thursday 9 June when Malcolm Skingle from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will be visiting to give a seminar entitled “Working with Industry: Delivering Impact & Innovation”.

    • Title: “Working with Industry: Delivering Impact & Innovation”
    • Speaker: Dr Malcolm Skingle (Director of Academic Liaison at GSK)
    • Date: Thursday 9 June 2016
    • Time: 12pm – 1pm
    • Location: MIB Lecture Theatre


    Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly engaging with universities globally in order to pump prime their internal R&D activities.  Malcolm Skingle is responsible for these activities within GSK and his talk will focus on how he leverages science and funding to underpin GSKs internal research efforts.  The talk will give tips on how to engage industry and will benchmark Manchester against its competitors.

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    Huawei Innovation Research Program call for proposals June 2016

    Deadline for applications: 18th July 2016

    The Huawei Innovation Research Program (HIRP) provides funding opportunities to leading universities and research institutes conducting innovative research in communication technology, computer science, engineering, and related fields. HIRP seeks to identify and support world-class, full-time faculty members pursuing innovation of mutual interest. Outstanding HIRP winners may be invited to establish further long-term research collaboration with Huawei.
    HIRP OPEN is a 1-2 year award that supports contract-based innovation research with the amount ranging from USD 30,000 to USD 70,000. In some cases, larger awards may be possible for especially outstanding proposals.

    There are 145 calls for proposals across 13 fields, with opportunity to make proposals outside of those fields:

    • Engineering Technology
    • Wireless Communications Technology
    • Simulation Technology
    • Future Networks
    • Security Technology
    • Optical Technology
    • Microwave
    • Computing technology
    • Big Data and Artificial Intelligence
    • Innovation Management
    • Media Technology
    • Storage Technology
    • Materials.

    For a list of the 145 calls, please contact Tom Wise (

    Register and apply here: . Please contact the research support office if you wish to do so:

    gravatar Thomas Wise

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

    Deadline for applications: 25th July 2016

    Professor Steve Flint, Associate Vice-President for Internationalisation, has launched the Third Call for Proposals to the UoM/FAPESP Joint Research Scheme – Sao Paulo Researchers in International Collaboration “SPRINT”.

    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. This third 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

    [ top ]Tech Support News

    IT equipment spend

    IT equipment spend from this year's budget needs to be ordered by the end of this month (June).

    See this IT Services article for more details:

    gravatar Ian Cottam

    gravatar Karen Corless
Generated: Friday, 10 April 2020 11:24:22
Last change: Monday, 06 June 2016 11:00:49