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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Wednesday, 05 October 2016

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    News from Head of School

    The University UG Open Day was held on Saturday 1st October. The tech fair and talks in Kilburn building were well attended with lots of enthusiastic questions about our programmes. The Admissions and Recruitment team, academic staff and students put on a great show for the School and their efforts are appreciated greatly. There is a repeat performance on Saturday 8th October. The next Open Days will be in June 2017 and if you haven't been involved with our Open Days previously, I would encourage you to participate as they are very rewarding and enjoyable events.


    gravatar Robert Stevens

    [ top ]News and announcements

    Success for Computer Science PhD student at W-NUT 2016 workshop

    A first year PhD student, Kurt Espinosa, obtained very good results in a recent competition on social media analysis, which has been carried out within W-NUT 2016 workshop on Noisy User-generated Text, co-located with the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING).

    W-NUT focuses on natural language processing applied to noisy user-generated text such as that found in social media, web forums, online reviews, clinical records and language learner essays. Textual content from social media, in particular, is considered to be challenging due to its noisy nature. 

    This year, NaCTeM participated in one of the shared tasks, Named Entity Recognition (NER) in Twitter, and was ranked 3rd out of 10 teams. The competing teams were given around 3,800 tweets and were asked to detect and classify words or phrases into one of 10 categories (e.g., person, location, product, music artist, movie, sports team, tv show, company). Performance was evaluated against human-produced judgements. Kurt used a deep learning-based approach enhanced with weakly labelled data and achieved 3rd place.

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    Manchester rising in the ranks as one of World's most Innovative Universities

    Reuters has named the University one of the most innovative in the world, placing it at #87, an increase on our previous position of #95 out of 100.

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    Blackboard training sessions

    The FSE eLearning Team will be running Blackboard training sessions for teaching and support staff within the Faculty.  The following training sessions will be delivered during the first part of Semester 1. To view more details and book courses via the Training Catalogue  - search “EPSELT”  and click the course code you are interested in. The team are also offering bespoke 1-to-1 sessions with a member of the team – to book a bespoke session please visit the eLearning Website

    Introduction to Blackboard
    Blackboard basics - content management
    Blackboard basics - communication and collaboration
    Blackboard basics - assignments and quizzes
    Setting up online assignments in Turnitin
    Marking assignments using Turnitin/Grademark
    Setting up assignments in Blackboard
    Marking assignments in Blackboard
    Discussion Boards & Wikis Workshop
    Blackboard quizzes for formative assessment

    gravatar Liz Caine

    Academic Promotions Master Classes

    The Faculty of Science and Engineering are offering Academic Promotions Master Classes, which are aimed at potential applicants and those interested in career planning. These sessions provide insight and information about the promotion process, as well as hints and tips and the opportunity to ask questions about making an application.

    Applications from suitably qualified women and BME staff, who are currently under-represented through the academic grades, are particularly encouraged. Final decisions about promotions will be made on merit.

    Thursday 20th October - 10.30 - 12.30 
    Room B8, George Begg Building

    Tuesday 25th October - 10.30 - 12.30
    Room C15, Maths & Social Sciences Building

    To book onto a session please email Nuala Taberner no later than 12 noon on Thursday 13th October, specifying the date on which you can attend.

    gravatar Liz Caine

    Impact of Brexit on HE - Submissions to Education Select Committee

    The Education Select Committee invites written submissions on the impact of Brexit on higher education, especially:

    • The likely impact of the UK exiting the EU on EU students studying in England
    • What protections should be in place for existing EU students and staff
    • The future of the Erasmus+ programme following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU
    • Risks and opportunities for UK students
    • How changes to freedom of movement rules may affect students and academics in English higher education institutions
    • How to ensure UK universities remain competitive after the withdrawal of the UK from the EU
    • What the Government's priorities should be during negotiations for the UK to exit the EU with regard to students and staff at higher education institutions
    • What steps the Government should take to mitigate any possible risks and take advantage of any opportunities

    see also MPs to assess impact of Brexit on universities

    gravatar Karen Corless

    [ top ]Events

    Fortran Modernisation Workshop (2-3 February 2017)

    This two day computational science-centric practical hands on workshop is aimed at Fortran programmers who want to write modern and efficient code, or modernise existing codes, to make it more readable and maintainable by encouraging good software engineering practices. The workshop will cover tools and libraries that are commonly used in computational science and engineering. Click on the link below for further details and registration:

    2-3/FEB/2017 -

    gravatar Liz Caine

    EPSRC 'New Approaches to Data Science' Networking Event.

    EPSRC's Information Communication Technology (ICT), Mathematical Sciences and Digital Economy Themes will be launching a call for proposals on 11 October 2016 entitled 'New Approaches to Data Science'. Through this call, EPSRC aims to support collaborations which enable researchers from different areas of data science to cooperate and work with each other and with users of data in new and imaginative ways. Full details will be available in the call document.

    To facilitate collaboration EPSRC will be hosting a one-day Information and Networking event on 15 November 2016 in London (10:00-16:00 approx), which will include a talk from our own Head of School, Robert Stevens. The aim of the event is to enable networking between individuals from different areas of data science as well as between academics and research users, and to provide an opportunity for potential applicants to better understand the scope and requirements of the call.

    Attendance at the event will not be a pre-requisite for submission to the call and a report from the day including frequently asked questions will be published on the EPSRC website as soon as possible following the event. 

    Those interested in attending are asked to complete the Expression of Interest form, which will be available on this page upon release of the call document on 11 October 2016. Please note that places will be limited and you will be notified as to whether you have a place at the event by 07 November 2016.
    The call will be launched on Tuesday 11th October 2016.


    gravatar Thomas Wise

    ERC Consolidator Grants 2017 Information Session

    Date      :           1st November 2016

    Time      :           12 – 2pm

    Venue  :           A115 Samuel Alexander Building

    The University will run an information session for potential ERC consolidator grant applicants on Tuesday 1st November 2016. An ERC panel member, Professor Judi Allen, and an ERC Consolidator Grant award holder, Professor Richard Layfield, will speak at the session and will provide hints and tips for writing successful ERC proposals. The session will also cover the practicalities of the submission process. The consolidator call is open to researchers of any nationality with 7-12 years of experience since completion of PhD. Applicants are expected to be active researcher and to have a track record of excellent research. The scheme is design to support PIs at the stage at which they may still be consolidating their own independent research team or programme.

    To register please contact

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    Advanced Data Analytics Seminar Series

    Date: Tuesday 18th October 2016
    Venue: Kanaris Lecture Theatre 
    Time: 2-4pm (coffee & discussion at 3pm) 

    The University of Manchester Data Science Institute invite you to the first in a new series of seminars on Advanced Data Analytics. Dr Rebecca Killick from Lancaster University will present 'A whirlwind tour of recent advances in changepoints'.
    It is increasingly recognized that modern time series are not stationary.  A simple departure from a stationarity assumption is a piecewise stationarity.  The identification of the join points or "changepoints" is an increasingly active area of research.  This talk will cover the general challenges specific to assuming a changepoint structure for your data along with some recent advances to try to alleviate some of these.  This talk will focus on practical examples and issues giving references for those who want to delve more into the theoretical considerations. The application areas for changepoints are vast, this talk will touch on applications in ecology, oceanography, engineering, health, computing and economics. 
    Light refreshments will be provided. To register your place please click here

    If you have any queries please contact 

    gravatar Robert Stevens

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    Innovate UK Emerging & Enabling Technologies Competition

    Deadline: 7th December 2017

    IUK’s first Emerging & Enabling Technologies competition is available on the web:

    The aim of the competition is to help businesses innovate to find new revenue sources. Proposals should show how to achieve a step change in business growth, productivity and export opportunities for at least one UK small and medium-sized enterprise (SME).

    Projects are expected to range from total costs of £35,000 to £2 million and should last between 6 months and 3 years.

    There are 2 options to apply into this competition, dependent on project size and length, these are referred to as streams. Stream 1 is for projects under 12 months duration and under £100,000. Stream 2 is for projects lasting longer than 12 months or costing over £100,000

    They are particularly encouraging proposals that address:

    • systems that combine multiple technologies to deliver a focused, real-world outcome, for example, combining earth observation data from satellites with other technologies to improve business performance
    • smart sensor systems that allow intelligent decisions to be made by looking at miniaturisation, low-power processing and communications
    • smart technology that provides a richer and more informative output to the end user
    • photonics for manufacturing, healthcare and imaging
    • digital technologies with substantial potential to change and disrupt sectors of the economy; for example, distributed ledgers, or augmented and virtual reality.

    A Regional Briefing Event is to be held in Manchester on the 10th of October:

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    Research Funding Opportunities

    Some useful resources for bid preparation as well as the updated Funding Scheme Planner can be found here:

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    Publication Success

    Paul Nutter and Tom Thomson are among the authors of a new paper published in Applied Physics Letters: 

    'Signal asymmetries in the anomalous Hall effect of bilayer magnetic nanostructures'

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    EPSRC Doctoral Prize

    Congratulations to Nikolaos Nikolaou who has been awarded an EPSRC Doctoral Prize entitled "Unifying Aspects of Machine Learning: From Boosting to Deep Learning". These awards offer up to 12 months to undertake further research in the areas of the candidate's PhD and to increase the impact of that research. 

    gravatar Robert Stevens

    gravatar Karen Corless
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Last change: Wednesday, 05 October 2016 12:22:20