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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Tuesday, 18 October 2016

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    News from Head of School

    Prof Junichi Tsujii joined the School in April this year as part of the Text Mining Group. To welcome him to the School Prof Tsujii will give a research seminar this Thursday at 11.00am in LT1.5. The title of the talk is: "Research and Development at the Artificial Intelligence Research Centre (AIRC) of AIST". Do come along to the talk if your teaching timetables and so on allow. You can see the abstract for the talk at:

    We also have Prof Tim Palmer visiting from Oxford University to give a School Seminar in the usual slot of Wednesday 2 pm in LT 1.5. The title of the talk is "More accuracy with less precision - from climate change to the human brain" and the abstract can be found at:

    gravatar Robert Stevens

    PGR Open Day

    Recruiting PGR students

    Are you looking to attract strong PhD candidates? Come along to the PGR Open Day on Wednesday 2nd November and chat to potential applicants at the Open Day fair (1:30-2.30pm in the Alan Turing Building foyer), and at the School talk & reception (3:15-4:30pm in IT407). If you think you will be able to pop in, please let Cassie Barlow know -

    gravatar Robert Stevens

    [ top ]News and announcements

    UoM Computer Science outreach to schools gets the royal seal of approval

    Two members of the Computer Science staff, Sarah Zaman and Dave Ames, have been invited to St James’s Palace to a reception hosted by Prince Andrew, HRH The Duke of York, to celebrate the success of the movement to support computing education in schools.

    His Royal Highness is Patron of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The Foundation has recently announced that the Raspberry Pi has become the best selling British-made computer ever. The Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer, designed specifically for educational purposes. It is ideal for schools to introduce children to many of the key concepts in computing, and to build devices incorporating the computing power of the Raspberry Pi. 

    The University of Manchester is widely recognised as delivering a highly successful computing outreach programme to schools, with 3 members of the School of Computer Science employed exclusively to support schools and school teachers, with dedicated funding from the Department for Education. The outreach programme currently supports over 2,200 schools, both Primary and Secondary, with a host of activities aimed at introducing exciting computing in schools and supporting teachers in its delivery.  It is a heady time for computing education, with schools requiring considerable support and many new ways of delivering computing, including small credit-card-sized computers such as the Raspberry Pi.

    The royal invitation recognises Sarah and Dave’s instrumental role in using Raspberry Pi's to deliver programming and other aspects of computing to teachers and schools. After the reception, Sarah said "Prince Andrew's commitment to Computer Science was impressive. His speech showed both his commitment and his knowledge of what is happening in computing education."

    If you are interested in helping our outreach to schools, please contact David Rydeheard.


    gravatar Karen Corless

    Sophia Ananiadou delivers keynote speech at DAMDID

    Prof. Sophia Ananiadou gave a keynote talk entitled "Text Mining - bridging the gap between knowledge and text" at the Data Analytics and Management in Data Intensive Domains (DAMDID)(

    This year the DAMDID conference was held in Ershovo, Moscow, Russia, from 11th - 14th October. It is a multidisciplinary forum of researchers and practitioners from various domains of science and research promoting cooperation and exchange of ideas in the area of data analysis and management in data intensive domains. The conference covers approaches to data analysis and management being developed in various areas, including different branches of informatics, social sciences, industry, new technologies, finance and business.

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    Sarah Nogueira discusses AI on BBC Radio 5

    A PhD student in the MLO group, Sarah Nogueira, was invited onto 5 live Drive last Wednesday evening to discuss the future of Artificial Intelligence.  (from ~2:25)

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    New Staff Induction Guide

    The new induction booklet for staff in the School of Computer Science is now available via Sharepoint.

    This document is intended to be a brief guide to cover essential information for new staff in the School and to point staff towards the various sources of help and information available. If you have any comments or suggestions for content please contact Liz Caine.

    gravatar Liz Caine

    ACSO email addresss

    For all email correspondence to ACSO, please use:

    This includes all requests for travel, printing and room bookings

    Thank you, the ACSO Team.

    gravatar Karen Corless

    [ top ]Events

    BioHealthy Lunchtime Meetings

    Regular lunch-time meetings of colleagues interested in biohealth informatics continue in this semester, on the following Wednesdays from 12:00 - 13:00:

    October 19th (KB 2.33), November 16th (Mercury) and December 14th (KB 2.33).

    This Wednesday 19th, Iliada Eletheriou will be giving a presentation on her new paper on data journeys in the NHS.

    If you wish to join the mailing list, please send an email to

    gravatar Karen Corless

    Mobile Technology for Agricultural and Rural Development in the Global South - 20 October

    The aim of this workshop is to share research and practice on current trends in "mobile technology for agricultural and rural development in the Global South": specifically to bring together researchers from diverse disciplines and practitioners with experience of implementing mobile applications and agriculture information systems in differing country contexts.  We hope the workshop will shape a future research agenda and form the basis for future research and practitioner partnerships, as well as contributing to an edited book publication. 

    Please open the following link to reserve a free ticket. There are limited places so early booking is advised.

    A preliminary list of speakers can be found at:

    If you have any questions please contact:

    An initiative of the Centre for Development Informatics (CDI) at the Global Development Institute (GDI), University of Manchester, UK in collaboration with CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International). 

    gravatar Karen Corless

    Needham lecture at Royal Society, 21 November 2016

    The 2016 Roger Needham award winner Sharon Goldwater will be presenting this year’s Needham lecture on 21 November 2016.  

    6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

    The Royal Society , 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London , SW1Y 5AG

    Organiser: BCS Academy of Computing


    Language learning in humans and machines: making connections to make progress

    Computer processing of speech and language has advanced enormously in the last decade, with many people now using applications such as automatic translation, voice-activated search, and even language-enabled personal assistants. Yet these systems still lag far behind human capabilities, and the success they do have relies on machine learning methods that learn from very large quantities of human-annotated data (for example speech data with transcriptions or text labelled with syntactic parse trees).

    These resource-intensive methods mean that effective technology is available for only a tiny fraction of the world's 5000 or more languages, mainly those spoken in large rich countries.

    This talk will argue that in order to solve this problem, we need a better understanding of how humans learn and represent language in our minds, and we need to consider how human-like learning biases can be built into computational systems. I will illustrate these ideas using examples from my own research.

    I will discuss why language is such a difficult problem, say a bit about what we know about human language learning, and then show how my own work has taken inspiration from that to develop better methods for computational language learning. 

    gravatar Karen Corless

    RRE 2016/17 Presentations for RRE Eligible Staff

    This year's Research Review Exercise is fast approaching and as you may know, it will be the first time eligible staff will be asked to use Pure to complete their returns.

    Over the next two weeks, Gilly Rendle from the University's Research Office will be running short 30 minute presentations to cover the requirements, and what to do in Pure when RRE launches.

    Places can be booked via the links below:

    How to complete your RRE in Pure

    Tuesday 18th October – 13.00-13.30, Room F41, Sackville Building

    Thursday 20th October – 13.30-14.00, University Place 2.218

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    Institutional visit by the Director of the Leverhulme Trust

    Professor Gordon Marshall, Director of the Leverhulme Trust, will visit the University on Wednesday 26 October 2016.

    The Leverhulme Trust is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK; awarding funding across the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences.  The Trust also offers fellowships for researchers at every stage of their career, grants for international collaboration and travel and support for the fine and performing arts.

    As part of his visit, Professor Marshall will deliver a presentation including a Q&A session,  from 11.45am-12.30pm in Room 2.220 University Place.

    All staff are welcome to attend.  Places can be reserved here.

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    Business Engagement Education Sessions

    Are you an academic, postdoc or PGR student that is interested in collaborating with industry but don’t know where to start? Have you wondered how you can make the right connections and want to know what support is available to you? The FSE Business Engagement Team are running education sessions which will give you the advice and support you need.

    Sign up via the Training Catalogue on the links below, any questions please contact the team on

    FFSES0001 Introduction to Business Engagement

    Wednesday 26th October 14:30-16:00

    Sackville Street Building D35

    This session will explain why and how the university connects with industry. It will talk through the different support functions available to you within the University.

    FFSSES0002 How to get started in Business Engagement

    Wednesday 30th November 14:00 – 15:30

    Sackville Street Building D35

    This session will give you tips on how to connect with industry, how to create a business-friendly profile and how to increase your chance of collaboration by understanding industry needs.

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    Open Access Week

    The Library are running a series of pop up events as part of Open Access Week. Come and have a chat with your Academic Engagement and Research Services Librarians to find out about:

    • funding options for Gold Open Access
    • ensuring your research papers are eligible for submission to the next REF

    There is such an event popping up in the Kilburn building:

    Wednesday, 26 October

    12noon - 1pm

    Kilburn building,
    top floor, near academic staff offices 

    gravatar Robert Stevens

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    New industry collaboration for Sophia Ananiadou

    The University has signed an agreement with a major US life insurance company to carry out research on health monitoring. The 2-year project will be led by Prof. Sophia Ananiadou of the National Centre for Text Mining based in the School, and is worth £346,000.

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    H2020 award for INSPEX: Integrated Smart Spatial Exploration System

    Dr. Richard Banach of the Formal Methods group has recently been awarded a H2020 grant as part of a consortium for 'INSPEX: Integrated Smart Spatial Exploration System'.

    The project aims to miniaturise an obstacle detection system and reduce its power so that it could be portable/wearable. This would open many new applications in, for example, assistive guidance for the visually impaired, human guidance in low visibility conditions (night, smoke, fog) obstacle detection for small or humanoid robots, and small drone obstacle detection for obstacle avoidance procedures.

    The project will run for 3 years and is worth £230k.


    gravatar Thomas Wise

    [ top ]Prize and award Opportunities

    Research Funding Opportunities

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

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    gravatar Liz Caine
Generated: Friday, 10 April 2020 11:22:51
Last change: Tuesday, 18 October 2016 08:55:14