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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Tuesday, 29 November 2016

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Requests from students to make campaign announcments at the start of lectures

    Clive Agnew, Vice President Teaching,Learning & Students, has sent the following message regarding requests from students wishing to make announcements about their campaign against the TEF:

    “You may be aware that UCU have recommended to staff that they should make an announcement at the start of their classes including showing a 2 minute video clip from the University of Manchester Student's Union as part of UMSU's campaign against the Teaching Excellence Framework. I have drafted the following advice in case you are asked about the University's position."

    Clive Agnew

    "From time to time the University uses the start of classes to make official announcements to convey information relating to student’s education. On occasion, students seeking election to UMSU or involved in promoting other events or campaigns may request permission to make an announcement before or after a lecture. The decision whether to allow such announcements is at the discretion of the member of staff teaching the class and we expect students to ask permission. We do not believe time allocated to student learning should be disrupted. Some staff may wish to alert students to the UMSU TEF campaign in other ways, but teaching time should be devoted to teaching."

    gravatar Robert Stevens

    Launch of 10,000 Actions

    A message from James Thompson, Associate Vice President – Social Responsibility:

    Environmental sustainability is extremely important to The University of Manchester, as part of our strategic goal of social responsibility. The University is taking many actions around environmental sustainability and today I’m pleased to launch the biggest environmental sustainability initiative in the higher education sector – ‘10,000 Actions’.

    10,000 Actions ensures every member of staff can take positive action on environmental sustainability. Many of the things you do at work are already contributing to a more sustainable society. 10,000 Actions will encourage you to do even more by giving you and your 10,000+ colleagues the chance to take action on sustainability in The University of Manchester.

    You’ll be able to plan how you manage your environmental impact, track your progress as you complete your actions and celebrate your achievements. The more you do, the more we’ll achieve together. I encourage you all to find around an hour of your time to take part in 10,000 Actions and make your personal action plan.

    To access this exciting programme visit

    gravatar Robert Stevens

    [ top ]News and announcements

    Computer Science Hardware Library

    A reminder to all staff and research students that we have an equipment library packed with interesting things. This is available for research, for projects (including UG and PG projects) and for individual experimentation. The library is run by Stephen Rhodes ( Either contact Stephen directly (he can give you a tour of the equipment) or see

    We have recently added new EEG equipment (, many new robots (including Nao robots, the latest Oculus Rift VR headsets, and the latest Parrot drones, Myo neurosensing armbands (, Spheros (, 3D printers, and much, much more. If there is equipment that could usefully be added to the library, please let us know. The equipment is a vital part of our outreach to schools, enabling us to bring exciting Computer Science into schools. - David Rydeheard


    gravatar Karen Corless

    Royal Society Writing and Media Skills Training Courses 2017

    The Royal Society are running a series of workshops and training courses to help researchers hone their writing and media skills.

    "Learn from experienced trainers in print and broadcast media how to communicate your research to non-specialists. Our courses are interactive, and provide plenty of opportunity to practice and receive constructive feedback from trainers. Choose from one-day courses or a combined two-day residential course."


    gravatar Thomas Wise

    [ top ]Events

    Horizon 2020 Information Day, Tuesday 13 December

    Horizon 2020 Information Day University of Manchester Tuesday 13 December 9.30-16.30, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology Lecture Theatre, John Garside Building

    The University of Manchester is hosting a Horizon 2020 Information Day on Tuesday 13 December. The day will be of interest to researchers who are planning to participate in or lead a H2020 project and would like to know about the 2017 calls. The speakers are all national contact points for the different areas of Horizon 2020 and there will be an opportunity for one to one meetings with them. Participants can register for all or parts of the day here.

    Contact me for a detailed programme (

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    Heidelberg Laureate Forum 2017: Call for Outstanding Young Researchers

    Please forward to any Undergraduate, PhD or PostDoc you think may be interested:

    Young researchers in computer science and mathematics from all over the world can apply for one of the 200 coveted spots to participate in the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), an annual networking event. The HLF offers all accepted young researchers the great opportunity to personally interact with the laureates of the most prestigious prizes in the fields of mathematics and computer science. For one week, the recipients of the Abel Prize, the ACM A.M. Turing Award, the ACM Prize in Computing, the Fields Medal, and the Nevanlinna Prize engage in a cross-generational scientific dialogue with young researchers in Heidelberg, Germany.

    The application period for the 5th HLF runs from November 14, 2016 until February 14, 2017. Young researchers at all stages of their career (undergraduate, PhD or postdoc) are encouraged to complete and submit their applications by February 14 (midnight at the dateline) via the following link:

    An official press release can be found here:


    gravatar Thomas Wise

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    Royal Academy of Engineering: Calls and Events Winter 2016/17

    There are currently a number of calls and events being advertised by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Please circulate these to anyone you think may be interested. 

    Industry Academia Partnerships Programme
    Under its remit as a delivery partner of the Newton Fund, the Academy is implementing the Industry Academia Partnership Programme which aims to support partner country universities in improving their engineering education, research and innovation output through partnership with industry and UK stakeholders. The scheme is currently open and invites proposals for collaboration with universities and industry in Colombia, Indonesia, South Africa and Thailand.

    Award Value - £50,000
    Deadline - Monday 19 December 2016.
    Contact - Shaarad Sharma

    Engineering Leaders Scholarship
    We are now accepting applications from engineering undergraduates at UK universities who have the potential to become leaders in engineering and act as role models for future engineers. Please share with any students, friends and family that may be interested.

    Award Value - £5,000
    Deadline - Monday 9 January 2017
    Contact - Jacqueline Clay

    APEX Awards
    Provides established and proven engineering academics the opportunity to pursue genuine interdisciplinary and curiosity-driven research to benefit wider society.

    Award Value - £100,000
    Deadline - Friday 13 January 2017
    Contact - Neeshé Khan

    If you wish to apply to the Apex Award, please contact the Research Support Office (

    RAEng is also launching a new UK Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Programme on Friday 9 December. Contact – Lucy Wheeler

    gravatar Thomas Wise

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    New NaCTeM research paper: "Text mining resources for the life sciences"

    Sophia Ananiadou, John McNaught, Piotr Przybyla and Matthew Shardlow of the NaCTeM group, have contributed to a paper recently published in 'Database: The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation':

    Text mining resources for the life sciences, Przybyla, P., Shardlow, M., Aubin, S., Bossy, R., Eckart de Castillo, R., Piperidis, S., McNaught, J. and S. Ananiadou



    gravatar Thomas Wise

    [ top ]Tech Support News

    Research IT Club

    Here are some brief notes from the first meeting of the new Research IT Club.

    Around 600 researchers have signed up for Dropbox Business so far. IT seem to think this is good: I'm a little surprised how low this number is, but I am sure it will grow. One consequence is that any applications from postgraduate research students are just being accepted currently; this could change as numbers approach some licence limit, so PGRs apply now!

    Like the CSF (Computational Shared Facility) there is now also a DPSF (Data Processing Shared Facility). This is for Big Data processing. Please contact Simon Hood in Research IT for details. The CSF itself is growing by some 500 cores that could be made freely available to occasional users. Again, contact Simon if this is of interest.

    For security reasons the campus network will likely be zoned at some time in the future, with 2-Factor Authentication used for Restricted and Highly Restricted data. The CSF and DPSF will likely have to be in the restricted zone. Details have yet to be worked out.

    gravatar Ian Cottam

    Wireless projection – reminder

    This is just a reminder that the following meeting rooms have wifi projection capability: 2.33, IT407, IT401, Atlas 1, Mercury. Additionally, we have two or three large TVs on wheels that we can use to provide a pop-up wifi projection capability, given sufficient notice. The next room to be equipped with wifi projection is likely to be Atlas 2, where, you may have noticed, we have a temporary projector while the main was is repaired/replaced.

    I recommend that you just ask me – Ian Cottam – for a demo before you use wifi projection in anger. I can do that in my office (LF.24) or one of the above rooms. Similarly, if you use a Windows laptop I can install the necessary application and licence key.

    gravatar Ian Cottam

    gravatar Karen Corless
Generated: Friday, 10 April 2020 11:21:13
Last change: Tuesday, 29 November 2016 11:58:15