School of CS newsletterPublished: Monday, 30 January 2017
Weekly newsletter for the School of CS
[ top ]News from Head of School
Welcome back to our Research Support Manager, Sarah Chatwin, who has returned from maternity leave. You can find Sarah back in her office (KB 2.7); she'll be working Monday to Thursday inclusive until the end of May.
Welcome to Christos Kotselidis, who has started as a new lecturer in the School. Christos has been appointed as the "Chips" part of the People to Data to Chips theme that was part of the Strategic Investment plan. Christos will be in KB 2.26.
There was a meeting of the School Leadership Team last Wednesday. I neglected to send around the agenda beforehand, but it is now available via http://staffnet.cs.manchester.ac.uk/committees/slt/. On this page you may also see the agenda and minutes for November's SLT meeting. Please send any comments to me, along with anything you may wish SLT to discuss.
The following information from HR has been circulated:
You may be aware that following the EU referendum outcome, the University engaged Simon Kenny from Eversheds to:
- speak at two meetings attended by nearly 300 non-UK EEA staff about their options in respect of residency and citizenship applications;
- undertake six training events for a total of almost 200 non-UK EEA staff seeking to make applications to confirm their right to be in the UK;
- speak at a meeting for non-EEA staff (attended by around 140 colleagues);
- help us compiling Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) arising from these sessions.
Films of two of the large meetings for international staff held in November (one for non-UK EEA staff and one for non-EEA staff) were placed on the intranet last month (first link below) and a set of comprehensive FAQs have now been added (see second link) .
[ top ]Events
A Standards-Based Approach to Effective Use of Future Large Scale Systems
- Speaker: Prof Bronis R. de Supinski (Laurence Livermoore National Laboratory)
- Host: Antoniu Pop
- 1st February 2017 at 14:00 in Kilburn L.T. 1.5
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has a long history of leadership in large-scale computing. Our next platform, Sierra, will be a heterogeneous system delivered by a partnership between IBM, NVIDIA and Mellanox, which represents a departure from LLNL's extreme-scale homogeneous systems. Thus, a major consideration is how we will access Sierra's significant performance potential. This talk will provide an overview of the Sierra architecture, our reasons for selecting it and progress towards its deployment. It will then detail how LLNL applications and the programming model standards on which they rely will evolve to exploit heterogeneous archictetures as well as more traditional homogeneous future large-scale systems.
Refreshments in Staff tearoom from 3pm
Cognitive limitations, fragmented literatures and ultra-specialization all make it hard for humans to understand very complicated systems. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part of the US Department of Defense, initiated the Big Mechanism program to develop technology to help humans build causal, mechanistic models of such systems. The first challenge problem for Big Mechanism is the intracellular signaling pathways that give rise to cancer, specifically Ras-driven cancers. By combining modeling methods from systems biology with machine reading and other AI technologies, it is now feasible for machines to read the primary literature, extract fragments of signaling pathways, assemble these fragments into networks of unprecedented size, and use these to simulate the effects of drugs. The talk will discuss how these technologies work and why cancer biology is a good challenge problem. It will also expose what Big Mechanism does less well, and technical challenges that we uncovered during the program, and prospects for extending Big Mechanism to domains such as food security and migration.
Paul Cohen is a professor at the University of Arizona on leave at DARPA, where he designed and directs the Big Mechanism and Communicating with Computers programs. His research is in Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science. Prior to joining DARPA, Paul founded the School of Information: Science, Technology and Arts at the University of Arizona, and served as head of Computer Science, there. Paul is a Fellow of the Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
Refreshments will be served in the Kilburn Staff Common room form 3pm
[ top ]Tech Support News
IT Services have overnight and weekend cover (24/7) on their Helpdesk number +44 (0)161 306 5544 (or extension 65544). It is better to phone in high priority jobs (rather than use the online system) as the analyst will assign an appropriate priority to the incident. This does not mean the job will be started immediately – with the possible exception of priority 1 incidents – but it does save you the triage phase that would otherwise not happen until the next working day.
TECHSO hope to have the Big TV screen on the Lower First in operation any day now. Thanks mainly to Chris on the software side and Stephen for hardware.
Once it is basically working, we will provide all with details of how to get your information to students or visitors displayed. Note that some Newsagent and Twitter feeds will be automatically added to the carousel. If you want to check if it is working and what the carousel is currently showing, simply browse to https://xerxes.cs.manchester.ac.uk/bigscreen.