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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Tuesday, 11 April 2017

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Welcome to new staff

    Welcome to Emma Bentley and Ruth Whelan who join the School PSS team this week. 

    Emma joins us from Monday 10th April as Postgraduate Administrator providing maternity cover for Susie Hymas and can be contacted at or extension 57520. Ruth starts on Tuesday 11th as Recruitment and Admissions Manager, covering Cassie Barlow's secondment to the Student Lifecycle Programme. Ruth's contact details are: extension 56410.

    gravatar Liz Caine

    Staff Survey

    Staff should have seen emails asking them to complete the staff survey. This survey is done every two years and is an opportunity for staff to have their say about various aspects of the School and the wider University. the email contains a Web link and a personal password. The survey closes on Tuesday, 18 April, so there is only a short time left for staff to have their say. The results from the staff survey provide the School and the wider University with valuable input as to what works well and what works less well, so do please do the survey - it doesn't take very long and is anonymous.


    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    Academic Guest Lectures

    A call has gone out for academics to propose lectures that can be given in Schools. This is part of the Academic Guest Lecture Series for local schools and is all about promoting the discipline, both within schools and for future study. We currently have only one talk on offer and we are able to do better. The information for the STEM team needed is:

    Your Name
    Title of the talk
    Short blurb, outlining topics covered – suggest no more than 100 words.
    Audience suitability: E.g. Suitable for Year 12 and 13 OR  Can be adapted to almost any age group and ability range.
    Subject areas covered and keywords (so teachers can find suitable talks) e.g. mathematics, engineering, climate change.

    The STEM team add the talk to their website - Academic Guest Lecture Series; this site can be used to see the type of talks given. The STEM team broker requests from schools. All schools are within a 1-hours travelling distance from the University, and a minimum audience of 20 students is requested from schools.  Please send your talk offers to Emma Lewis-Kalubowila.

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    Durian fruit

    On the afternoon of Friday 31 March the Kilburn Building was evacuated after a natural gas-like smell pervaded the building. It turned out that the smell arose from durian fruit waste in one of the bins. To many the smell of durian fruit is very unpleasant and the ventilation system meant that it spread all around the building. Given the nature of the smell, evacuating the building was the right thing to do. Such evacuations are very disruptive. So, do not bring this fruit into the School.

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    In Abstract

    The second edition of "In Abstract" - the Faculty world-leading paper series has been published, available here:

    This is work from across the whole faculty, judged by former REF panel members as world-leading in their respective areas.  The selected Computer Science papers in this edition may be seen via:

    This time we have three out of the 24 selected from across the Faculty.
      Congratulations to Gavin Brown, Eva Navarro-Lopez, Antoniu Pop, and their co-authors, for their papers.

    The call for the next edition of In Abstract is now open. Papers accepted after 18th Nov 2016 are eligible. Your paper, together with a 200-word summary should be sent to the Director of Research (  The summary should be intelligible to the well-informed but *non-specialist* professional - a fellow academic, but perhaps not in your discipline. Deadline Monday 1st May 2017.

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    [ top ]News and announcements

    HiPEAC 2018 (Manchester) call for papers

    @HiPEAC 2018 will be in Manchester; the same year when the Manchester Baby will be 70 years old. The call for papers is out! Visit and remember to submit your papers before 1st Jun 2017 via ACM TACO 2.0

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Artistic Residency available for H2020 FET projects

    Are you R&D ICT project coordinator or partner? Apply now and have the chance of hosting an Artistic Residency that will boost your open innovation and the dissemination of your technology!
    The VERTIGO project promotes the arts as catalysts for an efficient conversion of science and technology knowledge into products, services and processes. To achieve this, VERTIGO is organising and funding artists residencies in R&D projects in the field of ICT.

    The artist in residence will also provide a radically different point of view on the projects' technology by rethinking design, exploring technological limits through art installations and testing unusual technical solutions. VERTIGO will showcase produced works to the public and actors of innovation. This will enhance the public dissemination of the project activities and technology.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Join EPSRC Uncertainty Networks

    Together with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC), EPSRC funded two complementary networks as a result of the "Decision Making Under Uncertainty" call.

    The purpose of the networks is to develop linkages between disciplines related to decision making under uncertainty and grow a multi-disciplinary community in this space. The network(s) will be expected to work with user organisations (policy-makers, industry, and/or civil societies) to analyse real world systems and identify where multi-disciplinary research can develop new approaches to improve decision making under uncertainty. If you are interested in joining either network, we would encourage you to get in touch with either of the two networks directly via their PIs:

    More information is available on GoW: Decision-Making under Uncertainty: Developing a Deeper

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Horizon 2020 interim consultation -Public stakeholder consultation for Youth and Young Scientists

    Deadline: 18 Apr 2017
    The EC is running a public stakeholder consultation as part of the on-going H2020 mid-term evaluation and consultation process. The survey will take about 10-20 minutes to complete. 
    This questionnaire is focused on Horizon 2020 in general and it is specifically addressed to the youth and young researchers. The survey is designed to understand how young people and early-stage researchers perceive these issues.  Responses will inform conversations between the European Commission and groups that represent young people and early-stage researchers.
     The survey has two parts.  The first part asks about the respondent, the second part asks general questions about the European Union and asks concrete questions regarding their perspective on the European Union activities in research, innovation and technology issues.
    Please find the survey and more information at
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Events

    Royal Academy of Engineering workshop on working with Moi University, Kenya

    Event: 21-22 April 2017, Kenya

    Moi University in Kenya is seeking a facilitator to support its upcoming workshop in Kenya. Moi University has recently been funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering under the Higher Education Partnerships Sub-Saharan Africa Programme (HEPSSA) to address the engineering skills and capacity gap in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    The workshop on Effective engineering education training methodologies for competence and skills development, will be centred around the following subjects:

    • Overcoming barriers to sustainable university – industry collaboration in developing economies
    • Challenges in aligning university engineering education and training needs to deliver industry compliant graduates in a dynamic industrial set-up
    • Progression in the engineering profession
    • Promotion of North – South – South sustainable collaboration in engineering education and practice 
    • Effective engineering education training methodologies for competence and skills development
    • The role of professional bodies and policy makers in promotion of university – industry links. 

    Moi University are keen to tap into UK academic and facilitation expertise to help achieve their goals of addressing the engineering skills gap in Kenya. The university will cover travel, accommodation and as well as offering an honorarium for facilitating the workshop. 
    If you are interested in finding out more information or in facilitating this workshop, and taking part in a project addressing the engineering skills gap in Kenya, please contact Sebastian Scott, Programme Officer, Royal Academy of Engineering,

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    ERC Advanced Grants Information and Proposal Writing Event (Manchester)

    Event: 10:00 - 13:00 (registration from 09:30) 24 May 2017, The University of Manchester
    In its capacity as UK National Contact Point for the European Research Council, the UK Research Office, in partnership with the University of Manchester, is holding an event for researchers who are interested in applying for the 2017 ERC Advanced Grants call.
    Aim of the Session
     The free session will provide participants with a detailed practical overview of the ERC Advanced Grants scheme.  Participants should gain a deeper understanding of the proposal format and the key issues they are required to address in planning, writing and costing a proposal.  There will also be ample opportunities to ask questions.
    Who should attend?
    The sessions are aimed at researchers based in, or moving to, the UK who are planning to submit a proposal to the ERC Advanced Grants call.  The 2017 Advanced Grants call is expected to open on 16 May 2017 and close on 31 August 2017.  Applicants are expected to be active researchers and to have a track record of excellent research.  The scheme is designed to support Principal Investigators (PIs) who are already established leaders in their field with a recognised track record of research achievements.
    Registration required. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
    Please note that another Advanced Grants event will take place in London on 18th May.
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Wellbeing in the Smart City - save the date

    Event: 10:00-16:00, 10 May 2017 (Manchester, Kilburn Building, Atlas 1&2)

    Rethinking the way that technology can be used to improve health and wellbeing is an essential challenge for cities. Manchester is one of the leading cities for both devolution of health & social care and the development of the smart city through the CityVerve ‘Internet of Things’ demonstrator.

    The event will be hosted by The University of Manchester, in association with Arup Design & Consulting, and will focus on three areas - ‘Wellbeing in the Smart City’; ‘Wellbeing and the Smart Campus’, and ‘Wellbuildings’.

    The aim of the day is to bring together researchers, practitioners, technologists, and industry partners interested in exploring the challenges and opportunities associated with designing, building, and maintaining liveable urban environments in the face of increasing pressures to ensure their environmental sustainability, minimise carbon impact, and deliver efficient modern spaces.

    The event will incorporate the planned School of Computer Science seminar talk by Dan Hill, Associate Director & Head of Arup Digital Studio (14:00, LT1.5, Kilburn Building).

    If you have any queries please contact

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Technology Touching Life Regional Workshops

    EoI deadline: 5pm 09 May 2017

    • 6 June (Midlands)
    • 16 June (London)
    • 20 June (Scotland)

    EPSRC, BBSRC and MRC are holding 3 one-day workshops to launch the cross council initiative Technology Touching Life (TTL) in June 2016. Venues are to be confirmed.

    TTL is a joint activity between BBSRC, EPSRC and MRC to foster interdisciplinary research into innovative, and potentially disruptive, technological capabilities that will drive world-leading basic health and life sciences discovery research.

    The workshops will bring together researchers from across a broad range of relevant disciplines to discuss the research challenges and opportunities associated with Technology Touching Life.

    The aims of the workshops are to:

    • share the vision and current plans for the TTL initiative
    • seek input on key challenges and opportunities, as well as feedback on our proposed approach to implementation
    • facilitate cross-disciplinary networking and the formation of consortia for a Technology Touching Life community research networks call (to be launched May 2017)

    Remember, funding is available from the School to attend events with funders, on the condition that information is fed-back to the School for the benefit of other academics. Contact Gavin Brown for more information.


    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Reminder: Neurodegenerative Disease Technology Roadmap Development

    Event:  9:30-16:00, 12 April 2017 (University of Manchester Innovation Centre, Grafton Street)

    NeuroD is an EPSRC funded, cross-faculty research initiative that aims to provide opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration on projects that will advance our capacity to treat, diagnose and monitor Neurodegenerative diseases.

    At prior events, we've gathered our delegates to survey the ongoing research efforts and applicable technologies currently being developed across the University. Now that we know what tools, technologies and techniques we have at our disposal, we can begin to formulate our end goals and the technological pathways to achieving them.

    These discussions will be preceded by a presentation of the preliminary landscape document that has been formed from our interaction with delegates thus far and go on to inform the future development of NeuroD.

    Register here.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Complexity Science as an EPSRC research area - scoping workshop

    Event: end of April

    As announced in the new rationale for the research area of Complexity Science, ESPRC has scheduled a review of the area for 2017. The aims of the review are as follows:

    •get a better understanding of the research that is currently funded in complexity science across the EPSRC portfolio and its links to other parts of the RCUK funding landscape.

    •understand how research in complexity science has changed over the past 5-10 years

    •understand the effects that complexity science has had on the research landscape in the UK

    •make a recommendation on how best to support excellence in complexity science and complex systems research in the future.

    A scoping workshop with representation across disciplines will kick the review off. In a first instance, we aim to define all stakeholder constituencies and start identifying the main future challenges for the area. We will be seeking input from the community throughout the course of the review, including at a town hall meeting later in the year.

    Should you wish to be involved in contributing to the review, contact:

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    British Council's Israel Fellowships and Lectureships Call for Proposals now open

    Researcher Links Travel Grants (fellowships) UK – Israel
    Deadline:13 June 2017, 4PM GMT / 6PM ILT
    • For early career researchers and medical graduates working in the UK or Israel wishing to visit the partner country to gain research or clinical experience
    • Fellowship projects must be in the following priority sectors: nanoscience, neuroscience, water science, agri-science, regenerative medicine, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and cyber research
    • Fellowships can take between 4 to 24 weeks in duration
    • Fellows will be awarded £2,000 a month plus £550 travel costs. Consumable costs are available for fellowships of 4 months and longer.
    UK – Israel Science Lectureships
    Deadline: 13 June 2017, 4PM GMT / 6PM ILT
    • For senior researchers working in the UK or Israel wishing to take a lectureship visit in the partner country.
    • Lectureship projects must be in the following priority sectors: nanoscience, neuroscience, water science, agri-science, regenerative medicine, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and cyber research
    • Lectureships can take between 5 to 14 days in duration.
    • Lectureship grants will fund up to £2,000, subject to approval of the budget submitted. 
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Royal Academy of Engineering opportunities

    Distinguished Visiting Fellowships - extended deadline

    Apply online by 02 May 2017
    The scheme provides funding of up to £6,000 to enable an engineering department at a UK University to host a Distinguished Visiting Fellow from an overseas academic centre of excellence for visits lasting up to one month. The scheme's objectives are to:
    • access global centres of excellence in engineering research and teaching, with a view to strengthening UK capacity and international standing and promoting new international collaborations;
    • enable the participating organisations to discover shared and complementary skills, areas and initiatives that could form the foundation for future collaborations and strategic research alliances;
    • foster knowledge exchange partnerships through the sharing of skills, experience, information and the latest technological developments;
    • promote the unification of participating organisation
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Prize and award Opportunities

    Government’s sponsored Data Science challenges

    Solutions can be submitted between the 3rd April and 17th May 2017

    The Data Science Challenges launched today and are sponsored by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) as well as a number of other UK government departments. The challenges are designed to encourage the brightest minds in data science to help solve real-world problems. Entrants will also be able to track their progress using live leader boards. The top three entrants in each challenge will share a £40,000 prize fund.

    The Data Science Challenge begins with two separate competitions that will test the participants’ ability to mine large unstructured datasets to extract useful information:



    The challenges are open to all data scientists (unless working for a challenge sponsor or supporting organisation). Register here. You can follow latest news from the Challenges on Twitter or LinkedIn.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Tech Support News

    There is no spoon

    Many of you will be familiar with the famous quote from the movie The Matrix: "There is no spoon". Well, "There is no Linux kernel". At least not in the remarkable Windows 10 (64-bit) Subsystem Linux or WSL for short. With the release of Windows 10 Creators Update from Microsoft this month, Ubuntu 16.04 Linux binaries will run on Windows 10. You could copy some over from a Linux system or compile them up from source via a Bash terminal under Windows. Packages can be installed via the normal sudo apt-get install package-name. X11 is not (officially) supported, but many X apps do in fact run (using, say, the free Xming for Windows).

    IT Services state that computers can be supplied with Windows 10 (cf. Windows 7) if a justifying business case is supplied; this (WSL) strikes me as a good case. However, I have no evidence that it would be accepted or how much extra time it would add to delivery.

    Although WSL is still marked as Beta software, it could be the start of the end for having to dual boot or run a virtual machine for many researchers. I also look forward to Richard Stallman insisting we call Windows Subsystem Linux: GNU/NT or GNU/Windows.  :-)

    gravatar Ian Cottam

    [ top ]Sustainability and Green Impact News

    Environmental Sustainability @Manchester


    Staff are encouraged to get involved

    Discover positive actions you can make as a member of staff to contribute to positive environmental action


    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    Recycling @Manchester

    • The recycling A-Z for staff has been created by Estates:

    • Reminder- there are glass bottle bins on the loading bay
    • Recycling Used Stamps - recepticles in ACSO and SSO (chosen charity: RNIB - Please cut the stamp off the envelope, leaving around one centimeter of envelope or packaging around each stamp)

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks
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Last change: Tuesday, 11 April 2017 12:13:06