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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Wednesday, 03 May 2017

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    School Leadership Team meeting

    The next meeting of the School Leadership Team is Wednesday 3 May at 3 p.m.. The agenda for this meeting and the minutes of previous meetings may be found at

    Send any agenda items or comment to me via

    Professor Robert Stevens

    gravatar Karen Corless

    [ top ]News and announcements

    School of Computer Science students are going to Malawi

    Through co-operation with Computing at School (CAS) and the charity Ripple Africa, this School is aiming to take computer science education out to schools in rural Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world. 

    Three CS students, the CAS team, and a UK school teacher, plan to use the highly successful CAS model of teaching teachers whilst also delivering exciting activities to local school children.  The project involves at least three secondary schools, with a number of primary schools also expected to join the project.    There is also an intention to visit Malawian universities to begin to foster important links.  

    This outreach and pilot volunteering project is run as a charitable activity and we are seeking additional support through crowdfunding.  We would very much appreciate any contributions as some aspects of this initiative are proving difficult to fund.  With some collective support this project could make an amazing difference by improving the skills and abilities of the teachers and children we plan to work with both this year and into the future.

    If you would like some more details, contact Karen Corless or Dr David Rydeheard

    gravatar Karen Corless

    Machine Learning in the news

    Gavin Brown was interviewed by the on-line marketing magazine "The Drum" on how best to deploy Machine Learning in advertising, and how there exists a skills gap in the sector for well-trained data scientists.  The article and full report can be found here.




    gravatar Karen Corless

    [ top ]Events

    Towards Better Health: Harnessing the Power of Health Informatics

    Pre-Competitive Collaborative Consortium (PCCC) for the health ICT Industry. Information day and pre-launch: 22 May 17

    Connected Health Cities (CHC) is a £20 M pilot project funded by the Department of Health across four city regions in the North of England. Its mission is to safely demonstrate innovations in care delivery that lead to improved health for citizens, more effective health and care services, growth of clinical research capability and stimulation of the North of England’s economy.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Reminder: 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.

    Registration required. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    RAEng early-career session

    Event: 24 May 17, 1.30-2.30pm (Sackville Street Building, Lecture Theatre C14)
    For post-docs and PhD students approaching completion. The Faculty is hosting a visit by the RAEng’s grants team (presentation followed by Q&A), which will include Christina Guindy (Head of Research), Ana Avaliani (Head of Enterprise) and Suzannah Laver (Program Manager, Research). The session will cover the RAEng Research Fellowship scheme (PhD + up to 4 years’ experience), Intelligence Community postdoc scheme and Enterprise Fellowships.
    Registration required. (Password: Session4a)
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    Scheme for Italian RAs

    Deadline: 15 May 2017 (runs annually)

    The Italian Embassy in London invites young Italian researchers across the UK to submit applications for its annual research award programme “Italy Made Me”, to honour the accomplishments of young Italian researchers .

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    EPSRC Research Software Engineer Fellowship

    Outline deadline: 08 Jun 17

    Up to £4m is available for this call to fund 4 – 8 Fellows, for a period of up to 5 years. Please note only 2 submissions per institution are allowed. Please contact if you're interested in applying.

    The aim of this call is to provide long-term funding to individuals working as Research Software Engineers who demonstrate exceptional leadership skills and will be able to co-ordinate and promote the role of Research Software Engineers in academia. 

    Please note that you must read the full Call document for guidance before submitting your proposal. 

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    UoM/FAPESP Joint Research Scheme

     Deadline: 31 July 2017
    Joint funding is available between UoM researchers and researchers from the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
    The call is open to all permanent academic staff or fixed term academic or research staff whose contract exceeds the duration of the project.  FAPESP will provide funding of up to the equivalent of £10k per proposal per year to the Sao Paulo partner, and the Faculty will provide funding of up to £10k per proposal per year, for the duration of the grant to cover research-related mobility expenses. Contact for more information.
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    British Council - SENER - CONACyT calls for Mexico, April 2017

    Deadline: 13 June 2017 16:00
    £70-80k to support the establishment of UK -Mexico working groups to develop Research, Development and Innovation projects in Energetic Sustainability. The scheme will support partnerships between institutions from both countries to develop research for the public policy, orientate the research landscape in Mexico for the priority areas of the call or speed the development of new technologies.Guidelines
    First workshop - London
    Venue: British Council (UG.09 Room)
    Address: 10 Spring Gardens | London | SW1A 2BN
    Date: 17 May
    Registration: 2:30 p.m. Starts: 3:00 p.m. Ends: 5:00 p.m
    Second workshop - Manchester
    Venue: British Council (The Library)
    Address: Bridgewater House | 58 Whitworth Street | Manchester | M1 6BB
    Date: 19 May
    Registration: 2 p.m. Starts: 2:30 p.m. Ends: 4:30 p.m.
    Please note that we have limited places so we kindly ask you to confirm by 11 May 2 p.m. UK time. For confirmations please fill in this form  and we will send more details a few days before the event.  
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    Caroline Jay in the Sunday Telegraph

    On Sunday 30th April Caroline Jay's  work in computer science  was highlighted. “The image of the solitary programmer working alone is all wrong; first and foremost, students need to learn the fundamentals of teamwork”, she says.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Best Student Paper for Henry Reeve

    Congratulations to Henry Reeve (supervised by Gavin Brown) who's been awarded Best Student Paper at ESANN 2017 in Belgium.

    Degrees of Freedom in Regression Ensembles 
    Henry W J Reeve and Gavin Brown 
    European Symposium on Artificial Neural Networks, Computational Intelligence and Machine Learning 2017.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Best Paper for Andrey Rodchenko

    A paper by Andrey Rodchenko, Christos Kotselidis, Andy Nisbet, Antoniu Pop and Mikel Lujan part of the ISPASS 2017 conference ( was nominated for the best paper award. Andrei presented the work last week and received the award. Congratulations Andrey!! 

    MaxSim is a simulation platform based on the Maxine VM, the ZSim simulator, and the McPAT modeling framework. MaxSim is able to simulate fast and accurately managed workloads running on top of Maxine VM. It features pointer tagging, low-intrusive microarchitectural profiling based on tagged pointers and modeling of complex software changes via address-space morphing.
    Source code for MaxSim is available at
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    New papers

    Sato, M., Brockmeier, A. J., Kontonatsios, G., Mu, T., Goulermas, J. Y, Tsujii, J. and Ananiadou, S. (2017). Distributed Document and Phrase Co-embeddings for Descriptive Clustering. Proceedings of EACL 2017, pp. 991-1001

    Descriptive document clustering aims to automatically discover groups of semantically related documents and to assign a meaningful label to characterise the content of each cluster. In this paper, we present a descriptive clustering approach that employs a distributed representation model, namely the paragraph vector model, to capture semantic similarities between documents and phrases. The proposed method uses a joint representation of phrases and documents (i.e., a coembedding) to automatically select a descriptive phrase that best represents each document cluster. We evaluate our method by comparing its performance to an existing state-of-the-art descriptive clustering method that also uses co-embedding but relies on a bag-of-words representation. Results obtained on benchmark datasets demonstrate that the paragraph vector-based method obtains superior performance over the existing approach in both identifying clusters and assigning appropriate descriptive labels to them.

    Nguyen NTH, Soto AJ, Kontonatsios G, Batista-Navarro R, Ananiadou S (2017). Constructing a biodiversity terminological inventory. PLoS ONE 12(4): e0175277.

    This article describes the use of text mining methods for the automatic construction of a large-scale biodiversity term inventory. The inventory consists of names of species, amongst which naming variations are prevalent. We apply a number of distributional semantic techniques on all of the titles in the Biodiversity Heritage Library, to compute semantic similarity between species names and support the automated construction of the resource. We also evaluate our inventory as a means to improve search by facilitating automatic query expansion. Specifically, we developed a visual search interface that suggests semantically related species names, which are available in our inventory but not always in other repositories, to incorporate into the search query.
    The biodiversity term inventory, containing a total of over 288,000 species names, is publicly available at
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Sustainability and Green Impact News

    Living Campus - UMAPIT

    As part of the University's biodiversity strategy . Info is available at

    The UMAPIT (University of Manchester Animal Positions and Information Tracker) app and accompanying website have been developed by staff at the University, as part of the University's biodiversity strategy. They allow quick and easy recording of selected key species in the field using a set of images and descriptions. The species have been seen on the University's campus and many are also found across the UK.


    Visit UMAPIT to enter information and locations manually via the website using any mobile or desktop device with an internet connection. You can use the app to capture details of species you encounter on campus and beyond, record your finding on a map and send your records directly to the website database. The UMAPIT app is free of charge and is available on android.

    Info is available at

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    Green Impact Team update

    Your Green Team are meeting regularly to discuss all things 'Green'.  They are currently working towards:

    Completing the Green Impact Workbook (this records what we are doing to work towards getting Green Impact status)

    • Developing a bee keeping project
    • Looking at our procurement of drinking cups
    • Starting to use recycled paper for all printing
    • Exploring ways to get more plants in our offices

    If you have any comments, please contribute to the Green Impact Wiki page.

    gravatar Karen Corless

    gravatar Karen Corless
Generated: Thursday, 02 April 2020 23:06:40
Last change: Wednesday, 03 May 2017 13:31:14