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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Tuesday, 09 May 2017

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Review of FSE School Structure

    The last meeting of Senate was presented with an interim report by Keith Brown on the FSE review of School structure. The agenda reports are accessible on-line and may be found at It is a progress report and doesn’t say an awful lot. One thing the report does say is that should there be a re-organisation it will be to three or four Schools. The stated reason for this number of schools is that reducing the nine schools to a number near nine would be pointless. I couldn’t possibly comment. The Senate reports are long, but there are some interesting reports on the Higher Education bill, research funding, and activities in teaching an learning, including responses to the NSS.


    gravatar Karen Corless

    Reporting junk email and phishing attempts

    IT Services have set up two email addresses for reporting junk email and phishing attempts:

    • If the email is trying to capture your personal details, or potentially contains a link to a malicious website or an infected attachment, use
    • For all other junk, such as unsolicited commercial emails, offensive messages or general nuisance emails, use

    Please forward any junk or phishing emails as an attachment to IT Services. Forwarding as an attachment allows IT Services to identify the source of the message - instructions on how to do this can be found here:

    The University has a short online course to help staff identify phishing emails and avoid losing the University's or their own personal data. The course takes less than 15 minutes to complete and is available to all staff via Blackboard. Phishing emails are becoming increasingly sophisticated and difficult to spot - a recent test by IT Services found that many staff responded to phishing attempts, so please do complete this course if you haven't already.

    gravatar Liz Caine

    Alan Turing’s Correspondence

    Jim Miles is doing sterling work tackling the School’s history archives. The contents of the School store room on the 2nd floor of Kilburn are being very slowly sorted and the interesting bits are being relocated. The room is a treasure trove, with mix of assorted junk interspersed with some very interesting historical artefacts and records. One of Jim’s recent discoveries been a 1” thick file of Alan Turing’s correspondence. Speculation is that this was the departmental secretary’s file of the correspondence typed for Turing, as it mostly contains unsigned carbon copies of his letters with a university letter heading. Jim is consulting with the University Historian and the JRUL to determine where the letters should be kept and how they can be made visible and accessible to anyone interested.

    gravatar Karen Corless

    PSS update

    Welcome to Monica O'Kane who joins the Computer Science and Maths research hub this week as Research Finance Officer, taking over from Terry Williams who recently moved over to Procurement. Monica was previously in the CEAS/Materials hub. She is based with the hub in 2.126 KB and can be contacted at:

    gravatar Liz Caine

    ACM Future of Computing academy

    I’m pleased to announce that Sarah Clinch has recently been selected as a member of the ACM Future of Computing academy (ACM-FCA). The FCA ( is a new initiative created by ACM to support and foster the next generation of computing professionals. Sarah will be attending the inaugural meeting of the FCA and ACM's celebration of 50 years of the ACM Turing Award in San Francisco in June.

    gravatar Karen Corless

    [ top ]News and announcements


    A University project/working group has been exploring the feasibility, costs and benefits, opportunities and challenges to establishing a Manchester Environmental Research Institute/Network. We are seeking comments from across the University on the level of interest and any advice for those preparing a roadmap for the creation of such as Institute/ Network. To this end, we would be very grateful if you would take just 5 or 10 minutes to complete the short survey through the following link:

    If do not want to answer further questions, then please select "NO" for the final question, however if you do wish to provide further input through a further 15 minute survey (and we would grateful for such further responses), then please do selected "YES" and provide us with your further input.

    If you have any queries or would like to discuss any aspect of this further, please do not hesitate to contact

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Celebration of the new Computer Science history display

    An event to celebrate the new history display in the Kilburn Building took place on Friday 5th May. The display exhibits the life and work of Desmond Henry. Desmond was a member of the Philosophy Department here, and was one of the earliest people to realise that computers, though designed for calculation, could be use to create artworks. The display includes some of the art he created using electromechanical analogue computers.

    The celebration was a splendid event, attended by members of Desmond’s family, including his daughter Elaine who keeps his archive, staff from the Philosophy Department who knew Desmond, staff involved in the development of the display, including the university historian, James Hopkins, people from local art galleries, and members of this School. Robert Stevens opened the event and then there were various contributions discussing the history and context of Desmond’s work, led by Elaine. Some fascinating aspects of history were raised, including Alan Turing’s links with the Philosophy Department, and the influence of the C19th logic engines of William Jevons, developed here in Manchester. A big thanks to Karon Mee for the arrangements for this event.

    David Rydeheard

    The accompanying picture is the artist’s daughter, Elaine, and grandson, standing by one of the display panels.

    gravatar Karen Corless

    [ top ]Events

    Wellbeing in the Smart City 10th May 2017 Atlas 1 & 2

    Wellbeing in the Smart City - Workshop & Seminar

    10 May 2017

    Time: 10:00 - 16:00

    Venue: Atlas 1 & 2, Kilburn Building, Oxford Road, The University of Manchester, M13 9PL

    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.

    Joining us for this exciting event is Mei Ren & Jamie Anderson the Director and Senior Sustainability Consultant from BuroHappold, Richard Fitton of the University of Salford and many more.

    The event will take place in the Atlas Rooms, Kilburn Building, and 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).

    Book a place here:

    gravatar Karon Mee

    Event: Cyber and you

    Event: 16 May and 4 July lunchtimes

    Dr Daniel Dresner is talking at the Cyber and you event, part of the University's Cyber Security Programme. Registration required.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Reminder - 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 ]PGR News

    The Cohort Effect

    We need to do better in helping our students feel part of the PGR School, to catch problems they may be having early, and to help with personal issues before they become a problem.  One way to help with this is cohorts.

    So we'll be moving to 'Advisor Cohorts' in September which means that all Students from the September intake onwards will be randomly grouped into a multi-disciplinary cohort of between 15-20 (two in Semester 1 and one in Semester 2). Our three cohort advisors -  Christos Kotselidis, Giles Reger, and Tingting Mu - will meet with their group regularly and initially every two weeks to make sure things are running smoothly and address any problems.

    Briefly, we see advisor duties as:

    "The advisor is responsible for providing pastoral support to the student and facilitate peer support within their cohort, providing advice on both accordingly. The advisor should also be a point of contact for the student if there are any difficulties with the supervisory team/student/peer cohort relationship. The advisor will also have some variable academic input to the student's research training, but they do not have responsibility for the student’s research project." 

    Once students arrive we're looking to be more active - in supporting both staff and students - so please let us know if you think a student may be having problems or isn't doing as you would expect so we can chase this up.

    On a broader note, is there anything particular that you'd like Advisors to cover so we can create a check-list of things to look for or behaviours that may signify something is amiss. Just let us know now or in the future so that we can get mechanisms in place.

    gravatar Simon Harper

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    Are you an amazing science communicator who is at a defining moment in their career?

    Deadline 5pm 22 May 2017

    The Josh Award is the UK’s national award in science communication, established to recognise and support up-and-coming talent in science communication. The award provides the opportunity to become the science communicator in residence at the Manchester Science Festival, developing and delivering a new project or event while showcasing best practice in the field of science communication. The winner receives up to £2500 to develop their project or event with Manchester Science Festival and up to £1000 personal expenses budget. For more information and an application form, click here.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    New IAA scheme

    Deadline: 14 June 2017

    EPSRC has awarded The University of Manchester over £2.4M to deliver an Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) that aims to increase and accelerate the impact of EPSRC research outputs from the university through a range of knowledge exchange activities. Running from April 2017 to March 2020, the £2.4M IAA will aim to ensure that the university fulfils its strategic knowledge exchange objectives in the domains covered by EPSRC research. The Knowledge Exchange Team is pleased to announce the 1st Call for Proposals for:

    • Relationship Incubator Scheme (Open call) Fostering new relationships between industry and academic researchers, creating opportunities for collaboration and exchange of knowledge and skills
    • Proof of Concept Scheme Support for the very early stage of transforming research outputs into commercial opportunities
    • Secondment Scheme Flexible support for secondments between The University of Manchester and businesses and other organisations

    Initial contact should be made via

    Further information, application forms and individual scheme guidance can be found at

    SCS has been successful with these in the past.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Royal Society Research Grants

    Deadline: 06 June 2017

    Good for purchasing equipment/ consumables. The objective of the scheme is to increase the availability of specialised equipment and essential consumable materials, and to support essential field research. The scheme also provides support for research in the history of science or to assist with publication of scholarly works in the history of science.

    Up to £15k (incl. VAT) is available for 12 months for the purchase of specialized equipment directly related to the proposal, essential consumable materials, and travel and subsistence for essential field research. You must:

    • hold a PhD or be of equivalent standing in your profession & be a UK resident at the time of application
    • be within the first 5 years of the start date of your first permanent or limited-tenured academic position


    Up to £15k (incl. VAT) is available for research within the History of Science or to assist with publication of scholarly works in the history of science (up to £5,000 incl. VAT).
    Non-tenured researchers and retired scientists may apply for research support and publication support grants if the application is in the history of science field and the applicant works in association with an eligible institution.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Royal Society International Exchanges Scheme

    Kan Tong Po Programme – 13 June 2017 15:00 UK time
    R1 International Exchanges Standard Programme – 13 June 2017 15:00 UK time
    Argentina (CONICET), France (CNRS) and Russia (RFBR) International Exchanges Cost share Programme – 15 June 2017 15:00 UK time

    This  scheme is for scientists based in the UK who want to stimulate new collaborations with leading scientists overseas through either a one-off visit or bilateral travel. Applicants may request:

    • up to of £3,000 for one-off travel lasting up to 3 months
    • up to £6000 for multiple visits to be completed within 1 year (including a maximum of £1000 for research expenses)
    • up to £12,000 for multiple visits to be completed within 2 years and cost share projects fixed at 2 years (including a maximum of £2000 for research expenses)

    If you intend to collaborate with partners in Argentina, China, France, Ireland, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, your proposal can also be considered for the Cost Share Programme. This entails the UK applicant submitting a proposal to the Royal Society for up to £12k and the overseas applicant simultaneously submitting a proposal for an additional amount up to/equivalent to £12k to a partner organisation, with whom the Royal Society has a funding agreement.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    New information: EPSRC Research Software Engineer Fellowship

    Internal deadline: 19 May 2017
    (External) outline deadline: 08 Jun 2017

    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 for more information and the internal process (compulsory).

    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.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Tech Support News

    Research IT update

    The next meeting of the new Research IT Club will take place on the 10th May.

    Time/date/location: 3 until 5pm, 10th May, G107, Alan Turing Building


    • Angus Hearmon – new Head of Research IT will be introducing himself and reporting back on his first few weeks.
    • John Bowes, Division of Musculoskeletal & Dermatological Sciences, Fac BMH, will talk about components of the Research IT ecosystem for computationally-intensive research (CIR), and how two research projects have been made possible using this.
    • Mike Elliot, Cyber Security, IT Services, will talk about the introduction of two-factor authentication and use of network security zones here at The University and how researchers can make use of this to increase their research data security.
    gravatar Ian Cottam

    gravatar Karen Corless
Generated: Thursday, 02 April 2020 23:51:00
Last change: Tuesday, 09 May 2017 12:55:36