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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Wednesday, 05 July 2017

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Kitchens and cleaning

    The kitchens have been left in a parlous state, especially the kitchen in the common room in the Kilburn building, but also the ones on the second floor of the Kilburn Building and the one in the IT Building. Cleaning the kitchens is not part of house services duties and we are now paying from the School budget to have them cleaned one hour per week. Please be mindful the kitchens are a shared facility and use the cleaning materials provided to clean up after yourself – don’t just leave this for someone else to do. If the kitchen facilities continue to be abused then we will have to limit access to see if this resolves the problem.


    gravatar Karen Corless

    [ top ]News and announcements

    PSS update

    A warm welcome to Jake Latham who joined the School on 20th June as Postgraduate Admissions Assistant, replacing Shazia Dar who left in April. Jake joins us from the Whitworth Art Gallery. He can be contacted at

    gravatar Liz Caine

    MIF Ticket Winners in CS!

    Manchester International Festival (MIF) is the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events. The Festival is staged every two years in Manchester.

    Last month, the UoM announced that as MIF17 Silver Supporters, eight pairs of free tickets had been allocated for our staff.

    Congratulations to Emma Bently in SSO and Anna Humble in the Research Finance Office for winning some tickets!   

    gravatar Karen Corless

    [ top ]Events

    Data Science Institute: Advanced Data Analytics Seminars

    Event: 18 Jul 2017

    Leading researchers present their recent advances in Machine Learning and Computational Statistics. Advanced Data Analytics Seminars take place at The Kanaris Lecture Theatre (Manchester Museum) between 14:00 - 15:00 on the given date (unless otherwise stated). This will be followed by a tea, coffee & refreshments served in the foyer.  

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    School Leadership Team meeting

    The next meeting of the School Leadership Team (SLT) is Thursday 6 July at 10:30 a.m. If you have items you wish to have discussed send me the details. The agenda for this meeting of the SLT may be found on the committee webpage.  There is also a link to the last available minutes on that page.




    gravatar Karen Corless

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    ESRC Transformative Research internal process

    The ESRC Transformative Research call selection process will be managed via Humanities.
    As in previous rounds, the number of proposals is limited to a maximum of two applications. Therefore intentions to bid will be required by Monday, 14 August 2017 (to include a one page summary of the proposal and the name of a potential reviewer).
    Intentions to bid should be submitted via your local RSM (Sarah Chatwin) to (cc’d
    Please note the Intentions to Bid deadline of Monday, 14 August.
    The ESRC Transformative Research Call is expected to open at the end of July 2017. This is a major research funding call which aims to provide a stimulus for genuinely transformative research ideas at the frontiers of the social sciences, enabling research which challenges current thinking to be supported and developed.
    The ESRC consider transformative research to be that which involves, for example, pioneering theoretical and methodological innovation. The expectation is that the transformative research call will encourage novel developments of social science enquiry, and support research activity that entails an element of risk.
    Successful applicants will receive a grant of up to £250,000 (at 100% full economic cost (fEC)) for projects of up to 24 months in duration. ESRC will meet 80% of the full economic costs on successful proposals. The deadline is expected to be at the end of October 2017.
    As in previous rounds, the number of proposals a Research Organisation can submit will be limited to a maximum of two applications. Therefore intentions to bid will be required by Monday, 14 August 2017 (to include a one page summary of the proposal and the name of a potential reviewer).
    The full timetable for the selection process will be confirmed after the call opens at the end of July. Currently the indicative timeline is:
    ·         Call expected to open end of July.
    ·         One-page Intention to Bid deadline: Monday, 14 August
    ·         Full draft proposal for internal peer review/selection: Thursday, 14 September
    ·         Comments and Decisions to applicants: During w/c Monday, 2 October
    ·         Expected deadline: End of October
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    Distinguished Paper Award

    Congratulations to Amanieu d'Antras who has received a Distinguished Paper Award in PLDI 2017 for the paper:

    Low Overhead Dynamic Binary Translation on ARM
    Amanieu d'Antras, Cosmin Gorgovan, Jim Garside, Mikel Lujan or


    gravatar Liz Caine

    Text Mining the History of Medicine

    An article entitled “Text Mining the History of Medicine”, describing work carried out at NaCTeM and published in PLOS ONE, is among the top 1% most downloaded of the 22,000 articles published in the journal in 2016.

    The article describes the development of new text mining resources and tools aimed at allowing the extraction of various types of semantic information from published historical medical documents, dating back to the mid-19th century. The resulting text mining pipeline has been applied to two large archives of published historical documents, and the semantically enriched archives have been used as the basis for the development of a semantically-enriched search system ( that provides facilities for efficient exploration of the archives.

    Paul Thompson, Riza Theresa Batista-Navarro, Georgios Kontonatsios, Jacob Carter, Elizabeth Toon, John McNaught, Carsten Timmermann, Michael Worboys and Sophia Ananiadou (2016). Text Mining the History of Medicine. PLoS ONE 11(1): e0144717.


    gravatar Karen Corless

    Article in the Journal of Bioinformatics

    We are pleased to announce the publication of a new article in the Journal of Bioinformatics, which proposes a new semi-supervised method that is able to automatically assist systematic reviewers in identifying citations that are most relevant to an underlying research question.

    Kontonatsios, G., Brockmeier, A. J., Przybyła, P., McNaught, J., Mu, T., Goulermas, J. Y and Ananiadou, S. (2017). A semi-supervised approach using label propagation to support citation screening. Journal of Biomedical Informatics



    Citation screening, an integral process within systematic reviews that identifies citations relevant to the underlying research question, is a time-consuming and resource-intensive task. During the screening task, analysts manually assign a label to each citation, to designate whether a citation is eligible for inclusion in the review. Recently, several studies have explored the use of active learning in text classification to reduce the human workload involved in the screening task. However, existing approaches require a significant amount of manually labelled citations for the text classification to achieve a robust performance. In this paper, we propose a semi-supervised method that identifies relevant citations as early as possible in the screening process by exploiting the pairwise similarities between labelled and unlabelled citations to improve the classification performance without additional manual labelling effort. Our approach is based on the hypothesis that similar citations share the same label (e.g., if one citation should be included, then other similar citations should be included also). To calculate the similarity between labelled and unlabelled citations we investigate two different feature spaces, namely a bag-of-words and a spectral embedding based on the bag-of-words. The semi-supervised method propagates the classification codes of manually labelled citations to neighbouring unlabelled citations in the feature space. The automatically labelled citations are combined with the manually labelled citations to form an augmented training set. For evaluation purposes, we apply our method to reviews from clinical and public health. The results show that our semi-supervised method with label propagation achieves statistically significant improvements over two state-of-the-art active learning approaches across both clinical and public health reviews.

    gravatar Karen Corless

    Best Paper for Markel Vigo and Aitor Apaolaza

    At the end of June the best paper award at the "The 9th ACM SIGCHI Symposium on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems" was given to Markel Vigo and Aitor Apaolaza for the paper "WevQuery: Testing Hypotheses about Web Interaction Patterns". Congratulations!

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Tech Support News

    Video Conferencing in 2.33

    Thanks to academic sponsorship from Simon Harper and support from the Head of School, Stephen Rhodes and I will be fitting out meeting room 2.33 with audio and video conferencing equipment. We will let all know when it is ready for use. There will be no need to book it separately, just booking the room will give you full access to the service.

    Early tests of the equipment with Skype group video conferencing calls were successful. Please let me know what other conferencing applications you would like installing (e.g. Zoom).

    We do need some assistance from Estates and so we can't predict exactly when this new facility will become available.

    gravatar Ian Cottam

    Research Lifecycle Project

    Research IT are kicking off a Research Lifecycle Project. Please see link for details.

    gravatar Ian Cottam

    gravatar Karen Corless
Generated: Thursday, 02 April 2020 23:51:36
Last change: Wednesday, 05 July 2017 12:12:22