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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Tuesday, 10 April 2018

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    GDPR: Have you completed your Data Protection Training?

    Mandatory requirement for all staff

    Have you completed your Data Protection training? Did you know this is a mandatory requirement for all staff members with access to University systems?

    The requirement to complete the Data Protection training course in the last two years comes as new regulations come into force on 25 May 2018.

    All staff are expected to undertake the mandatory Data Protection training every two years – this is a condition of access to University IT systems.

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), accompanied by a new UK Data Protection Act, is all about person identifying information (PII) and the way that this is collected, stored and used. It requires organisations that use PII to be transparent in explaining each of these uses to people; to provide choices about these where appropriate to do so; to keep it securely; to only collect and retain the minimum amount of PII necessary to carry out their functions and to only retain it for as long as required.

    This reinforces much of the current Data Protection Act but there are also specific elements and enhancements being brought in which means we have to do some things differently.

    Access the course

    You can access this training (Code TBF26) from your training catalogue in My Manchester:

    Already completed the course?

    If you have completed the course in the last two years, you don’t need to complete it again until your two years are up. You can check if you have completed it and when on My Manchester.

    Further information:

    gravatar Liz Caine

    UMIP's "Next Big Thing" competition

    UMIP's "Next Big Thing" competition

    I'm pleased to let you know that staff from the School of Computer Science won 2 of the 3 £30k prizes from UMIP's Next Big Thing competition. One prize was won by Sophia Ananiadou and Jock McNaught for NaCTeM's Robot Analyst; another prize was won by Norman Paton and Nikolaos Konstantinou for Value from Data.

    The University's press release may be found at

    That staff from our school won two of the three prizes is impressive and I wish both ventures all the best.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    [ top ]News and announcements

    New Chemical Inventory System

    Launch of a web-based chemical inventory system that can help all staff and students in their day-to-day work

    The Directorate of Compliance and Risk is pleased to announce the launch of a web-based chemical inventory system that can help all staff and students in their day-to-day work. This new, easy-to-use resource saves both time and money, as well as assisting safer working.

    The system is called LabCup and is available now using your University IT account username and password. LabCup is being rolled-out across the University in stages and you should contact your local Safety Advisor for further information about availability in your area.

    How does it work? LabCup uses unique barcodes to track every chemical, meaning they can be located instantly. This will provide more sustainable working by avoiding duplication and automatically identifying expired chemicals, so they can be disposed of safely. Many useful features can be accessed from a smartphone or tablet, as well as your desktop PC. For example, the system has an image recognition feature that can capture information directly from product labels which can then be added to the database. The system also cleverly retrieves and stores safety data for a product directly from the manufacturer.

    LabCup also has an integrated Risk Assessment module so that all hazard and risk information can be stored in one place. It can also display emergency information associated with the substance on the plans of your building. What’s more, if you have to prepare statutory compliance returns, the administrative headache is gone. Once fully implemented, reports can be generated in seconds directly from the inventory.

    Does that mean everyone can use my chemicals? Although the inventory is University-wide, your lab will keep ownership of all chemicals. Other groups can only use them with your permission.

    For sustainability, LabCup does allow the sharing of chemicals and other materials, which the University strongly encourages, but it is you who decides what to share and with whom.

    Surely it’s not as easy as it sounds? Although the software is very user-friendly, training sessions will be provided for everyone who needs it, and additional support is available via the online forum and instructions in the inventory main page. Any queries or concerns should be addressed directly with your School Safety Advisers (SSAs).

    gravatar Karon Mee

    GDPR guidance for those sending out newsletters or information to mailing lists

    Do you send out newsletters or information promoting events, activities, products or services to people outside of the University?

    If so, depending on the context of the relationship you have with these people, you may need to gain their ‘unambiguous’ consent as well as give them an opportunity to stop receiving the information in every communication you send.

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25, May 2018, and requires anyone collecting and using person identifying information (PII) such as email addresses, to provide those people with details about what we are using their data for.

    Where this relates to direct marketing sent electronically (email, SMS or social media direct message) you need to seek their consent in advance and respect their wishes should they want to stop receiving the information from us. In this context the consent must be unambiguous which means they have to ‘opt-in’. 

    What is Direct Marketing?

    Direct marketing is broadly defined as sending information about future events, or newsletters or other information promoting an activity, product or service to individuals and specific rules apply if this is sent electronically and to people that that the University does not have an existing relationship with (this will usually apply to third parties such as prospects, customers, visitors, people you think may be interested in hearing about your work).

    What do I need to do?

    If you have a mailing list of third party contact details (such as business contacts, visitors, customers or people making enquiries about future study) you need to consider how you obtained these details and be sure you have consent to send them this type of information. 

    If you’re unsure what these people were previously told then you have a limited opportunity to contact them and ask them to define their preferences before 25, May 2018.

    Read the Guide to Direct Marketing for further information.

    Further information:

    gravatar Liz Caine

    [ top ]Events

    NCSC (part of GCHQ) has sent an open invitation for 25 of our academics and students

    NCSC (part of GCHQ) has sent an open invitation for 25 of our academics and students to visit the exhibition being held as part of its CYBERUK2018 conference in Manchester next month.

    Loads of cyber sec. innovation and tech, firms and organisations offering funding and recruitment, and hands on cyber security puzzle and games

    • Thursday 12th April 2018

    • Approx. 10:00 – 12:30 (TBC)

    • 25 places are available

    • Attendees must be 18 years old or over

    • Attendees must be British nationals

    • Attendees will be required to complete a photo consent form and agree to the conference Code of Conduct. To gain entry on the event day, all attendees must:

    • Complete a short application form (I'm getting these for you) and return them to the event administration (

    • On the day bring:  Photo ID, Signed photo consent and Code of Conduct forms (part of the application)

    To get the ball rolling, please e-mail Matt Thomas to make sure we know you want to attend.

    Any questions? Let Daniel Dresner know

    gravatar Karon Mee

    Town Hall Meeting. Introducing The Alan Turing Institute

    Town Hall Meeting Introducing The Alan Turing Institute

    Date: Tuesday 17th April 2018

    Venue: Lecture Theatre A, Simon Building, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL

    Time: 13:00 - 14:00

    Staff at the University of Manchester are invited to a town hall discussion with Sir Alan Wilson, CEO at The Alan Turing Institute, the national institute for data science and AI. The University of Manchester is set to join the Turing as a university partner this year. In this talk, Alan will present examples of the exciting research already developed at the Institute and share plans and ambitions for the future. Sir Alan Wilson has been CEO at the Institute since October 2016. A mathematician specialising in urban analytics, he is Professor of Urban and Regional Systems in the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at UCL, Chair of the Home Office Science Advisory Council and Chair of the Lead Expert Group of the Government Office for Science Foresight project on the Future of Cities.

    If you would like to attend, please click the registration link below.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    [ top ]Research Funding Opportunities

    Turing-HSBC-ONS Economic Data Science Awards 2018 - deadline 9 April 2018

    The Alan Turing Institute invites proposals for research in economics and data science with awards of up to £150,000 available for projects lasting 6-24 months. As part of the scheme, there are unique opportunities to collaborate with The Alan Turing Institute, HSBC, and/or ONS. For more details please visit:

    Applications must be led by a researcher based either at the Alan Turing Institute, or at one of the Turing's partner universities such as Manchester..

    * Can applicants submit more than one project proposal?

    Yes. Each project proposal will need to include relevant letters of support.

    * Which researchers are eligible to apply?

    The PI can have any departmental affiliation: given the subject area, we anticipate research proposals to demonstrate engagement with either economics broadly construed (encompassing, for example, sociology, finance, or business studies, among others), and/or data science broadly construed (encompassing, for example, mathematics, statistics, computer science, engineering, or physics, among others).

    For initial enquriies please contact Su Smith (RSM), or the Turing Programme Manager Dr Mahlet (Milly) Zimeta if your question is more specific, who can also be contacted directly on 0203 862 3360.

    gravatar Su Smith

    EPSRC IAA - 4th Call for Proposals - deadline 6 June 2018

    The Knowledge Exchange Team is pleased to announce the EPSRC IAA 4th Call for Proposals under the following mechanisms:

    Relationship Incubator Scheme (£10k, Open call)
    Fostering new relationships between industry and academic researchers, creating opportunities for collaboration and exchange of knowledge and skills.

    Proof of Concept Scheme (£25k)
    Support for the very early stage of transforming research outputs into commercial opportunities.

    Secondment Scheme (£50k)
    Flexible support for secondments between The University of Manchester and businesses and other organisations.

    Further information is available in the attached factsheet.

    This is a good route to funding impact related activities so if you intend to make a submission please inform the Research Support Office, and also contact the Knowledge Exchange team at least one month before the closing date of 6th June to discuss your project.

    gravatar Su Smith

    [ top ]Tech Support News

    The End-User Computing (EUC) Programme- helping to transform how we use IT

    Tyrrell Basson, Head of Technology, Infrastructure & Operations, IT Services

    IT Modernisation Programme is seeking to transform the End User Computing services available across the University. This presentation will provide an overview of the objectives of the project, the principles driving our approach and provide a description of the transformational projects they are seeking to introduce, which will include

    • Migrating from an on-premises Microsoft Exchange solution to the use of a standard cloud based Office 365 solution
    • Upgrading all the Windows 7 devices to a single Windows 10 build, including two standard Linux builds and a single MacOS build
    • Virtualising the desk-side portfolio of applications to support VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure)
    • Design, Implement and (hybrid) manage a “follow-me” desk-side solution

    The presentation will also discuss the high level timelines we are working to.

    The event will take place in 2.220 University Place from 3 – 4.30pm on 25/4/2018.  Please register for this event.


    gravatar Ian Cottam

    Dropbox Business and Smart Sync

    Worldwide, Dropbox have now enabled a Smart Sync option for all Business and some Pro users. Smart Sync lets you see the name (etc.) of chosen files and folders, within your dropbox file structure, when browsing, but they are stored only in the cloud. That is until an action such as a double click automatically brings them back down. This is a useful feature, for example, if you are short of disk space on one or more of your computers (common with solid state drives on laptops).

    Be aware of down sides to this option: if you are out of range of wifi or 4G, you cannot access a non-local file. Further, actions such as virus checks or time machine backups may impact their status. I am testing the latter currently and interested parties can consult me for the results.  

    [N.B. Not to be confused with the existing Dropbox feature, called Selective Sync, where you don't see such chosen folders at all on your device, only via the web site.]


    gravatar Ian Cottam

    gravatar Karon Mee
Generated: Thursday, 02 April 2020 22:37:59
Last change: Tuesday, 10 April 2018 14:44:40