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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Wednesday, 30 May 2018

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    How is your Brain Better than a Computer?

    Title: How is your Brain Better than a Computer?

    The BBC World Service broadcast a programmew with the title above in their Crowd Science series (a listener asks a question and the BBC makes a programme). The programme is rather fun and very Manchester Centric, with a big chunk of time featuring Steve Furber and SpiNNaker and a visit to the Baby at MOSI. You can find the programme via


    gravatar Karon Mee

    Annual "Memory Day"

    Title: Annual "Memory Day"

    The 21 June 1948 was the time recorded for the first time the Manchester Small Scale Experimental Machine AKA The Baby ( was first switched on, worked and ran a programme. It is seventy years since that event and to mark the occasion I'd like to establish a small annual event to be held every 21 June. My working name for the event is the Memory Day - it's all about electronic digital memory, but we can also use the event for other memories too. If you can think of a better name then do send it along.

    We'll have a bit of a do in the KB Common Room at 3 p.m. on Thursday 21 June (I know there are events going on that day). Do bring cakes etc.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    Computer Science student in winning team for the Venture Further Awards

    Computer Science student in winning team for the Venture Further Awards

    Scott Martin from AMBS and Maksim Belousov from CS won in the Digital category at the University's Venture Further awards with AiPatient: Revolutionising medical education by creating the first artificially intelligent patients. The press announcement is at:

    Congratulations to both Scott and Maksim.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    Lectureship advert for the School of Computer Science

    Lectureship advert for the School of Computer Science

    There is a lectureship advert for programme Analysis and Cyber Security (see The closing date is 11 June 2018. If you want more details contact either Andrei Voronkov or Giles Reger.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    [ top ]Events

    ERC Advanced Grant Information Session - 7 June 2018

    The 2018 ERC Advanced Grant call is expected to open on 17th May 2018.

    The EU Funding and Development team have invited Dr Andreas Keil from the ERC to present this information session which will be a great opportunity for people to ask questions about the programme from someone working at the ERC. Dr Keil is a research funding coordinator in the Scientific Management Department of the ERC Executive Agency in Brussels.Before working in Brussels, he worked as scientist & manager of applied research projects in the UK and as negotiation facilitator for the UN Climate Change Convention.

    An ERC Advanced Grant is aimed at providing exceptional established research leaders of any nationality and any age to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk projects that open new directions in their respective research fields or other domains. The scheme targets researchers who have already established themselves as independent research leaders in their own right and who have a track record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years.

    Note: Gender mainstreaming is among the core principles of the ERC in the sense that each process within the ERC - from creating awareness about the ERC to grant signing – is designed to include both genders, giving equal opportunities to men and women. An important goal of the ERC Gender Equality Plan 2014-2020 is to ensure that both male and female excellent researchers are fully informed and aware of the opportunities that an ERC grant offers. It is also essential to convey a clear message that fairness and equal treatment are fundamental in the ERC grant competitions. Moreover, the plan envisages closer monitoring of the gender distribution within the ERC’s peer review system, striving for balance. 

    If you would like to attend please email

    Please note, as for previous ERC Advanced Grants calls there will be no central University review of these proposals, review/evaluation of proposals should take place in School/Faculty as usual.

    gravatar Su Smith

    2018 Development Studies Association (DSA) Annual Conference - 27-29 June 2018

    The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a major source of research funding with individual projects commonly exceeding £5M. It is strategically important to UoM to engage with this fund and crucial to success is established high quality partnerships with institutions in the developing world, which requires pre-planning, meetings and relationship building, ahead of submission.

    Our Global Development Institute (GDI) is a major international player in this area and is hosting the 2018 Development Studies Association (DSA) Annual Conference from Wednesday 27 to Friday 29 June, in the Renold Building, North Campus. The conference will involve a wide range of contributions on global inequalities, as a subject of research, an issue for action and as a lens through which to approach the world. The conference will include approximately 69 panels, with a total of more than 350 papers presented.

    Please email Rory Horner by Monday 11 June to register your place.

    Read more about the conference: and

    gravatar Su Smith

    Seminar - Challenges and Opportunities in Semiconductor and EDA

    Challenges and Opportunities in Semiconductor and EDA by Associate Professor Christos P. Sotiriou on Wednesday 23rd May at 2pm in Kilburn L.T 1.4


    Today's complex chips are designed using complex EDA tools. EDA tools are absolutely necessary for solving intricate problems from the device to the chip level. Technology, Architecture Trends, Opportunities and Implementation Challenges require new methodologies, tools and algorithms which tackle new algorithmic challenges. Trends and Opportunities include the use of aggressively scaled transistors/standard-cells,3DICs, asynchronous techniques. Challenges include PVT variations, managing multi-patterning complexity, low-power/sub-VT design, as well as capacity and optimisation challenges. The talk will describe problems in the EDA space today, as well as highlight potential solutions to some of them, and discuss the synergy of EDA and semiconductor sectors.

    Bio (short):
    Christos P. Sotiriou received his BEng in Computer Science and Electronics, and PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2001. He is an Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Thessaly. His research interests include design methodologies for synchronous or asynchronous digital circuits and systems, Electronic Design Automation (EDA) Algorithms, Tools and Flows for digital circuit implementation, lower-power design, reliability and Power, Performance and Area (PPA) optimisation.

    gravatar Karon Mee

    From ABC of Networks to a LitTLe logic for mobility by Sanjiva Prasad (IIT Delhi)

    School Seminar on Wednesday 30th May 2018 at 2pm in Kilburn L.T 1.4

    Title: From ABC of Networks to a LitTLe logic for mobility by Sanjiva Prasad (IIT Delhi)

    Abstract: We examine the essential invariants that guarantee correct delivery of messages in network protocols supporting mobility. In the past 20 years, the Mobile IP model has posed a challenge to formal verification, though several attempts using process calculi and model checking have been attempted with varying degrees of success, often positing stronger requirements than are strictly necessary.

    In this talk we revisit the problem, starting from the model of Abstract Switches presented in the axiomatic basis for communication (ABC) proposed by Karsten et al which we reformulated using LTL to examine networks whose routing/forwarding behaviour can vary over time. This allowed a new proof of correctness of the core property of the IPv6 protocol, i.e, that if a mobile node remains stationed at a host ``long enough’’, data messages addressed to it will eventually get delivered.

    We then show how this correctness of IPv6 (a liveness property) can be established by model-checking a bounded liveness property on a small model, and using parametric verification techniques. This approach works for the IP mobility model since the system eventually converges to a ``stable’' subsystem on which established abstraction and model checking techniques are effective.


    Short Bio: Sanjiva Prasad is a Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, where he has worked from 1994. He completed his B.Tech from IIT Kanpur in 1985, and his PhD from Stony Brook University, NY in 1991, and has worked in research centres and universities in the US, Germany and Denmark. His main research interests are in programming language semantics, process calculi, mobile computing, Formal Methods and verification. He is currently also involved in research in the use of IT for medical applications, and security in IoT.


    gravatar Karon Mee

    Project Malawi is on the ground

    Some of the team from Project Malawi have arrived and already started teaching in school. Here we have “the human robot”, prior to programming real robots later in the visit (!)  Good luck to all the teachers and University students at, or going to Malawi.

    And don't forget to support our students by buying your raffle tickets!
    gravatar Karon Mee

    [ top ]Research Funding Opportunities

    RISE & NCSC: Secure Hardware & Embedded Systems research projects - deadline 31 July

    The Research Institute in Secure Hardware and Embedded Systems (RISE) is seeking to expand its research community and is inviting 3-year research proposals, with funding of up to £300k each for approximately 3-5 academic research projects, funded by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), to form part of the institute.

    The call closes on 31st July and the expected start date is November 2018 with completion by 31st March 2022.

    The 4 main areas of focus for this call are:

    • Micro-architectural and Analogue Security Evaluation
    • Automated security verification in EDA tools and software tool chains
    • Supply chain security
    • Hardware-based security services

    For full details please visit RISE Call for Research Projects.

    gravatar Su Smith

    University of Melbourne - UoM pump-priming fund - deadline 13 July 2018

    The fourth call for the University’s pump-priming fund with Melbourne is now open. The purpose of the fund is to enable academic staff at both institutions to undertake short-term exchange visits to deepen and extend collaborative research links (not necessarily new links) with a view to enabling collaborators to subsequently make joint proposals to external funding agencies for the next phase of their research.

    The priority areas on the Manchester side are the research beacons but applications are welcome from all disciplines.

    The total fund is £60k and we expect to award up to 5 grants in this round.

    Further details can be found here.

    Applications should be submitted online using SmartSurvey. The application form can be previewed here. Applications should be submitted by the lead collaborator who can be based at either institution. Only one application per project is required.

    The deadline is midday AEST Friday 13th July.

    For more information contact Joanne Jacobs, Senior International Officer, SRID.

    gravatar Su Smith

    [ top ]Research News

    GCRF Update

    The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries.

    Please visit the GCRF News webpage for further details of the upcoming calls, including the Newton Fund Links grants, and a link to book onto the MRC GCRF Cancer Research & Global Health Initiative Workshop on 25 May.

    gravatar Su Smith

    [ top ]Social Responsibility

    Digital Technology: Environmental Saint or Sinner?

    Interesting Seminar organised by Tyndall Manchester “Digital Technology: Environmental Saint or Sinner?” by Professor Chris Preist, on Tuesday 26th June (room C21, Pariser Building, Sackville Street) at 1.00pm.

    For more see


    gravatar Karon Mee

    gravatar Karon Mee
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Last change: Wednesday, 30 May 2018 13:02:32