School of Computer Science


Your weekly round-up of undergraduate life in The University of Manchester School of Computer Science from Toby Howard, Director of Undergraduate Studies.

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Week 10 (B) • Monday 23 April 2018 • #17.26          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 23 April, and it’s Week 10, a B week. We have 3 weeks of teaching left, and I hope everything is going well. And good luck to all First Year students with their project presentations this week! Now, on with today’s news…
best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


LEEDS HACK WINS.

  Teams from the School won 3 out of the 4 categories at LeedsHack at the weekend! Team Hungary4Success (Anna Buck (Y1, CMwIE), Andras Geiszl (Y2, CSwIE), Laszlo Nagy (Y1, CS4), Gyorgy Rethy (Y2, CSwIE)) built a learning tool, with the aim of exposing users to different fields of CS; Team Mars (Mihail-Emanuel Ghinea (Y1, CSwIE), Abhishek Maheshwari (Y1, CM), Rares-Catalin Meirosu (Y1, AI4), Saif Hussain Mir (Y1, CS4)) made an Escape room style unity game; and Alfred Mountfield (Y1, CM) and Rebecca Wiggins (Y1, CS) made a web-based puzzle game. Congratulations to you all!

Leeds Hack pix


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): There are only a few weeks left before exams start so come along to your PASS sessions and benefit from some advice from your leaders. Of course, you can bring along any problems or questions you have.


PASS2.

  Sami Alabad (Y3, CSwIE) and Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) write: Thank you all for the amazing turnout and hope you're excited about your 3rd year, it is definitely the most fun year out of all 3. We have enjoyed PASS2 a lot this year and learnt from it, we hope you did too! For our final session, we will have an extended "Fun Time with Seb" session: boardgames, console games, snacks, and funny jokes (well PASS2 funny, so not so much). in Collab Tuesday, 15:00 until late. Thank you for making our 3rd year fun :)


TEACHER OF THE YEAR.

  Congratulations to Paul Nutter who has won the University’s Distinguished Achievement Medal for Teacher of the Year!

PWN


GRADUATION DAY.

  The Graduation Ceremony on Thurs 19 July begins at 10:00  in Whitworth Hall, followed by a marquee party and prizegiving. There will be a professional photographer taking free photos of graduands and their guests.


NSS.

  Final year students, if you haven’t yet done your NSS please do, and take your ack to SSO for your free bar of choc and your chance to win £100 in our final prize draw this Friday 27 April at 13:00.


SSC.

  The second Staff-Student Committee meeting of the Semester is next Weds 2 May 14:00-15:00. If you'd like to raise anything, please contact one of your reps ASAP, so that there’s time for us to investigate before the meeting.

SSC reps


UG OF THE YEAR AWARDS.

  Congratulations to Costanza Maria Improta (Y3, CSwIE) who made it to the grand finals of the Computer Science, IT and Physics TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Award!


SUSTAINABILITY.

  The Sustainability Challenge is a required element for achievement of the Manchester Leadership Award.  If you missed the Sustainability Challenge in Welcome Week, you only have one more chance to take part. The final catch-up session of 2017/18 will take place this Weds 25 April 14:00-16:30. Sign up by 17:00 tomorrow Tues 24 April.


PROGRAMMING COMP.

  Congratulations to Patrick Sava (Y1, CS) and Vlad-Andrei Munteanu (Y1, CS) who recently organised the 4th annual Romanian “Adolescent Grigore Moisil” National Programming Contest that Patrick founded when at school in Bucharest. 23 teams from across Romania competed in this challenging two-day contest! See details of the contest on FB.

Vlad-Andrei's comp


BUILDING A PHYSICS ENGINE.

  Teodora Stoleru (Y2, CS) writes: HackSoc's Mathematics for Computer Science Study Group is back this week with a new exciting session on "Building a Physics Engine: Applied Linear Algebra and Mechanics". Alex Dumitru (Y1, CS) will show us how linear algebra and classical mechanics can be used to program a mini physics engine. See you on Wednesday in LT1.3 at 14:00!


CTF.

  This from Zeki Forster (Y2, CSwIE): Did you miss the last CTF event? Fear not, you have another chance to participate! And for those of you who enjoyed the last event, this is a chance for you to show off your CTF prowess! Join us in one of our last events before the exam season begins as we put up a CTF challenge created by our in-house dev officer! The event will take place this Friday 27 April at 16:30 in Collab. Free food and drink supplied thanks to Matillion.


LASER TAG.

  Also from Zeki:  On Saturday 12 May we will be going to Laser Tag at the Trafford Center. It will be £6 on the day and a whole lot of fun! Register now!

`Laser Quest


IP EXPO.

  IP EXPO Manchester is an enterprise computing conference with speakers from CISCO, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon, IBM, GCHQ and more. Come and find out about the latest developments in Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, CyberSecurity, Networks, Data, Analytics, DevOps and Artificial Intelligence. Taking place this week 25 & 26 April in Manchester Central. Registration is FREE until 19:00 tomorrow Tues 24 April.


MALAWI UPDATE.

  Ben Possible (Y3, CSwIE) writes:  A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us in the last week! This week we are holding a bake sale in Kilburn to help us reach our target, so if you see us come and buy a cake from us! Again, if you would like to support us fundraising money for the charity RIPPLE Africa feel free to contribute. As well we are also raising funds for our various costs to get there, so check out our page which contains more information about what we're doing out there!


WRITING HELP.

  The University Language Centre’s Academic Writing Tutorial Service is free to students. These 1-to-1 sessions last approximately one hour and give students the opportunity to receive expert help in improving their written academic work. Apply.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 9 (A) • Monday 16 April 2018 • #17.25          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 16 April, and it’s Week 9, an A week. I hope you had a good three-week break. There are now four more weeks of teaching and scheduled activities, and then the exam period begins on 14 May. You can find your exam timetable on MyManchester. As the end of term nears, if you have lab work that needs marking, make sure to check the deadline arrangements for your courses. Now, on with today’s news!
Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies

 


IMAGINE CUP SUCCESS.

  Huge congratulations to Samuel Littlefair (Y2, CS), Pranay Mistri (Y2 CS) and Roneel Bhagwakar (Y2 HCI) who won 1st Place (and £5,000) in the Microsoft Imagine Cup UK finals last week. They pitched their Interview Bot idea using Microsoft Cognitive Services to analyse facial expressions and speech sentiments in real time. Microsoft are flying them out to Seattle in July to represent the UK for the worldwide finals where they could win up to $100,000! This is a stellar win in a world-leading competition so well done!

Imagine cup winners with giant cheque


SUMMER VACATION PROJECTS.

  Final call for the School’s paid Vacation Work opportunities for the coming Summer. There are 14 projects available, and the application deadline is 17:00 this Friday 20 April. See full details of the projects available and the application process. Note, if you’re interested in the Cloud Computing project, Ian Cottam will be holding an informal Q&A session at 14:00-15:00 this Thurs 19 April in IT407.


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): Hello everyone! PASS is still happening this and every Wednesday!  You’re more than welcome to come to start talking about exam revision and tips with your leaders, and anything that you have a concern about. See you there!


PASS2.

  Sami Alabad (Y3, CSwIE) and Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) write: Hi all, hope you all had a great Easter Break and managed to catch your breath. Semester is almost over but we still have couple of sessions planned. For the next PASS2 session we will be doing a panel on 3rd year course unit choices in Collab tomorrow Tues 17 April at 15:00. If you have an idea for a session please let us know here!


STAFF-STUDENT PROGRAMMING COMP.

  Our 6th annual Staff-student programming competition will be back on Weds 25 April, 14:00-18:00 in Collabs 1 and 2. Registration deadline: this Weds 18 April. The competition is open to all staff and students in the School. Problems will be given out at the start of the competition. Teams will try to solve as many as they can. Contestants may use any of C, C++, Java, Python. Each team (max 3 members) should bring a laptop with the desired languages installed. There will be free refreshments!


FRACTALS.

  This from Teodora Stoleru (Y2, CS): We hope everyone had a wonderful Easter break. Thanks to all of you who took part in the last session of HackSoc's Mathematics for Computer Science Study Group, when we dived into variational calculus. Join us this week as we take a look at the most complex and beautiful mathematical objects, fractals, in "Fundamentals of Fractal Geometry", presented by Andrei Belcin (Y2, CS). See you on Wednesday at 14:00 in LT1.3!

Toby'fractals


SO YOU’RE GOING ON PLACEMENT?

  If you’re a second or third year student and you’ve already secured a placement starting in 2017 (or you think you might do over the next few months) there’s a meeting (with Duncan Hull and Mabel Yau) this Weds 18 April at 13:30 in IT407 to give you essential information for the upcoming year. There will be free pizza..


GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.

  The Unit Survey gives you the chance to tell us what you think about your course units, and for Semester 2 it’s now running until 11 May. Please take a moment to give us your feedback – you can use Blackboard or download the app (iOS | Android). We take your views seriously, we react, and we publish a response to your views, for every course unit.


MALAWI.

   Ben Possible (Y3, CSwIE), writes: Hannah Berrisford (Y3, CSwIE), Gabija Bernotaite (Y1, BMwIE), Chris Kindermann (PhD student) and myself are fundraising money to help us go to Malawi, for the charity RIPPLE Africa for Project Malawi this summer. We're aiming to take computer education to schools in a remote area of Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world. Please contribute and support us if you can.


STUDENTHACK.

  This from Sami Alabad (Y3, CSwIE): StudentHack VI is back: a 24-hour hackathon in Manchester on 28 & 29 April, run by our own students! With the last couple of tickets batches selling out in less than a minute we are releasing our final batch this Friday 20 April at 20:00. Good luck and hope we get to see you at the hackathon! If you aren't feeling like hacking, or missed your chance getting a ticket. We are looking for volunteers! If you are interested please let us know by filling in this form.

Studenthack logo


FACULTY REVIEW.

  The Faculty is changing. Come and hear about the latest developments, timescales, how you can get involved, and new developments within the Faculty such as the Teaching College. Refreshments available. Tomorrow Tues 17 April, 16:30–18:30, University Place 5.206. Free tickets.


NSS.

  Final year students, if you haven’t yet done your NSS please do, and take your ack to SSO for your free bar of choc and your chance to win £100 in our next prize draw next Friday 27 April at 13:00.


UNDERGRADUATE AWARDS.

   If you have some coursework, or maybe your 3rd year Project, that you’re proud of, why not submit it to the Undergraduate Awards (aka the “Junior Nobel Prizes”)? You could win a trip to Ireland to the UA Global Summit in Dublin – a three-day long networking and brainstorming event which brings together the brightest and most innovative students in the world. Submission deadline is 12 June. In 2016 Veneta Haramplieva (CSwIE, graduated 2016, now Software Engineer at Amazon) won a "Highly Commended" award, placing her project (supervisor Gavin Brown) in the top 10% of undergraduates internationally, across all subjects! So, have a go!

UG Awards logo


RAISE AND GIVE.

  Each year students elect committees to oversee Manchester Raise and Give, Access All Areas and Student Action. Why not get involved? Find out more and nominate yourself.


GAVIN BROWN LECTURE.

  Gavin’s recent “Twenty years of Machine Learning” public lecture is now available on YouTube.  


SIEMENS CHALLENGE.

  The Siemens Global University Challenge invites students to come up with new Edge Computing App ideas for solving real-world tasks in an industrial automation environment. Prizes include expenses-paid Hackathon participation, a private visit to a Siemens factory, and meeting Siemens Management. Interested? Come to a start-up meeting (register) at 13:00 this Weds 18 April in Renold Building E1 to help form multidisciplinary teams from MACE, CS and EEE.


FREE SOFTWARE MEETING.

  At this month’s Manchester Free Software meeting, Michael Dorrington will talk on “GNU/Linux-libre from scratch - finish”: “In this talk we will finish building a GNU/Linux-libre system "from scratch", that is, from the source code of all the required programs, that we started in last month's talk and have been working on in the meantime”. Tomorrow Tues 17 April, 19:00, at Madlab (M4 1HN).


PHD IN MEDICAL IMAGING.

  The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health are looking for an enthusiastic Physics/Computer Science candidate for a PhD in medical imaging and proton beam therapy. Proton therapy has the potential to reduce treatment side effects compared to conventional cancer treatment but many technical challenges must be solved before this promising treatment modality can be offered to all patients. Find out more (deadline Fri 20 April).


VOLUNTEER SOUGHT.

  On the out is a Manchester group that helps men and women who have experienced life in prison, offering peer support and practical help and advice. Can you help them redesign their website? Contact.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Easter Vacation • Monday 26 March 2018 • #17.24          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 26 March, and it’s the first week of the 3-week Easter break. I hope you’re enjoying a well-earned rest and maybe doing some catchup and revision. 3rd Year students, good luck with writing your project reports and doing your screencasts, and remember to ask your Supervisor for feedback on drafts of each. The Monday Mail is having an Easter break, but will be back again on Monday 16 April (Week 9, an A week). Meanwhile, on with today’s news, and I wish you a Happy Easter!
best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


HEX WIN.

  Congratulations to Igor Wodiany (IE, CSwIE), Michael Telatynski (Y2, CSwIE), Alex Ivanov (Y2, CS) and Elena (Y2, CS @ NUST MISIS) who won the Qualcomm’s Dragonboard IOT challenge and the best use of AWS at Hex18 in Eindhoven on 16-18 March. Igor says: we built a prototype of a device that can be attached to bikes to collect pollution data around the city while cycling. The data is then sorted in the cloud and visualised on the website so pollution can be tracked.

Hex winners


EASTER OPENING TIMES.

  From today until 15 April, access into the School will only be permitted to students with a valid out-of-hours pass. From 08.00-23.30, labs open are LF31, Tootill and 1.8.


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): PASS1 wishes everyone restful holidays. Enjoy your free time and we hope to see you back after the break! Should you have any troubles with uni work or could help a confused student understand theirs then come along to the sessions after the break! Moreover some PASS leaders might be willing to answer questions over the holidays if you ask them kindly.


SUMMER VACATION WORK.

  Each year the School offers paid work opportunities (max 12 weeks) for UG students during the Summer vacation June-August. It’s a great opportunity to enhance your CV by learning new skills and tech, while doing important development and support work for the School. We'll be announcing details this week.


STAFF-STUDENT PROGRAMMING COMP.

  Our 6th annual staff-student programming competition will be back on Weds 25 April, 14:00-18:00 in Collabs 1 and 2. Registration deadline: Weds 18 April. The competition is open to all staff and students in the School. Problems will be given out at the start of the competition. Teams will try to solve as many as they can. Contestants may use any of C, C++, Java, Python. Each team (max 3 members) should bring a laptop with the desired languages installed. There will be free refreshments!


NSS.

  Final year students, if you haven’t yet done your NSS please do, and take your ack to SSO for your free bar of choc and your chance to win £100 in our next prize draw on Friday 27 April at 13:00.


CYBERUK 2018.

  The University has been allocated a few free places for staff and students to visit the exhibition being held as part of the CYBERUK 2018 conference in Manchester on Thurs 12 April. Loads of cybersecurity innovation and tech, companies and organisations offering funding and recruitment, and hands on cybersecurity puzzles and games. Places are very limited and attendees must be British nationals. Contact Matt Thomas if you’re interested.

cyberuk logo


PHD OPP.

   Interested in a funded PhD in "Advanced radiotherapy planning based on probabilistic concepts for photon and proton therapy"? Full details


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 8 (B) • Monday 19 March 2018 • #17.23          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 19 March, and it’s Week 8, a B week. It’s the final week before the 3-week Easter vacation, which seems to have been a long time coming! Anyway, on with today's news!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): There is one week left before the holidays and as the final deadlines approach we strongly encourage people to come along to PASS! Also be aware that PASS will take place after the holidays and we hope you will enjoy your break.


PASS2.

  Sami Alabad (Y3, CSwIE) and Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) write: Hope you all have found PASS2 helpful so far, if you do have any suggestion on what you would like to be covered next please do let us know. There won't be a session this week as our team is busy demoing our 3rd year projects. Have a good holiday and enjoy the last couple of weeks in the semester :)


MATHS STUDY GROUP.

  This from Teodora Stoleru (Y2, CS): Thanks everyone who joined us for the first session of HackSoc's Mathematics for Computer Science Study Group. We had great fun solving combinatorial games (notes here) and eating chocolate. This week we're back with an exciting talk about "Basics of Variational Calculus" presented by Cristian Bodnar (Y3, CS). See you this Weds 21 Mar at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.3!


EASTER OPENING TIMES.

  From 24 March to 15 April, access into the School will only be permitted to students with a valid out-of-hours pass. From 08.00-23.30, labs open are LF31, Tootill and 1.8. A reminder that completing the out-of-hours test is not sufficient in itself to gain access. You need to visit SSO to have your card activated.


FROM STUDENT TO STARTUP.

  Tomas Paulik who recently graduated from the School will be giving a talk this Weds 21 March at 13:00 in Kilburn LT 1.5. He’ll be talking about his experience of starting a company from scratch and the opportunities he has on offer for undergraduate students in his rapidly growing company Shout Platform.


WORKPLACE ETHICS WORKSHOPS.

  For final-year students only: gain skills and experiences to help you stand out in applications and interviews and join students from across the University in a dynamic and thought provoking ‘Workplace Ethics Challenge’ workshop. There are two: the All-Sector Workplace Ethics workshop explores challenges relevant to every graduate workplace – Weds 21 March 13:00-15.30. And the Globalised Workplace Ethics workshop, if you’re considering a career in organisations with globalised operations or workforces – Weds 18 April 13:00-15.30. Sign up.

Workplace workshops logo


DAI DROP-IN.

  Today Monday 19 March, drop in with DAI 10:00-14:00 on LF. They say: “At DAI we are experts in writing Warehouse Management Systems – the software control systems managing the hubs in this global network – and broader supply chain solutions. Come talk to us about graduate and placement opportunities in our Stockport development centre.”


ML SEMINAR.

  This Weds 21 March at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.4 Dr Miranda Mowbray (University of Bristol) will talk about Machine Learning for Cybersecurity. Miranda says: “I will talk about various difficulties with using machine learning for detecting cybersecurity attacks, and ways to address them. I will then talk about a successful application of both unsupervised and supervised machine learning to detect a particular kind of attack (using automatically-generated domain names).”


STUDENT IDEAS COMP.

  Interested in winning £2,000? Have you got a great Student Idea for a tech solution to student or research problems? Are you a top-class developer looking for a cool project? Join the UoM Student Innovation Group! The Jisc Student Ideas Competition 2018 is open to all students, with a pitch submission deadline of 30 April. Check out previous years' submissions.

student ideas comp logo


FREE SOFTWARE MEETING.

   At this month’s Manchester Free Software meeting, Michael Dorrington will talk on “GNU/Linux-libre from scratch”, covering patching and building source code, how a GNU system is put together and what the parts do. Tomorrow Tues 20 Mar, 19:00, at Madlab (M4 1HN). All welcome. If you want to follow along then bring a laptop capable of building GNU and a free disk partition.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 7 (A) • Monday 12 March 2018 • #17.22          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 12 March, and it’s Week 7, an A week. I hope things are going well. It's been a long Semester so far, but only two short weeks to go before the Easter break! On with today's news!

best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


UCU STRIKE ACTION.

  The University and College Union is continuing strike action this week. Unless you’re notified otherwise, please assume that all activities and assessments will happen as usual. If you have concerns please contact me.


HACK THE BURGH WIN.

  Congratulations to Aayush Chadha (Y2, AI), Rifad Lafir (Y2, CSwIE), Hendrik Molder (Y2, BM) and Mihnea Savu (Y2, CSwIE) who won First Place and BlackRock's Social Challenge Prize at HackTheBurgh in Edinburgh at the weekend. Rifad says: we built a device that monitors eye blinks. It was built using the Arduino. The user can access data about their eye blinks through an app and website. The device also alerts the user if they haven't blinked in a while.

HackThe Burgh group shot + tech shot


FEEDBACK SESSION.

  Please note some room changes for the Exam Feedback session this Weds 14 March at 14:00. 2nd year: new location IT407; 3rd year: new location G41 (ground floor).


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): Hello everyone! We have now reached the middle of the semester! If there is anything you would want to get more explanations on, or if you need help for your 1st Year Project, your PASS leaders will be there to assist you! See you there!


PASS2.

  Sami Alabad (Y3, CSwIE) and Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) write: Hope you all found the last PASS2  session on systems design interesting and useful. This week we're going to focus on 3rd year project selection, proposing your own or taking a predefined one, and a panel of current 3rd years talking about their projects. Hope to see you all in Collab1 at 15:00 Tuesday.


MATHS STUDY GROUP.

  This from Teodora Stoleru (Y2, CS): HackSoc is starting a new weekly study group on Mathematics for Computer Science. The first session is happening this Wednesday at 14:00 in Kilburn 1.3 on the topic “Using Combinatorial Game Theory to defeat your opponents”. Every week one of the attendees will become the teacher, with this week’s subject presented by HackSoc’s Ivan Donat Pupovac (Y1, CM). Hope to see you there! 


BLOOMBERG BATTLE.

  Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE) writes: The CSSoc Bloomberg FX Battle had an amazing turnout and we hope you all had loads of fun! Out of more than 80 contestants, the 22 teams tried their luck on the foreign exchange market and, at the end of the event, we had two winners: in first place was team "Croissan”: Dimitar Dimitrov (Y2, CSwIE) and Konstantin Vladimirov (Y2, CM).  In second place team was "VS”: Ignas Gustainis (Y1, BM), Armins Stepanjans (Y1, CS), Xiang Yang Tang (Y1, SE4wIE) and Yuxuan Zhou (Y1, HCIwIE).

Bloomberg collage


NSS DRAW WINNER.

   Congratulations to the winner of £100 in the second of our four NSS prize draws last Friday. Final year students, if you haven’t yet done your NSS please do, and take your ack to SSO for your free bar of choc and your chance to win £100 in our next prize draw on Friday 23 March.


HOODIES.

  Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE) writes: That time of the year has finally come, when the CSSoc committee designs personalised hoodies for the students in the School! It’s a nice chance to level up the classic “University of Manchester” hoodie and buy one made especially for the Computer Science students. Part of the cost is subsidised by CSSoc, so what are you waiting for to grab yours? Think of the name you want embroidered on the hoodie, pick a size and a colour & click purchase.


CAROLINE'S INSPIRATION.

  Following on from #InternationalWomensDay last week, watch a short interview with Caroline Jay (COMP23412) about what inspired her to become a scientist.

CJay on YT


WARGAMES.

  Gyorgy Rethy (Y2, CSwIE) writes: Thank you all for coming to our last workshop, we hope you enjoyed it and learned something. But life does not stop, and our next event is coming this Friday 16 March at 17:00. This time we prepared something that is a lot of fun and easy to do, we are going to play wargames! Wargames are good practice if you want to participate in CTFs and are a fun way of learning. We are going to play-through OverTheWire's Bandit, have a look and if you are interested grab a laptop and come join us!

Wargames logo


PRIZEWINNER.

  Congratulations to Nikolina Tudjarova (Y2, CSwIE) who won an Apple Homepod at a recent Novacoast drop-in event here in the School.

Nikolina with prize


FOCUS GROUP.

  First year students: our Faculty’s Marketing and Communications Team would like to invite you to participate in a focus group on student recruitment. It will last around 1.5 hours and all participants will receive a token of appreciation for their contribution. Refreshments will be provided. For more details/sign up contact Adi Gal-Greenwood.


STUDY IN CHINA.

  The University’s Confucius Institute is offering scholarships for summer study in China, which cover tuition, accommodation and social programme costs. Deadline for applications 31 March.

China logo


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 6 (B) • Monday 5 March 2018 • #17.21          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 5 March, and it’s Week 6, a B week, and we're almost halfway through the 12 teaching weeks this Semester. Good luck to all 3rd Year students, whose project demos start this week. And let's hope we have a warmer week this week! On with today's news!
Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


UCU STRIKE ACTION.

  You will know that the University and College Union is continuing strike action. Unless you’re notified otherwise, please assume that all activities and assessments will happen as usual. If you have concerns please contact me. Here are two video messages: one from the UCU; and one the President of the University Nancy Rothwell; and this is the University’s news blog.


GOOGLE HASHCODE.

  This from Teodora Stoleru (Y2, CS): Google Hash Code happened last Thursday and we had an impressive number of over 140 students competing from our hub in Kilburn. After 4 hours of coding, we had a total of 24 submissions, with the top 3 positions in our hub being occupied by teams niceOne (Carlos Gomes, Tsvetan Minkov, Hendrik Molder, Andrej Ivanov), Penguins++ (Patrick Catalin Alexandru Sava, Vlad-Andrei Munteanu, Silviu Troscot, Filip Ion), and Degenerate Hessians (Andrew Webb, Alina Neculae, Charles Reynolds, Cameron Shand). Congratulations to everyone for the fantastic results! You can find all the pictures and videos on HackSoc's facebook page.

Hashcode in Collab1


START HACK WIN.

  Aleksandar Ivanov (Y2, CS) writes: Last week Pablo Salmeron (Y2, AIwIE), Michael Telatynski (Y2, CSwIE), Nikolay Gospodinov (Y2, CS4) and myself attended the Start Hack 2018 hackathon in St. Gallen in Switzerland. We were sponsored by the School’s Student Activities Fund. Start Hack was a 36-hour hackathon focusing on Machine Learning, Blockchain technologies, VR/AR and IoT. We submitted three hacks. Our IoT hack, Dev Pal, a project for improving the development experience, won the Qualcomm challenge. The other two projects were a chatbot for the real estate industry and using blockchain technology for air traffic control.

startHack pic


SSC.

  The first meeting this Semester of the Staff-Student Committee took place last Weds, and it was useful and positive as always. Snippets: we’ll try to stop the carpet in Tootill giving everyone static shocks; if you have a lab mark collected using Benchmark, you’ll now receive an email receipt (we implemented that immediately after the meeting); and there will soon be a new, easier and better way for you to raise issues with the School.


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE):  Hello everyone! We’re reaching the middle of the semester now, and PASS is still going on! Come around this Wednesday to get help from your leaders on the material that has been covered lately!


PASS2.

  Sami Alabad (Y3, CSwIE) and Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) write: Thanks all for attending our last session on the life outside Kilburn, taxes, negotiations, and employment contracts. Taking another 180° our next session is on Systems Designs and designing scalable and fault tolerant systems. We will go through common terms used in monitoring and alarming on services, concerns and tradeoffs. We will link knowledge learnt in various courses such as Distributed Computing, System Architecture, and Operating Systems. The session is open for all, but second year knowledge is expected. See you at in Collab1 at 15:00 Tuesday.


BLOOMBERG BATTLE.

  Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE) writes: Don't forget about this week's CSSoc event: Bloomberg: FX Battle! You have the chance to become a hedge-fund for the day: make money on a foreign exchange market, write your trading robot to buy and sell currencies for profit and outsmart the markets and each other by finding loopholes and exploiting inefficiencies! At the start of the competition, your team of up to 4 people will receive £1M (fake, unfortunately), and the fund with the most money at the end of the competition wins (prizes and swag, of course). All the technical details can be found on our FB page. This Weds 7 March at 13:30 in Room G41, Kilburn Building (pizza will await for you there) and don’t forget to sign-up.

Bloomberg logo


MAY BALL.

  Also from Alexandra: Good news about the May Ball. Due to huge interest, CSSoc has managed to convince The Midland Hotel to expand the number of tickets! They will release 20 more tickets today Monday 5 March, from 07:00! Make sure you get yours on time, while they will be sold out in an instant!


SUMMER VACATION WORK.

  Each year the School offers paid work opportunities (max 12 weeks) for UG students during the Summer vacation June-August. It’s a great opportunity to enhance your CV by learning new skills and tech, while doing important development and support work for the School. Details of the projects available and the application process will be announced at the end of March.


TURING LECTURE.

  if you missed Andy Harter’s 2018 Turing Lecture recently, it's now available on YouTube.


SEB AND JOSH PODCAST.

  The latest episode of the CS@Manchester podcast features an interview with two of our final year students, Sebastien Mararu (Y3, CS) and Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE). Seb and Josh have been heavily involved in the student community in the School and University, with both having roles in the CSSoc, helping organise, and presenting at, Hackathons around the country, and hosting regular Staff v Student quizzes inside the School. We talk what the student social network is like, why they prefer Manchester over London, the relationship between staff and students and some of the memories they will take away with them forever.


EXEC OFFICER.

  Octavian Taranu Toma (Y3, CSwIE) is running for EXEC Welfare Officer at the Students Union. He's the only person running for a Union position from our School. Find out more.


BE A WELCOME AMBASSADOR.

  Join the University’s team of Welcome Week ambassadors for next September (pay under review but at least £7.72 per hour). Successful applicants must attend training on Mon 10 September and be available to work from Tues 11 to Sunday 16 Sept. Some roles will continue into Welcome Week (17-21 Sept). If selected, you will  be invited to attend an assessment event held on 4/8/9 May 2018 and Student Ambassador roles will be confirmed after these dates. Apply by 23:00 11 March.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 5 (A) • Monday 26 February 2018 • #17.20          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 26 February, and it’s Week 5, an A week. Only four weeks until the Easter break, and the daffodils and tulips are coming up around campus, despite the cold weather promised for this week... Anyway, on with today's news, and rather a lot today!
best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


UCU STRIKE ACTION.

  You will know that the University and College Union has called on its members to take strike action. The School is doing all it can to keep you updated on how this may impact you, and the University has set up a news blog for updates; for balance, here is the UCU's position. Meanwhile, you should assume that all activities and assessments/deadlines will be as usual, unless you are notified otherwise. If you have concerns do please contact me.


GOOGLE HASH CODE.

  This from Teodora Stoleru (Y2, CS): Google Hash Code is happening this Thurs 1 March, and the HackSoc team is excited to welcome you to our hub in Collab 1 and 2. The live stream starts at 17:30 and the competition time is 17:45-21:30. Google goodies will be provided. If you haven't signed up, you can still do it here by 17:00 TODAY and then join our hub ("University of Manchester - HackSoc") in the Judge System by Thursday 17:30. You must join a team with at least two members in order to participate.


CSSOC AND BLOOMBERG.

  Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE) writes: CSSoc is organising another event, with the help of our friends from Bloomberg: FX Battle! You have the chance to become a hedge-fund for the day: make money on a foreign exchange market, write your trading robot to buy and sell currencies for profit and outsmart the markets and each other by finding loopholes and exploiting inefficiencies! At the start of the competition, your team of up to 4 people will receive £1M (fake, unfortunately), and the fund with the most money at the end of the competition wins (prizes and swag, of course). See the technical details on our event page. So save the date: Weds 7 March, 13:30, Room 2.19, Kilburn Building & don’t forget to sign-up!

Bloombery banner


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): Hello everyone, after last week's Maths PASS session was such a success, we will have a PASS session on Computation this week. Again, normal PASS sessions will be taking place so come along be it for the Computation PASS session or for the ordinary ones. As last time, some of the PASS leaders will be delivering the session in Collab 1 and they are well-prepared. The PASS sessions normally taking place in Collab 1 will be held in IT 407. If you are unsure about anything contact Pierre or Mike.


PASS2.

  Sami Alabad (Y3, CSwIE) and Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) write: Hope you all enjoyed the last session on Mental Health, remember help is always available if you need it. Continuing on the theme of life outside Kilburn, next session will be on preparing for internship, finding accommodation, bailing out of contracts, and common issues people might face in industry. Hope to see you all.


SSC.

  The first meeting this Semester of the Staff-Student Committee is this Weds 28 Feb at 14:00 in IT407. If you'd like to raise anything, please contact one of your reps ASAP. They're pictured below, and you can find contact details on the Blackboard SSC page. Reps: I look forward to seeing you again.

SSC photos


OUT OF HOURS PASSES.

  If you haven’t already returned your paper pass to SSO (Kilburn LF21) and had your University ID card activated for out-of-hours access, you need to do it by this Weds 28 Feb. If you don’t have your card activated by this deadline, you will lose your out-of-hours access to Kilburn. Paper passes will cease be valid after the end of Feb. Any queries, email SSO.


KILBURN OUTAGE.

  The University’s network team will be carrying out essential maintenance 12:00-18:00 this Sunday 4 March, and the network will be unavailable throughout Kilburn and the IT Building.


GRADUATION.

  This year’s Graduation Day will be Thursday 19 July, with the ceremony at 10:00 followed by a reception for your families and friends and prizegiving. Online registration and tix for the ceremony will be open later, and we’ll tell you nearer the time. Meanwhile please book the date in your cal.


NSS DRAW WINNER.

   Congratulations to the lucky winner of £100 in the first of our four NSS prize draws last Friday. Final year students, if you haven’t yet done your NSS please do, and take your ack to SSO for your free bar of choc and your chance to win £100 in our next prize draw on Friday 9 March.


MAY BALL.

  Rifad Lafir (Y2, CSwIE) writes: The 2018 edition of our famous event will be at The Midland Hotel on Sat 5 May at 19:30. The ticket includes a drink on entry, a three-course meal, half a bottle of wine per person and 20% discount at the hotel bar. Of course, we’ll take care of the music and the photographs, but the dancing’s on you! Thanks to the School’s subsidy and our sponsors, early-bird tickets will only cost £25, restricted to the first 80 buyers. When the early-birds are gone the next 20 tickets will be £35, so make sure you get your ticket as soon as possible!

May Ball banner


WIN £50.

  What do you think about digital badges? Final year Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology student George Sheen is looking for volunteers to complete a 10-minute MCQ online questionnaire, and one lucky entrant will win a £50 Amazon voucher.


CYBER-SECURITY.

  This from Gyorgy Rethy (Y2, CSwIE): There is a new society called Crackchester and it is devoted to cyber-security and bringing those who are interested in it together, regardless of previous experience. Like our Facebook page and you will never miss our weekly articles about news, tools, techniques and much more. Our first event will take place this Weds 28 Feb at 13:00 in Atlas 1. We are going to talk about binary exploitation, show you some tricks, and we have prepared some challenges for you. Come along, bring your laptop and have some fun breaking others' code!


STAFF-STUDENT QUIZ.

  Just to update you, the staff/student quiz held on Friday 9 Feb raised £250 for Comic Relief. A great time was had by all and thank you to everyone who came.


VOLUNTEERS.

  Thanks to all who attended the Student Volunteers Thank You event last Friday with tea and cakes! Interested in volunteering? Contact me.

Volunteers Thank You


DO A PHD.

  Interested in continuing to study with the School for a Postgraduate Research degree (PhD/EngD/MPhil)? Come along to our information session to meet with Postgraduate Research Recruitment Director Dr Bijan Parsia to hear about research and funding opportunities in the School. There will also be a panel of current PhD students to talk to about life as a PhD student. Next Weds 7 March 14:00-15:00, Kilburn 1.3.


GREAT MANCHESTER RUN.

  Last year over 2,400 University of Manchester staff, students and alumni entered the Great Manchester 10K Run. Help us to reach 3,000 in 2018!

Run


VENTURE FURTHER.

  Venture Further is the University's student startup competition open to all current students and recent graduates. The deadline for submissions is 22 March.


ESCAPE THE CITY.

  Fancy some free outdoor education on Fri/Sat 23/24 March? The Careers Service is taking 16 students on a free trip to Whitehough Outdoor Education Centre. High-rope activities, archery, map reading/orienteering skills, pub food. To apply for a place email with your CV and a paragraph about why you should be selected.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


 


Week 4 (B) • Monday 19 February 2018 • #17.19          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 19 February, and it’s Week 4, a B week. I hope all's going well. If you need any help or advice about anything, please ask. Lots of news today, so let's get on with it!
Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


CSSOC MEET MATILLION.

  This from Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE): CSSoc is inviting you all to another Friday evening out! Our friends from Matillion are curious to meet as many of you this Friday 23 Feb, 18:30, at the Grove (in the Whitworth Park Halls).  There is no better way to find out more about a company and the technologies they use rather than asking them directly. Seize this opportunity of networking, while they are currently looking to hire people for internships and graduate jobs! Have we mentioned that there are going to be free drinks and free pizza? So come along, what are you waiting for?

CSSoc and Matillion


PASS1.

  Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE) write: Hello everyone, this week we will have a special PASS session entirely about mathematics so if you are struggling/feeling very confident about the material come along. Normal PASS sessions will be happening as well so if you would like to go over other material come along! We are well-prepared and looking forward to seeing you.


PASS2.

  Sami Alabad (Y3, CSwIE) and Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) write: Hi all, PASS2 will be returning in Collab2 at 15:00 this Wednesday to highlight mental health in Computer Science. Seb will run the session so if anything it should be fun, as always feel free to stop us in the halls or shoot us an email if you have any questions. Feel free to let us know what else you would like to see in future sessions.


NSS – WIN £100.

   Final year students, if you haven’t yet done your NSS please do, and take your ack to SSO for your free bar of choc and your chance to win £100 in the first of our four prize draws which will be held at 13:00 this Friday 23 Feb.


MALAWI AWARD AND 2018 PROJECT.

  The Project Malawi team of staff and students from the School were “Highly Commended” for their outstanding public engagement initiative in bringing Computer Science education to remote parts of central Africa. There were many very good projects across the Faculty in the highly competitive "Bettter World” awards ceremony. So congratulations to the team: Dave Ames, Karen Corless, Jo Hodge, Carol Murray, David Rydeheard, Sarah Zaman, Mihai-Dan Garbur, Razvan Lacatusu and Teo Taylor, and to Nikki Luxford and Ripple Africa for hosting the team in Africa. This year we are putting together a new team to revisit Malawi and we need student volunteers. To be a volunteer, you must have had some experience in teaching or involvement with activities for schoolchildren. You will be expected to raise funds for your visit, but support will be provided for this. Contact David Rydeheard.

Malawi


DATA SCIENCE:

  Joseph Allen (BSc Comp Sci with Maths, graduated 2017, now a data scientist for LateRooms.com) is organising a data science meetup, today Monday 19 Feb from 18:00, at Common Bar in the Northern Quarter. Just turn up, find out more @manchester_data


MONDAY CAREERS ADVICE.

  Alex Jones is a new Careers Service consultant to the School, and will be available on Monday afternoons 12:00-15:00 in Room LF6, opposite the Byte Cafe. There’s no need to make an appointment; just drop in with a CV, application, or any careers query. Keep up to date with Alex on Facebook.

Alex Jones LinkedIn


WOMEN IN CS.

  Next Weds 28 Feb, 14:00-15:00 the School is running a small focus group exploring why women chose to study Computer Science at Manchester.  In the UK, women are under-represented in Computer Science, and your views will directly support our aims to increase female numbers in the School. Participants will be awarded an Athena SWAN open badge and there will also be free tea and cakes! Please email Ruth Whelan, our Recruitment & Admissions Manager, to express your interest.


THANKS TO VOLUNTEERS.

  The School is holding a Thank You event this Friday 23 Feb in IT407 from 11:00-12:00 for all the current Student Volunteers we know about.  This is part of of the University’s Student Volunteering Week 2018, 19-25 February. So if you’re a Student rep, Mentor, registered for MLP or the Volunteer Hub, PASS leader, Schools outreach ambassador, CSSoc committee member or Wellbeing Champion please do come along!


ML TALK.

  Professor of Machine Learning Gavin Brown will be giving a talk – Finding new ways to Think: Twenty Years in Machine Learning – in LT1.1 on Wed 21 March 17:30-19:00. Gavin says: “Machine Learning is changing the world. But it's still a young field and the exciting potential has created a sandstorm of new ideas and papers, increasing all the time. Since I started my PhD in 1998, my time has focused on finding new ways to think, to see a clear path through that sandstorm“. Register.

Gavin's talk


WRITING HELP.

  The University Language Centre’s Academic Writing Tutorial Service is free to students. These 1-to-1 sessions last approximately one hour and give students the opportunity to receive expert help in improving their written academic work. Apply.


FREE SOFTWARE MEETING.

  At this month’s Manchester Free Software meeting, Michael Dorrington will talk on “compiling: turning source code into runnable software”, covering compiling, both from a theoretical and practical perspective, including GCC, reproducible builds, and compiler efforts to deal with the Spectre vulnerability. Tomorrow Tues 20 Feb, 19:00, at Madlab (M4 1HN). All welcome. If you want to follow along then bring a laptop with GCC and GNU Make.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 3 (A) • Monday 12 February 2018 • #17.18          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG!  It’s Monday 12 February, and it’s Week 3, an A week.  I hope you’re settling into Semester 2 now, and things are going well. For many courses labs will start this week so I hope you'll find those interesting and challenging. On with today's news!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


STAFF VS STUDENTS QUIZ.

  Congratulation to Milena Bruseva (Y2, AIwIE), Petia Davidova (Y2, CSwIE) and Stanislava Piskyulieva (Y2, CSwIE), aka team 'Slavettes', seen below, who won the Staff-Student quiz on Friday.  The staff team came second! Thanks to all involved with organising this hugely successful event.

SSQ collage


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): Hello everyone! Back with PASS this week, same place as usual, come around with your questions on the material that has been taught so far! 


PASS2.

  Sami Alabad (Y3, CSwIE) and Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) write: Hope you all enjoyed our last session with the PhD panel. For this week we’re hosting another panel about "Different roles and career paths in CS". What are SRE, SWE, OPS, DevOps, Network engineer, consultant, TPM, DevEv, etc... and more.   If you want to ask questions ahead of the session, give us feedback, or look up past sessions, check the PASS2 website!


SSC DATES.

  The first meeting of the Staff-Student Committee this semester will be Weds 28 Feb at 14:00 in IT407. If you'd like to raise anything, please contact one of your reps ASAP (contact details on the Blackboard SSC page). The second meeting of this semester will be Weds 2 April.


HACKSOC VISIT BELGIUM.

  Last week a group from HackSoc attended the FOSDEM 2018 conference in Brussels. Hendrik Molder (Y2, CSBM), Carlos Gomes (Y2, CS4) and Hassan Ishtiaq (Y2, CS4) have each written reports about some of the interesting topics at the conference. Their trip was sponsored by the School’s Student Activities Fund.

Hacksoc collage


OUR RESPONSE TO YOUR FEEDBACK.

  We’ve now looked in detail at the Course Unit Survey results from Semester 1 of this Academic Year (2017-18). We take your views seriously, and we’ve asked all the Course Unit lecturers to respond to your comments. Your can read their responses here.


PLANNED KILBURN OUTAGE.

  The University’s network team will be carrying out essential maintenance for approximately two hours at some point between 12:00 and 18:00 on Sunday 4 March, and the network will be completely unavailable throughout Kilburn and the IT Building.


SU ELECTIONS.

  There’s more to the Students’ Union than just the Union Bar, Starbucks and microwaves. Behind the scenes there’s a team of paid Exec Officers that work tirelessly to improve student life in Manchester. Every March the 8 Exec Officers are elected by you, the students. It's your chance to stand (deadline this Fri 16 Feb) to become one of these officers for the 2018/19 academic year or suggest someone who you think can represent students and make a change on campus.

SU elections banner


MANCML.

  Horia-Mihai Bujanca (Y3, CSwIE) writes: The Machine Learning meetup, MancML is happening again on Thurs 22 February. You can register here. It's recommended that you register early, as it usually sells out! Pizza and drinks will be provided.


MANCHESTER JOBS.

  Come and speak to a wide range of Manchester-based employers (including Apadmi, Code Computer Love, Pretty Little Thing, On The Beach, Barclays, Fanatics, Web Applications UK and more) about the opportunities they have available for students before and after graduation at Manchester Digital Talent Day. This Weds 14 Feb 11.30-15:00 in The Lowry Hotel. Register.


BE A TUTOR.

  The Tutor Trust is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to democratise one-to-one tuition and helps tackle educational inequality. They are currently looking for bright, enthusiastic and well-motivated students to do paid work as Maths and English tutors in Manchester secondary schools. You will be paid for your work (between £12 and £19 per hour) and if the tuition requires it 'Non Contact Time' pay is also given as we expect our tutors to prepare adequately for their sessions.


SEEKING A STARTUP BUDDY.

  Final year Management (International Business Economics) student Rajdeep Singh is applying to the University’s Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme and is looking for a collaborator who is not only technically gifted but also creative and has an eye for design. Contact Rajdeep if you’re interested.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 2 (B) • Monday 5 February 2018 • #17.17          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 5 February, and it’s Week 2, a B week.  I hope you're getting back into the swing of things after the exams. Remember that you need to make your final course unit choices by this Friday 9 Feb. So have a good week and now on with today's news!
Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


STAFF VS STUDENTS QUIZ.

  This from Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE): the first CSSoc event of the semester is a Pub Quiz, and quite a unique one: Staff V Students! Where and when? There is no better location than our second home, Kilburn, this Fri 9 Feb in the PostGrad Common Room, starting from 16:30. Drinks and pizza will be provided and there will be prizes as well! The entry fee is only £3 and all the proceeds will go to charity!

Staff-student quiz banner


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): We hope you were able to settle back in after the break and the exams. The second semester is busy and demanding so come along to PASS to enjoy the company of your fellow students and leaders! Just to remind you, your leaders know 2nd semester better than anyone else, come along and ask them for their experiences/advice.


PASS2.

  Sami Alabad (Y3, CSwIE) and Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) write: The next PASS2 session happens tomorrow Tuesday at 15:00 in Collab1. Our session will be on "Why you should consider postgraduate research" and will feature a panel of PhD students in various stages of their programme.


GUEST LECTURE.

  Paul Vlissidis from NCC Group will be giving a guest lecture about security this Thurs 8 Feb at 11:00 in LT1.1 as part of COMP101. Paul is an advisor the the Hunted series on Channel 4 where people try to go “off grid”. All welcome.


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  The deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units on the University system is 15:00 this Friday 9 Feb. See full details and instructions. Please note that some units may have a maximum enrolment capacity, and this is stated on the relevant syllabus pages. Any queries, please contact SSO.


EXAM FEEDBACK.

  There’ll be a feedback session at 14:00 on Weds 14 March to give you the opportunity to view your marked COMP exam answer books for the Semester 1 exams. Advance registration required – please email SSO with your ID, name, degree programme, and list of courses you’d like to view. Deadline for registration 12:00 Weds 28 Feb.


POETRY COMP.

  The sixth annual Faculty poetry competition is now open. Write a poem with a theme of Science and Engineering and you could win a £200 prize! Entry deadline: 2 March.


GREEN IMPACT.

  Interested in environmental issues?  Want  to make a difference?  We need your energy and ideas! The School has a small Green Impact Team and we were awarded the Bronze award in 2016.  We want to strive for a higher award so need more critical mass. We look at the products we daily use – like paper and cups and bottles – and look where we can change to sustainable products.  We look at our physical environment in terms of energy consumption and see what improvements are possible. The aim is to create a culture of environmental sustainability in the School. Get involved! Contact Ruth Maddocks. The first meeting will be 15:00 next Tues 13 Feb.

Green Impact logo


WIN £50.

  Do you like the digital badges? Are they helpful? Maybe they only work for certain types of people? Final year Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology student George Sheen is looking for volunteers to fill out a short online questionnaire to help him to answer these questions. This opportunity is unique to first and second year students in the School of Computer Science, and one lucky entrant will win a £50 Amazon voucher. The questionnaire is multiple choice, and takes 10 minutes. Of course, a digital badge will be awarded to all those who take part!


MASTERS DEGREE.

  Would you like to continue your studies with us and do a Master’s Degree? We’re still considering applications from current CS students. For more info, call into Room 2.10, email, or apply online.


MOTION PLANNING TALK.

  This Weds 7 Feb at 14:00 in LT1.3 Prof Daniel Sorin (Duke University) will talk about Designing Processors to Accelerate Robot Motion Planning: “We have developed a hardware accelerator for motion planning, a critical operation in robotics. I will present the microarchitecture of our accelerator and describe a prototype implementation on an FPGA.“ All welcome.


GLOBAL IMPACT AWARDS.

  The Global Impact Awards offer £250 to help current students, volunteering in the UK or overseas during Summer 2018, bring practical or social benefits to the wider community.  The ethos of the award is for these students to make a tangible difference to marginalised or neglected communities and in doing so advance their personal development.  Eligibility: all UG Year 1 and Year 2 students.

GIA photo


BIG ACTION DAY.

  Weds 21 Feb sees the return of Big Action Day, part of #SVW2018 – a week-long celebration of everything to do with student volunteering. You can pop by for an hour or join @UoMVolunteering for the whole day – why not come with your coursemates, housemates or society?


DIGITAL CIVICS PHD.

  Newcastle University has 15 fully-funded four-year PhD studentships in Digital Civics (from September 2018) and are seeking applicants with a passion for digital technology, civic life, and an interest in how technologies can be used to support citizens and communities.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 1 (A) • Monday 29 January 2018 • #17.16          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 29 January, and it’s Week 1 of Semester 2 teaching, an A week. The exams are over (I hope they went well) and lectures and other activities start today. Check your timetable! I hope you’re ready for the new Semester, and I hope everything goes well over the coming months. On with today's news!
Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE):  Hello everyone! Hope your exams went well! PASS is coming back this Wednesday same place as usual. Come around to see how to tackle Semester 2 the right way!


PASS2.

  Sami Alabad (Y3, CSwIE) and Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) write: Hope you all had good exams and congratulations on surviving the first semester of second year! We will resume PASS2 this week. PASS2 is now on Tuesday at 15:00 in Collab1. Our first session will be on "What to do if I don't have an internship/placement yet" followed by Q&A. We will leave time at the end for course unit choices, exams and other questions. Hope to see you all there.


FINAL YEAR MEETING.

  There’s an important meeting for all final year students tomorrow Tues 30 Jan at 09:15 in LT1.1. We'll be talking about what you can do in Semester 2 to get the best out of your project and to secure the degree and the career that you want. See you there.


GUEST LECTURE.

  Craig Dean from Web Applications UK will be talking about “Your first job as a software engineer” for COMP101 this week. All welcome, not just Y1 students. This Thurs 1 Feb at 11:00 in LT 1.1.

Craig Dear LN shot


OUT OF HOURS PASSES.

  From today Mon 29 Jan, out-of-hours access for the Kilburn Building will be with an activated University ID card only: separate paper out-of-hours passes will no longer be issued. Students issued with a paper out-of-hours pass during Semester 1 must return it in person to SSO (room LF21) before Weds 28 Feb so that your University ID card can be updated for Semester 2 access.  If you don’t return your paper pass by the end of Feb, your University ID card will deactivate and you will lose your out-of-hours access. Any queries, please email SSO.


HANDOUTS MOVE.

  From today Mon 29 Jan, the "spare handouts" area has moved from outside SSO to the upper mezzanine area at the top of the stairs to the upper entrance to LT1.1.The reason for this move is to accommodate some planned refurbishment of the space outside SSO.


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  The deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units on the University system is 15:00 next Friday 9 Feb. See full details and instructions. Please note that some units may have a maximum enrolment capacity, and this is stated on the relevant syllabus pages. Any queries, please contact SSO.


EXAM RESULTS.

  We plan to publish the provisional Semester 1 exam results on Thurs 22 February. We’ll let you know as soon as they’re available.


EXAM FEEDBACK.

  There’ll be a feedback session at 14:00 on Weds 14 March to give you the opportunity to view your marked COMP exam answer books for the Semester 1 exams. Advance registration required – please email SSO with your ID, name and list of courses you’d like to view. Deadline for registration 12:00 Weds 28 Feb.


BETTER WORLD.

  Support the School and please vote for our three entries (6 11 14) for the University’s annual "Better World" awards.


FIRST YEAR SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGE.

  During Welcome Week, almost 5,000 new students took part in the Sustainability Challenge. It’s a required element for achievement of the Manchester Leadership Award, so if you didn’t take the Challenge in Welcome Week there are three more last-chance opportunities: Weds 21 Feb 14:00-16:30, Tues 20 Mar 17:00-19:30, and Weds 25 Apr 14:00-16:30. Sign up.


CALM HACKATHON.

  On Sat 24 Feb, Sparta Global is holding Speak Out, a Hackathon to support Calm. Calm offers support to men in the UK, of any age, who are down or in crisis. Sign up now to be a part of the hackathon where teams will be challenged to create new technology throughout the day, helping to raise money and increase awareness of the life-changing work Calm does on a daily basis.

Calmm hackathon poster


BLOCKCHAIN GANG.

  Interested in blockchain tech? Blockchainers is a new UoM SU Society. Meet them at the ReFreshers Fair tomorrow 30 Jan 10:00-16:00 in Academy 1, or at their inaugural meeting on Tues 6 Feb 19:00-20:30 in Dover Street Building G46.


TEAM UGANDA.

  Would you love the chance to spend your summer volunteering in Uganda? Volunteer for Team Uganda Summer 2018. This is an exciting opportunity for anyone who is keen to make a real difference to other people’s lives, while spending your summer overseas. Team Uganda is a fully funded flagship international volunteering project, exclusively for students from The University of Manchester.  It runs in partnership with S.A.L.V.E. (Support and Love Via Education) International, a charity working in Uganda with children living on the streets. This year it will take place from Sat 21 July to Sun 19 August.

Team Uganda photo


VOLUNTEER WITH NIGHTLINE.

  Greater Manchester Nightline is a confidential listening and information telephone service run by student volunteers. They’re currently recruiting volunteers to take calls. It’s a great opportunity to gain strong communication skills and make new friends. It can count towards the Manchester Leadership Programme and looks great on your CV.


VOLUNTEER DAYS.

  Do you want to volunteer to gain some experience but don’t have the time to commit? The University organises a range of Volunteer Days with partner organisations across the city on a regular basis. These give you the opportunity to spend a half or full day working as part of a team with other students to get a specific task done.  Activities include tea parties for older people, fundraising, and supporting environmental projects in local parks. In many cases a member of university staff is there on the day and transport to and from campus is provided. To find out more go to www.manchester.ac.uk/volunteers and click to enter Volunteer Hub.


SO YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE UK?

  Data, democracy and demographics is a series of events challenging some of the assumptions that we hold about the UK, the communities in which we live and how data can help create better awareness, understanding and change. Hosted by Open Data Manchester tomorrow Tues 30 Jan at The Federation, Federation Street, Federation House, M4 2AH. Register.


CYBERSECURITY.

  Interested in working in security? Sign up for this event in Manchester organised by Cyber Security Challenge UK and the Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP) on Friday 28 Feb. There will be a range of events including a panel of students (including placement students from our School) talking about what to expect when you get into the security industry. Free registration.


TURING LECTURE.

   Don't miss this year's #turinglecture on “Innovation and Technology - Art or Science?” With Dr Andy Harter from the AT&T Cambridge University Computer Laboratory. The event is on Weds 21 Feb and is free to attend so book your place now!

Turing lecture poster


TWO+TWO.

  This is an event bringing creative, technical and marketing students together to help effect social change. This year’s challenge on Fri 16 Feb is to tackle the issue of Loneliness, inspired by the work of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness. There are over 150 students from six Northern universities taking part and experts from over 25 agencies and brands acting as mentors. Sign up.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Exams Week 2 • Monday 22 January 2018 • #17.15          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 22 January, and it’s the second and final week of the Semester 1 exams. I hope they’re going well. Make sure you know your schedule, and in case of emergencies, don't delay, email SSO immediately or call them on 0161 306 8155. Semester 2 teaching starts next Monday – something to look forward to! Now, on with today's news...
Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


NEW OUT-OF-HOURS PASSES.

  From next Monday 29 Jan, out-of-hours access for the Kilburn Building will be with an activated University ID card only: separate paper out-of-hours passes will no longer be issued. Students issued with a paper out-of-hours pass during Semester 1 (September 2017 –  January 2018) must return it in person to SSO (room LF21) between Mon 29 January and Weds 28 February so that your University ID card can be updated for Semester 2 access.  If you don’t return your paper pass by the end of February 2018, your University ID card will deactivate and you will lose your out-of-hours access. Any queries, please email SSO.


GROUND FLOOR.

  The ground floor corridor in Kilburn from the Chaplaincy entrance to the Porters Lodge will be closed for two weeks, so to access rooms G23 and G41 please use the stairs down from LF.


MIT CIRCS.

  If you want to tell us about any mitigating circumstances for the Semester 1 exam period, the deadline is next Mon 29 Jan. If you have any queries, please talk to your relevant Year Tutor (Y1: Sean Bechhofer; Y2: Duncan Hull; Y3: Tim Morris; Y4: Graham Riley; CM: Andrea Schalk).


GOOGLE HASHCODE.

  Teodoru Stoleru (Y2, CS) wries: Google Hash Code is back on Thurs 1 March, and we'll have our own hub in Kilburn organised by HackSoc. Sign up here for the Online Qualification round and join our hub ("University of Manchester - HackSoc") in the Judge System. If we get enough participants by 1 February Google will send us goodies for the event! Keep an eye on our facebook event for updates about the hub.

HashCode logo


GOOGLE DIGITAL GARAGE.

  Also from Teodora: Google Digital Garage is organising two introductory courses on the Arduino Uno (Weds 7 Feb) and 3D printing (Fri 16 Feb) at their Manchester office. This is a great chance to gain new skills and grow your network, and all the necessary hardware is provided! Follow their facebook events (Arduino Uno and 3D Printing) for more infor and registration.


STREET SUPPORT.

  Street Support, a network utilising technology to support the homeless, holds a monthly Raising Bee hackathon and are in need of volunteer developers to get involved (particularly Dot Net, Ionic and Front End) to help provide new features to #EndHomelessness. The next event is Tues 13 Feb and is a great opportunity to gain new skills, put theory into practice in a hands on environment and network with other developers in Manchester.


BETTER WORLD.

  David Rydeheard writes: is Computer Science making a Better World? You vote! The annual "Better World" awards are for projects specifically aimed at the Social Responsibility remit of the university. Our School has entered projects in most categories. Have a look at the submissions and please vote! There is also a poster display in the Renold Building Concourse from 17-23 Jan, and in University Place from 24-31 Jan. Please do vote – the projects have taken a great investment of time and effort by staff and students to contribute to making the world a better place. Winning projects from the faculty go on to a University award.

Better World logo


EXAM SUPPORT.

  The Library is again running its Exam Extra programe to support you during the exam period, offering extra study spaces, more furniture and power points, as well as extended opening hours and exam support workshops. Full details.


MULTISENSORY COMPUTING.

  This Fri 26 Jan at 14:00 in Kilburn LT 1.3, Marianna Obrist (University of Sussex) will talk on “Towards a Multisensory Future of Computing”. HCI researchers and designers are now harnessing touch, taste, and smell in interactive tasks and experience design. Marianna will present a snapshot into the challenges and opportunities for multisensory HCI.

OLfactory blast


TURING LECTURE 2018.

  This year Andy Harter CBE, founder and CEO of RealVNC, will give the annual Turing Lecture here at the University on Weds 21 Feb at 17:30-20:00. Andy will discuss the role of “art” in innovation and technology including not only the aesthetic but also craft, design, skill, invention and intuition.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Exams Week 1 • Monday 15 January 2018 • #17.14          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 15 January. Welcome back and Happy New Year to you! I hope you had a good break. The two-week exams period starts today, so I wish you good luck. Make sure you know your schedule, and in case of emergencies, don't delay, email SSO immediately or call them on 0161 306 8155. Now, on with today's news!
Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


FREE LUNCH!

  Yes there is such a thing! Well almost... next Tuesday 23 Jan a small group from the University are conducting the Periodic Review of the School, which happens every 6 years. They’d like to get your views about life in the School, in an informal chat over lunch (12:30-13:30). Please sign up! It’s a chance to express your views about the School, and of course there's the almost-free lunch!


EXAM SUPPORT.

  The Library is again running its Exam Extra program to support you during the exam period, offering extra study spaces, more furniture and power points, as well as extended opening hours and exam support workshops.


KNEEBONE SUCCESS.

  Congratulations to Joshua Cheung (Y2, CSwIE) who is the recipient of this year’s Kneebone Bursary award, sponsored by the Kneebone family and ARM.


MIT CIRCS.

  If you want to tell us about any mitigating circumstances for the Semester 1 exam period, the deadline is Mon 29 Jan 2018. If you have any queries, please talk to your relevant Year Tutor (Y1: Sean Bechhofer; Y2: Duncan Hull; Y3: Tim Morris; Y4: Graham Riley; CM: Andrea Schalk).


CERN TO BARCELONA.

  Aayush Chadha (Y2, AI) has a new blog post. Read about his trip to recent hackathons in CERN and Barcelona. Interested in blogging or vlogging for the School and earning some extra money? Contact Jez Lloyd.

Aayush collage


MICROSOFT IMAGINE CUP.

  Enter Microsoft’s Imagine Cup competition for your chance to win up to $100K.  How to enter: create your team (1 to 3 people), register, develop a technical project that utilizes Microsoft Azure, and submit your entry before 16 March 2018.


OXFORD HACK WIN.

  Speaking of Microsoft, Roneel Bhagwakar (Y2, HCIwIE), Samuel Littlefair (Y2, CSwIE), Pranay Mistri (Y2, CS) have just published a report on their Oxford Hack win last year outlining how they used Microsoft’s cognitive services to analyse interview performance.


UCIL COURSES.

  Did you know that you can use your free-choice credits to take units from outside of your degree discipline? Taking a University College for Interdisciplinary Learning (UCIL) unit is an opportunity to try out something different, gain a new skill, and to broaden your horizons. UCIL course units  are credit bearing and count towards your degree. If you’re interested in trying something new or just want to improve your CV, check out the UCIL website


TALKING ABOUT ROBOTS.

   Senior Lecturer Caroline Jay (COMP23412) has been on the TV discussing robots in the BBC series “Six robots and us” and appears in the second episode which looks at how humans bond with robots and how well they function outside of the lab. Last year she appeared on Channel 4 in The Robot Will See You Now.


DE-STRESS!

  UoM Sport are running a de-stress campaign over the exam period. Kickstart your 2018 with a focus on your health and wellbeing. There’s a full De-Stress timetable to make sure you can start getting into good habits after maybe overdoing a bit over the festive period, or to help you get through your busy exam period. These great free activities run from 15-26 January, all you have to do is turn up. Why not try the Sunrise Yoga to start your day off on the right foot? Or a ‘Run in Style’ session to start your training for the Manchester 10K run in May.

De-stress logo


MELTDOWN AND SPECTRE.

  At Manchester Free Software's January Meeting, Michael Dorrington will talk about the in-the-news CPU vulnerabilities Meltdown and Spectre. Tomorrow Tues 16 Jan, 19:00, at Madlab (M4 1HN). All welcome.


ESCAPE THE CITY.

  Fancy some free outdoor education on Fri/Sat 9/10 Feb? The Careers Service is taking 16 students on a free trip to Whitehough Outdoor Education Centre. High-rope activities, archery, map reading/orienteering skills, pub food. To apply for a place email fsecareers@manchester.ac.uk with your CV and a paragraph about why you should be selected.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 12 (A+B) • Monday 11 December 2017 • #17.13          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 11 December. Not only is it Week 12, but it’s also the last week of term – as you probably know! I hope that this Semester has been a stimulating, enjoyable and interesting 3 months for you. The Monday Mail will be back on 15 January, for the first week of the exams. Until then, I wish you a very happy Xmas break, and see you in 2018! Now, on with today's news… lots of it too, starting with three, yes THREE, wins!
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


VENTURE OUT WINNER!

  Congratulations to Luke Beamish (Y2, CS), who won first prize in the Digital Category of this year’s Venture Out enterprise competition. Luke won with FrameSafe, an FPGA-based device for providing network security. Well done!

winners


UNI TECH CHALLENGE WINNERS!

  Congratulations to Amelia Caffrey (Y1, HCI) and the rest of her team (Raluca-lucia Lusca, Dragos Costin, Joe Joscelyne, Liutauras Mazonas, Toby Bayley, Catalina Maria Vlad and Orla Hadjisophocleous from the Alliance Manchester Business School) on winning the 2017 University Technology Challenge with UKFast and Barclays. They’ve each won a £100 Amazon voucher and a week of work experience at Barclays Technology Centre in Knutsford and UK Fast in Birley Fields, Manchester.


CREATE BUILD CODE WINNERS!

  Congratulations to Ignas Gustainis (Y1, BM), Teodor Pintea (Y1, BMwIE), Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE), Mihai Tataru (Y1, CS) and Adrian Vaduva (Y1, CSwIE) whose team won second place last week in the Create Build Code hackathon organised by Open Ecosystem Network. They used Nokia's APIs to build VDoc, an app to improve the connection between a patient and their GP. Monitoring the patient with Nokia's Wireless Health Devices, the app periodically updates the dashboard of the GP and can send SMS notifications in case of emergencies such as anomalous blood pressure or oxygen level. Well done!

winners group pic


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): It's the end of the semester and so we have a special PASS session. We will be running a christmas quiz involving some exam and some normal christmassy questions! We will all meet in Collab 1. Come along to have some fun and revise a little at the same time.


PASS2.

  Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) writes: Hi all, there will be no session this week. But please do remember to fill out the feedback form and feel free to reach out and let us know if there are any other issues. Best wishes for the holidays (try to revise).


SSC.

  Last Weds we had the second meeting this Semester of the Staff-Student Committee. Check the Issues Forum on the Blackboard SSC page for a summary of resolved and currently open topics.


FIRST YEAR PROJECTS POSTER SHOW.

  35 projects! 234 students! The First Year Project poster session in University Place last Thursday was buzzing, with fantastic ideas on display – see all the posters in the Y1 Project Poster Gallery.

collage of event pix

Joint winners of Best concept for application were Z5 with “Key-by-Key” (Tutor Milan Mihajlovic) – Worabodee Denvittaya (Y1, CS4wIE), Jakir Hussain (Y1, CS), Harry James (Y1, CS), Konstantinos Katsamaktsis (Y1, CS), Joad Nacer (Y1, HCI4), Mark Paveszka (Y1, CSE4wIE), David-Gabriel Petrescu (Y1, HCIwIE) – and W3 for “Goat Racing" (Tutor Kung-Kiu Lau) – Arifa Amin (Y1, CSwIE), Lalitha Bhupalam (Y1, CS4), Shilpa Johncy (Y1, CS4), Yin Lim (Y1, SE4), Adrian-Ionut Vaduva (Y1, CSwIE), Daniel Wilson (Y1, CS),  Tomasz Winnicki (Y1, CS).

Winners of Most visually appealing poster with “Powerfluffs” were Y2 (Tutor Duncan Hull) – Nikolay Dimitrov (Y1, SEwIE), Alexandra-Catalina Luminariu (Y1, CS), Laura Mihai (Y1, CS),  Adela-Maria Mihaila (Y1, CSwIE), Octavian-Costin Teodorescu (Y1, CS), Matthew Walton (Y1, CS4), Owen Watkins (Y1, CS4).

Winners of Best planned project with “Discounts Discovery” were X5 (Tutor Mary McGee Wood) – Denisa Baboi-Dragan (Y1, BMwIE), Gabija Bernotaite (Y1, BMwIE), Evripidis Christodoulides (Y1, CS), Oscar Driver (Y1, CS), Gabriel Rosca (Y1, CS4), Rebecca Wiggins (Y1, CS), Jie Xu (Y1, CS). Well done winners and well done everyone!

winning posters and winning teams


ENROL NOW.

  Semester two COMP course units are now open for enrolment. Instructions for choosing units; Timetable information


GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.

  The Unit Survey gives you the chance to tell us what you think about your course units, and for Semester 1 it runs until 5 January 2018. Please take a moment to give us your feedback – you can use Blackboard or download the app (iOS | Android). We take your views seriously, we react, and we will publish a response to your views, for every course unit.


SSO XMAS OPENING.

  SSO will be open as usual during December from 09:00-17:00, apart from the following dates and times: Weds 13 Dec closed for the day at 15:30; Thurs 14 Dec closed 15:30-16:30; Mon 18 Dec closed for the day at 13:30; Tues 19 Dec closed for the day at 14:15; Fri 22 Dec closed to student queries at 15:00; Weds 3 Jan 2018 re-opening at 09:00, after the University's holiday period.


KILBURN XMAS OPENING.

  From Sat 16 Dec-Fri 22 Dec inclusive and from Weds 3 Jan-Sun 14 Jan 2018 inclusive, UG and MSc student access is daily between 08:00-23:30 (with valid Out-of-Hours Pass). Labs open during this period are LF31, Tootill 0 and Tootill 1, Collabs, 1.8. From Sat 23 Dec-Tues 2 Jan 2018 inclusive Kilburn and IT Building are closed and there is no student access. The Learning Commons and George Kenyon IT Cluster are open throughout this period except for Mon/Tues 25/26 Dec.

Rainbow over Kilburn


MIT CIRCS.

  If you want to tell us about any mitigating circumstances for the Semester 1 teaching period, the deadline is Monday 8 Jan 2018. If there are any mitigating circumstances for the Semester 1 exam period, the deadline is Mon 29 Jan 2018. If you have any queries, please talk to the relevant Year Tutor (Y1: Sean Bechhofer; Y2: Duncan Hull; Y3: Tim Morris; Y4: Graham Riley; CM: Andrea Schalk).


PARTICIPANTS NEEDED.

  This from Mikhail Iakovlev (Y3, CS): I am looking for volunteers, who are interested in lifelogging to take part in a my 3rd Year Project study of What is the best way to gather data about the mood?’ You will be asked to use an app on your phone to record data about your mood through the day. Your participation is entirely voluntary and would take 2-3 weeks for test runs and approximately 30 minutes for an online questionnaire. By participating in this study you will help us to identify better methods to quantify mood data. To learn more about this study, or to participate in this study, please contact me.


TEAM UGANDA.

  Have you ever wanted to volunteer internationally? Would you love the chance to lead a team in another country? The University is looking for volunteers for Team Uganda in Summer 2018.


MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

  The annual Making a Difference Awards for social responsibility are now open to receive entries, with a closing date of 22 Jan 2018. Find out how to enter at the awards website, see a short film, and meet some of the 2017 winners.


VIDEO INTERVIEWS.

  Applying for jobs/placements/internships? Why not book a practice video interview with the Careers Service?


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 11 (B) • Monday 4 December 2017 • #17.12          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 4 December, and it’s Week 11, a B week. I hope everything is going well. It's been a long and busy semester but keep going – Xmas is near! Good luck to all First Year students on their project presentations this week, and the poster session on Thursday, which this year will be in the foyer of University Place, for the first time. On with today’s news and lots to tell you about today!
best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


HACKKINGS WINS.

  Multiple teams composed mainly of Manchester students won multiple prizes at HackKings in London last weekend. Igor Wodiany (Y2, out on IT with Intel), Nikita John (Y5 Medicine @ Manchester) and Amogh Malik (Y3 CS @ Queen Mary) built a blockchain-based cryptocurrency payments platform for developing nations. They won the Goldman Sachs and Capital One challenges. Shashwat Pragya (Y2, CSwIE) and Aditya Raizada (EE @ Manchester) built a hardware hack around the Raspberry Pi, Shazam and the Amazon Alexa, which won them Shazam's prize. Ayuush Chadha (Y2, AI), Mihnea Savu (Y2, CSwIE), and Prajna Bhatt (Natural Sciences @ UCL) won the Blackrock challenge with a text-based carpooling service for developing countries. Well done to you all!

Awards at Hackkings


VENTURE OUT FINALIST.

  Congratulations to Luke Beamish (Y2, CS) for making the final in this year’s Venture Out enterprise competition. Tomorrow Tues 5 Dec see Luke’s and the other finalists’ posters and video entries from 14:15-16:00 in The Foyer, Roscoe Building. Good luck Luke!


CAPTURE THE FLAG.

  The CTF Security Challenge last week was a huge success with the biggest turnout ever! 73 students tackled security challenges using hex editors, Wireshark, Netcat and more. Congratulations to the winning teams 1st Crackchester with 5924 points, xn3x7h with 5583 points and Snack_Attack with 4125 points. 


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): The semester is almost over and the last deadlines are approaching, if you are struggling with anything come along to PASS and if you aren't, come along to help your fellow students! Your PASS leaders are putting a lot of effort into their sessions, don't miss out profiting from it!


PASS2.

  Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) writes: Hi all, hope you have been enjoying the Cracking the Coding Interview sessions we've been running. If not please fill out the feedback form and let us know what you would like to see. This week we will be coving Dynamic Programming and making it 10x less scary than it currently is. We also have integrated the PASS2 website with PASS1 so the format has changed slightly but you should be able to find the PASS2 section under Home.


FIRST YEAR POSTER SESSION.

  This year's poster session will be in the foyer of University Place at 11:00-13:00 this Thurs 7 Dec. Come along and see the projects the first year students are working on!


SSC.

  The second meeting this Semester of the Staff-Student Committee is this Weds 6 Dec at 14:00 in IT407. If you'd like to raise anything, please contact one of your reps ASAP. They're pictured below, and you can find contact details on the Blackboard SSC page. Reps: I look forward to seeing you again.

SSC reps mugshots


SSO XMAS OPENING.

  The School's Student Support Office (SSO) will be open as usual during December from 09:00-17:00, apart from the following dates and times: Weds 13 Dec closed for the day at: 15:30; Thurs 14 Dec closed 15:30-16:30; Mon 18 Dec closed for the day at 13:30; Tues 19 Dec closed for the day at 14:15; Fri 22 Dec closed to student queries at 15:00; Weds 3 Jan 2018 re-opening at 09:00, after the University's holiday period.


APPLE TALK AND JOBS.

  Fancy working for the world’s biggest company at Apple Park California? Jon Andrews from Apple, who graduated from the School in 2000, is giving a special guest talk this Weds 6 Dec at 13:00 in LT 1.1 about opportunities for Computer Science students in his team. If you’re interested in working for Apple fill in this form.


GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.

  The Unit Survey gives you the chance to tell us what you think about your course units, and for Semester 1 it runs from today until 5 January 2018. Please take a moment to give us your feedback – you can use Blackboard or download the app (iOS | Android). We take your views seriously, we react, and we will publish a response to your views, for every course unit.


CSSOC PUB CRAWL.

  Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE) writes: Week 11 comes with our last event before Christmas: another pub crawl this Friday 8 Dec! This time, our route will take us to new places, starting from 19:00 at good old Ford Maddox Brown and then leading us to Turning Tap, The Footage, Flour & Flagon, and Garrat. Don't forget to bring your IDs and hit 'Going' on our event page. See you all there!

CSSoc banner


CYBERSECURITY.

  Two more talks by cybersecurity experts, today Mon 4 Dec, open to all, in Kilburn 2.19: at 12:00 Will Roebuck from E Radar on "€20 million for a bug? A legal perspective", and at 16:00 Ian Trump from ZoneFox on "Cyber Security Fact, Fiction, and Failure".


TECH TRENDS.

  James Lewis and Ian Cartwright from ThoughtWorks will be presenting the 17th edition of the biannual Thoughtworks Tech Radar at their new headquarters in Federation House (M4 2AF) next Monday 11 Dec from 18:30. They’ll discuss trends in the technology industry including techniques (like serverless computing), platforms (like kubernetes), languages & frameworks (like AngularJS) and tools (like scikit-learn). A great networking opportunity and a flavour of recent developments in tech, with free food and drink thrown in for good measure. Register.


EMMA THE ADVOCATE.

  Edoardo Moreni (MEng, graduated 2016) and Antonio Marino (CSwIE, graduated 2016)  are working on Emma, a financial advocate that can help people avoid overdrafts, find and cancel subscriptions, track debt and save money. They’ve just launched their product in closed beta and are offering the School free VIP tickets to skip the waitlist and join Emma today.


DISTRIBUTED STREAMING.

  Apache Kafka is a distributed streaming platform. Find out more with Tom Scott, Engineer at Confluent and Matt Slack, Data Architect, this Weds Dec 6 at 18:30 at Rental Cars (M2 2AN). Pizza will be served. Sign-up.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 10 (A) • Monday 27 November 2017 • #17.11          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 27 November, and it’s Week 10, an A week. I hope everything is going well, despite the horrible weather! The end of term is fast approaching and I hope you're on top of things. If not do have a chat with someone: your Personal Tutor or SSO would be glad to help. Now, on with this week's news, and I hope you have a good week!
best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


OXFORDHACK WIN!

  Congratulations to Sam Littlefair (Y2, CSwIE), Roneel Bhagwakar (Y2, HCIwIE) and Pranay Mistri (Y2, CSwIE) who won the Microsoft challenge at OxfordHack yesterday! They made a web application to help students practice doing interviews by providing them with real-time expression analysis and speech-to-text sentiment analysis using the Microsoft Cognitive APIs. Well done!


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): Good morning everyone! Hope you liked the group switch from last week. Back to regular sessions this Wednesday so come around if you feel the need to catch up with the material!


PASS2.

  Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) writes: Hi all, this week we will be continuing the Cracking the Coding Interview with a closer look at Graphs and Complex Data Structures. You can find the last coding challenge here.  Additionally, please give us some feedback on the sessions and let us know if there's anything you would like to see.


LEARNING AT GOOGLE.

   “If you're a software engineer and you're doing it right you should never stop learning”.  Find out more in Episode 21 of our podcast, featuring Todd Davies from Google interviewed by Jez Lloyd. In case you missed it, see Episode 20 with Suzanne Embury and Bijan Parsia discussing what Software Engineering is all about.

Todd


KNEEBONE BURSARY.

  Last call: deadline this Friday 1 Dec. The Kate Kneebone Acorn Bursary is an annual award of £500 funded by the Kneebone family and ARM. In addition to the funding, the Bursary offers the opportunity to discuss a funded internship (with an Engineering bias) with ARM in Cambridge. All Year 2 students are eligible to apply. See full details.


FACULTY FORUM.

  The Faculty of Science and Engineering (of which the School is a part) is looking at how we might enhance the student experience by standardising processes and sharing best practice between Schools. Come and make your voice heard this Thurs 30 Nov at 17:00 in Roscoe Room 1.009, at a meeting with Professor Steve Pettifer (Assistant Vice Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students) along with members of the Student Union executive team. Food and drink will be provided! Register!

Faculty Forum logo


MEET THE PRESIDENT.

  The President of the University, Nancy Rothwell, is visiting the School tomorrow Tues 28 Nov and she's holding an informal open 30-minute meeting for students (students only, no staff) at 15:00 in Kilburn 2.15 (2nd floor). Come and talk to the person that runs the University! If you can’t make it, ask a Student Rep to raise an issue on your behalf.


CYBERSECURITY.

  More talks by cybersecurity experts, open to all, in Kilburn 2.19: today Mon 27 Nov at 12:00-13:00, Royd Whittington on "Experiences in IT Governance at a large UK FTSE 100 company", and 14:00-15:00 Sarah Clarke from Infospectives on "Straightforward Security in the Supply Chain". Next Monday 4 Dec at 12:00 Will Roebuck from E Radar on "€20 million for a bug? A legal perspective", and at 16:00 Ian Trump from ZoneFox on "Cyber Security Fact, Fiction, and Failure".


ALEXA,

  WIN ME A TRIP TO NYC. Form a team (or go solo), head to the shed, sharpen your pencils and brainstorm your idea for The Grand Tour Alexa Skill. The Grand Tour team will review all submissions and select ten finalists to move forward to the development stage. Deadline Sunday 10 Dec. Final prize is an NYC adventure for you and three friends.


GIVING TUESDAY.

  Tomorrow Tues 28 Nov is #GivingTuesday, an international day to do ‘good stuff’. Across the campus there will be plenty of opportunities to mark Giving Tuesday and discover new ways of giving. To find out how you can do your bit, why not use your lunch break to pop along to some of the activities.

Giving Tuesday logo


SOCIAL JUSTICE CHALLENGE.

  Year2 students: take part in the Social Justice Challenge. It’s part of Stellify and counts towards the Manchester Leadership Award. It’s online and takes about an hour: in Blackboard go to My Communities, then EGC: Social Justice Challenge.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 9 (B) • Monday 20 November 2017 • #17.10          The Monday Mail

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Good morning UG! It's Monday 20 November and it's Week 9, a B week. We're 3/4 of the way through the Semester, and I hope things are going well. Remember, if you have any concerns or there's anything we can do to help, please let us know. Speak to your Personal Tutor (3rd Years: this is also your Project Supervisor) or pop into SSO. Right, on with today's news and I hope you have a good week!

best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): Hello everyone, this Weds 22 Nov we will be doing something extraordinary for PASS, your PASS leaders will swap for one session! This gives you the opportunity to meet other students and have a different PASS experience! Definitely come along!


PASS2.

  Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) writes: Hi all, I hope you are finding our cracking the coding interview sessions useful. You can find the coding challenges for these here. We will be continuing the theme this week with more complex data structures and some which trip many up in coding interviews. This session will look at Hierarchical Data Structures with a keen focus on trees and heap-like structures. See you in Collab 1 @ 1 on Friday.


PASS2 SURVEY.

  This from Sami Alabed (Y3, CSwIE): thank you all for attending PASS2 and hope you are enjoying the sessions. We are collecting feedback to improve the upcoming sessions. If PASS2 helped you at any point, or if you would like to get more out of PASS2 and you have ideas on how to do that, please give us feedback here. It is very important to the progress of this scheme and for us to know how we are doing!


PORTICODE WIN.

  In addition to the wins at the Porticode 2.0 hackathon at University College London we reported recently, congratulations to Surya Prasad (Y1, CS4) who we’ve just heard won the GitHub myOctocat contest. Well done Surya!


ANA’S BLOG.

  Ana-Gabriela Pandrea (Y2, AI4wIE) has a fascinating new blog entry all about her summer trip to Brazil for a 6-day trek across the rainforest, raising money for the charity The Children's Society.

View of Rio


KNEEBONE BURSARY.

  Application deadline Friday 1 Dec. The Kate Kneebone Acorn Bursary is an annual commemorative award of £500 funded by the Kneebone family and ARM, since 2013. In addition to the funding, the Bursary offers the opportunity to discuss a funded internship placement (with an Engineering bias) with ARM in Cambridge. All current Year 2 UG students in the School are eligible to apply. See full details and how to apply.


MEET THE PRESIDENT.

  The President of the University, Nancy Rothwell, is visiting the School next Tuesday 28 November and she's holding an informal open 30-minute meeting for students (students only, no staff) at 15:00 in Kilburn 2.15 (second floor). This is a great opportunity to talk to the person that runs the University! If you can’t make it yourself, why not ask a Student Rep to raise an issue on your behalf?


WELLBEING WEEK.

  It’s Wellbeing Week, with lots of free sessions including Manchester Dogs Home (not sure in what capacity, but it sounds great!), Circus Skills, Yoga, Football, Pilates, Badminton, Creative Writing workshops, dance lessons and many more!

Wellbeing week posters


MEET THE PROFESSIONALS.

  Speed network with alumni from the University of Manchester who now work in Computing including ARM, PwC, TalkTalk, CACI Ltd, University of Manchester, Ivanti, BBC, Centrica, Cherry Stone Software, Bright Blue Consulting, BJSS, FDM, Marshall Wace Asset Management and d3t. Tomorrow Tues 21 Nov 17:00-19:30 here in Kilburn. Register here.


LIBRARY SURVEY.

  Take part in the University’s annual Library Survey for the chance to win £100 in Amazon vouchers. Deadline: Friday 8 Dec.


CHILDREN IN NEED AUCTION.

   Last week the School’s annual online charity auction raised an amazing £291! Thank you to everyone who contributed!


INTERESTING THING OF THE WEEK.

  What is the lifetime of digital resources? Here’s XKCD's thought-provoking take:

XKCD panel


CYBERSECURITY TALK.

  Tomorrow Tues 21 Nov in Kilburn 2.19, 12:00-13:00, John Young (Cyfor) on Digital Forensics. All welcome.


UNI TRAVEL AWARDS.

   The University offers three travel awards annually for students wishing to travel either as part of their course or outside term time: the Zochonis Special Enterprise Fund (to assist students with the cost of a project or special study), the H.E. David Travelling Scholarship (to foster international understanding and goodwill), and the Pawel Koprowski Memorial Vacation Award (to enhance your studies or for a holiday). Deadline for applying March 2018.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 8 (A) • Monday 13 November 2017 • #17.09          The Monday Mail

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Good morning UG! It’s Monday 13 November, and it’s Week 8, an A week. I hope everything is going well, especially for Year3 students who are doing their project seminars at the moment. Have a good week everyone, and on with today’s news!
best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


GREAT UNI HACK.

  This from Teodora Stoleru (Y2, CS): GreatUniHack 2017 happened this weekend! We had over 270 attendees, mentors, and volunteers for 24 hours of intensive hacking, along with games, stand-up comedy, cotton candy, and of course the very popular photobooth. We've seen some really cool hacks this year. The big winner was Smart IOCup:

Smart tea grab

by Karl Lundstig (KTH, Stockholm), Valters Zakrevskis, Bogdan Ionescu, Jakub Mandula  (all The University of Manchester): an internet-connected tea cup that makes you the perfect cup of tea by providing constant temperature monitoring, accelerometer-powered sip detection, automatically dipping your tea bag, and pulling it out of the water when it's done. The MLH Season Champions trophy was awarded to The University of Manchester during the closing ceremony. To all the attendees, volunteers, sponsors, mentors, and organisers: thank you for making this event so great!

GUH montage of 4 shots


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): Hello everyone! We’re in the middle of the semester now, so come to PASS (12:00 on Weds as usual) if you have any problems, or want to talk about the maths midterm!


PASS2.

  Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) writes: Hi all, starting this week Sami Alabed (Y3, CSwIE) and I will be walking through Cracking the Coding interview; chopping it up into sections which are particularly prevalent. This week will be Episode 1: Common Data structures. Please come along and bring your laptop, we will be walking through some challenges and pointing you to useful resources on hackerrank which you can use to bolster your skills.


SSC.

  Last Weds we had the first meeting this Semester of the Staff-Student Committee, and as usual it was constructive and I hope helpful. The issues raised have been added to the tracker board. Next meeting is Weds 6 Dec. In the meantime please contact your reps if you want to raise anything.


TEMPERATURES.

  One of the things discussed at SSC was the variability of temperatures in Kilburn rooms, which we know can range from polar to tropical. If you have concerns about temperature, please tell a member of staff, or SSO, who will report it to the University’s engineers.


FEEDBACK SESSION.

  The Semester 1 exam feedback session is this Weds 15 Nov at 14:00 in IT407. If you’ve registered but are unable to attend, please tell SSO in advance.


CSSSOC/VISA PUB QUIZ!

  This from Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE): Now that Reading Week is over, we're back in business with a new CSSoc event! With the help of our friends from VISA, we're organising a Pub Quiz this Thurs 16 Nov. Where? Turning Tap. When? 17:45 (the quiz will start at 18:00 sharp). Teams can be up to 5 people and there's a prize for the winning team! Come check your general knowledge in a fun night out with your CSSoc buddies! See you there!

pub quiz banner


MEET A PHD.

  Also from Alexandra: We’re waiting for you at a new CSSoc event, sponsored by KPMG! Our speaker, William Woof, is a PhD student here in the School, specialising in Reinforcement Learning. He’ll give a brief overview of Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning. Afterwards, there'll be time for Q&A and, of course, some free pizza! Save the date: Next Monday 20 Nov at 17:00 in Collab 1. If you’re interested in attending, be sure to fill in this short form. See you there!

Meet a PhD


CYBERSECURITY TALKS.

  Danny Dresner (Cybersecurity Lecturer in the School and cybersecurity consultant) is organising an exciting series of open talks by cybersecurity experts, open to everyone interested. There are four this week, all in Kilburn 2.19: today Mon 13 Nov, 10:00-11:00, Jon Nield (Secarma/Ukfast) on DDoS Mitigation Architecture, 14:00-15:00, Alan Jenkins (IBM) on Leadership in Technology, 15:30-17:00, Tim Armit (Post Office) on Computing after really big bangs: disaster recovery and business continuity. And tomorrow Tues 14 Nov at 12:00-13:00, Paul Vlissidis (NCC Group) on Blue pills, red pills, and penetration testing.


LEARN MORE ABOUT CYBERSECURITY.

  If you want to develop your cybersecurity skills by taking part in challenges on web security, cryptanalysis, reverse engineering, shell coding and packet analysis etc you’ll need to sign up by this Friday 17 Nov for the BAE Systems Applied Intelligence Capture the Flag event on Saturday 25 Nov. No security experience is required, other than the Computer Science you already know!


CHILDREN IN NEED AUCTION.

  The time has come to start clearing out your cupboards and donating any no-longer-needed items for our annual Children in Need Online Auction (a bit like eBay, only better). Please take your donations (unwanted books, DVDs, computer bits, cameras, golf clubs, anything really) to the lovely people in Kilburn Room 2.127 anytime from today. The online auction will run from this Weds 15 Nov until 17:00 Fri 18 Nov. Last year we raised £400 – help us to beat that this year!

Children in Need banner


CAREERS FAIRS.

  Last two careers fairs of 2017, both at Manchester Central (M2 3GX):  tomorrow Tues 14 Nov 12:30-16:00 is the Law Fair for law and non-law students alike. Meet firms and find the routes into this sector. And this Weds 15 Nov 11:00-15:30 is the Postgraduate Fair: over 90 institutions offering a variety of postgraduate courses.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 7 (B) • Monday 6 November 2017 • #17.08          The Monday Mail

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Good morning UG! It’s Monday 6 November, and it’s Week 7, a B week. I hope you had a bit of a break last week. Now it’s back to business as usual, and we’re on the home stretch towards Xmas – 6 weeks to go! And good luck to all 3rd Year students whose project seminars start this week. Have a great week, and on with today’s news!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


SSC.

  The first meeting of the Staff-Student Committee this academic year is this Weds 8 Nov at 14:00 in IT407. If you'd like to raise anything, please contact one of your reps ASAP. They're pictured below, and you can find contact details on the Blackboard SSC page. Reps: I look forward to seeing you again. Our Head of School Prof Robert Stevens will also be there.

mugshots of all the reps


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): Hello everyone! Hope you all had a bit of a rest during Reading Week, come around to PASS on Weds from 12:00-13:00 if you have issues with anything!


PASS2.

  Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) writes: Welcome back! Hope you are recuperated from Reading Week. There will be no PASS2 session this week to allow for the Google talk on Wednesday. Feel free to get in touch if you need a hand with anything, we will be running a CV workshop at GreatUniHack this coming weekend 11/12 Nov on Sunday @ 10:00.


KNEEBONE BURSARY.

  The Kate Kneebone Acorn Bursary is an annual commemorative award of £500 funded by the Kneebone family and ARM, since 2013. In addition to the funding, the Bursary offers the opportunity to discuss a funded internship placement (with an Engineering bias) with ARM in Cambridge. All current Year 2 UG students in the School are eligible to apply, deadline Friday 1 Dec. See full details and how to apply.


GOOGLE TALK.

  A reminder that Todd Davies (BSc CS alumnus, the legend behind Todd's notes, now Software Engineer at Google in Munich) will be talking about life at Google this Weds 8 Nov at 13:00 in LT1.1. Get your seat.


REMEMBERING GEOFF TOOTILL.

  Our two Tootill labs are named in honour of Geoff Tootill, one of the team of three pioneers – with Tom Kilburn and Freddie Williams – who created the original "Baby" computer here at the University. It was the world’s first stored-program digital computer, and ran its first program on 21 June 1948. It changed the world. Sadly Geoff passed away recently, aged 95. Below, the Baby in 1949, and Geoff here in the School in 2005 for the opening of the Tootill labs.

SSEM (left), Geoff (right)


GITHUB WORKSHOP.

  This from Hendrik Molder (Y2, BM): Building a portfolio with GitHub pages. HackSoc is organising a hands-on workshop, definitely join us tomorrow Tues 7 Nov 16:00-18:00 in Collab 1 if you’d like to learn more about git and GitHub. We'll also briefly go over some basic HTML.


GITHUB DINNER.

  HackSoc goes to dinner with GitHub. GitHub is coming to Manchester and we're inviting everybody to a dinner tomorrow Tues 7 Nov, 19:00 at TOPS Buffet (Portland Street, M1 4RJ). Come and find out how GitHub uses GitHub and how you can use it. Places are limited so please register.


MEET THE PROFESSIONALS.

  Come and speed network with alumni from the University now working at ARM, PwC, TalkTalk, CACI Ltd, University of Manchester, Ivanti, BBC, Centrica, Cherry Stone Software, Bright Blue Consulting, BJSS, FDM, Marshall Wace Asset Management and d3t. It’s on Tues 21 Nov but register asap.


MANCHESTER TECH NIGHTS.

  They’re back tomorrow Tues 7 Nov. Pete Moore, founder of lookatyourdata.org, talks in plain English about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Free registration.

tech nights logo


WOMEN IN TECH.

  Following on from Ada Lovelace day last month, there’s tonnes of stuff happening in Manchester and London that will interest our female students during November.


BALTIC CONF.

  Hendrik Molder (Y2, BM) recently attended the Cambridge Baltic Conference on cyberwarfare, populism & security. His trip was supported by the School’s Student Activity Fund (check it out). He’s blogged about his experience.


BAE CAPTURE THE FLAG.

  CTF returns on Sat 25 Nov in the Kilburn building. Sign up to learn more about shell coding, cryptanalysis, forensics, reverse engineering, problem solving, packet analysis, hacking trivia and more.


ESCAPE THE CITY.

  Fancy some free outdoor education on Fri/Sat 24/25 Nov? The Careers Service is taking 16 students on a free trip to Whitehough Outdoor Education Centre on Friday 24 Nov. High rope activities, archery, map reading/orienteering skills, pub food.


ALEXA,

  WIN ME SOME MONEY! Is there a game that you love that you’d like to make available for Alexa? Do you have an idea for an all new, original game? Whether it’s a single-player or multi-player game, be creative and build a top-ranking gaming skill for a chance to win $1K and an Amazon Echo.


THOUGHTWORKS.

  Thoughtworks is hosting an evening of networking and digital discovery at their new Federation House site in Manchester, this Weds 8 Nov, free registration.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 6 (Reading Week) • Monday 30 October 2017 • #17.07          The Monday Mail

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Good morning UG! It’s Monday 30 October, and it’s Week 6 – Reading Week. There are no scheduled teaching activities this week – it's a chance for you to have a break and recharge your batteries and maybe do some catchup. Usual teaching and timetabled activities resume next Monday 6 Nov (Week 7B). But this week is as busy as usual, so on with today’s news! And enjoy Halloween tomorrow!
best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


HACKMANCHESTER WINS.

  Congratulations to all our students who took part in HackManchester at the weekend at the Museum of Science and Industry. Melanie Cattell (Y2, CM), seen below, won the Mentor's Prize, and Jonathan Cowling's (Y2, CSwIE) team won the CarbonCoop challenge. Thank you to Benjamin Possible (Y3, CSwIE) for his amazing organisational skills which helped make the event such a success.

Melanie Cattell


UKIEPC SUCCESS.

  Well done to all those who took part in the UKIEPC 2017 programming contest at the University last week! Teams from British and foreign universities tried their luck at 12 problems which had to be solved at the computer in the space of five hours. Manchester fielded 34 in teams total – a fantastic response. Here are the final standings. You can filter by institution to see the Manchester teams. Of these, 33 solved at least 3 problems, 15 at least 4, and 6 at least 5. Special mention must go to Team 404 (Andrei Alexandru Iordache (Y2, AI4), Dragos Petru Taraban (Y2, CS4wIE), Silviu Troscot (Y2, CS4)) and Team Spirit Monkeys (Sean Joseph Parker (Y1, CSwIE), Ivan Donat Pupovac (Y1, CM), Kristijonas Zalys (Y1, CS)), who solved 6 problems, and most of all, to Team Abracadabra (Robert Mccann (Y2, CS), Vlad-Andrei Munteanu (Y1, CS), Patrick Catalin Alexandru Sava (Y1, CS)), seen below, who topped the Manchester table with 10 solved problems, earning them 11th place in the UK rankings – a fantastic achievement for a team that has only been together for a few weeks. Well done everyone!

Pic of the room, and of team Abracadabra


PORTICODE WINS.

  Fantastic news from the Porticode 2.0 hackathon at University College London at the weekend. Congratulations to Alex Dumitru (Y1, CS), Zuka Murvanidze (Y1, CS@UCL), Petros Xenofontos (Y1, CS@UCL) who won First Prize (Best Team) with “PLOG – A visual experience platform for discovering the perfect holiday”. And congratulations to Team Space Noodles – Ioana Dumitrescu (Y1, CS), Paul Stefanescu (Y1, CS4wIE), Mihai Tataru (Y1, CS) and Vlad Alexandru Alexe (Y1, CS@UCL), who won the Bloomberg prize for “Platformer – A captivating two player 2D battle arena”. Well done all!

SHots of the two winning teams


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): Hello everyone, we want to wish you a good Reading Week. As you probably know there will be no PASS1 session this week but we're looking forward to seeing you again next week.


PASS2.

  Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) writes: Have a good reading week all, and good luck with any interviews and the likes. While there is no PASS2 session this week, we will try to update the PASS2 website throughout Reading Week and we are only an email away if you need to get hold of us.


TODD’S TALK.

  You’ve heard of TED? Well next week it’s TODD. Todd Davies (BSc CS alumnus, the legend behind Todd's notes) now Software Engineer at Google in Munich, is coming to give a talk on Google's internal developer experience. He’ll discuss how their tools scale to 25,000+ engineers, what their development processes look like and what it's like to be a Software Engineer at Google. He will also leave lots of time for Q&A at the end and will bring plenty of swag! Next Weds 8 Nov at 13:00 in LT1.1. Sign up to reserve your seat.


SU ELECTIONS.

  The SU is currently running elections for Part-Time Officer Roles and NUS Conferences, and there are several students from the School standing for a variety of positions. Do have a look.


FEEDBACK SESSION.

  A reminder of the feedback session for you to look at AY16 COMP exam answerbooks at 14:00 on Weds 15 Nov in IT407. Email SSO with your name, student ID number, programme of study, and the list of scripts you wish to view. Returning placement students: to view AY15 scripts please give details in your request. Deadline for requests: 12:00 this Weds 1 November. If you wish to view scripts from other Schools please contact them separately.


WELLBEING CHAMPION.

  This from Nabya Arshad (Y2, CS): Hi everyone, I'm Nabya and I'm the new Student Wellbeing Champion for the School. My main focus will be to help everyone take care of themselves. It's important to maintain a healthy balance in everything you do; working long hours will tire you out (the key is to work efficiently) whereas too much relaxation, well we all know what that leads to … So, whetever your year,  international or UK student, I'm here to help you all. If you have any queries, be it with finances, health concerns or uni is just stressing you out, and you're unsure of who to go to, get in touch and I can point you in the right direction.


CYBERSECURITY TALKS.

  Danny Dresner (Cybersecurity Lecturer in the School and cybersecurity consultant) is organising an exciting series of open talks by cybersecurity experts. These are part of the PGT programme but are open to everyone interested. There are 3 next week, all in Kilburn 2.19: on Mon 6 Nov, 11:00-13:00, Prof Colin Williams (University of Warwick) on “Meat The Machine: How to Learn to ​Stop Worrying, Love Your Robot and Survive The Singularity”; also on Mon 6 Nov 16:00-17:00, Adrian Davies on “Becoming a Cyber Security Professional”; and on Tues 7 Nov 12:00-13:00, Jon Noel (McAfee) on “Malware Evolution”.


BANK OF ENGLAND COMP.

   And speaking of cybersecurity, the Bank of England today launches a cybersecurity competition. The winners will have the opportunity to undertake a paid internship at the BOE. More info. Deadline for applying: 12:00 Mon 20 Nov.


INTERESTING THING OF THE WEEK.

  And if you’re interested in cybersecurity, check out this Microsoft blogpost Browser security beyond sandboxing about tracking down a vulnerability in a Chrome Javascript engine. Fascinating detective work and an interesting example of fuzzy testing.


OPEN BADGES.

  This from Ian Cottam, the School’s Tech Support Manager: last year we awarded over 500 badges to 150 students, celebrating all kinds of achievements, from academic successes in course units, to PASS Coordinators and Leaders, SSC Reps, and School Ambassadors, and more! We’ll soon be starting to awards this year’s badges. Our help page for storing and linking to any Open Badges you receive now contains a helpful video HOWTO.


SUSTAINABILITY.

  First Year students: during Welcome Week, almost 5000 new students took part in the Sustainability Challenge. It's a required element for the Manchester Leadership Award, so if you didn’t take the Challenge in Welcome Week there's another chance this Weds 1 Nov 14:00-16:30 in University Place 4.204. Sign up by tomorrow Tues 31 Oct.


MANCML.

  Rentalcars presents The 4th Manchester Machine Learning (Manc-ML) & Pizza Evening, 23 Nov at Rentalcars.com HQ to celebrate all the exciting Machine Learning things happening in and around Manchester. Speakers include Chris Boddington (Peak.bi),  Erik Mathiesen (Octavia.ai), Bertil Hatt (Head of Data Science, Rentalcars.com) and Chris Campbell (Mango Solutions). Register.


MANCHESTER GEEK NIGHTS.

  They return this Weds 1 Nov at Federation House (M4 2AH), the new home of ThoughtWorks. James Linnegar will be talking about Lantern, an artistic IoT Lighting Project.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 5 (A) • Monday 23 October 2017 • #17.06          The Monday Mail

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Good morning UG! It’s Monday 23 October, and it’s Week 5, an A week. As always, I hope everything is going well! A reminder that next week is Reading Week and there won't be any scheduled teaching activities then – it's a chance for you to have a break and maybe do some catchup. But this week is as busy as usual, so on with today’s news! 
best wishes
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


BARCELONA HACK WIN!

  Huge congratulations to Aayush Chadha (Y2, AI), Ana-Gabriela Pandrea (Y2, AI4wIE), Mihnea Vladimir Savu (Y2, CSwIE) and Esraa Dandash (City University of London) who won the Bloomberg Best Tech Stack award at Hack UPC in Barcelona last week, for their improvised Photo Booth (Hacker Booth). Aayush writes: it was made out of a DSLR, a Raspberry Pi running Google Home, cardboard and duct tape. We used the Pi to listen to voice commands, triggered a bash script to capture photos on the DSLR and send them to the Pi, then used Python to put the photos into a collage and tweet them to MLH/HackUPC. It became popular enough at the hackathon that Twitter ended up banning our account for rate limit abuse! Here’s the hack, and and our Twitter Page.

Barcelona photobooth shots of the team + cam


UCU ACTION.

  As you may be aware, today and tomorrow Mon/Tues 23/24 Oct UCU, the principal union for academic staff, will be taking strike action. Reasons for this action can be found in this UCU leaflet. This industrial action may mean that some teaching activities in the School may be disrupted (some staff may strike, others may choose not to). The Kilburn and IT buildings will be open as normal, but there may be picket lines on campus. Lecturers have been asked to inform you in advance of any scheduled teaching activities which might be disrupted. As and when we receive further information, we will add it to the wikipage


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): hello everyone! We hope you’re all settling well in your first year, now just a reminder that if you have any issues with the material or anything else, come along to PASS on Wednesday from 12:00-13:00. Don't keep something you’ve not understood to yourself, it will only get harder with time if you don't address those problems now! See you on Wednesday!


PASS2.

  Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) writes: hi all, PASS2 will be in Collab 1 @ 1 on Friday. We’ll be doing a workshop on Git and how to us it it efficiently. We’ll be covering advanced use cases as well as Dark Magic which can be used to get yourself out of nasty situations. So bring your laptops and let us know if you have any questions!


CSSOC.

  Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE) writes: clear your Wednesday evening schedule because CSSoc is doing a movie night out! This Weds 25 Oct at 18:10 at the Printworks (27 Withy Grove, M4 2BS) we're all going to watch Blade Runner: 2049. There's a walking bus leaving from Kilburn at 17:15 (details on FB). Waiting for you all at the last CSSoc event before Reading Week!

Blade Runner poster


JAVASCRIPT HACKERS.

  This from Jim Garside: do you enjoy hacking JavaScript? Would you like to help with the (still very new) COMP25111 webpage learning tools? If you have ideas about how to help explain topics with interactive graphics, I'd love to hear from you (and can also supply a few suggestions). You can do something small, or something more challenging, there's scope for anyone interested to have a go. And it's great for your CV.


UG EVENTS CALENDAR.

  Struggling to keep up with the whirlwind of UG events? Hackathons, meetings, employer visits, careers fairs, all the free-pizza opportunites? Take control and add this handy calendar of UG events to your favourite cal app: there’s an ics feed and an HTML view.


WEDNESDAY WAGGLE.

  By now you should have all seen the first edition of the Wednesday Waggle. Check your spam filter if you haven’t seen it yet. The WW is all about career opportunities, and as you know, there are lots! So we’ve decided to have a separate outlet for this, instead of including all these opportunities in the Monday Mail. You’ll receive the Wednesday Waggle every (yes, you’ve guessed it) Wednesday direct to your inbox. We hope you find this new approach useful, and we hope it will lead to a reduction in the amount of email you receive. We know you get a lot! Please send Duncan Hull any feedback you have.


UNIVERSITY TECH CHALLENGE.

  Barclays and UK Fast invite students @csmcr, in teams of up to 6, to participate in this year's sixth annual #UniTechChallenge. The first heat will be held at Barclays Bank (at the impressive Radbroke Hall, Knutsford) and the finals held on the UK Fast Campus in Birley Fields in Manchester. Get involved! The School won this event in 2015, and we can win again! Pictured below are the 2015 winners: Andrei Muntean, graduated 2017 in CS, now a Software engineer at Google in London, Geanina Hinta (Y2, CSwIE), currently on placement at Credit Suisse in London, Cristian Bodnar (Y3, CS), Anais Hristea, now at the University of Greenwich, Alexandra Misca (Y3, HCI4wIE) on placement as a UX designer at the Hut Group and Dainis Gorbunovs currently at Net Trading Solutions in Manchester.


WIKIPEDIA.

  Last week our Employability Tutor Duncan Hull gave a talk “Why I edit Wikipedia and why you should too!” (YouTube) at the Physiological Society about an ongoing collaboration between Wikimedia UK and the Royal Society (the UK’s national academy of science).


ARM STARTUP.

  Congratulations to Amanieu d'Antras (graduated 2012, then PhD with our APT group) on his new startup which will commercialise the MAMBO-X64 dynamic binary translator that translates 32-bit ARM code to 64-bit ARM code, using novel techniques to improve performance.


LIBRARY NEWS.

  Lots going on at the University Library. Check out their Get Started site. Did you know they loan out laptops and iPads? How good are you at managing your time? (be honest!) Check out their time-management workshops.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 4 (B) • Monday 16 October 2017 • #17.05          The Monday Mail

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Good morning UG! It’s Monday 16 October, and it’s Week 4, a B  week. We're a month into the academic year, and I hope everything is going well. First Year students, I hope you're beginning to feel settled in the School, and in Manchester too. Remember, if you have any questions or concerns, talk to us! SSO is a great place to start and they can advise who best to speak to. Right, let's get on with today’s news, and there’s rather a lot of it – as usual!
Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


HACKATHON WIN!

  This from Cristian Bodnar (Y3, CS): we've won the 2017 MLH Europe Hackathon Season! As a returning champion, we had the highest number of merit points and the second highest number of participation points across the 2017 Europe Season. Merit points are awarded for the winning projects, while participation points are offered for the groups of UoM students who participated in hackathons across Europe. This was made possible by our amazing community of hackers and hackathon organisers who have been involved with HackSoc during the last hackathon season. For more information, including the full rankings, check the official announcement on the MLH website. Well done everyone! And see next item...

GUH team


GREAT UNI HACK.

  Ben Possible (Y3, CSwIE) writes: GreatUniHack is back and we’re looking for volunteers! If you want to help out and see how a hackathon works sign up here! It’s good for your CV!


SSC REPS.

  As I announced last week your student reps are now in place, and you can find their names and contact details on Blackboard under CS UG Community > School of Computer Science SSC. Please let them know of any issues you’d like raised at the first SSC meeting on Weds 8 Nov.

SSC reps AY17


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE):  After another week of successful PASS sessions we are happy to see students coming together to work out their academic struggles and help one another! If you haven't had a go at PASS yet, come along on Wednesday from 12:00-13:00 and give it a go. Your PASS leaders are likely to bring snacks and will provide you with a great atmosphere and help! Looking forward to seeing you!


PASS2.

  Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) writes: thanks again for the turnout last week and be sure to check the website for updates, and feel free to send feedback using the form there. We’ll be running a community panel this Friday at 13:00 in Collab with members of the startup community in Manchester and various places where you can get involved, bolster your CV and have an awesome time.

PASS2 in Collab


CSSOC.

  Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE) writes: it's time for another night out organised by the CSSoc: "Burgers & Bowling". All Star Lanes will be hosting our Wednesday event starting from 19:30 but anyone can come for a pre-dinner at 18:30 (the bowling's on us, but spaces are limited, so make sure you register beforehand. See you on Wednesday!


CODECON WINNERS.

  Rifad Lafir (Y2, CSwIE) writes: congratulations to the winners of Bloomberg's CodeCon, held here in the School last Friday! Below are Alex Ivanov (Y2, CS), Dan Dorian Dumitriu (Y3, CS), Jordas Andrei (Y2, AI4), Dragos Taraban (Y2, CS4wIE), Nikita Daniliuk (Y2, CSwIE).

CodeCon winners


HARDWARE LIBRARY.

  Do you like to tinker with hardware? Is there a special project for which you need some hardware? The School’s Hardware Library has a wide range of components for you to borrow. Everything from Raspberry Pis to Drones, Arduinos to Kinects, basic electronic components to robots, for you to play with.


UG OF THE YEAR.

  Applications are open for the 9th annual Undergraduate of the Year Awards. It's a fantastic way for students to gain valuable experience of the graduate job application process, as successful undergraduates will be invited to assessment centres where the shortlist will be refined. The top candidates will then be invited to a prestigious award ceremony in London to celebrate their achievements. Last year Veneta Haramplieva (CSwIE, now Software Engineer at Amazon) was Highly Commended, with her 3rd Year Project selected as one of the 9 best Computer Science projects worldwide – an exceptional achievement! You can read her project report here

UG of the year logo


ACCENTURE.

  Teodora Stoleru (Y2, CS) writes: Our friends from Accenture are organising their annual flagship event This is Accenture next Tues 24 Oct at 17:30 at Walrus, 78–88 High Street, Manchester M4 1ES. This is your chance to find out more about yourself and your brain, but also to network with the amazing Accenture employees and to ask them about their job, the company culture, and recruitment opportunities. Register.


ADA.

  Last Tuesday was Ada Lovelace Day and the School marked this by unveiling a portrait which hangs near the walkway entrance to Kilburn. In case you haven’t heard of her, Ada Lovelace is widely credited as being the first ever computer programmer, for her program written in 1842 for Babbage’s Analytical Engine.

Uli and Carole with the portrait of Ada


FEEDBACK SESSION.

  There’ll be a feedback session to look at AY16 COMP exam answerbooks at 14:00 on Weds 15 Nov in IT407. To view your COMP scripts, email SSO with your name, student ID number, programme of study, and the list of scripts you wish to view. Returning placement students: to view AY15 scripts please give details in your request. Deadline for requests: 12:00 Weds 1 November. If you wish to view scripts from other Schools please contact them separately.


HACK MANCHESTER.

  Only a few tickets left for #HackManchester on 23 Oct at the Museum of Science and Industry. There are challenges this year from GCHQ, Mediaburst, dunnhumby, Web Applications UK Ltd, Ombudsman Services, Texecom Ltd., The Co-op and Zuhlke Engineering Ltd. Part of Manchester Science Festival #MSF17.

HackManchester


DEBUG YOUR CV.

  Office hours for Duncan Hull’s CV debugging sessions have been extended. Bring your CV, covering letter or anything else you're preparing for a placement, internship or graduate job application for expert one-to-one advice. Room LF25 on Wednesdays 11:00-13:00, no appointment necessary. Also, have your CV checked by the Morgan Stanley team, here in Kilburn this Weds 18 Oct, 12:00-14:00 on LF.


CONGRATULATIONS to Andre Victor Serban (MEng 2016) who won at the Global Tech Hackathon finals at Amex HQ New York with his colleague Joshua Allwood.

  They are both on the Amex graduate scheme.


NEURAL NETWORKS.

  This Weds 18 Oct at 12:30-13:30 in Sackville Building, Auditorium D45A,  Omar Costilla-Reyes will talk about Deep Neural Networks for Learning Spatio-Temporal Features from Tomography Sensors. All welcome.


BE A MENTOR.

  This from Raluca Ioana Puichiliță (MEng Computer Science 2014, now at ThoughtWorks): Codebar pairs up people eager to get into coding with people who already have some experience. Their first event is happening next Tues 24 Oct at Headspace Manchester. Sign up.  


GOLDMAN SACHS.

  GS will be in Kilburn this Weds 18 Oct, 13:00-17:00. Hear about what life is like at GS and how the application process works. There’s a coding competition from 16:00 with a prize for the winner. The afternoon is followed by drinks and food at Kro Bar until 19:30. It’s open to all students and you're welcome to drop in at any time. Register your interest now!

GS logo


THE LITTLE CAREERS FAIR.

  This fair brings a range of employers from a wide variety of sectors, including companies that you won’t find at the majority of careers fairs like Cancer Research UK, CharityWorks, The Front Line and The National Trust. Something for everybody, from large corporate and legal firms to smaller local companies, charities, and creative agencies. Manchester Academy 2 this Weds 18 Oct, 10:00-16:00.


D3T DROP-IN.

   Award winning game and software development company d3t is based in Runcorn and creates software for the games and interactive sectors. If you'd like to make games and interactive software at one of ‘The Best Places to Work’ in the games industry meet them in Kilburn this Thurs 19 Oct, 12:00-14:00.


SOCIAL JUSTICE.

  Tomorrow Tues 17 Oct is the annual Volunteering and Social Justice Fair in Academy 1. Up to 100 different volunteering organisations will be there from a wide range of sectors including health, environment, sport, culture and social inclusion.

Vol fair logo


FREE SOFTWARE MEETING.

  At Manchester Free Software's October Meeting, Michael Dorrington will talk  on Introduction to Programming and Source Code. Tomorrow Tues 17 Oct, 19:00, at Madlab (M4 1HN). All welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 3 (A) • Monday 9 October 2017 • #17.04          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 9 October, and it’s Week 3, an A week. How are things going? Well, I hope! We seem to have an incredibly packed week of events this week – another Careers Fair, competitions launching, employer visits...  something for everyone! Have a great week!
Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE):  Hello everyone! We hope the first PASS session was beneficial for everyone and that you had the opportunity to meet students from other tutorial groups as well. If there is anything you have not completely understood, make sure you come to PASS this week, Weds 11 Oct at 12:00 in Collab. And if you have understood everything so far, come test your understanding of the material by explaining to others in your PASS group!


PASS2.

  Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) writes: Once again thanks for the turnout last week – 125 of you! Remember you can check the PASS2 website for more feedback. We will still be going through the CVs individually and we hope to get them all back to you this week. Now that your CVs are ready to be submitted to employers we are going to focus on interview techniques and the dreaded assessment centers. This will be a great opportunity to refine your ability and be that little bit more ready to get a placement or an internship. Additionally, there's a large careers fair in Manchester tomorrow and Weds (more details below – an awesome opportunity to talk to potential employers and build your network. See you this Friday the13th (Hopefully not too unlucky!) in Collab at 13:00.


BIG CAREERS FAIR.

  The Big Careers Fair returns to Manchester Central this Tues/Weds 10/11 Oct, with over 80 exhibitors on each day. Day one is consultancy, HR, retail management, finance, marketing; Day two is Engineering, Science and Technology. Lots of employers seeking computer science students who couldn’t squeeze into our over-subscribed Careers Fair last week (see below!) will be there including BAE Systems, CodeThink, Infosys, Siemens, SKY, Skyscanner, Web Applications UK, Zuhlke Engineering Ltd and many more. Find out more and register.

Montage of pic from the Week 2 Careers Fair


CSSOC.

  This from Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE): Say hello to the new members of the CSSoc committee (find us on FB): Events Officer Tom Chandler (Y2, CSwIE), Graphics Officer Valeria Daneva (Y1, SE4wIE), I’m the PR Officer, and Procurement Officer Matei Vasilache (Y2, CSwIE). Let's wish them all a warm welcome and good luck in their future projects! You'll be seeing a lot of them this week, at the Cisco Disruptive Technology Workshop (this Thurs 12 Oct) or at the Bloomberg CodeCon (see next item). Here's the CSSoc team: Tom Chandler, Danielle Idehen, Valeria Daneva, Zeki Forster, Rifad Lafir, Michael Yonli, Alexandra Stef, Matei Vasilache, Raluca Lăzărescu, Alexandra Dumitriu.

CSSoc group shot


BLOOMBERG CODE COMP.

  CodeCon is coming to Manchester this Friday 13 Oct in Kilburn, 15:00-19:00. To compete against your friends and win a chance to participate in our Global Finals in London, sign up ASAP. You’ll need your out-of-hours pass, and there’s pizza and treats!


MORGAN STANLEY CHALLENGE.

  The MS Student Loan Pricing Challenge takes place this Weds 11 Oct, 12:00-15:00 in the Atlas Rooms in Kilburn. Join our recent graduates, now at MS, in a 3-hour programming competition to build a student loan pricer. In teams of up to 3, work against the clock to build your Java pricer to bid against each other in an auction for a book of student loans. Pizza & drinks provided, with £50 of Amazon vouchers for the winning team. Register now!


HACKTRAIN.

  Hacktrain is the only hackathon on a moving train! Thankfully, they also have really good Wi-Fi. It’s back 24-26 November. Apply for a place! And see our 2nd Place winners from last year's comp.

Hacktrain logo


BE A STUDENT AMBASSADOR.

  Want to share your passion for Computer Science with secondary school/college kids who want to be Computer Scientists? Learn new skills to develop your CV, meet new people and earn some money too. Become a Computer Science Student Ambassador! Deadline for applications is 09:00 this Weds 11 Oct.


VENTURE OUT.

  Venture Out 2017, the student ideas competition is now open! If you have a passion to solve a particular social problem or have seen a gap in the market, then Venture Out is the competition for you. Whether you simply want to work on a challenge or maybe are thinking of starting a business, the skills developed through Venture Out can really enhance your CV. Our School has had winners in this comp before, so have a go! Full details.


INDUSTRY CLUB.

  Our annual industry club newsletter is out. Find out what’s been happening in 2017 relevant to our industrial partners and collaborators.


LINUX ON YOUR LAPTOP.

  This from Ian Cottam, the School’s Technical Support Manager: Interested in running Linux on your personal Windows machine? See our wiki for how to do it, either by via dual booting or in a virtual machine. If you have Win10 there’s a third option: Windows Subsystem Linux (WSL – 64bit Win only). It provides command line Linux within the Win GUI. If you need X, download the free Xming for Windows. I’ll be writing a longer HOWTO about all this, but you can get a long way by reading the Walking Randomly blog. It you’re a Mac user, you probably know that it has Unix as its foundation (accessed via Terminal), although it is not fully compatible with Linux.


TEACH FIRST.

  Join Teach First at their employer presentation on 17 Oct in University Place to learn how their graduate opportunity scheme enables you to make an important social impact, while also offering you a career defining opportunity to gain a formal qualification in both teaching and leadership. You will also find out how you can get involved with their mission (equality through education) while you are still at university. Register.

Teach First ad


BLACKROCK.

  BlackRock will be hosting a technology event in Manchester city centre on Tues 17 Oct and they invite you to meet them and see how you can make a difference. Register your interest by this Friday 13 Oct.


BP.

  Come and meet representatives from BP, tomorrow Tues 10 Oct 18:30-21:00. Learn about the skills required to work in the energy industry and the job opportunities available with BP. Register.


RBS.

  They’re hosting an invitation only dining experience, exclusively for Manchester students interested in the Technology Solutions & Change and Business Solutions pathways. More info/sign up here. And on Tues 28 November RBS are opening the doors to their Manchester office to show what both Change and Business Solutions & Technology Solutions are all about. Spaces for this Insight Day are limited, sign up.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 2 (B) • Monday 2 October 2017 • #17.03          The Monday Mail

Toby picGood morning UG! It’s Monday 2 October, and it’s Week 2, a B week. I hope everyone is settling down and everything is going well. Remember, if you need any help, just ask! SSO is a great place to start. Autumn seems to be here, so let’s have a seasonal haiku from the master Basho (1644–1694):

on a leafless branch
a crow has settled
an autumn evening

I have a huge amount to tell you about today, so get involved and have a great week!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


SSC.

  Final call for nominations for Staff-Student Committee reps. Deadline 17:00 today Mon 2 Oct.  Represent your fellow students and make a difference. Nominate now!


COURSE UNIT SELECTION.

  You have until 15:30 this Friday 6 Oct to finalise your Semester 1 course unit  choices. Full details. If in any doubt, please speak to your relevant Year Tutor.


PASS1.

  It’s back this Weds 4 Oct at 12:00 in Collab (during the careers fair – see below).


PASS2.

  Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) writes: Thanks for the excellent turnout to the first PASS2 session (see below!) feel free to access the slides and shoot some questions/feedback on the PASS2 website. This week (Friday 6 Oct in Collab at 13:00) we will be looking at how to build a killer portfolio when applying for jobs to help you kickstart your career, so bring a copy of your CV if you have one – if not you might gain a lot from this session.

PASS2 <b>–</b> packed!


PASS SCAVENGERS.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE):  Thanks a lot to everyone who took part in the scavenger hunt last week! It was a real success and we hope you had a lot of fun! We'll be announcing the winners this Wednesday during PASS1, the first formal session of the year! We hope to see you all on Weds, and don’t forget that PASS is just as compulsory as your lectures and labs! Here's some pix of the teams that arrived first. Have a good week everyone!

Montage of Scavenger Hunt teams


CSSOC MEETING.

  Zeki Forster (Y2, CSwIE) writes: It’s the first CSSoc General Meeting of the year! We're always looking for new people to join the committee, so please come along and get to know us. We'll be recruiting roles including Graphics, PR and Events officers as well as general members. This is your chance to have a say in how CSSoc is run! It’s this Weds 4 Oct at 14:00 in IT407, and there is FREE PIZZA! Sign up.

CSSoc poster


CAREERS FAIR.

  This week on Tues/Weds 3-4 Oct, our Careers Officer Mabel Yau and our Careers Guru (and 2nd Year Tutor) Duncan Hull have put together an amazing Careers Fair for you. Exhibitors this year include Accenture, Amazon, American Express, Apadmi, ARM, Autodesk, Avecto, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bloomberg, Cantarus, Cisco, Cyberscience, D3T, Deloitte, DigitalBridge, Fujitsu, IBM, Intechnica, Jaguar Land Rover, N Brown Group, KPMG, Late Rooms, Morgan Stanley, NCC Group, Ocado Technology, Royal Bank of Scotland, Rentalcars.com, The Hut Group, ThoughtWorks and Top Cash Back. A pretty impressive list! Join me in thanking Mabel and Duncan for their huge efforts to make this happen.

Carees Fair poster


EVENTS CAL.

  Sami Alabed (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Are you overwhelmed by the amount of events Kilburn and tech scene has in Manchester? Subscribe to the Kilburn Events calendar, which contains the UG events calendar, HackSoc events, CSSoc Events, TechNW (the wider tech scene in Manchester) events, and Europe-wide hackathons. It is highly modular so you can choose which calendar to sync with your own!.


GREAT UNI HACK.

  Teodora Stoleru (Y2, CS) writes: We’re excited to announce that GreatUniHack is back for the fifth time on 11-12 November at the MMU Business School here in Manchester. Apply now and get the chance to express your ideas and build new connections. Don’t worry if you are new to programming. Everyone is welcome, from very beginners to students who have already gathered experience in the past years. Updates about the event, our sponsors and tips for the hackathon can be found on our facebook / twitter / website.

GUH logo


HACKSOC.

  Teodora adds: HackSoc had its first meeting of the year last Wednesday. With an impressive turnout of over 120 people, lots of pizza and new members in our Dev, PR and and Graphics teams, this can only be the start of a great year. Thanks everyone for joining us! Follow our website / facebook page / group to make sure you stay up to date with our events… and see next item!


NETWORK WITH HACKSOC.

  This from Hendrik Molder (Y2, CSBM): next Tues 10 Oct, 17:30-19:00, Hacksoc presents the HackSoc & American Express Networking Event. #freepizza. We're glad to have American Express coming down and spending an awesome evening with us! The main focus of the event is on a topical & technical presentation by AMEX, which is followed by a short overview of career opportunities at American Express, after which there's a chance to have a chat with AMEX engineers and recruiters over PIZZA and drinks. Places are limited, so register now!


ROOM IMPROVEMENTS.

  Over the summer we made some significant improvements to rooms and facilities for UG. LF31 and Tootill have new carpets; LF31 has a new layout and power/network; the PCs will be moved off-desk into the cages below ASAP, probably at Xmas. Tootill0 has new desks, and monitor arms will be fitted soon. We have a new lab for general use: LF17, opposite SSO, with 15 PCs; we’ve added 19 new PCs in G23 on the ground floor; G102 has been replaced by G41, a bigger, nicer room – with no pillars in the middle! And a reminder that we have two places for QUIET working: Room 1.8 is The Quiet Lab, with 60 PCs (10 more than last year), and at the back of 1.8 is the Quiet Room, with no PCs, a place for quiet study and contemplation. If these rooms don’t stay quiet, their purpose is defeated. So it’s up to you! As always, I welcome your views.


THE COURTYARD.

  And speaking of building work, you may be wondering what’s happening in the courtyard. To cut a long story short, it’s being re-surfaced and re-waterproofed so that IT Services below don’t get wet when it rains. When finished we will have a nice area with furniture and planters. The other day I found the lefthand image below in our Archives Room, an architect’s visualisation from, I think, 1969. The image on the right is a visualisation of the finished area by the current architect.

Courtyard 1967 and 2017


BE A STUDENT AMBASSADOR!

  Want to share your passion for Computer Science with secondary school/college kids who want to be Computer Scientists? Help with our Visit and Open Days and other events – learn new skills to develop your CV, meet new people and earn some money too. Deadline for applications is next Friday 11 Oct .


NASA SATELLITE COMP.

  The Cansat competition is an annual student design-build-launch competition for space-related topics. A group of students from The University of Manchester are looking for more team members from our School. Find out more and sign up or speak to Robert Daniel Stana (3rd year CS student currently on placement at Mentor Graphics).


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  As part of the School’s regular seminar programme, This Weds 4 Oct at 13:30 in Kilburn LT1.4 Prof Er Meng Joo of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore will talk about “Cognitive Robotics: Recent Developments and  Futuristic Trends”. All welcome.


GO GREEN.

  Becoming a “Green Impact Auditor” is a fantastic volunteering opportunity for anybody with an interest in sustainability. Improve your CV by developing auditing, analytical and professional skills and improve your understanding of sustainability and behaviour change. At sessions on 4/11 Oct there’s training (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment approved) followed by auditing Green Impact teams across the University. Interested? Get in touch.


DIGILAB.

  DigiLab returns this year to give you access to cutting edge technology, and the chance to test new and developing apps and hardware, from makers and developers across the country. You can try 3D Printing, virtual reality, augmented reality and loads more. This Thurs 5 Oct 10:00-16:00, Alan Gilbert Learning Commons, Lower Ground Floor. DigiLab can also help you get valuable feedback from industry professionals and students. Email to get involved.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Week 1 (A) • Monday 25 September 2017 • #17.02          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 25 September, and it’s Week 1A of Semester 1. Teaching starts today. Throughout the semester we alternate Week A's and Week B's, with different timetabled activities according to A and B. Your Monday Mail will always remind you which week it is – and this is a Week A (here's the full UG timetable). OK, on with today’s news, and as usual there’s a lot to tell you about! Get involved! And have a great week!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


FIRST YEARS.

  First year students (seen below!), I hope you enjoyed Welcome Week, and I hope you're settling in ok. We tried not to overwhelm you with information last week, and if you have any questions, just drop into our Student Support Office (SSO, next to lab LF31), contact your Personal Tutor, or contact 1st Year Tutor Sean Bechhofer, or Andrea Schalk for CM – they’ll all be very happy to help.

All the 1st Years in 1.1


SSC.

  Represent your fellow students and make a difference. The UG Staff Student Committee (SSC) meets twice each semester to discuss students’ concerns. It’s a friendly and open forum (with free pizza!) for student reps to discuss concerns about the School with the Director of UG Studies and other staff. Nominations for student reps are now open, and this year we’re using the Student’s Union reps nomination system, deadline Monday 2 October. Please get involved!


PASS SCAVENGER HUNT.

   Peer-Assisted Study Sessions (aka PASS) is a fantastic scheme where students mentor students. Here’s a message from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE):  Hi everyone! It's Mike and Pierre and we are the PASS Coordinators for this year. We’re organising a Scavenger Hunt for all first year students! We’ve emailed you all, so check your emails! If you didn’t get the email contact us!


PASS2.

  This from Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE): Congrats to all the second years on your first year results and we hope freshers and Welcome Week have given you enough time to freshen up. PASS2 will be running this Friday 29 Sept at 13:00 in Collab 1. We’ll aim to keep these sessions as brief as possible and aim for it to be run by you guys. Main focus of the first session will just be outlining PASS2 and talking about your course choices. If you have any questions or suggestions etc. feel free to reach out to us.


PRIZE WINNERS.

  Every year the School awards prizes to UG students who have excelled academically or made significant contributions to the School. Here are the winners who received prizes last week from Professor Robert Stevens, our Head of School. Best second year (Single Honours) student: Nick Park (CSwIE, out on IE), the IBM/Software Engineering prize: James Ellis (Y3, CS4wIE), top right in the pic, Andrew Crofts (Y3, CSwIE) top left in the pic, Cristian Brisan (Y3, CSwIE), Nick Park, John Iyere (CSwIE, out on IE), Costanza Improta (CSwIE, out on IE), Martina Catizone (Y3, CS), Asta Simaityte (CSwIE, out on IE). The Michael Jealous memorial prize for best first year student went to Leshna Shamloll (Y2, CSwIE); and Golden Anniversary prizes for excellence in first year studies were awarded to (left to right in the pic below) Leshna Shamloll, Michael Yonli (Y2, CS4), Benjamin Maxwell (Y2, CS), Jack Hartley (Y2, CS4wIE), and Teodora Stoleru (Y2, CS, not pictured). Well done to you all!

Prizewinners and Robert


STUDENT HELPERS NEEDED.

  The School has Open Days this Sat 30 Sep & Sat 14 Oct. We’d love to have current students there. Fancy earning a bit of extra cash? Have a project or something cool and interesting to demonstrate to prospective students? Contact Jez Lloyd.


HANDY TIMETABLES.

  There are lots of external events relevant to Computer Science that don’t appear on your official student timetables. Events organised by external companies and groups are collated in the UG Events Google calendar (updated weekly), to save you cutting and pasting times and locations into your calendars. Included in the cal are careers events this autumn and the School’s Careers Calendar.


UKIEPC CONTEST.

  Ian Pratt-Hartmann writes: On Sat 21 Oct our School will be one of the host sites for the UK and Ireland Programming Contest, an annual event in which teams try to crack a series of programming challenges. As well as being excellent practice for your programming courses here, it is also amazing fun. The University of Manchester should appear as a UKIEPC site in the next couple of days. (Please don’t attempt to register until it does.)  Registration closes on 30 Sept, but you need to act now to assemble your team and have a look at some of the sample problems. Interested? Contact me ASAP, and please come to an open meeting TODAY Mon 25 Sep at 16:00 in Kilburn 2.15. The best teams from this School will be able to go on to compete in the North West Europe Regional Programming Competition (NWERC) in Bath, 24-26 Nov (expenses paid).


KPMG BOOT CAMP.

  Here’s a message from Rifad Lafir (Y2, CSwIE):  CSSoc sponsor KPMG would like to invite you to their Application Boot Camp next Monday 2 Oct at University Place, Room 1.218 from 18:00-21:00. This is a fantastic opportunity to receive exclusive advice on their application process and meet with their recruitment team to understand how to make the best impact in your KPMG application. Places are limited, so register now.


SECURITY CHALLENGE.

  This from Michael Yonli (Y2, CS4): are you interested in computer security and would you like to take part in competitions? We’ve created a CTF-team for that purpose. If you're curious, take a look at our website and if you have any queries just contact me.


VOLUNTEER.

  David Rydeheard writes: There is a wide range of opportunities (unpaid and paid) to get involved in volunteering for outreach activities. It is great fun, hugely worthwhile, great for your CV, and recognised by the School and University. If you wish to be selected for our next visit to Africa, Project Malawi, you will need to show that you are involved in outreach activities. Register! First meeting: 13.30-14:30 in IT407 this Thurs 28 Sept. Any questions, contact me. And I’ll be talking about the School’s amazing trip to Malawi this summer, this Weds 27 Sept at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.4. It was a difficult undertaking all computing equipment for classrooms had to be taken out by the team, schoolchildren there had no experience of computers or even keyboards, electric power was not reliable and absent from some schools, some children had little English. Read the report, and better still come to my Wednesday talk! Here's Teo Taylor (graduated in July) in Malawi.

Teo Taylor in Malawi


SCIENCE NIGHT (FREE).

  This Fri 29 Sept 17:00-22:00 Manchester Museum will be hosting Science Uncovered Manchester a  spectacular night showcasing Manchester’s finest researchers and their work. There’ll be research on show, music, drinks and a lively atmosphere. And it’s FREE! Book your place.


IOT CONF (FREE).

  Another free event. The University of Salford is hosting the Public Sector Internet of Things conference this Thurs 28 Sept, and are offering free places to staff and students of The University of Manchester. The conference will be led by experienced professionals of IoT and R&D. If you’re planning on taking COMP32412 (The Internet of Things) next semester, with Vasilis Pavlidis, this conference could be right up your street. To register contact Daniel Leonard.


RECREATION GRANTS.

  The Students’ Union have launched The Access to Recreation Grant which allows students to claim back expenses for participation in Raise and Give International Challenges and Societies (membership fees, equipment and trips) Deadline Mon 9 Oct, contact.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.


Welcome Week • Monday 18 September 2017 • #17.01          The Monday Mail

Toby picGood morning UG! It’s Monday 18 September, it's Welcome Week, and a very warm welcome to you all, to students joining us for the first time, and those of you returning for another year. I'm Toby Howard, Director of Undergraduate Studies, and you are reading the Monday Mail – which I send to all undergraduates every Monday during term-time – to keep you up-to-date with what's happening in the School. And there's always a lot happening! So have a great week, and on with today's news.

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


WE'RE HERE TO HELP.

  Got any questions? Need any help? Call into the Student Support Office (aka SSO) open Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00 in Kilburn Room LF21, or email them, or phone 0161 306 8155. You’ll also see lots of people around campus wearing ASK ME badges so… ask them things!

Lots of ASK ME people


TIMETABLES.

  This is Welcome Week, and the timetable for this week is special, with activities for students in all years. Year 1 students have introductory activities; Year 2 students have careers activities; Year 3 students have Project activities; so please check your timetables and make sure you know what’s going on.


WELCOME WEEK PUB CRAWL.

  This from Rifad Lafir (CS4wIE) and Zeki Forster (CSwIE), co-Presidents of CSSoc: Hi everybody! We are CSSoc, a student-led society. We organise social and tech events for students. We are kicking off the start of the year with the Freshers' Pub Crawl (see event on FaceBook) organised in collaboration with HackSoc. It is happening this Weds 20 Sept at 19:00. It's a great way to spend the evening getting to know the people you are going to spend the rest of the year with. This event is not just for the freshers so everyone is welcome! Hope to see you all there! 


LOOKING FOR INFO ABOUT THE SCHOOL?

   Bookmark the UG homepage ...and get familiar with the UG handbook, your one-stop source of information about the Undergraduate School. It tells you about student support, term dates and opening hours, course structures and assessment, how you progress between years, rules and regulations, and much more.


THIRD YEAR PROJECT SUCCESSES.

  Congratulations to Izzy Whistlecroft for her success in the 2017 BCS Lovelace Colloquium poster competition based on her final-year project here in the School (supervised by Alvaro Fernandez). Her project investigated algorithms for creating abstract art in the styles of Piet Mondrian, Bridget Riley (example pictured) and Jackson Pollock. You can try Izzy’s project out here. Izzy is now studying for a PhD in Cryptography at Southampton. And congrats to Andrei Muntean his project Deep Reinforcement Learning (supervised by Jon Shapiro) was Highly Commended in the Computer Science category of the international Undergraduate Awards 2017. See Andrei’s project in action!

Izzy's Vridget Riley on the left, and on the right 2 examples of Andrei's AI playing classic video games


COURSE UNIT SELECTION.

  You have until 15:30 on Friday 6 Oct to finalise your Semester 1 course unit  choices.  


STUDENT HELPERS NEEDED.

  30 Sept and 14 Oct, fancy earning a bit of extra cash for the start of term? Have a project or something cool and interesting to demonstrate to prospective students at our Open Days? Contact Jez Lloyd ASAP to get involved!


STUDENT FEEDBACK.

  This year the School scored a 92% satisfaction rating in the National Student Survey, voted by final year UG students. We take your student experience very seriously, and always want your feedback. We’ll soon be launching this year’s Staff-Student Committee. Details next week.


HACK MANCHESTER.

  HM returns this year on 28-29 October at the Museum of Science and Industry. Teams of up to four turn up with an idea and have just 24 hours to create a working product. Interested? Tickets are selling fast!


GREAT UNI HACK.

  And GUH returns on 11/12 November. Why not get involved as a volunteer or participator?


TURING FIND.

  While you were away, Professor Jim Miles, who looks after the School’s important history archives,  found some previously unknown letters from Alan Turing in a filing cabinet in the Kilburn building! This important discovery was widely reported by The Guardian, Nature, Sky News and many others.


FINANCE HELP.

   Need help managing your money? Check out the University’s Finance Help site.


FREE SOFTWARE MEETING.

  At Manchester Free Software's May Meeting, Michael Dorrington will talk about “Debian: Installing Free Software Operating Systems”. Tomorrow Tues 19 Sept 19:00-21:00 at Madlab (M4 1HN).


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 17:00 every Friday.