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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Highlights of the Year • Monday 12 June 2017 • #16.33          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Hello UG! I hope academic year 2016-17 has been a great year for you all. In this final Monday Mail of the year we’re taking a look back at all the amazing things UG students have got involved with since last September, and as you'll see below, it’s an impressive list, featuring all kinds of successes! Well done everyone!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


BADGES.

   Since we launched the Badges scheme in January 2017, we’ve 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!


PRIZE WINNERS.

  In September, UG students received their prizes for excellent academic performance or making significant contributions to the School. IBM ThinkPad Challenge for the best second year group project: Tom Robinson (Y3, CS), Eugen-Alexandru Virtan (Y3, CS4wIE), Anuj Vaishnav (Y3, CSE), Andrew Crofts (CS, out on IE), Cristian Brisan (CSwIE, out on IE), Ivelin Rachev (Y3, CS4); Professors' Prize for the best second year student: Andi Zhang (Y3, CM); Michael Jealous memorial prize for best first year student: Lewis Grozinger (Y2, CS4). Golden Anniversary prizes for excellence in first year studies: Alexander Mitcu (Y2, CS4wIE), Samuel Da Costa (Y2, CMwIE), Yangguang Li (Y2, CM), Igor Wodiany (Y2, CSwIE), Dmytro Chekunov (Y2, CS), Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CSwIE).


BLOGPOSTS.

  This year we welcomed Aayush Chadha (Y1, AI) and Ana Gabriela Pandrea (Y1, AI4wIE) as regular bloggers about student life. Check out Aayush's and Ana's blogs.


UKIEPC.

  In October, at the UK & Ireland Programming Contest we had 11 teams competing from Manchester, out of around 200 in the UK, and 2 of our teams made the top 40. The top three teams from Manchester were: Kifte (4 problems) – Tsvetomir Tsanev (Y1, CS), Konstantin Vladimirov (Y1, CM) and Valentin Borisov (Y1, CM);  m4dch35t3r (4 problems) – Ettore Torti (Y3, CSwIE), Ion Diaconu (Y4, CS4), Izz Abudaka (Y3, CSwIE); and Anonymouslambda (4 problems) – Daniel Thomas (Y3, CSwIE), Ignas Bolsakovas (Y3, CMwIE),  William Brown (Y3, CSwIE). Well done all!


HACKTRAIN.

  In November at HackTrain UK, two Computer Science students, Julio Vega (PhD) and Dragos Alex Radu (Y3, AI) were part of the team who won 2nd place. They developed a prototype to identify and categorize 3D objects from a cloud of points. Congratulations!


GREAT UNI HACK.

  At GreatUniHack 2016 we had more than 250 attendees, mentors and volunteers who all played an important part in making this event so amazing. And we had wins! Alice Colt (Y2, CSBMwIE), Radu Ciobanu (Y2, CSwIE) and Anca Raluca Cristian (Y2, CSwIE) (in a team with a student from Birmingham) won the Barclays Prize! And Andrei Iliescu (Y2, CS), Paul Chelarescu (Y2, CSwIE) and Dragos Alex Radu (Y3, AI) won the Bloomberg Prize! 


INTERNATIONAL AWARD.

  Veneta Haramplieva (CSwIE, graduated 2016, now Software Engineer at Amazon) received a special award from the University in recognition of her final year project being given a "Highly Commended" rating in the international Undergraduate Awards, aka the “Junior Nobel Prizes”, placing her project (supervisor Gavin Brown) in the top 10% of undergraduates internationally, across all subjects. The scheme covered 244 universities worldwide, with a total of 5,514 project entries. Veneta was selected as one of the 9 best Computer Science projects worldwide – an exceptional achievement! You can read her project report here.


HACKERGAMES WIN.

  In November, Ignas Bolsakovas (Y3, CMwIE) and his team won First Prize at the Hackergames hackathon in Utrecht. The team built an intelligent personal assistant that learns the routines and habits of the user. As well as winning the event, they also won a trip to Silicon Valley. Congratulations on this amazing success!


OXFORD HACK WIN.

  At OxfordHack Dragos Alex Radu (Y3, AI), Raul Ignatus (Y1, CS), Andrei Muntean (Y3, CS) and Alexandru-Paul Copil (Y1, AIwIE) won both Second Prize, and the Microsoft Challenge. They developed a program that can generate an instrumental track for your lyrics. You input a text and it uses cosine similarity analysis to find the training data songs that resemble it the most, then takes the first three and inputs them into a restricted Boltzmann machine algorithm that generates new original music based on that. Well done!


PROGRAMMING COMP.

  Still in November, two teams from the School took part in the Northwest Europe Regional Programming Competition (NWERC 2016) in Bath. The teams were "Kifte" (first years) and "m4dch35t3r" (third and fourth years). There were 114 teams competing in total. Team Kifte achieved 26th place, solving 6 out of 11 problems, while m4dch35t3r achieved 69th place, solving 4 out of 11 problems. See the full scoreboard. Only 38 teams solved six or more problems. To get anywhere at all in such a difficult contest is a splendid achievement, and for a first year team to make the top 30 is exceptional. Well done all! Team Kifte: Valentin Borisov (Y1, CM), Tsvetomir Tsanev (Y1, CS),  Konstantin Vladimirov (Y1, CSBM); Team m4dch35t3r: Ion Diaconu (Y3, CS4), Karol Jurasinski (Y3, CMwIE), Ettore Sergey Torti (Y3, CSwIE).


HACK-KING SUCCESS.

  At HackKing's in London Aayush Chadha (Y1, AI), Raul Ignatus (Y1, CS) and Mihnea Savu (Y1, CS) won the Bloomberg Prize for building an application which finds for you the nearest public toilet in London. Another winning team was Igor Wodiany (Y2, CSwIE) and Hamza Ghani (Y2 SE at MMU) who won the Just Eat challenge for creating an automated hotel check-in solution using Amazon Echo. Well done everyone!


VENTURE OUT WIN.

  Zac Riley (Y1, SE4wIE) and Diwakar Saxena (MBS) won 2nd Prize in the Digital Category for their “HallSwap” application in this year’s Venture Out, the University’s student ideas competition run by the Manchester Enterprise Centre.


PORTICODE WIN.

  Petia Davidova (Y1, CSwIE), Mihnea Savu (Y1, CS), Constantine Dimitrov (Y1, SE4wIE) and Rifad Lafir (Y1, CS4wIE) won Best Polished Hack at UCL Porticode. They built a skill for Amazon Alexa called Nancy that allows it to recite a poem, motivate, narrate a story and flirt with the user. Well done!


STUDENTHACK SUCCESS.

  In March, Hacksoc organised StudentHack V, their most ambitious event ever. The Ultrahaptics challenge was won by Liang Huang (Y2, CS), Ziyuan Chen (Y2, CS) and Yangguang Li (Y2, CM) who used the Ultrahaptics Transducer Array. This device is able to create virtual objects in mid air using vibrations and they've used it to create some virtual drums which can be used for playing music. The other team of Pablo Manzano Salmeron (Y1, AI4), Nikolay Gospodinov (Y1, SE4), Alex Ivanov (Y1, CS) and Izz Abudaka (Y3, CSwIE) won three – yes three! – prizes: the Big Data Track Prize, the Accenture Big Data Challenge, and the #HackHarassment Prize. Their hack was using Machine Learning to detect harassment in SMS messages. Well done to you all!


HACKTHEBURGH.

  In late March Teodora Stoleru (Y1, CS), Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CS) and Robert Ihnatisin (Y2, Electronics student) won the top prize at HackTheBurgh in Edinburgh. Their hack was a briefcase on wheels (video proof!) which you can control using your phone. 


STAFF-STUDENT CODING COMP.

  The 5th Annual staff-student coding competition was a huge success as usual, with 23 teams competing. In 1st Place was team Naive Bayesians (staff): Gavin Brown & Tudor Morar; in 2nd Place team StaffMeOutside: Izz Abudaka (Y3, CSwIE) & Nikolay Gospodinov (Y1, SE4); in 3rd Place team Extremely fashionable guys (staff): Andrew Webb & Joe Mellor; Best 1st year team team was team Jordas: Dragos Taraban (Y1, CS4wIE) & Andrei Iordache (Y1, CS4). Well done everyone!


CS50.

  Also in March, the first CS50 Hackathon in Manchester took place at The Landing, MediaCity UK, organised by HackSoc, featuring special guests David J. Malan and his team from Harvard University.


HACKTRAIN WINS.

  At Hacktrain, 24-26 March, Dragos Alex Radu (Y3, AI) won the O2 challenge (best solution for passenger movement data) while Alex Copil (Y1, AIwIE) won the Reading Buses challenge (best solution for buses).


SPRING BALL.

  The Spring Ball was held on 29 April at the Imperial War Museum North, in collaboration with Whitworth Park Halls.


HACKMED WIN.

  Ayush Chadha (Y1, AI), Lorena Oros (Y1, CSBM) and Harry Songhurst (Y1, CS) participated in HackMed2017 in Sheffield at the end of May and won the Oxford Nanopore Technologies challenge for "Best use of data" for their voice-based Parkinson's Disease Diagnostic Service.


1ST YEAR PROJECT SHOWCASE.

  At the May 1st Year Project Showcase the work on display was as original and imaginative as ever. The winners were: Coolest Application (visual or idea): X6 for UniTracker (a fine UI to timetables and ARCADE data & grades; tutor: Dirk Koch); Best User Interface: X4 for Avoid IT (a route finder that avoid high crime areas/analyses crime data; tutor: John Latham); Best Data Content: W2 for Hungry? Always! (groceries price comparison site; tutor: Mary McGee Wood); Best Implementation Quality: Y1 for Kil-IT (navigation support for Kilburn and IT Building; tutor Carole Twining); Best Implementation Quantity: X6 again for UniTracker; and Most Professional (business plan, legal, ethical, terms-of-use...): X4 again for Avoid IT. The overall winner is X6 (Raul Ignatus, Advik Jain, Samuel Littlefair, Liam Maddison, Andreea Smidu, Teodora Stoleru, Yilei Wu) with an impressive 26 nominations!


VENTURE FURTHER.

  Also in May, Jonathan Tang (Y1, CMwIE) was Runner-Up in the Digital Category of the Manchester Enterprise Centre’s 2017 Venture Further business start-up competition, with his project “HollaMe”, a marketplace and platform for student services exchange.


PASS AWARDS SUCCESS.

   Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) received an ‘Outstanding Contribution to Peer Support’ award for his contribution to the School’s PASS scheme at the Peer Support Celebration Evening on 4 May at the Ramada Renaissance Hotel. The event was attended by over 100 students and staff from across the University. Struan’s award was presented by Lemn Sissay, Chancellor of the University. This is the 5th year in a row that the School has had at least one recipient of this prestigious award. 


SOFTWARE ENG PRIZES.

  Congratulations to the winners of the IBM Team Challenge in COMP23420! First prize went to Team Q01: Nick Park (Y2, CSwIE), John Iyere (Y2, CSwIE), Costanza Maria Improta (Y2, CSwIE), Martina Catizone (Y2, CS), Asta Simaityte (Y2, CSwIE), James Ellis (Y2, CS4wIE). Two other teams were Highly Commended; Team Q06: Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CS), Alexandru Mitcu (Y2, CSwIE), Alexandru Mardale (Y2, CSwIE), Raul Lozano Martin (Y2, SEwIE), Max Staniforth (Y2, CS), Bowen Li (Y2, CS), for their excellent approach to testing and additional work on the REST API; and Team R04: Daniel Allison (Y2, CMwIE), Natalia Piasek (Y2, CS), Pierre Barnaud (Y2, SEwIE), Danielle Holliday (Y2, CMwIE), Boyin Yang (Y2, CS), Anca Cristian (Y2, CSwIE) for their collegiate working practices and high quality user interface.


Exams Week 4 • Monday 5 June 2017 • #16.32          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 5 June, and it’s the fourth and final week of Exams. I hope they’ve been going well – in case of emergencies contact SSO (0161 306 8155). This is almost the last Monday Mail for this academic year – next week’s will be a roundup of the highlights of the year – so I'll take this opportunity now to wish you a happy and rewarding summer. If you’re graduating, we hope to see you and your families here on Graduation Day. If you’re about to start a year's Industrial Experience, good luck for what I’m sure will be a fantastic time for you. If you’re returning for your next year of study with us in September, have a great summer and we look forward to seeing you again soon. On with today’s news...
Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


GRADUATION.

  Graduation Day is Friday 14 July with the ceremony in Whitworth Hall at 12:00, and the reception and prize-giving by Head of School Professor Robert Stevens in the marquee outside the Learning Commons afterwards (not in the School, because of the ongoing building work and windows replacement). We hope to see you and your family and friends there!

Graduation flyer


SOFTWARE ENG PRIZES.

  Congratulations to the winners of the IBM Team Challenge! First prize goes to Team Q01: Nick Park (Y2, CSwIE), John Iyere (Y2, CSwIE), Costanza Maria Improta (Y2, CSwIE), Martina Catizone (Y2, CS), Asta Simaityte (Y2, CSwIE), James Ellis (Y2, CS4wIE). The team demonstrated excellent use of the software engineering practices that they had learnt in both semesters, using a git-flow model to manage a clean codebase, where a stable release was always available on the master branch, and a hot-fix branch was used to make urgent changes. They also showed initiative, using Slack to communicate outside of contact time, and document assigned work. Particularly impressive was their distribution of work, which meant all members gained experience in the key concepts taught in the second semester. Two other teams were Highly Commended; Team Q06: Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CS), Alexandru Mitcu (Y2, CSwIE), Alexandru Mardale (Y2, CSwIE), Raul Lozano Martin (Y2, SEwIE), Max Staniforth (Y2, CS), Bowen Li (Y2, CS), for their excellent approach to testing and additional work on the REST API;  and Team R04: Daniel Allison (Y2, CMwIE), Natalia Piasek (Y2, CS), Pierre Barnaud (Y2, SEwIE), Danielle Holliday (Y2, CMwIE), Boyin Yang (Y2, CS), Anca Cristian (Y2, CSwIE) for their collegiate working practices and high quality user interface. Well done all!


SSO MOVE.

  Due to the ongoing building work in Kilburn the Student Support Office (SSO) will temporarily relocate from LF21 to LF7/8 (opposite Byte Cafe) on Tues 6 June. Apologies in advance for any delays in responding to enquiries while computers and telephones are being set up. For any urgent queries please email SSO. It would be helpful if any non-urgent visits to SSO could be delayed until after Weds 7 June when normal service should be resumed.


MIT CIRCS.

  If you want to tell us about any mitigating circumstances for the Semester 2 exam period, the deadline is this Friday 9 June. If you have any queries, please talk to your Year Tutor (Y1: Sean Bechhofer; Y2: Duncan Hull; Y3: Tim Morris; Y4: Nick Filer; CM: Andrea Schalk). We can’t consider your circumstances unless you’ve submitted a Mit Circs form by the deadline.


GAVIN SUCCESS.

  Congratulations to Gavin Donald from SSO, who was nominated for the award of Best Support Staff as part of the 2017 Manchester Teaching Awards!


STUDENT VIDEO.

  Fancy yourself as a film-maker? The Faculty recruitment team are looking for two Computer Science students to create a 90-second student-life video, covering University study and the city of Manchester. If you’re interested email Jez Lloyd (equipment will be provided).


PAID OUTREACH OPPORTUNITY.

  We’re  looking for enthusiastic students to help us deliver a Year 12 Summer School. The topic is Functional Programming, Graphs and Logic and we’re looking for students with some knowledge/experience of either functional programming or (first-order/description) logic. The summer school will take place 11-13 July in Kilburn and you must be available on 10 July for a training day. Payment will be around £15 per hour (dependent on experience). For more information or to apply contact Giles Reger, deadline this Fri 9 June.


FINALIST FUTURES.

  From today until 16 June check out the Finalist Futures Workshops open to all final year students.

Finalist Futures flyer


INTERGALACTIC FESTIVAL.

  Our colleagues in the School of Physics and Astronomy have organised a summer festival with a difference. The Blue Dot festival is an intergalactic festival of music, science, arts, culture and the exploration of space. It takes place 7-9 July with performances from Alt-J, The Pixies and Orbital at Jodrell Bank Observatory near Macclesfield in Cheshire. Looks great!

Blue Dot photo from last year <b>–</b> Jod Bank telescope and stage


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Exams Week 3 • Monday 29 May 2017 • #16.31          The Monday Mail

Toby picGood morning UG! It’s Monday 29 May, and it’s the third week of exams. It’s also a Bank Holiday today so a valid out-of-hours pass will be required to use LF31, Tootill and 1.8 Labs from 08:00-23:30. I hope the exams are going well – in case of emergencies contact SSO (email, 0161 306 8155).

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


OPEN DAYS.

  Want to earn up to £80? Have something cool and interesting to demonstrate and talk about? The School’s Open Day team are looking for students to contribute to the Open Days on 23-24 June, which will see over 700 visitors to the Kilburn Building. You can talk about anything from paradrones to oculus rifts, 1st or 3rd year projects, student societies, anything! Interested? Contact Jez Lloyd ASAP.


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 13 June. Last year 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!  Go on, have a go!


GORILLA RUN.

  Suvi Singh (Y1, CMwIE) and Jonathan Tang (Y1, CM) have written an app called Gorilla Run which was launched in the App store yesterday. Check out their FB page, there's five £10 Amazon vouchers to be won!

Gorilla run banner


MIT CIRCS.

  If you want to tell us about any mitigating circumstances for the Semester 2 exam period, the deadline is Friday 9 June. If you have any queries, please talk to your Year Tutor (Y1: Sean Bechhofer; Y2: Duncan Hull; Y3: Tim Morris; Y4: Nick Filer; CM: Andrea Schalk). We can’t consider your circumstances unless you’ve  submitted a Mit Circs form by the deadline.


EXAMS SUPPORT.

  A reminder that we have an archive of past exam papers, which includes comments from staff on the way exams were answered. If you feel you need support, here are some contacts. And the Library’s Exam Extra scheme is running from now until 7 June, offering students a range of support during this exam season including additional support workshops, online resources, extended opening hours and help finding study spaces.


CODE QUALITY.

  For a bit of light relief from revision, here’s one of xkcd’s takes on code quality (although of course I’m sure it doesn’t apply to you!)

Four frames horizontally. In Frame 1 one a girl is seated at a computer desk reviewing someone's code. She's speaking. Frame 1: Your code looks like song lyrics written using only the stuff that comes after the question mark in a URL. [Out of frame-voice: sorry.]. Frame 2: It's like a JSON table of model numbers for flashlights with 'tactical' in their names. Frame 3: Like you read Turing's 1936 paper on computing and a page of Javascript and guessed at everything in between. Frame 4: It's like a leet-speak translation of a manifesto by a survivalist cult leader who's for some reason obsessed with memory allocation. [Out of frame-voice replies: I can get someone else to review my code. [girl:] not more than once, I bet.


GNOME CONF.

  The main annual event of the GNOME project, the GUADEC conference, is coming to Manchester 28 July-2 August. The focus is on desktop software for GNU/Linux, with many programming-related sessions mostly around C, Python and JavaScript. Full details.


JAMCHESTER.

  The UK’s biggest professional game jam (Jamchester) is here on 23-25 June at The Studio event space in the heart of Manchester. It’s an annual, weekend-long video game and VR creation competition. There’s a few tickets left, so hurry!

Jamchester banner


ROCKET SCIENCE.

  The Rocket.Build Academy programming competition gives you the chance to win £5,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to the USA for a future Rocket.Build event. 


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Exams Week 2 • Monday 22 May 2017 • #16.30          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 22 May, and it’s the second week of Exams. I hope things are going well. Once again, make sure you know your exam schedule and locations precisely – it's your responsibility to be in the right place at the right time! In case of emergencies email SSO (or call 0161 306 8155) immediately if you think you have any issues. Now, on with today’s news!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard

Director of Undergraduate Studies


WANNACRY.

  The School’s very own security expert Dr Daniel Dresner was busy last week in the storm around the recent WannaCry ransomeware attack that caused chaos in the NHS and affected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide. Here he is on BBC Radio 5 (@ 37:45). There are quite a few tech analyses of Wannacry out there. This one seems quite good. Below is a map by Symantec showing how the spread of the threat developed.

Symantec wannacry spead over time


MSC ROOMS AVAILABLE.

  A reminder that because of the ongoing construction work in Kilburn, for the duration of the exams we've made the Kilburn 2nd Floor MSc rooms available for UG student use, during daytime hours. These are rooms 2.25A and 2.25B and are situated well away from the construction work. They contain break-out seating areas for quiet study, and PCs. You can of course continue to use the usual UG spaces during the day, and a reminder that there are other University facilities available for revision and study, such as the Learning Commons, the University Library, and the George Kenyon cluster (which includes 15 dual-boot PCs). If the construction noise continues to prove problematic, then please do contact me.


NEW PODCAST.

  CSPodcast #18 features an interview with @UncleThargy (Craig Dean) CEO of Web Applications UK on his career and passion for coding and developing.


OPEN DAYS.

  Fancy earning up to £80? Have something cool and interesting to demonstrate and talk about? The School’s Open Day team are looking for students to contribute to the June Open Days, 23-24 June, which will see over 700 visitors to the Kilburn Building. It can be anything from paradrones to oculus rifts, 1st and 3rd year projects, or just talking about student societies, such as PASS and HackSoc. If you’re interested in this opportunity, please contact Jez Lloyd ASAP.


EXAMS SUPPORT.

  A reminder that we have an archive of past exam papers, which includes comments from staff on the way exams were answered. If you feel you need support, here are some contacts. And the Library’s Exam Extra scheme is running from now until 7 June, offering students a range of support during this exam season including additional support workshops, online resources, extended opening hours and help finding study spaces.


MIT CIRCS.

  If there are any mitigating circumstances for the Semester 2 exam period, the deadline for submitting is Friday 9 June. If you have any queries, please speak to your Year Tutor (Y1: Sean Bechhofer; Y2: Duncan Hull; Y3: Tim Morris; Y4: Nick Filer; CM: Andrea Schalk). The School is unable to consider your circumstances unless you have submitted a Mitigating Circumstances form by the above deadline.


FUNDED PHD.

  Applications are invited for a fully funded (tuition fees plus additional stipend) full-time PhD. This is an EPSRC iCASE 4-year BAE Systems / School of Computer Science studentship, to start in September 2017 or as soon as appropriate. Deadline for applications is 30 May; informal enquiries to Tim Morris.


BANK HOLIDAY.

  A reminder that next Monday 29 May is a Bank Holiday, so a valid out-of-hours pass will be required to use LF31, Tootill and 1.8 Labs from 08.00-23.30 hrs. Please note that there will be no IT support over the Bank Holiday weekend 27-29 May. If anything crashes during that period, it will not be restored until the next working day.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Exams Week 1 • Monday 15 May 2017 • #16.29          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 15 May, scheduled teaching activities are now over, and the Exams period starts this week on Thursday 18 May. I hope all goes well. Make sure you know your exam schedule and locations precisely – it's your responsibility to be in the right place at the right time! In case of emergencies the central contact point is SSO, and you should email them immediately (or call 0161 306 8155) if you think you have any issues. Now, on with today’s news...
Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


PASS AWARDS SUCCESS.

  Congratulations to Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) who received an ‘Outstanding Contribution to Peer Support’ award for his contribution to the School’s PASS scheme at the Peer Support Celebration Evening on 4 May at the Ramada Renaissance Hotel. The event was attended by over 100 students and staff from across the University. Struan’s award was presented by Lemn Sissay, Chancellor of the University. This is the 5th year in a row that the School has had at least one recipient of this prestigious award. Thank you to everyone in the School who has helped to make our PASS scheme a huge success again this year!


SPRING BALL.

  This from Natalie Silver (Y3, CSBM): The Spring Ball a few weeks ago with Whitworth Park Halls was a beautiful, fun event at the Imperial War Museum, Salford Quays. Everyone enjoyed the stunning venue and had fun dancing, drinking and celebrating (close to) the end of the year with their friends. CSSoc was happy to organize this event, and looks forward to similar events in the future.

Two pic from the Spring Ball


CSSOC NEXT YEAR.

  At last week’s CSSoc AGM Zeki Forster (Y1, CSwIE) and Rafid Lafir (Y1, CS4wIE) were elected as the new co-chairs of the society. Also elected were Secretary: Alexandra Dumitriu (Y1, CSwIE), Treasurer: Danielle Idehen (Y1, CSwIE), and Dev Officer: Michael Yonli (Y1, CS4). We all thank the outgoing team for doing an outstanding job this year and good luck to the new team for a successful year of CSSoc activities from next September.


SHOWCASES.

  Last Friday third year students demonstrated their projects, work they've been doing since September of 2016 in a range of areas including Big Data, Internet of Things, Gaming and educational outreach. At the same time, eight teams of second year students demonstrated their "Event-lite" applications, built using the Spring framework, git and knowledge gained on COMP23420 Software Engineering.

Collage of pix from the two showcases


NEW BLOGPOST.

  Our blogger Aayush Chadha (Y1, AI) has a new blog post ‘Studying, living and working in Manchester’. Check it out.


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY.

   See exam results publication dates and more.


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

  Congratulations to Arjun Mistry (Y3, CMwIE) who won last week’s prize draw – £100 of High Street vouchers.


MIT CIRCS.

  If there are any mitigating circumstances that have affected you during the Semester 2 teaching period, the deadline for submitting a mitigating circumstances form to SSO is this Thursday 18 May. If there are any mitigating circumstances for the Semester 2 exam period, the deadline for submitting is Friday 9 June. If you have any queries, please speak to your Year Tutor (Y1: Sean Bechhofer; Y2: Duncan Hull; Y3: Tim Morris; Y4: Nick Filer; CM: Andrea Schalk). The School is unable to consider your circumstances unless you have submitted a Mitigating Circumstances form by the above deadlines.


EXAMS SUPPORT.

  A reminder that we have an archive of past exam papers, which includes comments from staff on the way exams were answered. If you feel you need support, here are some contacts. And the Library’s Exam Extra scheme is running from now until 7 June, offering students a range of support during this exam season including additional support workshops, online resources, extended opening hours and help finding study spaces.


FREE SOFTWARE MEETING.

   At Manchester Free Software's May Meeting, John Rooke will talk about email self-defence including testing using the FSF's "Edward" bot, understanding the web of trust and how to use it, the Certificate Authority system and more. Tomorrow Tues 16 May 19:00-21:00 at Madlab (M4 1HN).


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 12 • Monday 8 May 2017 • #16.28          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 8 May and it’s week 12, the last week of scheduled activities before the start of the exam period on Thurs 18 May. It’s certainly been a long Semester, and I hope it’s been a good one for you. Please make sure you get all outstanding marking out of the way ASAP and definitely by the end of this week. Now, on with today’s news!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


VENTURE FURTHER.

  Congratulations to Jonathan Tang (Y1, CMwIE) whose team was Runner-Up last week in the Digital Category of the Manchester Enterprise Centre’s 2017 Venture Further business start-up competition, with their project “HollaMe”, a marketplace and platform for student services exchange. Well done Jonathan! If you’d like to participate in Venture Further next year (as a graduate or student) applications open in March 2018.


1ST YEAR PROJECT SHOWCASE.

  At last Thursday’s 1st Year Project Showcase the work on display was as original and imaginative as ever. Well done to all First Year students, and congratulations to the winners – voted for by you! And the winners are… Coolest Application (visual or idea): X6 for UniTracker (a fine UI to timetables and ARCADE data & grades; tutor: Dirk Koch); Best User Interface: X4 for Avoid IT (a route finder that avoid high crime areas/analyses crime data; tutor: John Latham); Best Data Content: W2 for Hungry? Always! (groceries price comparison site; tutor: Mary McGee Wood); Best Implementation Quality: Y1 for Kil-IT (navigation support for Kilburn and IT Building; tutor Carole Twining); Best Implementation Quantity: X6 again for UniTracker; and Most Professional (business plan, legal, ethical, terms-of-use...): X4 again for Avoid IT. The overall winner is X6 (Raul Ignatus, Advik Jain, Samuel Littlefair, Liam Maddison, Andreea Smidu, Teodora Stoleru, Yilei Wu) with an impressive 26 nominations! Winners: to claim your prize, one of your group please contact Uli Satter ASAP. Well done winners and well done everyone in all the groups for your fantastic work!

the 4 winning groups' posters

Collage of 15 photos of the showcase


YEAR 2 & YEAR 3 PROJECT SHOWCASES.

  Members of the School’s Industry Club are visiting us this Friday 12 May to see demonstrations of final year projects (in Collab 1 & 2) and second year projects (“Event-lite” for COMP23420 software engineering in G23), both from 11:00 to 13:00. If you're a final year student who would like to informally demo your project for a few hours, there are a few slots still available, contact Duncan Hull. Anyone is welcome to watch the demos for either session. This is a great networking opportunity for all concerned, so don’t miss out.


CSSOC AGM.

  Zeki Forster (Y1, CSwIE) writes: we’re having our AGM for CSSoc this Weds 10 May at 14:00 in LF15. We’ll be electing next year’s Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. There’s free pizza and drinks so please come along!


HACKSOC NEWS.

  This from Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CS): It's the end of the academic year and a new Hacksoc team has been elected for next year. President: Robert Ihnatisin (Y2, Electronics), Vice President: Catalina Maria Vlad (Business Information Systems student), Events Director: Hendrik Mölder (Y1, CSBM), Dev Officer: Raul Igantus (Y2, CS) Graphics Officer: Bogdan Facaianu (Y2, CSwIE). We also have new Hackathon Directors: Teo Stoleru (Y1, CS) and Ana Simon (Information Technology Management for Business student). They will be coordinating the team which will organise four hackathons next year: GreatUniHack, a Health hackathon in partnership with Manchester Science Park, StudentHack, and the CS50 hackathon which will take place every year from now. Many thanks to the current committee members for everything they've done and good luck to the new team which has a busy year ahead!


SSC.

  Last Wednesday’s staff-student committee meeting was lively as usual, and you can read the report on the SSC Blackboard page. A big thank you from Paul Nutter and I to all the Reps for their work this academic year, and the many useful discussions we’ve had.


MIT CIRCS.

  If there are any mitigating circumstances that have affected you during the Semester 2 teaching period, the deadline for submitting a mitigating circumstances form to SSO is Thursday 18 May. If there are any mitigating circumstances for the Semester 2 exam period, the deadline for submitting is Friday 9 June. If you have any queries, please speak to your Year Tutor (Y1: Sean Bechhofer; Y2: Duncan Hull; Y3: Tim Morris; Y4: Nick Filer; CM: Andrea Schalk). The School is unable to consider your circumstances unless you have submitted a Mitigating Circumstances form by the above deadlines.


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 runs until tomorrow 9 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.


EXAMS.

  A reminder that we have an archive of past exam papers, which includes comments from staff on the way exams were answered.


HISTORY DISPLAY.

  We have a new display in the Kilburn Building, on the first floor opposite the courtyard, and just around the corner from the Quiet Lab (room 1.8). It celebrates the work of Desmond Henry [1921-2004] who was an artist, philosopher and pioneer in computer art. He used wartime analogue computing devices to create artworks, and was a member of the Philosophy Department here. He discussed morphogenesis with Alan Turing and received an award from L.S. Lowry. Desmond was a very interesting character and a highly accomplished artist as well as an engineer and philosopher. Check out the display. Does it give anyone any ideas for a 3rd Year Project?

Shoe of Desmond Henry panels


EXAMS AND HELP.

  Exams are just around the corner, and if you feel you need support, here are some contacts. And the Library’s Exam Extra scheme is running from now until 7 June, offering students a range of support during this exam season including additional support workshops, online resources, extended opening hours and help finding study spaces.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  As part of the School’s regular seminar programme, This Weds 10 May at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.5 Dan Hill (Arup Partners) will describe “A campus as smart as it needs to be”. All welcome.


UNIVERSITY GREEN.

  Right opposite us in Kilburn, the new University Green development opening next year will include a Co-op store, and Loungers and Five Guys restaurants.

University Green visualisation


PHD IN PARALLELISM.

  The CDT in Pervasive Parallelism, at the University of Edinburgh School of Informatics, has some fully-funded places available for UK-eligible candidates. If you are an EU national who’s worked or studied in the UK the past three years, you may also eligible for this studentship.


MBS MASTERS.

  Interested in a Masters at Alliance Manchester Business School? Their next informal lunchtime information session will take place this Weds 10 May, 12:00-13:30, in the Atrium in the Alliance MBS East building. You don’t need to have studied business before. Meet staff and current students and discover how the MBS courses can boost your career prospects. Pre-register or drop in on the day.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 11 (A) • Monday 1 May 2017 • #16.27          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 1 May, and it’s Week 11, an A week – and it’s the May Day Bank Holiday, so no scheduled activities today. Kilburn is open but you'll need your out-of-hours pass. On with today’s news!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


HACKMED WIN.

  Huge congratulations to Aayush Chadha (Y1, AI), Lorena Oros (Y1, CSBM) and Harry Songhurst (Y1, CS) who participated in HackMed2017 in Sheffield at the weekend, and won the Oxford Nanopore Technologies challenge for "Best use of data" for their voice-based Parkinson's Disease Diagnostic Service. Aayush writes: "We utilised the dataset provided by the UCI Machine Learning Lab to train a model which predicted if a person has Parkinson's Disease or not. We then hooked the model to a voice + sms service using Nexmo's API and Python's Flask service which allowed us retrieve audio recordings of patients reading out a predefined script, extracting features using the linguistic analysis tool PRAAT and then classifying it so that in the end we could send their doctors details about our algorithm's confidence in the diagnosis and a voice report generated from PRAAT. Here's our devpost." Well done Aayush, Lorena and Harry!

Harry, Aayush and Lorena


PASS2.

  This from Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS): This week we'll be running a drop-in session for anyone who has any exam questions or any other questions. Tuesday at 15:00 in Collab.


SSC.

  The next meeting of the Staff-Student Committee (and the final one for this academic year) is this Weds 3 May at 14:00. If you'd like to raise anything, please contact one of your reps ASAP. Here they are:

SSC mugshots


NEW BLOGGER.

  The School has a new blogger – Ana Gabriela Pandrea (Y1, AI4wIE) – check out her first blog "What do I do?"


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 runs until 9 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 PROJECT.

  The School of Computer Science is running a pilot project teaching computing in African schools this summer. In co-operation with charity Ripple Africa, the School is aiming to take computer education to schools in a remote area of Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world. If you’d like to contribute, visit the crowdfunding page.

Malawi children, all smiling


WOW & FB USERS WANTED.

  The School of Health Sciences is looking for World of Warcraft players and Facebook users who are not taking any medicines for a psychiatric condition, and are available for a 4-hour session of neuropsychological testing. Eligible volunteers will be compensated with £25 worth of shopping vouchers upon completion of the testing session. Contact Asmuni Abghani.


POSTGRAD LOANS.

  Interested in continuing your studies with a MSc? Good news, the government-backed Postgraduate Loan Scheme (PGL) for master’s students (both PGT and PGR), introduced last year, is continuing. It is UK-wide, not just for The University of Manchester. It is generally available for home students (full eligibility details on our PG funding pages) and works in a similar way to existing UG loans.


ACADEMIC WRITING HELP.

  The University Language Centre offers one-to-one sessions to help students improve their writing skills. Full details.

UoM got talent logo


UOM GOT TALENT.

  Got any kind of weird or not-weird talent? Or maybe you would like to come and see what your student community has to offer? Tonight 20:00-22:00 at Whitworth Park, Grove House (M13 9WJ) the UoM Got Talent show, with all proceeds to The Children’s Society charity. Register as a performer, or buy tickets (only £4).


KANOPY.

  Fed up with YouTube? The University Library now subscribes to the Kanopy Streaming Service which has access to thousands of award-winning documentaries, films and training videos for free. Well worth a look.


WELLBEING CHAMPIONS.

  An exciting new opportunity for students to take charge of student wellbeing, run creative and innovative events and learn valuable skills along the way. Actively promote the six ways to wellbeing in your School and across the university. Receive free training in wellbeing, events management, people management and marketing. Drop in to find out more in The Atrium (1st floor University Place) this Weds 3 May 12:00-15:30 or contact Katrina Grier.


GRAD FAIR.

  The Grad Fair is this Thurs 4 May 10:30-16:00 at the Armitage Centre, Fallowfield. Come and explore your options with over 150 exhibitors from a wide range of sectors, providing something of interest for students of all degree disciplines.


PHD IN DATA SCIENCE AND UX.

  There’s a funded EPSRC PhD 4-Year studentship (European/UK students only) in the area of "Data Science and User Experience: Measuring the Enjoyment/Engagement of People when using Online or Broadcast Media", in partnership with BBC R&D. Fees paid + ~£20K annual stipend. Details here and informal enquiries to John Keane.


DATA PHD.

  There are 16 funded PhD positions available for 2017 in the Centre for Data Analytics and Society at the Universities of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield. This is an exciting opportunity to undertake a 4-year funded integrated PhD and MSc in Data Analytics and Society. More info.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 10 (B) • Monday 24 April 2017 • #16.26          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 24 April, and it’s Week 10, a B week. I hope you had a good three weeks of vacation! There are now three more weeks of teaching and scheduled activities, and the exam period begins on 18 May. 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


VACATION JOBS.

  We have Vacation Work opportunities for UG students here in the School for the coming Summer. There are now 13 projects available – but hurry! Application deadline is 17:00 this Friday 28 April.


BANK HOL.

  Next Monday 1 May is a Bank Holiday so if you want to come into Kilburn you’ll need a valid out-of-hours pass. Please note that there will be no IT support over the Bank Holiday weekend 29 April-1 May.

David Malan lecturing, head shot


DAVID MALAN TALK.

  If you missed David Malan’s splendid CS50 talk here in the School last month, you can watch it online, and see his slides. David is also interviewed by Jez Lloyd in Episode 17 of the CS@Manchester podcast. And Episode 16 of the podcast features an interview with Jon Parkinson, who has just finished a four-year PhD in unsupervised machine learning with Ke Chen. They discuss scientific research and life after a PhD.


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

  Final year students, our NSS completion rate is now 56%, and the survey closes on Saturday. 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 28 April.


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: We hope you all had a great easter holiday, and that you're all egg-static to start PASS again. See you Wednesday 12:00-13:00 (or 13:00-14:00 for CM).


ACADEMIC WRITING HELP.

  The University Language Centre offers one-to-one sessions to help students improve their writing skills. Full details.


EXAMS AND HELP.

  Exams are just around the corner, and if you feel you need support, here are some contacts.

Tell Us logo


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 runs from today until 9 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.


VOTE!

  If you’re not registered to vote, now might be a good time to do so! And if you are registered in Manchester, but will not be here on 8 June, make sure you have a postal vote.


ENTERPRISE IT.

  The IP Expo conference is at Manchester Central this week Weds/Thu 26/27 April with keynotes from Google, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Oracle, Mitnick Security and Chef Software. If you're interested in the Cloud, CyberSecurity, Networks and Infrastructure, Artificial Intelligence, Analytics, IoT, DevOps or Open Source then this event will be of interest. Entrance is free if you register before 19:00 tomorrow Tues 25 April (or £35 thereafter!).


MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU.

  The Grad Fair will be taking place on Thursday 4 May 10:30-16:00 (easy to remember, as it's Star Wars Day!) in The Armitage Centre, Fallowfield. Come and explore your options with over 150 exhibitors from a wide range of sectors, providing something of interest for students of all degree disciplines.


SU ADVICE SERVICE.

  The Students’ Union Advice Service has temporarily relocated to the staff office on the first floor of the building, and is still open Monday to Friday 10:00-16:00 where students can drop-in or arrange an appointment. For phone advice call 0161 275 2952, or email.


DIGITAL HEALTHCARE.

  The North West Biotech Initiative is a student-led, non-profit organisation which aims to bridge the gap between students and the local biotech/healthcare sector.  This Thurs 27 April they’re hosting a panel discussion “Digital Technologies: a New Era in Healthcare” from 15:30-18:00 in the Mosely Theatre, Schuster Building. Free registration, all welcome.


SAGE PLACEMENT.

  An opportunity has arisen for an undergraduate student to join Sage for an industrial placement year. Working within the Product Engineering team based in their offices in Manchester (Exchange Quay) you will be part of the team developing some of their core Accountants Division products. Deadline for applications this Friday 28 April. More info on moodle.


RADIUS PAYMENT SOLUTIONS DROP-IN.

  Radius Payment Solutions are a leading paytech company with over 900 employees based across 13 different countries. They do all of their own in-house development and are expanding the team of Developers at their new Technology Centre in Manchester city centre, with roles for Python, Oracle and Java developers. They’ll be in LF this Thurs 27 April from 12:00.


DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT PHD.

  The Centre for Digital Entertainment, based at Bath and Bournemouth Universities, is offering  4-year fully-funded postgraduate research studentships, to start September 2017. Their funded PhD programme includes mentoring by leading companies specialising in games, visual effects, and animation.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  As part of the School’s regular seminar programme, This Weds 26 April at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.5 Dr Kuansan Wang (Director, Microsoft Research Outreach) will describe Microsoft Academic services (MAS), a project set forth two years ago to create a cognitive agent that is proficient in all fields of study and explore how such an agent can empower scholars to be better informed and more productive. All welcome.


EUROPEAN MASTERS.

  The European Master’s Programme in Computational Logic (EMCL) is an international 2-years study program completely in English offering a joint MSc degree within a consortium comprising four universities and a research centre: Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy; Technische Universität Dresden, Germany; Technische Universität Wien, Austria; Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal and Data61, Australia. Apply now, deadline 31 May.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Easter Vacation • Monday 3 April 2017 • #16.25          The Monday Mail

Toby picGood morning UG! It’s Monday 3 April, and it’s the first week of the 3-week Easter break. I hope you’re enjoying a well-earned rest and perhaps planning a bit of catchup and revision. 3rd Year students, good luck with writing your project reports and making 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 24 April (Week 10, a B week). Meanwhile, on with today’s news, and have a Happy Easter!
Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


MAY BALL.

  Natalie Silver (Y3, CSBM) writes: This year's Spring Ball (formerly the May Ball) will be on Saturday 29 April at 18:30. It’s at the beautiful Imperial War Museum North! This year's Ball will be the best in years, so make sure to get a ticket ASAP when they go on sale next week – the first few tickets will be subsidised significantly. Buying a ticket will be very simple, via a website. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Imperial War Museum


HACKTRAIN WINS.

  Good news from Hacktrain which took place on 24-26 March. Dragos Alex Radu (Y3, AI) won the O2 challenge (best solution for passenger movement data) while Alex Copil (Y1, AIwIE) won the Reading Buses challenge (best solution for buses). Congratulations both!

Durian fruit


SMELLY FRUIT ALERT.

  If you were in Kilburn late Friday afternoon you’ll know that we evacuated the building after reports of a strong smell of gas. It was indeed a strong smell but it turned out to be from some durian fruit in a waste-bin! Well you can’t be too careful…


KILBURN EASTER OPENING TIMES.

  And assuming there is no more fruit-based chaos, from today until 24 April access is 08:00-23:30 (with out-of-hours pass). Labs open are LF31, Tootill and 1.8. Please note there’ll be no IT support over the Bank Holiday weekend of 14-17 April.


ALEXA PROJECT.

  This from Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE): this Easter, I'm looking to launch an Amazon Alexa skill, which connects to the Monday Mail, and allows Alexa to read it to you. I'm going to need help teaching Alexa to read some of the messages more clearly, such as understanding acronyms and shorthand messages. If you're interested in learning a bit about Alexa over the Easter break, and help launch a skill before week 10, please get in contact!


REP OF THE YEAR.

  Amanda Källstig, Education Engagement Assistant at the Students Union writes: is there a student rep who you think has done a particularly fantastic job? If so, why not nominate them for Student Rep of the Year (deadline 7 April)? All nominees will receive a certificate of recognition, and one Student Rep from each Faculty will be chosen to receive an Award at our Celebrate Week Celebration on 9 May.


WORK FOR HORNET.

  Hornet is recruiting reps, responsible for first-line support/resolution of wired and wireless issues reported in UoM Halls of residence.

Kilburn and bunnies


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

  Final year students, the giant Easter bunnies have now wrapped 52% of Kilburn up, so if you haven’t yet done your NSS please help the bunnies in their task, and take your NSS ack to SSO for your free bar of choc and your chance to win £100 in our final prize draw on 28 April.


CYBER CONF.

  We have some complimentary tickets (£50 otherwise) for the upcoming Cyber Security Conference Defending the Public from Cyber-Attacks on 17 May at Old Trafford Stadium. With high-profile speakers including Ian Bryant, Chief for Cyber Systems Protection Policy at the Ministry of Defence, and the School’s very own security guru Dr Daniel Dresner. Apply quickly to grab a free ticket.


MASTERS BURSARY.

  Interested in a taught Masters? The University is offering 100 bursaries for master’s students, each worth £3,000, to UK and EU students who will be starting taught Master’s courses in September 2017.


MACHINE INTELLIGENCE TALK.

  This Weds 5 April, 17:45-19:50 at Alliance Manchester Business School East scientific entrepreneur and venture capitalist Dr Hermann Hauser will contrast two types of machines: one based on biology (humans) and the other based on computers and the Internet of Things. The lecture will demonstrate a surprising analogy between the many skills and abilities the two intelligences have in common. Dr Hauser will be joined in the discussion by Steve Furber, Professor of Computer Engineering, School of Computer Science. All welcome, pre-registration required.


XKCD.

  Not news, just fun. I thought you’d enjoy xkcd’s take on chat systems.

xkcd on chat systems


SOCIAL GOOD.

  The next J.P. Morgan Technology Code for Good event is in Bournemouth on 9-10 June. It’s a coding event that pairs up students with social good organisations in need of innovative technology solutions and allows students to test their creativity, problem solving, and technical skills to help a good cause. This program not only offers students prizes, but also the opportunity to get on track for a summer internship or a full-time position in the JPM Technology Analyst Development Program. Apply (deadline Sunday 28 May).


NANOSCALE TALK.

  Ultrafast and very small: Discover Nanoscale Magnetism With Picosecond Time Resolution Using X-Rays with Dr Hendrik Ohldag from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park California. This Thurs 6 April in Kilburn IT407 at 14:00. All welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 9 (A) • Monday 27 March 2017 • #16.24          The Monday Mail

Toby picGood morning UG! It’s Monday 27 March – Week 9, an A week. It’s been a very long Semester so far, but the good news is that next week is the start of the 3-week Easter break. Now, as always, on with today’s news!

Best wishes,

Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


CS50.

  This from Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CS): Last Saturday, the first CS50 Hackathon (pix below) in Manchester took place at The Landing, MediaCity UK. The hackathon season in Manchester is now over and we are very happy we ended it with such a fantastic event. We were impressed by the large number of people that showed up to meet David J. Malan and the rest of the Harvard University team. The workshop rooms were full and at some times we even had to organise another one for the people who didn't manage to get into the room. We recorded some of these workshops and we'll share them online during the following days. Attendees also had lots of fun with the CS50 photo booth which was taking photos almost non-stop and publishing them on Twitter instantly. None of these would have been possible without the awesome volunteers and our sponsors: The School of Computer Science, WebApplicationsUK and Google. At the end, David concluded with the following words: "See you at the second edition of the CS50 Hackathon in Manchester!" announcing what might become an annual tradition!

Collage of 5 pix from CS50


DAVID MALAN TALK.

  And the day before CS50, here in the School David J. Malan delivered a special seminar to a packed room.  David presented the ins-and-outs of how he delivers Harvard's introductory CS50 course, where he teaches CS principles to up to 700 students at once, and how he has adapted the format to be delivered to students from non-CS backgrounds. A podcast will be online soon and we'll let you know when it’s up.


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: In the last PASS session before Easter we will: make sure you will no longer be a pun-dle of nerves by putting you completely at ease about the next few weeks; and make sure you never pun-der rate PASS's usefulness (it's really very useful). We hope to see you on Wednesday for the final (and therefore best, obviously) PASS session before you get 3 weeks of no lectures (terrible, right?). See you Wednesday 12:00-13:00 (or 13:00-14:00 for CM).


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: This week, we will be finishing off our three part Agile workshop. We'll be going over Test Driven Design and Acceptance Testing, a method of producing software which will be very different to what you would have seen in your studies so far. Look forward to seeing you on Tuesday at 15:00 in Collab.


BE A PASS LEADER.

  Interested in becoming a PASS Leader for next year? Volunteers will receive full training and support throughout their time as a Leader, and develop a range of valuable skills to increase their employability, all while having a real impact on the university life of the first years they support. Here’s more information. If you’d like to become a Leader, you will need to attend the first stage of training, Intro to PASS, this Weds 29 March 15:00-17:00. Places are limited so please sign up.


STAFF-STUDENT CODING COMP.

  The 5th Annual staff-student coding competition last week was a huge success, with 23 teams competing. 6 were staff teams, 5 teams were 1st Year students, 16 teams solved at least 1 problem (out 6), an average of 2.04 problems were solved by each team, and 20 pizzas were consumed. In 1st Place was team Naive Bayesians (staff): Gavin Brown & Tudor Morar; in 2nd Place team StaffMeOutside: Izz Abudaka (Y3, CSwIE) & Nikolay Gospodinov (Y1, SE4); in 3rd Place team Extremely fashionable guys (staff): Andrew Webb & Joe Mellor; Best 1st year team team was team Jordas: Dragos Taraban (Y1, CS4wIE) & Andrei Iordache (Y1, CS4). Well done everyone!

Group pic of Staff-student competitors


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

   Final year students, so far you’ve painted Kilburn 48% blue, so if you haven’t yet done your NSS please do it and take your ack to SSO for your free bar of choc and your chance to win £100 in our final prize draw on 28 April.


KILBURN EASTER OPENING TIMES.

  Until 31 March: normal term-time access; during the Easter vacation 1-23 April you’ll need a valid out-of-hours pass, and access is 08.00-23.30; labs open are LF31, Tootill and 1.8. There will be no IT support over the Bank Holiday weekend of 14-17 April.


SUMMER VACATION WORK.

  Heads up! As usual the School will be offering a number of paid work opportunities (max 12 weeks) for UG students during the Summer vacation. It’s a great opportunity to enhance your CV by learning new skills and tech, and do important development and support work for the School too. Details of the projects available and the application process will be announced in mid-April.

Teaching Awards logo


TEACHING AWARDS.

  Is there a lecturer/TA/SSO person that you think deserves a pat on the back for being especially fabulous? Then vote for them in the annual Manchester Teaching Awards run by the Students’ Union. Vote now! (deadline this Fri 31 Mar).


GRADUATE INTERN POSITIONS.

  Interested in a (paid) internship at the University? The Manchester Graduate Internship Programme (MGIP)  is now advertising vacancies (application deadline Monday 10 April).


CREDIT KUDOS DROP-IN.

  A startup founded by UoM Comp Sci graduates Freddy Kelly and Matt Schofield, Credit Kudos are looking to fill full-stack software engineering roles. Interested? Pop along for a chat: they'll be available in the LF area this Thurs 30 March.


IT CONFERENCE.

  Enterprise IT conference IP EXPO is coming to Manchester Central on 26-27 April. There will be speakers from Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Google, NCC Group, SAGE, RedHat, VMWare and more. Registration is free before 19:00 on 25 April.


DATA SCIENCE.

  Advances in Data Science will take place in Manchester on 15-16 May, with speakers from Google DeepMind, Uber AI, The University of Manchester, Imperial College London, University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh, CitizenMe, Tableau Software, the Met Office and more.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  As part of the School’s regular seminar programme, this Weds 29 March at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.5, Prof Maria Paola Bonacina (University of Verona) will talk about “SGGS: conflict-driven first-order theorem proving”. Many problems in computer science can be encoded as instances of propositional satisfiability (SAT) and approached by SAT solvers based on the Conflict-Driven Clause Learning (CDCL) procedure. However, the higher expressive power of first-order logic is often needed. SGGS, for Semantically-Guided Goal-Sensitive reasoning, lifts CDCL to first-order logic. All welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 8 (B) • Monday 20 March 2017 • #16.23          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 20 March, and it’s Week 8, a B week. I hope everything is going ok. Only two weeks until the Easter break... and don't forget that next Sunday 26 March at 01:00, British Summer Time starts – clocks go forward one hour to 02:00. But now on with today's news, and as usual, there's rather a lot of it!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


CAPTURE THE MEMES.

  Flaminia Rosato (Y2, CSwIE) writes: Thanks to everyone for joining Capture the Memes last Saturday! It’s been amazing having you around to solve our hacky challenges – I hope we captured your interest! Congratulations to our winners (in the pic) Milena Bruseva (Y1, AIeIE), Dragos Chivulescu (Y2, CSwIE), Izz Abudaka (Y3, CSwIE), and Karol Jurasinski (Y3, CMwIE) from team flagmeoutside. Well done for solving so many challenges. Special thanks go to our sponsor Matillion, who provided the great prizes, and to our amazing Dev Team members who kept themselves busy planning and coding the challenges: Alexandra Dumitriu (Y1, CSwIE), Michael Yonli (Y1, CS4), Octavian Taranu-Toma (Y2, CSwIE), Dragos Taraban (Y1, CS4wIE), Dominic Fischer (Y1, CS4wIE) and Tristan Maat (Y3, CS4).

The four winners


HACKTHEBURGH.

  Huge congratulations to Teodora Stoleru (Y1, CS), Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CS) and Robert Ihnatisin (Y2, Electronics student) who won the top prize at HackTheBurgh in Edinburgh at the weekend. Their hack was a briefcase on wheels (video proof!) which you can control using your phone. Below are the Manchester crew who went up to Edinburgh.

Group show by Edinburgh Castle


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: In our experience as first years (back in the dark ages), the hour that PASS gave us to talk about lecture material and lab exercises was invaluable. In fact, you could say, PASS was pun-damental to our success. See you Wednesday 12:00-13:00 (or 13:00-14:00 for CM).


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: Thanks to everyone who came to our first Agile workshop! This week we'll be looking at how to plan software development in Agile, and we're taking a very hands-on approach. See you on Tuesday at 15:00 in Collab. Additionally, for any of you who'd like to be a PASS leader next year, you can expect an email soon with instructions on how to sign up.


STAFF-STUDENT CODING COMP.

  Coding Dojo's 5th annual Staff vs Student competition will take place this Weds 15:00-18:00 in the Collabs. Pair up with a friend and take on your favorite lecturers in tackling algorithmic challenges. The best teams (including the best first year team) will receive glamorous prizes as well as serious bragging rights! We've only got a few places left, so sign up quickly if you haven't already. 

David Malan


CS50.

  This from Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CS): The CS50 Hackathon will take place this coming Saturday 25 March, at The Landing in MediaCityUK starting from 11:30. Organised by HackSoc Manchester together with Harvard University and the School of Computer Science, the event is a 5-hour coding session based on CS50, the largest Computer Science course from Harvard. The event will be run by Harvard’s David J. Malan (in the pic) and the rest of the CS50 staff who will give workshops and be there to answer any questions you might have. The hackathon is suited for both people with no prior experience in programming and Computer Science students as well. There will be something new to learn and challenging enough for all levels of experience. We have over 300 people registered and we are expecting a full house on Saturday. If you want to join the waiting list or want to find out more about the event, check cs50.hacksoc.com.


DAVID MALAN SEMINAR.

  And David will be here in the School to give a seminar this Friday 24 March, at 14:00 in LT1.5. Come along and hear this inspiring speaker – everyone welcome!


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

   Final year students, so far you’ve painted Kilburn 47% blue, so if you haven’t yet done your NSS please do it and take your ack to SSO for your free bar of choc and your chance to win £100 in the final prize draw on 28 April. We only need another 40 of you to do the survey and beat last year's total.


HACKATHON PODCAST.

  Part 2 of Episode 15 of the CS@Manchester podcast is "Live at StudentHack V!" and features Luke Beamish (Y1, CS), Stefania Hristea (Y2, HCIwIE), Ben Possible (out on IE with Sandhurst Associates) and Andrew Leeming (former PhD student and mentor). Plus Ankur Banjeree, Julian Bucknall and Mohammad Azzam from Barclays.


CAREERS SUPPORT.

  Final-year students, if you’d like some help in deciding what to do after you graduate this summer, the Careers Service would like to help. Get in touch.

Mr Bean and Teddy


RED NOSE BAKE.

  This Friday 24 March is Red Nose Day, and there’ll be a charity cake sale in the Staff Common Room from 15:00. Do some baking and bring your stuff along! Or just come along and buy and eat – £1 a cake/bun/whatever!


TEACHING AWARDS.

  Is there a lecturer, or a TA, or someone in SSO that you think deserves recognition for being especially fabulous? Why not vote for them in the annual Manchester Teaching Awards run by the Students’ Union. It’s your opportunity to recognize outstanding members of staff throughout the University: Best Lecturer, Most Supportive Academic Advisor, Most Inspiring Lecturer, Best Graduate Teaching Assistant, Best Project Supervisor, Best Support Staff/ Team, Best Communicator. Vote now! (deadline next Friday 31 March).


GLOBAL GRADUATES.

  Applications for the Global Graduates program, which gives UoM students the opportunity to meet with alumni in one of our host cities across the world, close on 19 March.


LOVE CODING?

  Looking for a grad job in Software Development? Barclays Technology Centre are looking to recruit. More info can be found on moodle. Be quick – CVs accepted until 12 noon TODAY (assessment centre takes place this Friday 24 March).


MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

  Help defeat blood cancer. Tomorrow Tues 21 March 10:00-16:00, the University, in collaboration with DKMS, is holding an event at the Student Union (Ground Floor) with a target of registering 100 new lifesavers. Forget needles! Registering only involves a simple mouth swab and some questions. You could really make a difference.


BIG CHIP AWARDS.

  Established in 1997, the Big Chip Awards are the longest running digital and tech awards in the UK and the largest outside of London. Winning a Big Chip Award is a huge accolade and will help students stand out to prospective employers. There are two awards categories open to students: the Little Chip Student Award and the Little Chip Placement Award. Submissions should demonstrate creativity, or technical ingenuity in the design or creation. Deadline today Monday 20 March but they may be flexible so get in touch now!

Oxford Road visualization


OXFORD ROAD REOPENS.

  The section of Oxford Road between Booth Street and Charles Street reopens today. Eleven of the 13 new bus stop platforms are complete and in use with the remaining two due to open in April. Completion of carriageway works is set for the end of April. In the meantime there will continue to be some disruption to pedestrians while footways are finished. There are also plans to install new lighting columns, street furniture, and the planting of many new varieties of trees.  


IGEM COMP.

  Interested in learning new skills outside of your degree during the summer? The Manchester iGEM Team 2017 might just be for you! The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition is a prestigious international student team competition in synthetic biology. Team activities go far beyond laboratory biology and allow team members to be involved in website design and computer modelling, research and innovation, project design and development, public outreach and education. iGEM iculminates in the 'Giant Jamboree' in Boston in November 2017 (see last year’s event). Interested? Contact Eriko Takano by this Thurs 23 March.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  As part of the School’s regular seminar programme, this Weds 22 March at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.5, Giles Reger (COMP11212: Fundamentals of Computation) will talk about “My Journey to the Dark Side”. Giles says: In 2013 I was presented with a choice: a postdoc in an area related to my PhD work, or to join the Dark Side of theorem proving. I chose the Dark Side. In this talk I will describe my journey from runtime verification (the not-so-dark side) to automated theorem proving (the dark side), and my ongoing research in both fields.


CITYVERVE.

  Cisco are recruiting six ‘citizen journalists’ to act as roving reporters for CityVerve, the UK’s smart city demonstrator. The citizen journalists will be the eyes and ears on the ground, reporting on how the CityVerve project is shaping up and the impact it’s having on the lives of people who live and do business in the city. To apply, email cj@cityverve.org.uk and answer the question “What technology would you most like to see deployed in Manchester?” in 400 words or less. If you have examples of previous published work, such as articles, videos or blog posts, then share links to those. The deadline for entries is midnight TODAY 20 March.


C HELP WANTED.

  Inas Alnemi, a PhD student in Biophysics here at the University, is looking for someone to help with C programming (paid). If you’re interested, email Inas.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 7 (A) • Monday 13 March 2017 • #16.22          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 13 March, and it’s Week 7, an A week. I hope all is well. On with today's news, and quite a lot today!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


STUDENTHACK SUCCESS.

  This from Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CS): After many months of preparations and 36 hours of coding, StudentHack V is over. It was the most ambitious hackathon HackSoc has ever organised and this was reflected in the big number of attendees, sponsors and volunteers. The teams of sponsors and judges had the chance to seen tens of impressive and never done before hacks. As usual, University of Manchester students took home some of the prizes. The Ultrahaptics challenge was won by Liang Huang (Y2, CS), Ziyuan Chen (Y2, CS) and Yangguang Li (Y2, CM) who used the Ultrahaptics Transducer Array. This device is able to create virtual objects in mid air using vibrations and they've used it to create some virtual drums which can be used for playing music. The other team of Pablo Manzano Salmeron (Y1, AI4), Nikolay Gospodinov (Y1, SE4), Alex Ivanov (Y1, CS) and Izz Abudaka (Y3, CSwIE) won three – yes three! – prizes: the Big Data Track Prize, the Accenture Big Data Challenge, and the #HackHarassment Prize. Their hack was using Machine Learning to detect harassment in SMS messages. Well done to you all! None of these would have been possible without the awesome volunteers we had from all over the UK and the whole team of organisers. Thank you all!

Student hack pano shot

Hackachon people

podcast logo


PODCAST WITH CRISTIAN.

  Part 1 of Episode 15 of the CS@Manchester podcast features an interview with Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CS) one of the organisers of StudentHack V (see above!). Jez Lloyd asks Cristian what hackathons are all about, why he's got involved and what someone would expect to get out of attending one of these huge events. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week, featuring interviews with participants and other organisers at the event this past weekend.


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: Come along to PASS this week if you fancy adding an extra drop of fun to your studies. By now there is no way you don’t know what it is, so we’ll skip straight to saying PASS this week will be complete pun-demonium. Jokes aside, in the past, PASS has seriously helped students with their studies. Even if you feel like you’re completely comfortable with everything, one of the best ways to get better is by teaching others. PASS it on.


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: Good morning everyone in their 2nd Year. In PASS2 this week, we'll be kicking off the first of our three Agile workshops. Agile is a software development method used by a great number of companies, and if you're going off on placement, it's very likely that you will be using it. For the next three weeks, we'll be preparing you to take on real software engineering with Agile techniques. See you on Tuesday at 15:00 in Collab!


SSC REPORT.

  Last week we had the first staff-student committee meeting of this Semester, and you can read a report of the meeting on the Blackboard SSC page in the ‘Meeting reports for 2016/17 Academic Year’ section.


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

  Congratulations to Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) who won last week’s prize draw – £100 of High Street vouchers. Final year students, so far you’ve painted Kilburn 46% purple, and we have loads more paint, so if you haven’t yet done your NSS please do that, and take your completion ack to SSO for your free bar of choc and your chance to win £100 in our final prize draw on 28 April.

NSS purple kilburn


BLOOMBERG MOBILE.

  In this week’s COMP101 guest lecture Mark Olleson from Bloomberg's Mobile team will discuss how conventional development tools and techniques scale poorly when challenged with mobile development: 'Super-sized Mobile Apps – Getting the Foundations Right'. This Thurs 16 March at 11:00 in LT1.1 All welcome, not just COMP101 students.


OPEN CONF.

  FlossUK is organising a Spring Conference this week 14-16 March in Manchester. The conference covers open source, open systems, open hardware and open data topics. Get tickets.

Memes logo


CAPTURE THE MEMES.

  Madalina Raicu (Y2, HCI4wIE) writes: Interested in cybersecurity? Interested in memes? Get plenty of both in Capture The Memes, this coming Saturday 18 March in Kilburn, organised by CSSoc. It’s a series of different challenges to test your abilities in cryptography, wifi password cracking, and much more! The perfect opportunity to learn more about network security in a full day of awesomeness, from 10:00-18:00 – everyone welcome to give it a go :) It's also a chance to win awesome prizes from our sponsor (there may or may not be some Amazon echos around... ;) ) So get in groups (max. 4 people), get cracking, and see you on Saturday! Pizza is provided, as well as cool gadgets for everyone.


CAREERS HELP.

  Rachel Mutters writes: As your School’s Careers Consultant, I want to ensure you are all getting the support you need from myself and the Careers team about what to do when you graduate. If you’re leaving us this summer it would be great to know. I have created a couple of questions for you which will determine how we can assist you. If you have no idea what you want to do, we are the best port of call, as we can talk through your options and help point you in the right direction. Also check out our Mock Assessment Centre, open to all year groups. Employers will be asking you to assessment centre and one of the tricky parts is the group exercise, working in teams to establish and outcome on a time restraint. Students often struggle with this as they haven't had a practice before. Come along to our popular Mock Group Assessment Centre to get to know what to expect from employers. Accenture and BAE Systems will be here to provide hints and tips from an employer perspective. To confirm your attendance visit Careerslink and search for event ID 3974. We will be feeding you too!

Royce Building visualisaton


SCHOOL BOARD UPDATE.

  This from Luke Beamish (Y1, CS) and Rifad Lafir (Y1, CS4wIE) – your SSC reps who attend the monthly School Board. Last week the Board met to discuss many of the ongoing changes around the School. The first of three phases of the ground floor refurbishment ends next week, with the next phase expected to take 5 months. The project will create a large open plan office space for IT Services. Plans are currently being made to transform the courtyard area into a multi-purpose space which will be levelled to allow better wheelchair access, the neighbouring walkway will be widened creating a space suitable as a soft seating area. It is hoped that the courtyard area will be functional around mid-July. All of the windows around Kilburn will be replaced with double-glazing starting from April. Work is being done to upgrade the lighting in the IT building, possibly extending to Kilburn. Enabling works have also begun for the creation of the tallest building on campus, the £150m Royce Institute (see pic), next to the Alan Turing Building. The Board also discussed the exciting new changes to our PhD programmes. The newly approved EngD will give students the chance to work on 4-6 research level projects over 4 years alongside an industrial partner. Changes to the core PhD programmes also aim to make them more flexible for students and allow entry to specific projects or research areas prior to finding an academic supervisor.


CODE CLUB.

  The University Library is running Code Club workshops every Thursday 16:00-18:00 in the Lower Ground Floor of AGLC until the end of March. Improve your skills with their team of experienced facilitators in Java, Ruby, HTML, Python and lots more. Come and learn something new, or start that project you've been meaning to work on.


VENTURE FURTHER.

  Want to start-up a business? Here's your chance to win £10,000 and make it a reality. The Manchester Business School’s Venture Further competition is open for entries until 29 March.

Manchester free software logo - a penguin on a gnu


GNU R.

  At Manchester Free Software's March Meeting, Michael Dorrington will give a talk+tutorial on GNU R, the popular free software for stats computation and graphing (install it first on your laptop). Next Tues 21 March 19:00, at Madlab (M4 1HN).


MBS MASTERS.

  Interested in a Masters at Alliance Manchester Business School? Their next informal lunchtime information session will take place this Weds 15 March, 12:00-13:30, in the Atrium in the Alliance MBS East building. You don’t need to have studied business before. Meet staff and current students and discover how the MBS courses can boost your career prospects. Pre-register or drop in on the day.


GEODATA COMP.

  Got an idea for an innovative geospatial open-data app? Win €1500, as well as expert help to develop your app! The ENERGIC-OD project is running a contest for undergraduate and postgraduate students to provide a business plan and software application mock-up, for the use of open, geospatial data. Contestants will compete for the opportunity to win €1,500 (first prize), €1,000 (second) or €500 (third), as well as consulting sessions with GI business experts. Register your interest.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 6 (B) • Monday 6 March 2017 • #16.21          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 6 March, and it’s Week 6, a B week. Only 4 weeks to Easter! I hope all is well – and good luck to 3rd Year students whose project demonstrations start this week. On with today's news!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


STUDENTHACK.

  This from Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CS): The wait is over! StudentHack V is finally here. The 5th edition of the largest student hackathon in the UK will start at 18:00 this Friday 10 March. With 500 students registered, coming from three continents, a new format and the best venue in Manchester, it is the most ambitious hackathon HackSoc has ever organised. See you all at The Landing (below) in MediaCity at Salford Quays and prepare for 36 hours of hacking!

The Landing


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: Ever felt like the way your lecturer explains something isn't really working for you?  Well, we have a solution: PASS is a great opportunity to get help from second and third year students with your studies. Also, 2 weeks of pun-ishment is just too long to go without puns, so we decided not to pass on the opportunity to write a PASS pun here. See you Wednesday 12:00-13:00 (or 13:00-14:00 for CM).


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: this week in PASS 2 we're going to have a careers workshop held by FDM Group about skills-based interviews. Make sure you come along on Tuesday between 15:00 and 16:00 in Collab.


SSC.

  Last week we had the first staff-student committee meeting of this Semester. It was lively as usual! We’ll publish a report next week.

Kilburn-o-meter


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

  Final year students – help us to paint Kilburn completely blue (it’s currently 42% blue) by completing the NSS survey. Take your acknowledgement to SSO for a free bar of delicious chocolate and your chance to win £100 in the next prize draw this Friday 10 March.


PODCAST.

  The latest episode, number 14, of the Computer Science podcast is now up. This edition talks to Dave Aimes and Sarah Zaman from the North West Computing At School (CAS) hub, located here in our School. It looks at the CAS project, and initiatives to Teach the Teachers (of Computer Science) in secondary schools. Interested in getting involved with outreach to schools? Contact David Rydeheard.


SCALING IT UP.

  Guest lecturer for COMP101 this Thurs 9 March at 11:00 in LT1.1 is Alex Blundell, Graduate software engineer at the Hut Group. Alex will talk about 'Scaling a Technology Platform for Modern Online Retail'. So, you’ve built an application, how do you make it sale for millions of users? All welcome, not just COMP101 students.


TEACHING AWARDS.

  Is there a lecturer, or a TA, or someone in SSO that you think deserves recognition for being especially fabulous? Why not vote for them (and make their day!) in the annual Manchester Teaching Awards run by the Students’ Union. It’s your opportunity to recognize outstanding members of staff throughout the University, in seven different categories: Best Lecturer, Most Supportive Academic Advisor, Most Inspiring Lecturer, Best Graduate Teaching Assistant, Best Project Supervisor, Best Support Staff/Team, Best Communicator. Vote now! (deadline 31 March).


VISUALIZING ED.

  Rifad Lafir (Y1, CS4wIE) and Aaysuh Chadha (Y1, AI) worked on a data science project over the weekend. They obtained lyrics for all of Ed Sheeran’s songs and used natural language processing techniques, like term frequencies, sentence similarities and sentiment analysis to find out how much variation there is across Ed Sheeran’s songs. See their findings.

Visualising Ed


GOOGLE SUMMER OF CODE.

  A reminder that applications for the Google Summer of Code open later this month on 20 March. Get paid a stipend ($6000 equivalent) for three months working on open source code this summer. Over 200 mentoring organisations were announced last Monday including the Python Software Foundation, The Apache Software Foundation, Ceph, CERN, the Fedora Project, Blender, Git, the GNOME Foundation, the Wikimedia Foundation, JBoss, Scala, XBMC (Kodi) and more. If interested you need to research the organisations first before making first contact.


URBAN MOBILITY HACKOUT.

  Transport for Greater Manchester is partnering with the TravelSpirit Foundation for Hackout Manchester, to tackle tough urban mobility challenges with a weekend of innovation and collaboration, 17-19 March at The Shed. The event will bring together passionate developers, digital artists, IoT experts, and business savvy professionals, to bring about the pro-social and environmental potential of Mobility as a Service. Registration is free, and complementary refreshments and coaching will be provided throughout the weekend. Hackout Manchester is part of the UITP Youth for Public Transport 2017 Global Hackathon. The grand prize winners at Hackout Manchester will get to showcase and refine their project at the 62nd UITP Global Public Transportation Summit in Montréal, 15-17 May.


TAUGHT MASTERS.

  If you’re thinking of continuing your studies after you graduate, please read on! The School offers an Advanced Computer Science MSc degree with a range of different pathways, and eligible for the government’s postgraduate loan scheme. We also offer modular and part-time MScs which allow you to work and study at the same time. You can complete the Modular MSc in anything between 2.5 and 4 years whilst working; you only spend one day per week in classes. Employers are often willing to support their employees by covering some or all of the fees or giving extra days off in order to complete coursework. Alternatively you can opt for the part-time MSc which is eligible for the government’s postgraduate loan scheme but must be completed within 2 years. To find out more, pop in to see the postgraduate admissions team in 2.10 Kilburn Building, or email us.


PG FUNDING.

  ...and if you are interested in PG study, the Grundy Educational Trust provides funding for UK citizens/residents looking to complete a postgraduate course.


PREDICTING DRUG INTERACTIONS.

  Achille Fokoue from IBM Unified Data Analytics will talk about Predicting Drug-Drug Interactions Through Similarity-Based Link Prediction, this Friday 10 March, LT1.5, 12:00. All welcome.


GO GREEN.

  The Green Program offers educational summer breaks in a number of locations including Iceland, Japan, Peru and Hawaii.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 5 (A) • Monday 27 February 2017 • #16.20          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 27 February, and it’s Week 5, an A week. I hope everything is going well. On with today's news!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


SSC.

  The first Staff-Student Committee meeting of the year is this Weds 1 March 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


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: Remember, PASS is on Wednesdays, 12:00-13:00 (or 13:00-14:00 for CM). The perfect opportunity to get help with your course material from second or third year students who remember the struggle! We promise there will be a pun next week…


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: See you on Tuesday at 15:00 in Collab.


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

  Congratulations to Rodrigo Viada Campos (Y3, CSwIE) who won last week’s prize draw – £100 of High Street vouchers. Students graduating this year: once you’ve done the NSS, take the acknowledgement (phone or printed) to SSO for a FREE bar of chocolate and your chance to win in the next prize draw on 10 March. Also, the University will donate £1 to charity for every NSS entry received, and also enter you into their prize draw, with 10 chances to win £400 Amazon vouchers after the survey has closed.

Nancy


MEET THE PRESIDENT.

  The President of the University, Nancy Rothwell, is making her annual visit to the School this Weds 1 March and she's holding an informal open 30-minute meeting for students at 15:00 in Kilburn 2.19 (second floor). If you’d like to have the chance to talk directly to her, here’s your opportunity. If you can’t make it yourself, why not ask a Student Rep to raise an issue on your behalf.


CS50 HACKATHON HELP.

  Hacksoc are looking for volunteers to help with the CS50 Hackathon on 25 March here at the University. If you’d like to help, contact organiser Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CS).


FEMALE STUDENTS.

  Calling all female students for a Focus Group! There’s been a significant rise in female student numbers this year and we’d like to find out if the changes we’ve made to our marketing is connected to this in any way. We want to build on this success and this is where we need your help! We’d like a small number of female students to volunteer an hour of their time to attend a focus group session to talk through what impacted their decision making and discuss the school’s recruitment materials and activities. Contact Jez Lloyd.


ACADEMIC WRITING HELP.

  Places are still available for the University Language Centre’s Academic Writing Tutorial Service. This service is ideal for international students who are looking for support with their essays, projects or dissertations. Get further information.


PHD STUDENTSHIPS.

  Considering further study after you complete your degree? PhD studentships are available within the School for 2017 entry. The James Elson Studentship Award provides an outstanding candidate with fees and an enhanced stipend to carry out a 3-year PhD research project relating to applications of computer science in Artificial Intelligence. Deadline: Friday 17 March. We are also able to offer a number of other full studentships for Home students, and fees-only bursaries for International students. Further details.

GSOC logo


GOOGLE SUMMER OF CODE.

  So far Google Summer of Code (GSOC) has seen more than 12,000 students in 104 countries over 12 years working on 568 open source projects to write over 30 million lines of code. If you'd like to join them and spend this summer learning about open source development while earning money, the 2017 mentors for #GSOC are announced today (27 Feb) with applications closing on 20 March.


DIGILAB.

  Get your hands on new kit at Digilab at the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons this Thurs 2 March, with demonstrations of machine learning, the Wizdish ROVR VR treadmill, Microsoft HoloLens, One Five West interactive artwork installations, the PlayFields app and augmented reality from SwapBots.


ROCKET SCIENCE.

  The UK CanSat Competition team would like to invite you to join them in their quest to design and build a remote sensing satellite for a competition in the USA later this year. They’re looking for Computer Scientists to help with software and hardware, and are holding an intro event this Weds 1 March at 14:00.


BUILDING GRAPH APPLICATIONS.

  For people interested in graphs and Neo4j, come and learn about the most popular graph database of today and why graphs are great to store your data and make sense of it! With Neo4j, React, NodeJS, and GraphQL. ThoughtWorks, City Tower Manchester this Weds 1 March at 18:30 with Metafused.com. Free registration.


DATA SCIENCE.

  The next meeting of the Data Science Club is today at 14:00-15:00 in Collab. Focusing on the theme of Text Mining this event will feature keynote talks from Sophia Ananiadou, Director of the National Centre for Text Mining, and Steve Naylor from the Health and Safety Laboratory. In addition attendees will have the chance to hear about current text mining research taking place in the School of Computer Science.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 4 (B) • Monday 20 February 2017 • #16.19          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 20 February, and it’s Week 4, a B week. Spring is in the air, and the daffodils and snowdrops are coming up around the campus. On with today's news, and I have quite a lot for you today! 

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


GRADUATION.

  This year’s graduation day will be Friday 14 July, with the ceremony at 12:15 and a reception here in the School for you and your families and friends. Online registration for the ceremony will be open from Monday 1 May until Wednesday 28 June. We’ll remind you nearer the time.


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: If you, despite the absolutely amazing puns used to promote PASS over the last two weeks, have yet to try PASS... it’s Wednesday, 12:00-13:00! Except if you're CM, in which case it's 13:00-14:00. An hour of getting help from people who have been through the same struggles as you with their studies, and can help you get to grips with the difficult stuff, too – what's not to like? Remember... you should pass on that it's a terrible idea to let PASS pass you by (the puns will get better next week).


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: We hope everyone enjoyed the functional programming workshop last Tuesday. This week, for those of you not going into industry next year, we'll be giving advice on preparing for your third year project. For those who want to propose their own projects, it is essential to get started early. We hope to see you all tomorrow Tues 15:00 in Collab1.


SSC.

  The first Staff-Student Committee meeting of the year is Weds 1 March 14:00-15:00. If you'd like to raise anything, please contact one of your reps ASAP, so that there’s time to investigate before the meeting. Here they are!

SSC potraits


OUR RESPONSE TO YOUR FEEDBACK.

  We’ve now looked in detail at the Course Unit Survey results from Semester 1 of this Academic Year (2016-17). 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.


CSSOC PUB CRAWL.

  Madalina Raicu (Y2, HCI4wIE) writes: CSSoc would like to invite you to the Pub Crawl Event this Fri 24 Feb, starting at 17:30! It will be a great opportunity to meet like-minded people, have some fun and relax at the end of the working week! Some of our stops will be FMB, Turing Tap, Footage, Courtyard and Garrat. There will be CSSoc T-Shirts handed out to people who want to join us! Enjoy each moment spent with your friends from CSSoc! (Facebook Event).

Pub crawl banner


STAFF VS STUDENTS COMP.

  Coding Dojo is happy to announce the 4th annual Staff vs Student competition! Pair up with a friend and take on your favorite lecturers in tackling algorithmic challenges. The best teams (including the best first year team) will receive glamorous prizes as well as serious bragging rights! The competition will take place on Weds 22 March, so save the date! Exact times will be announced later. Sign up (places are limited).


STUDENT VOLUNTEERING WEEK.

  As part of volunteering week this week’s COMP101 lecture will be given by Lindsay Gilbert, Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CS) and David Rydeheard. They’ll be talking about volunteering activities you can get involved in in each of the communities they represent. All welcome this Thurs 23 Feb at 11:00.

hackathon winners group shot


NEW BLOGPOST.

  Last week I introduced you our latest student blogger: Aayush Chadha (Y1, AI). Check out his new post The noob’s survival guide to hackathons. If you’re interested in becoming a student blogger (we pay!) contact Jez Lloyd.


WHAT NEXT?

  This from Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE): Tickets are on sale now for the annual Manchester Entrepreneurs' WhatNext? Conference. This jam-packed day will allow you to hear from a range of leading entrepreneurs and visionaries. Alongside talks we'll also be holding a variety of workshops designed to stretch and challenge your thoughts and opinions. Previous workshops have been facilitated by Uber, Dotforge and Ignite. Expect another great selection of workshop leaders this year at WhatNext? 2017. Get tickets.


LIBREBOOT.

  At Manchester Free Software's February Meeting, Leah Rowe will talk about Libreboot, a free BIOS/UEFI replacement. Tomorrow Tues 21 Feb 19:00, at Madlab (M4 1HN).


WELCOME WEEK AMBASSADORS.

  Do you want to become an Orientation and Welcome Student Ambassador for September 2017 (£7.79 per hour)? Successful applicants must be available for training/work all day from Monday 11 Sept to Sunday 17 Sept and a majority of roles will continue into Welcome Week (18-22 Sept). If selected, you will be invited to attend an assessment event in the period 4-10 May and Student Ambassador roles will be confirmed after these dates. Apply by 23:00 on 12 March.


MEET BLOOMBERG.

  This Weds 22 Feb 10:00-16:00, Bloomberg will have a stand in the LF area to promote their 2017 placement and graduate opportunities in Software Engineering. Pop along and meet Manchester alumni currently on their graduate programme, find out more as well as picking up some Bloomberg food and goodies.


FDM DROP IN.

  FDM, who recruit over 1000 Graduates a year into IT and Business Consultancy roles, will be holding a drop-in session on LF this Thurs 23 Feb, 12:00-14:00, to speak to 2nd year students about the exclusive placements on offer to University of Manchester students in Cyber Security and Software Development. These placements are only open to UoM students, so don’t miss out!


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 3 (A) • Monday 13 February 2017 • #16.18          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 13 February, and it’s Week 3, an A week. I hope everything is going well. And hello to all our Foundation Year students, who will now be getting the Monday Mail too. On with today’s news!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


FOSDEM.

  This from Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CS): Last week, a group of HackSoc members, sponsored by the School of Computer Science went to FOSDEM 2017 in Brussels. FOSDEM is one of the largest open source conferences in Europe. We were very excited to have so many presentations and workshops to choose from. The topics ranged from Quantum Computing to Machine Learning and most of the time, there were no free seats left in the audience. Some of the engineers of the open source organisations which attended accepted to be mentors for our future hackathons by giving workshops or helping the attendees. It is a big gain for our students! Below: Andrei Belcin (Y1, AI4), Mihai Bujanca (Y2, on IE), Alexandra Misca (Y2, HCI), Martina Catizone (Y2, CS), Igor Wodiany (Y2, CSwIE), Teodora Stoleru (Y1, CS), Cristian, and Michael Yonli (Y1, CS4).

Fosdem group shot


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: If you haven't given PASS a go yet, there's still time (and quite a lot of it!). PASS, for those of you who are in first year, is a relaxed session over an hour where you can get help from second and third years who have been through the same difficulties with the course content that you have. It's really useful – promise! Remember – we're all about the PASS, 'bout the PASS, no trouble.


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: This week in PASS2 we’re looking at functional programming in Java 8. A useful tool for future projects. See you on Tuesday at 15:00 in Collab.

PASS2 banner


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

  Students graduating this year: once you’ve done the NSS, take the acknowledgement (phone or printed) to SSO for a FREE bar of chocolate and entry into our prize draws to win £100 of High Street vouchers – and congratulations to Angel Vuldzhev (Y3, SEwIE) our first winner! The next draws will be 24 Feb, 10 March and 28 April. The University will donate £1 to charity for every NSS entry received, and also enter you into their prize draw, with 10 chances to win £400 Amazon vouchers after the survey has closed.

Aayush portrait


NEW BLOGGER.

  Say hello to our newest student blogger: Aayush Chadha (Y1, AI). Read his first post Namaste, Manchester. If you’re interested in becoming a student blogger (paid!), contact Jez Lloyd.


MEET THE PRESIDENT.

  Here's a date for your diary. The President of the University, Nancy Rothwell, is making her annual visit to the School on Weds 1 March and she's holding an informal open 30-minute meeting for students at 15:00 in Kilburn 2.19 (second floor). If you’d like to have the chance to talk directly to her, here’s your opportunity. If you can’t make it yourself, why not ask a student Rep to raise an issue on your behalf.


CS50 HACKATHON.

  Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CS) writes: The tickets for the CS50 Hackathon in partnership with Harvard University have been released and they are completely free for Manchester students. So far, more than 200 people have registered and the numbers keep growing. We will soon announce ways in which you can volunteer so stay tuned!


EXAM FEEDBACK.

  A reminder about the feedback session at 14:00 on Weds 15 March to give you the opportunity to view your marked COMP exam answer books for the Semester 1 exams. Advance registration is required; please email SSO with your ID, name, programme and the list of course unit codes you’d like to view. The deadline for registration 12:00 Weds 1 March. If you'd like to view answer books for course units from other schools then please contact those schools directly.


CRAIG DEAN.

  This week’s guest lecture for COMP101 will be given by Craig Dean of Web Applications UK on patterns, paradigms and methodologies. Craig is the Chief Executive of Web Applications UK, a company that makes bespoke travel software based in Oldham, Greater Manchester. They have employed many students from the School of Computer Science as summer interns and year long industrial placements and are established sponsors of the annual Hack Manchester competition every October at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. All welcome, not just 101 students.


OXFORD ROAD CLOSURES.

  There will be various closures and restrictions on Oxford Road between Booth Street and Whitworth Street from today Mon 13 Feb until Friday 17 March. Journey times for drivers and bus passengers are therefore likely to be adversely affected, particularly at the peak travelling times and especially in the evening. For detailed updates, see Transport for Greater Manchester.


HASH CODE.

  Hash Code is a team-based programming competition organized by Google for students and industry professionals across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. You pick your team and programming language while Google pick a real-life engineering problem for you to solve. The first round of the competition takes place on Thursday 23 Feb. If you’re up for the challenge, register by Monday 20 February.

Ana


CHARITY BAKE.

  Ana Gabriela Pandrea (Y1, AI4wIE) writes: Homemade goodies just for you! Carefully prepared, with lots of love, sweet and cheap, and what is best, all the money goes to charity! Make sure you come and grab your piece of happiness this Thursday 16 Feb, between 12:00 and 14:00, on LF near Tootill. All money raised will go to The Children's Society, through the RAG Brazil challenge. For more details and online donations, please see my Justgiving page.


STOCKPORT HACK.

  Stockport Council is holding SKHackathon17 on Saturday 4 March. With a panel of judges representing major local employers including CDL, this is also a great chance to show off what you can do in front of an eager audience on the lookout for the next generation of top programming and creative talent. Prizes include Amazon Echoes, work experience opportunities, and support for further development of ideas and solutions. Food and drink provided. Book your free place.


WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY EVENING.

  IBM would like to invite you to an evening of meeting their professional women at their central Manchester lab. This is an ideal opportunity to interact with professionals who have had a broad spectrum of careers in Information Technology. There’ll be an ‘ice breaker’, short talks by several women working in the lab about their careers and challenges, followed by a round table and networking session, plus pizza and coffee. Apply (deadline 17:00, Monday 6 March).


MANCHESTER DIGITAL.

  A reminder that it’s Manchester Digital talent day this Weds 15 Feb in Manchester Town Hall. This is your chance to meet over 70 local employers from across the North West who are looking to recruit for summer internships, placements and graduate positions.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 2 (B) • Monday 6 February 2017 • #16.17          The Monday Mail

Toby picGood morning UG! It’s Monday 6 February, and it’s Week 2, a B week. I hope you're getting back into the swing of things after the exams period. We plan to announce provisional exam results on Thursday 23 Feb. On with today’s news...

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


COURSE UNIT CHOICE DEADLINE CHANGE.

  Due to essential maintenance on Campus Solutions the deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units is now 15:30 this Friday 10 Feb (not 17:00 as previously advertised). 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.


AWARD WINNERS!

  This from Prof Robert Stevens, Head of School: I’m delighted to tell you that the School won four awards at the Faculty Better World Showcase last week! The winners were: Britain Breathing (Caroline Jay, Andy Brass, Markel Vigo, Lamiece Hassan and Sheena Cruickshank);  Computing at School  (David Rydeheard, Carol Murray, Sarah Zaman and Dave Ames); The UK Schools Computer Animation Competition (Toby Howard); and the Manchester Deaf Centre Hackathon (Bijan Parsia, Benjamin Hammersley, Megan Finnis (School of Law) and Rachel Kenyon (Humanities). The first two came top in their category and the second were highly commended in their categories. Congratulations to all!

Better World winners


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: PASS, for those of you who haven't given it a go yet, is a relaxed study session in which you can get help with your studies from second and third years. If you want to pass, don't pass on PASS. 12:00-13:00, Wednesdays (or 13:00-14:00 for CM) in Collab.


PASS2.

  This from Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS): In case you didn't know, PASS2 is now running on Tuesdays at 15:00 in Collab.  This week we're going to be running a workshop on programming languages not necessarily taught in lectures, however could be useful in Third Year projects and Industry. We will mainly focus on C++, so see you then.


PI CLUB.

  William Woof (PhD student and TA) writes: Pi Club starts again this Weds 8 Feb at 14:00 in LF31. Come along if you’re interested in cool things to do with your Pi!


STUDENT HACK.

  Anais Hristea (Y2, HCIwIE) writes: StudentHack is back for the fifth time on 10-12 March, at Landing, MediaCityUK. The next batch of tickets goes live this Wednesday at 18:00 on Eventbrite. Meanwhile updates for the event are available on the Facebook event page and @StudentHack.

StudentHack banner


CS50 HACKATHON.

  This from Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CS): HackSoc Manchester, together with Harvard University and the School of Computer Science will organise a CS50 hackathon on 25 March. The hackathon will be based on the CS50 course from Harvard taught by David J. Malan, one of Harvard's most famous Computer Science professors. You might have heard of David from his very famous video lectures spread on the internet or if you took the CS50 online course. David will be present at the hackathon together with other Harvard academic staff members, ready to give workshops or to have one to one discussions to help the attendees. The tickets will be released soon and they will be entirely free for the people from Manchester. Our city will be the second in Europe to host such an event and the expected attendance will probably set a new record. This hackathon is an opportunity you should not miss.

Paul Vlissidis


HACKING THE HACKS.

  The COMP101 Guest Lecture this week is from Paul Vlissidis from NCC Group. He’ll be talking about penetration testing and security, using an example of (permitted) hacking into a journalist’s (hack) personal account. All welcome, 11:00 this Thurs 9 Feb in LT 1.1.


MONEY WEEK.

  This week is National Student Money Week. This year’s theme is ‘Waste Not Want Not’ There’s an exciting week of free events for you to find out about how to get smarter with your money both now and in the future. Find out what’s happening.


TRAVEL AWARD.

  The University’s Alumni Association is offering a £250 bursary to students going overseas to volunteer over the summer of 2017. If you’d like to find out more, contact David Hargreaves.


TEACHING CAREER.

  A career in teaching can be greatly rewarding and fun, and schools need your computer science skills. You also get a generous bursary of £27,000. If you'd like to explore this, there’s a drop-in meeting to meet CS teachers and teacher trainers, this Thurs 9 Feb, 11:30-12:30, Kilburn room LF15 (refreshments served). If you can’t make the meeting, contact Dawn Hewitson.


WEB DEVELOPMENT.

  The University's Science and Engineering Innovation and Research Hub is looking to recruit a UG or PG student to help create a website displaying the results from one of our schools’ outreach projects. This is a funded opportunity. For further information please contact Jon Chippindall.


SUMMER PLANS?

  If you’re looking for productive ways to spend your summer, take a look at MyFutureFest which will be happening in University Place,  tomorrow Tues 7 Feb 10:00-16:00.

Venture cap logo


VENTURE CAPITAL.

  This from Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE): The University is launching one of the first student Venture Capital groups in the UK with Campus Capital. Apply to become a part of this exciting new group where you’ll learn about investment by becoming a student VC, and working with real startups.


EXTREME PROGRAMMING.

  XP-Manchester is a regional group to promote, discuss, practise and learn eXtreme Programming. At their next meetup they’re inviting people to solve Sudoko puzzles using Test Driven Development (TDD). This Thurs 9 Feb, 18:30 at Madlab.


SCIENCE BUSKERS.

  If you love science and engaging with the public then we want to hear from you! The University is recruiting Science Buskers to support public engagement events taking place during 2017, including British Science Week (March) and Community Open Day (June). We’re seeking enthusiastic students interested in inspiring and engaging the general public in some science fun. No prior experience needed! Sign up for our information and training day this Weds 8 Feb, 12:30 – 15:30  in University Place, Room 4.206 (lunch voucher provided).


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  As part of the School’s regular seminar programme, this Weds 8 Feb at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.5, Prof Paul Cohen (University of Arizona) will talk about “Beyond Big Data”. Cognitive limitations, fragmented literatures and ultra-specialization all make it hard for humans to understand very complicated systems. By combining modeling methods from systems biology with machine reading and other AI technologies, it is now feasible for machines to read the primary literature, extract fragments of signaling pathways, assemble these fragments into networks of unprecedented size, and use these to simulate the effects of drugs. The talk will discuss how these technologies work and why cancer biology is a good challenge problem. Everyone welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 1 (A) • Monday 30 January 2017 • #16.16          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 30 January, and it’s week 1 of Semester 2 teaching, an A week. The exams are over, 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


FINAL YEAR MEETING.

  There’s an important meeting for all final year students today Monday 30 Jan at 15:00 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.


EXAM RESULTS.

  We plan to publish the provisional Semester 1 exam results on Thurs 23 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 15 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 1 March.


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  The deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units on the University system is 17:00 Friday 10 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.

Man City's shield


MAN CITY HACK.

  Manchester City FC are running a hack which aims to discover the next best digital fan engagement initiative, looking for new ideas about how to engage with people on digital platforms. Apply for a place.


PI CLUB.

  William Woof (PhD student and TA) writes: Pi Club will start again from Weds 8 February at 14:00 in LF31. Come along if you’re interested in cool things to do with your Pi!


DIGITAL TALENT DAY.

  Looking for a summer internship, placement or graduate job in Manchester? Manchester Digital Talent Day on Weds 15 Feb is an annual careers fair where over 70 digital businesses showcase themselves and meet over 1200 students from schools, colleges and universities across the North West. Register for this great opportunity to find out more about local employers.


BBC GAME PLAY.

  Final year students – the BBC would like to invite you to participate in their Game Play event. It’s a day of game-related creative thinking, doing and pitching on Thu 23 Feb at MediaCityUK in Salford, Manchester. Apply (deadline this Weds 3 Feb).


ON THE TELLY.

  The big TV screen on LF is now displaying stuff, which we hope you'll find useful (see the live feed), If there are any messages you’d like to display you can use Tell us! or tweet us to add your messages to the screen. Thanks to Ian Cottam, Chris Page and Steve Rhodes for the tech.


VOTE FOR US!

  David Rydeheard writes: The School has been nominated for four University “Better World” awards: (a) for the long-running UK Schools Animation Competition, (b) for the Manchester Deaf Centre Hackathon, helping deaf people to be heard in the legal world, (c) for #BritainBreathing, tracking seasonal allergies, and (d) for Computing At School, supporting computing in Primary and Secondary Schools across the region. Please support us by voting for our entries!


BOGLE STROLL.

  Are you one of the brave? Do you dare take on the Bogle: the monumental, annual 55 mile sponsored walk? The Bogle Stroll is the longest running sponsored event in the whole of the North-West, beginning in 1961 when a group of lecturers from the University missed their last train home and took on the challenge to walk all the way from Lancaster back to Manchester. Tackle the Bogle head on for the full 55-mile stroll, a daring, once in a lifetime experience. Or challenge yourself to our 28-miles ramble. You can even grab some friends and face the Bogle together by splitting the stroll into a relay for teams.  This is by far the biggest event RAG runs each year and we hope you can join in and take on the challenge! Now in its 56th year, Bogle 2017 is taking place on Fri/Sat 10/11 March. Sign up!

Bogle Stroll banner


UG OF THE YEAR.

  Could you be an Undergraduate of the Year 2017? TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year is an annual awards competition to find the best undergraduates in the UK. Prizes include work placements and overseas trips. Applications are now open in 11 categories. Deadline for entering the competition is today Mon 30 Jan.


MANC JS.

  Manchester JavaScript (manc.js) returns this Weds 1 Feb 19:00 at MadLab (Manchester Digital Laboratory) with Sam Marshall who will be introducing ClojureScript, and Glen Mailer who will be talking about a method of confidently building robust user interfaces. Register.


MBS MASTERS.

  MBS offers 17 business and management courses to choose from; from business analysis to operations, and marketing to HR management. There’s a Loyalty Bursary scheme too for alumni. You don’t need to have studied business as many are a conversion to their subject area. Come to an info session on on Weds 15 Feb, 12:00 – 13:30 in the Atrium in the Alliance MBS East building.


SEEKING DEVELOPERS.

  Gunel Mammadova, a student at Alliance Manchester Business School, is seeking computer engineers/software developers for prototyping a product he’s working on. If you’re interested, email Gunel.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  As part of the School’s regular seminar programme, this Weds 1 Feb at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.5, Prof Bronis R. de Supinski (Lawrence Livermoore National Laboratory) will talk about A Standards-Based Approach to Effective Use of Future Large Scale Systems: "Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has a long history of leadership in large-scale computing. Our next platform, Sierra, will be a heterogeneous system delivered by a partnership between IBM, NVIDIA and Mellanox. A major consideration is how we will access Sierra's significant performance potential. This talk will provide an overview of the Sierra architecture, our reasons for selecting it and progress towards its deployment." Everyone welcome.


BIG  DATA SEMINAR.

  The Data Science Institute invites you to their next Advanced Data Analytics Seminar taking place on 7 February at 13:00-14:00 in the Kanaris Lecture Theatre (Manchester Museum). Dr Joris Bierkens from TU Delft will present “The Zig-Zag Process and Super-Efficient Sampling for Bayesian Analysis of Big Data”. Full details. All welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Exams Week 2 • Monday 23 January 2017 • #16.15          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 23 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


FINAL YEAR MEETING.

  There’s an important meeting for all final year students next Monday 30 Jan at 15:00 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. Advice about exams, too. See you there.


BBC GAME PLAY.

  Final year students – the BBC would like to invite you to participate in their Game Play event. It’s a day of game related creative thinking, doing and pitching on Thu 23 Feb at MediaCityUK in Salford, Manchester. How to apply (deadline 3 Feb).


VOTE FOR US!

  The School has been nominated for two university Better World awards: (a) for the long-standing UK Schools Computer Animation Competition (which I run) and (b) for our public engagement programme, especially for the quality and scope of our support for computing in Primary and Secondary Schools across the region, run by David Rydeheard and Giles Reger and our outreach team Sarah Zaman, Carol Murray, Dave Ames and Carl Simmons. Please support us by voting for both entries!


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  The deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units on the University system is 17:00 Friday 10 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.


BE AN 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! The School has up to 20 positions available. Deadline for applications is 09:00 this Friday 27 Jan.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Exams Week 1 • Monday 16 January 2017 • #16.14          The Monday Mail

Toby picGood morning UG! It’s Monday 16 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. Top tips: stay calm, write and illustrate your answers clearly – and keep in mind that someone has to actually read your writing! Now, on with today's news!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Sleep pod


EXAM SUPPORT.

  From now until 20 January, calm your brain, have a croissant and get exam support at sessions in the Learning Commons. They have a Sleep Pod too for a 20-minute nap with ambient music.


PAST PAPERS.

  A reminder about the past exam papers page. And here’s the complete timetable for exams in all Schools.


MIT CIRCS.

  If you have any mitigating circumstances that have affected your Semester 1 teaching period, the deadline for submitting a mitigating circumstances form to SSO (Kilburn LF21) is today Monday 16 Jan. If you have any mitigating circumstances for the Semester 1 exam period, the deadline for submitting is Monday 30 Jan. Please note that the School can only consider your circumstances if you have submitted a Mitigating Circumstances form by the deadlines given above.


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  The deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units on the University system is 17:00 Friday 10 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.


BE AN 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! The School has up to 20 positions available. Deadline for applications is 09:00 Friday 27 Jan.


ENGINEERING CHALLENGE.

  The Royal Academy of Engineering are inviting university teams to participate in the Global Grand Challenges Competition 2017, a seven-month programme of challenge-led innovation, design and business development, culminating in the opportunity for five successful teams to attend the Global Grand Challenges Summit in Washington DC.


LOVELACE EVENT.

  The BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium 2017 is a free, one day conference for women undergraduates and taught masters students on 12 April at Aberystwyth University.  Submit a 250-word abstract on a computing topic of your choice, deadline 17 Feb, to enter the poster competition (travel and accommodation paid for). Full details.

UG of the Year


UG OF THE YEAR.

  Could you be an Undergraduate of the Year 2017? TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year is an annual awards competition to find the best undergraduates in the UK. Prizes include work placements and overseas trips. Applications are now open in 11 categories. Deadline for entering the competition is Mon 30 Jan. Why not enter?


ACADEMIC WRITING HELP.

  Places are still available for the University Language Centre’s Academic Writing Tutorial Service. This service is ideal for international students who are looking for support with their essays, projects or dissertations. Get further information.


VOLUNTEER IN UGANDA.

  Volunteering internationally is an exciting and rewarding way to make a difference in communities overseas. The University's Team Uganda project is looking for 14 volunteers and an Assistant Project Leader to spend a month in Uganda with the charity S.A.L.V.E. International in summer 2017.


BLACK ROCK.

  BlackRock’s Spring Insight programs are open to first year students, and provide a comprehensive overview of the company. During the week students will take part in work shadowing, project based assignments, training, and networking opportunities and will learn about the investment management or technology industries. It also serves as a fast track to the Summer Analyst Programme. Application Deadline: 1 February 2017.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 12 (A+B) • Monday 12 December 2016 • #16.13          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 12 December. Not only is it Week 12, but it’s also the last week of term – but I suspect you already know this! I hope that this Semester has been a stimulating, interesting, and enjoyable 3 months for you. The Monday Mail will be back on 16 January, for the first week of the exams. Until then, I wish you a very happy Xmas break, and see you in 2017! Now, on with today's news… lots of it too!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


1ST YEAR PROJECTS.

  39 projects! 271 students! The First Year Project poster session last Thursday was, as always, buzzing, with fantastic ideas on display – see all the posters in the Y1 Project Poster Gallery. Onto the prizes! M4 won Best concept for “Turing Machine Simulator” – Izunna Aneke, Matthew Downes, Olivier Fischer, Samuel Jenkins, Mohammed Shaikh, Robert Zagozdzon, Abdullah Zubair, Tutor Konstantin Korovin. W3 won Most visually appealing and imaginative poster for “Questify” – Hassan Abrar, Remus Balanescu, Anna Balotescu, Gytautas Buivydas, Mihnea Savu, Warren Thomas, Tutor Andy Carpenter. X8 won Most carefully thought through application and plan for “Symphonia” – Lama Alhugail, Fernando Macedo Ferreira, Taehee Ko, Somyung Lee, Pranay Mistri, Erfan Moniri, Minh Nguye, Tutor Milan Mihalovic.

The 3 winning posters

Well done prize-winners and well done everyone for all your hard work and imagination!

collage of 12 photos from the 101 poster session


PORTICODE WIN.

  Petia Davidova (Y1, CSwIE), Mihnea Savu (Y1, CS), Constantine Dimitrov (Y1, SE4wIE) and Rifad Lafir (Y1, CS4wIE) attended UCL Porticode at the weekend where they won in the Best Polished Hack category. They built a skill for Amazon Alexa called Nancy that allows it to recite a poem, motivate, narrate a story and flirt with the user. Well done!

Porticode winners


KNEEBONE BURSARY AWARD.

  Congratulations to Fiona Campbell (Y2, CS4), selected as this year’s recipient of the 4th annual Kneebone Bursary, founded by the Kneebone family in memory of their daughter Kate, who was an undergraduate here in the School. The bursary comprises a cash award and an opportunity for an internship with ARM. Well done Fiona!


VENTURE OUT WIN.

  And congratulations to Zac Riley (Y1, SE4wIE) and Diwakar Saxena (MBS) on being awarded 2nd Prize in the Digital Category for their “HallSwap” application in this year’s Venture Out, the University’s student ideas competition run by the Manchester Enterprise Centre, part of the Business School. Well done! Venture Out will return in autumn 2017, if you’d like to enter applications are already open. There is also Venture Further for students interested in winning £10,000 to start-up their own business. This was won last year by Erol-Valeriu Chioasca who was awarded his PhD in the School last year and went on to found the spin-out company Exgence.  

Zac Riley and Diwakar Saxena at the Venture Out awards


XMAS OPENING.

  Details of opening times and access arrangements for the Kiburn building for the Xmas vacation period are here. The Student Support Office (SSO) will be open as usual during December from 09:00-17:00, apart from the following: Weds 14 Dec, closed for the day at 15:00; Thurs 15 Dec closed 14:30–15:30; Friday 16 Dec closed for the day at 15:00; Tues 20 Dec closed for the day at 13:30; Thurs 22 Dec closed to student queries at 15:00 until Tues 3 Jan 2017, re-opening after the University's Holiday period at: 09:00.


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: don't forget PASS1 this week, Weds 12:00–13:00 in Collab.


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: This week in PASS 2 we’re going to have a drop-in session for general help to do with course units and exams. We'll also have a few Christmas related snacks, so make sure to come along. See you there this Friday 13:00–14:00 in Collab.


SSC.

  We had the second staff-student committee meeting last week (meeting report). It was lively as usual! One issue that was raised was noise from the Kilburn building work sometimes causing disruption. We want to minimise any disruption so we’ve put a process in place for you to let us know of any issues as soon as they happen: email environs@cs.man.ac.uk, and if the problem persists call 0161 275 4238. This info is also on posters we put up around Kilburn last week.


MIT CIRCS.

  If you have any mitigating circumstances that have affected your Semester 1 teaching period, the deadline for submitting a mitigating circumstances form to SSO (Kilburn LF21) is Monday 16 January 2017. If you have any mitigating circumstances for the Semester 1 exam period, the deadline for submitting is Monday 30 January 2017. Please note that the School can only consider your circumstances if you have submitted a Mitigating Circumstances form by the deadlines given above.

Tell us logo


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 courses it runs from today until Fri 23 Dec. 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 every year we publish a response to your views, for every course unit. For example, here are the responses to your comments on Semester 2 of last year.


EXAM PREP.

  You’ll be starting revision soon, so why not bookmark the past exam papers page. And here’s the complete timetable for all Uni Exams.


OUTREACH.

  Another opportunity to use your computer skills in the community. The School is starting a new outreach project to engage students with computer literacy teaching, centred around people that are in difficult life situations such as the poor, homeless or refugees. We’re looking for students interested in teaching basic skills such as web browsing and office software, addressing the specific needs of the community. This is a hugely worthwhile initiative and will be great fun too, working as part of a team. If you're interested, please register your interest (with no obligation).


BUILDING BRAINS.

  Your brain runs on approximately 25 watts of power, about the same as a small light bulb. In contrast, a full-scale state-of-the-art computer model of the human brain would require tens of megawatts (10⁶ watts) and a machine that would fill an aircraft hangar. This computer model would need a small power station to run it and generate a very large and unaffordable electricity bill. Find out how Steve Furber and the Human Brain Project are using power efficient ARM computing to investigate one of the most mysterious supercomputers we know, the one between your ears.

Dominic Laing


CAREERS ADVICE.

  December deadlines to meet? Still deciding on a career? Got an interview or assessment centre invitation? Congratulations! Need help with all of this? Not to worry. There’s still time to book in for a careers appointment with Dominic Laing, our Careers Consultant. He’s offering appointments in Room LF5, opposite Byte Café, this Thurs 15 Dec from 10:00 to 16:00. You can make a booking for a 15-minute Applications Advice session, a 30-minute Careers Meeting or a 30-minute Interview Simulation (for this one please pre-upload a copy of your application and details of the position to CareersLink). Make a booking.


MONEY SKILLS.

  The University is currently in 3rd place in the Blackbullion Christmas leaderboard competition. Amazon goodies are up for grabs!  Sign up and complete the five-minute session and you'll be automatically entered into the prize draw.


MORGAN STANLEY.

  MS is currently recruiting for their Technology Spring Insight programme, a 3 day event aimed at students in the 1st year of a 3 year degree or 2nd year of a 4 year degree. It’s a mixture of lecture-based sessions, educational activities, projects and time spent shadowing a variety of groups. You'll gain a real sense of whether a career in technology at an investment bank is right for you. Deadline for applying is Monday 9 January 2017.


GIRL GEEKS PARTY.

  Manchester Girl Geeks are having their end-of-year party next Sunday 18 Dec. Everyone welcome – it’s free, but bring a dish.


NEW TECH HUBS.

  A £4 million grant has been awarded to fund two new tech hubs for startups in Manchester on two sites, one on Oxford Road (the former BBC site opposite Maplin) and the other in the Old Granada TV Studios in Salford. Find out more about the 2000 new tech jobs that will be created.


MACHINE LEARNING.

  Tomorrow Tues 13 Dec 14:00–16:00 in the Kanaris Lecture Theatre, Professor Iain Murray from the University of Edinburgh is giving a seminar on Density Estimation: Views from Machine Learning and Statistics. Machine learning methods are getting rapidly better at fantasizing novel complex objects, such as images or audio, based on large training sets of examples. Some of the methods behind these impressive demonstrations are also useful for scientific data analysis. All welcome.


MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

  The annual Making a Difference Awards for social responsibility are now open to receive entries, with a closing date of 1 February 2017. Find out how to enter at the awards website, see a short film, and meet some of the 2016 winners.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  As part of the School’s regular seminar programme, this Weds 14 Dec at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.5, Dr Francesca Palumbo (University of Sassari) will talk about “Dataflow-based co-design strategies: the Multi-Dataflow Composer Tool”. Power reduction in modern embedded systems is a challenging issue exacerbated by their design complexity and heterogeneity, normally colliding with the need for cutting down designer effort to achieve shorter time to market. Reconfigurable Video Coding (RVC) addresses those issues. Everyone welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 11 (B) • Monday 5 December 2016 • #16.12          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 5 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 in sight! Good luck to all First Year students on their project presentations this week, and the poster session on Thursday (details). On with today’s news and lots to tell you about today!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


HACK-KING SUCCESS.

  Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CSwIE) reports on HackKing's, held in London 26–27 November: It was fun! Besides our teams building some very cool hacks, we also had the chance to visit London. I am very happy to see way more first year students this year participating at hackathons. This time, more than 20 people from HackSoc went to HackKing's. As usual, we had some wins. A team of first years – Aayush Chadha (Y1, AI), Raul Ignatus (Y1, CS) and Mihnea Savu (Y1, CS) won the Bloomberg Prize for building an application which finds for you the nearest public toilet in London. Not only that it was a very cool hack but they changed their original Machine Learning hack idea halfway through the hackathon and managed to build something new in such a short time. Another winning team was Igor Wodiany (Y2, CSwIE) and Hamza Ghani (Y2 SE at MMU) who won the Just Eat challenge for creating an automated hotel check-in solution using Amazon Echo. Well done everyone!

Hack Kings group shot


SSC.

  The second Staff-Student Committee meeting of the year is this Weds 7 Dec 14:00–15:00. If you'd like to raise anything, please contact one of your reps ASAP. Here they are!

Mugshots of all the reps


KILBURN OUT-OF-HOURS.

  From today Monday 5 Dec, the Kilburn Building lodge (at the loading bay) will be staffed by one building attendant. This means that occasionally (such as when they’re patrolling the building) there may be no attendant at the lodge. As Kilburn is open access Mon–Fri 08:00–18:00, this will have minimal impact during the day. However, outside this period, the procedure for entering the building will change. A swipe card reader has been installed. All taught students with a valid out-of-hours pass have had their ID cards updated to allow out-of-hours entry using the card reader. So you will need to carry your ID card if you wish to access Kilburn out-of-hours. Please also continue to carry your paper out-of-hours pass to prove entitlement to be in the building as spot-checks will be carried out. If you have any difficulty entering the building (if your card is damaged, perhaps) and the attendant is not present, their phone number is posted at the lodge for you to contact them. Please let me know of any issues as we roll this new system out.

Tell Us logo


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 courses it runs from today until Fri 23 Dec. 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 every year we publish a response to your views, for every course unit. For example, here are the responses to your comments on Semester 2 of last year.


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: don't forget PASS1 this week, Weds 12:00–13:00 in Collab.


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: this week in PASS2 for part of the session we may have a few people who are on Industrial Experience video-calling in to describe their experiences so far on placement. The second part of the session we'll be looking at exam preparation and going over some exam questions. See you there this Friday 13:00–14:00 in Collab.


VENTURE OUT.

  Join me in wishing luck  to Zac Riley (Y1, SE4wIE) on being shortlisted as a finalist in this year’s Venture Out, the University’s student ideas competition run by the Manchester Enterprise Centre, part of the Business School. The winners will be announced next week.


CODE CLUB.

  Luke Beamish (Y1, CS) writes: STEMSoc will be running a new code club at Moss Side Powerhouse Library next semester, where secondary school students will get the opportunity to learn to program in Python. We're looking for extra volunteers to help run the club and inspire young people with a passion for technology. Volunteers would not need to commit to every week, whenever they are able to help will be much appreciated. For those in first year this may also be an excellent opportunity to add something to your CV. Anyone interested please email Luke.

PASS night in Collab 1


PASS NIGHT.

  This from Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE): Last Thursday, the PASS schemes for Computer Science and Aerospace converged on Collab for a series of board games, twister, giant jenga and WWE (there was a surprise Cena too!). Lots of friends were made, and we can't wait for the next one in semester 2!


MONEY SKILLS.

  Amazon Fire tablets, Amazon vouchers and other goodies are up for grabs! The University has partnered with financial education specialists blackbullion to offer a money skills session. Sign up and complete the five-minute session and you'll be automatically entered into a prize draw.


iOS APPS.

  interested in developing applications on iOS? NSManchester is a monthly meetup of mac developers at madlab, and their next meeting is today, Mon 5 Dec at 19:00 where the BBC’s Ross Butler (one of our second year software engineering mentors for COMP23420) will be talking about agile practices at CBeebies. All welcome.


VOLES ON THE LINE.

  You’ll have learnt (or will learn) about Context Free Grammars in COMP11212 Fundamentals of Computation. But have you ever wondered what use you might put them to? Sean Bechhofer has written a twitterbot which tweets extremely silly imaginary excuses for travel delays on Northern Rail. It’s amusing, insightful and the code is all on github if you’re interested in writing a twitterbot yourself. Read Sean's blog about it.

Sean's voles tweet


THOUGHTWORKS MANCHESTER.

  Tomorrow Tues 6 Dec, join ThoughtWorks' Technical Directors James Lewis and Ian Cartwright, and the Co-Op's Danielle Haugedal-Wilson for a session on the latest ThoughtWorks Technology Radar. James, Ian, and Danielle will share insights into virtualisation (using Docker as process), Cloud computing (Platform as a Service: PaaS), microservices architecture and machine learning. They will also discuss how augmented reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are becoming more mainstream. Hosted in the Co-op Auditorium, 1 Angel Square from 18:00-20:30. All welcome, and food and drink served! Free registration.


OFFICE 365.

  You can now download the full Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and more, available for offline and online use. You’ll be able to use the software for as long as you're enrolled on a taught programme at the University.

Office 365 logo


DANNY ON SECURITY (AND MUCH ELSE).

  Our very own Daniel Dresner, Lecturer and researcher in Information and Cyber Security and Governance, has done a very insightful (and entertaining) podcast interview about cyber security with blogger Jenny Radcliffe. Well worth a listen.


ACCELERATE!

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) writes: Thought about starting a business alongside your studies? accelerate me is a 12-week programme designed to accelerate and grow student startups, organised by the Manchester Entrepreneurs Society. We offer up to £1500 of funding, office space, legal services, accounting services and a line-up of workshops and mentors. All designed to fit the student schedule and help student projects get off the ground, grow and raise funding. We take no equity and we accept entrepreneurs at any stage of their journeys. Application deadline is Tues 20 Dec.

Film comp logo


SHORT FILM COMP.

  The University’s 2nd Annual JustFest Short Film Competition has launched. It’s an exciting opportunity for undergraduate students to make a short video (30 to 90 seconds) on an issue of social justice that matters to you, and raise awareness of social justice to other students. It’s also a great way to evidence a whole range of skills to potential employers: creativity, project management, team work. You can film your entry using a phone, tablet, digital camera and there are cash prizes for the winning entries: Grand Prize £400, People’s Choice £200,  4 x Runners Up £100. The comp is open until 12 March 2017, Last year’s winner was  “When I Say I” with over 9,500 views on YouTube. To find out more visit watch the comp video or visit the website. @EGC_ Manchester #JustFest


MANCHESTER FREE SW PARTY.

  Manchester Free Software's December Meeting is also their Christmas Party, this Thurs 8 Dec at 19:00-22:30 in Sandbar (M1 7HL).This is a joint Christmas Party with the NO2ID and Open Rights Group (ORG). Just turn up, all welcome.


LASER WORKSHOP.

  This Sunday 11 Dec at Fab Lab Altrincham, Manchester Girl Geeks are running a laser cutting workshop. It’s suitable for complete beginners and also people who've had a go before. They'll talk you through the basics of making an image ready for laser cutting, and show you how to use the cutter to make beautiful festive cards and decorations. They'll also have some other festive papercraft activities for you to try out, so you'll come home with a bag of goodies (the £5 ticket includes all materials and instructions). For more information, and to book, visit the event page.


GRAPHENE PhD.

  Final year students, if you’re interested in a doing a PhD in the science and applications of graphene and related 2D nanomaterials, there’s an Open Day next Weds 14 Dec, 13:30–15:30.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  As part of the School’s weekly seminar programme, this Weds 7 Dec  at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.5,  Dr Darren Lunn (a graduate from this School, and now Real World Data Manager at the Clinical Practice Research Datalink) will talk about “Extending and Enhancing Real World Data for Public Health Research”. Everyone welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 10 (A) • Monday 28 November 2016 • #16.11          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 28 November, and it’s Week 10, an A week. I hope everything is going well. The end of the teaching semester is fast approaching and I hope you're on top of things, but if you have any concerns, do have a chat with someone: for example, your Personal Tutor (Year 3 students this is also your Project Supervisor), or your Year Tutor, or SSO – you can find useful contacts in the link box below. Have a great week, and on with today’s news!
Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


PROGRAMMING COMP.

  Last week 19/20 Nov, two teams from the School took part in the Northwest Europe Regional Programming Competition (NWERC 2016) in Bath. The teams were "Kifte" (first years) and "m4dch35t3r" (third and fourth years). There were 114 teams competing in total. Team Kifte achieved 26th place, solving 6 out of 11 problems, while m4dch35t3r achieved 69th place, solving 4 out of 11 problems. See the full scoreboard. Only 38 teams solved six or more problems. To get anywhere at all in such a difficult contest is a splendid achievement, and for a first year team to make the top 30 is exceptional. Well done all! Team Kifte: Valentin Borisov (Y1, CM), Tsvetomir Tsanev (Y1, CS),  Konstantin Vladimirov (Y1, CSBM); Team m4dch35t3r: Ion Diaconu (Y3, CS4), Karol Jurasiński (Y3, CMwIE), Ettore Sergey Torti (Y3, CSwIE).

Top view of the NWERC event


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: don't forget PASS1 this week, Weds 12:00–13:00 in Collab. 


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: this week we will be doing a coursework drop-in session, so if you have any problems or questions you'd like to raise, come along!  We'll be in Collab 1 for the entire hour so feel free to drop in. See you at this Friday 13:00–14:00.


KNEEBONE BURSARY.

  The Kate Kneebone Acorn Bursary is an annual commemorative 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 placement (with an Engineering bias) with ARM in Cambridge. All current Year 2 UG students in the School are eligible to apply, deadline this Friday 2 Dec. See full details and how to apply.


HOW TO GET INSIDE A HACKER'S MIND.

  Our friends from Morgan Stanley are coming to give a guest lecture as part of COMP10120 this Thurs 1 Dec at 10:00 in LT1.1. During this interactive session, they’ll be inviting members of the audience to ROB A BANK (well, a dummy bank!) by stealing data and transferring money. Don't miss this unusual and interesting presentation. It’ll be a great insight into some common web security issues. All students welcome (not just first years).

Skyscanner logo


SKYSCANNER.

  You may have seen in the news last week that SkyScanner, which lets users compare prices for flights and hotels, was sold for £1.4 billion. Did you know that the company’s founders Bonamy Grimes and Gareth Williams graduated from this School? Skyscanner is currently hiring Computer Science students for summer internships and graduate roles.


LF ON WEDS.

  This Weds 30 Nov we're welcoming a group of Year 12 school students (aged 15-18) for a “Discover Computer Science” Day, and we'll be using the LF area from 12:00–12:40 for their lunch. Apologies for any slight crowding and I am sure you will make our guests welcome.


FOCUS GROUPS.

  First Year students, if you’d like to feed back on the Sustainability Challenge you attended in Welcome Week, there are two focus group sessions: tomorrow Tues 29 Nov, and this Thurs 1 Dec, both 15:00–16:00. You’ll be paid £10 for participating and there'll be free refreshments. Sign up – but hurry, there are only 15 places in each session.


ENGINEERING SCHOLARSHIPS.

  Applications are now open for the Royal Academy of Engineering’s scholarships scheme for engineering undergraduates (includes Computer Science). Engineering Leaders Scholarships help ambitious and inspiring students to become leadership role models for the next generation of engineers and undertake an accelerated personal development programme. Over the course of three years, they receive £5,000 funding for personal development and experienced mentorship to offer advice on their personal development and career options.

Oxford Road visualization


OXFORD ROAD CLOSURE.

  Oxford Road is currently closed for resurfacing between Brunswick Street and Booth Street until late Sun 4 Dec, and bus diversions are in place for services 15, 18, 38, 41-45, 53, X57, 85, 86, 111, 142, 143, 197, 250 and 263. Find out more about the Oxford Road changes.


INTERNATIONAL ALUMNI EVENT.

  International Students, wouldn’t it be great to sit down with an international University of Manchester alumnus, who has gone on to have a successful career in the UK, to find out about the work they do and how best to secure a position in the UK, after graduation? You can do just that tomorrow Tues 29 Nov 17:00–19:00, in the Atrium, 1st floor of University Place. An hour of formal networking, with the alumni will be followed by informal networking over food and drink. Places are limited and so please register ASAP.


SCALA MANCHESTER.

  Scala is an “object-functional” programming language for general software applications that's growing in popularity in many areas of industry. Scala Manchester are a bunch of developers, enthusiasts and noobs who meet up every month at MadLab in the Northern Quarter. Their next meeting is today Monday 28 Nov at 19:00 – all skill levels of Scala developers are welcome. 


MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

  Tomorrow Tues 29 Nov is the Making a Difference Fair, showcasing  a variety of organisations where you can volunteer, in the Renold Building Concourse between 11:30–14:00. Some of the organisations there are: Green Impact – NUS Scheme to encourage environmental sustainability; SPORT – many opportunities need no sporting skill or experience; Students Union Access All Areas and RAG; Kaya Volunteering – International Volunteering opportunities; Wood Street Mission (local charity supporting families); and UMBUG (the University’s Bicycle User Group). If you speak to any of the providers and complete the evaluation you could win a £50 High Street Gift Voucher. Follow #GivingTuesdayUoM.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 9 (B) • Monday 21 November 2016 • #16.10          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 21 November, and it’s Week 9, a B week. I hope things are going well. A reminder that tomorrow Tues 22 Nov is the second of our "Meet the professionals" events which give you the opportunity to meet with recent graduates from the School who are now professionals in the Computing/IT world. Don't miss this great opportunity (details below). Now on with the rest of this week's news...! 

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


OXFORD HACK WIN.

  Fantastic news from OxfordHack! Dragos Alex Radu (Y3, AI), Raul Ignatus (Y1, CS), Andrei Muntean (Y3, CS) and Alexandru-Paul Copil (Y1, AIwIE) have won both Second Prize, and the Microsoft Challenge. They developed a program that can generate an instrumental track for your lyrics. You input a text and it uses cosine similarity analysis to find the training data songs that resemble it the most, then takes the first three and inputs them into a restricted Boltzmann machine algorithm that generates new original music based on that. Well done!

Oxford Hack winners


HACKERGAMES WIN.

  And huge congratulations to Ignas Bolsakovas (Y3, CMwIE) and his team, who won First Prize at the Hackergames hackathon in Utrecht at the weekend, organised by Capgemini and IBM. The team built an intelligent personal assistant that learns the routines and habits of the user. As well as winning the event, they also won a trip to Silicon Valley. Congratulations on this amazing success!

Venta holding her certificate


INTERNATIONAL AWARD.

  Veneta Haramplieva (CSwIE, graduated 2016, now Software Engineer at Amazon) received a special award from the University last week in recognition of her final year project being given a "Highly Commended" rating in the international Undergraduate Awards, aka the “Junior Nobel Prizes”, placing her project (supervisor Gavin Brown) in the top 10% of undergraduates internationally, across all subjects. The scheme covered 244 universities worldwide, with a total of 5,514 project entries. Veneta was selected as one of the 9 best Computer Science projects worldwide – an exceptional achievement! You can read her project report here.


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: don't forget PASS1 this week, Weds 12:00–13:00 in Collab. 


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: this week in PASS2 we’ll be going through some algorithms and problems that are normally tested in interviews. Companies do expect a good understanding of how to implement a selection of algorithms, so make sure you come along. See you there this Friday 13:00–14:00 in Collab.


CHILDREN IN NEED.

  Last week the School’s annual online charity auction raised an amazing £393! Thank you to everyone who contributed! The book sale remains open (all books £1) at the top of the stairs leading to Kilburn 2nd floor. Have a look and grab a bargain.


MEET THE PROS.

  Duncan Hull (2nd Year Tutor and the School's Employability Tutor) writes: The next alumni session is on Rockets & Robotics with BAE Systems, ARM, Rolls-Royce and Thales. Find out about the work they do and how best to secure a place on a graduate job, placement or internship along with free food and drink tomorrow Tues 22 Nov from 17:00–19:30. Register. And thanks to our alumni Will Podesta, Sufian Al-Qasem, Jonathan Young, Edward Wilson, Gareth Mok, Andrew Wise, Justin Emery, Matthew Harling and Gordon Rates for attending our Meet the Professionals alumni event last Tuesday. This was part of a speed networking event for students that was very successful and organised by Miriam Cadney (Alumni Office) and Dominic Laing (the School's Careers Consultant).

Meet the Pros banner


SMALL STUDY ROOMS.

  I forgot to mention last week that if you want to use the two small study rooms LF5 & 6, opposite Byte Cafe, please make a booking by emailing ACSO (Academic Support Office) or calling in to see them (Kilburn Room 2.127).  

Sean (top) and Simon (below) displaying their mo goodness


SUPPORT SEAN AND SIMON.

  Sean Bechhofer (1st Year Tutor and COMP11212) and Simon Harper (COMP33511) are doing unusual things with their facial hair to make money for Movember, the annual moustache-based charity event tackling men’s health on a global scale. Why not help them raise a bit more? Click on their links above to donate.


PROJECT SURVEY.

  Chris Liciu (Y3, CS4wIE) writes: for my 3rd year project “Learning the student's happiness model”, I’m building a software system heavily based on Machine Learning, which requires a dataset from which it can learn. To obtain this, I've designed an anonymous questionnaire which asks students to say how happy they are with different aspects of their life. Would you please spare a minute to complete my survey? Thanks!


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 2017.


GIRL POWER.

  JP Morgan are running an exclusive event for female students looking to discover more about careers in technology with companies such as Accenture, BAE Systems, CGI, Deutsche Bank, ThoughtWorks and more. Students will spend a full day taking part in sessions to showcase their skills and personality including the opportunity to network with the recruitment teams, graduates and senior female managers. The next event date is next Friday 2 Dec at Capital One in Nottingham. The event is free and travel up to £50 will be reimbursed. Full details.


GET IN THE GAME.

  Today Mon 21 Nov find out more about getting into the games industry (please note this event is run by  a recruitment agency not a games company). 17:00–19:00, Atlas Rooms.


POSTGRAD STUDY.

  If you’re interested in Taught Masters further study after your UG degree, pop along to our upcoming Postgraduate Open Day this Weds 23 Nov. If you have any queries, contact Cassie Barlow.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 8 (A) • Monday 14 November 2016 • #16.09          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 14 November, and it’s Week 8, an A week. I hope everything is going well. Remember, if you need any help with anything, talk to us! SSO is a great place to start – they're here to help. Have a great week, and on with today’s news!
best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


GREAT UNI HACK.

  This from Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CSwIE): After 24 hours of intensive hacking at the weekend, GreatUniHack 2016 is over. We had more than 250 attendees, mentors and volunteers who all played an important part in making this event so amazing. We've seen some exceptional hacks this year. And we had wins! Alice Colt (Y2, CSBMwIE), Radu Ciobanu (Y2, CSwIE) and Anca Raluca Cristian (Y2, CSwIE) (in a team with a student from Birmingham) won the Barclays Prize! And Andrei Iliescu (Y2, CS), Paul Chelarescu (Y2, CSwIE) and Dragos Alex Radu (Y3, AI) won the Bloomber Prize! The big winner was Wimphony, an app which uses a smartphone antenna to detect wi-fi networks and place them in a virtual world where a piece of music is generated for each network. On the judging team were Duncan Hull, Darren Darcey (MMU), Jon Corner (CEO of Media City UK), Martin Bryant (Hack North) and Damian Lewis (Team Netsol). Thanks to all the volunteers who did a great job for the last three days. Everyone did their best not only to make this event happen, but to make it perfect. Thank you all!

Great Uni Hack group shot


SSC.

  Last Wednesday the Staff-Student Committee held its first meeting of this academic year, and our Head of School Prof Robert Stevens came along to welcome the Reps, and stayed for the meeting. It was, as usual, lively and productive, and Paul Nutter and I  took some issues away to look at ASAP.  The next meeting will be in 4 weeks on Weds 4 Dec, so if you’d like any issues raising, please contact one of your Reps. Here they are...

Gallery of SSC Reps


KNEEBONE BURSARY.

  The Kate Kneebone Acorn Bursary is an annual commemorative 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 placement (with an Engineering bias) with ARM in Cambridge. All current Year 2 UG students in the School are eligible to apply, deadline Friday 2 Dec. See full details and how to apply.

Hackathon orhaniser badge


BADGES UPDATE.

  Since we launched the Badges scheme last week, we’ve awarded 186 badges to 137 students, celebrating their work as PASS Coordinators and Leaders, SSC Reps, and School Ambassadors. Following your enthusiastic response, this week we'll be awarding new badges for completing a year's Industrial Experience, working as a Summer Intern in the School, and engaging in our Schools Outreach activities. Thank you for sending me ideas for 'badge-worthy' things – please keep them coming! And please join me in thanking Steve Pettifer for launching the scheme (and Chief Badge Designer) and Ian Cottam and Chris Page for the tech to make it all work.


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: Thank you everyone who took part in our survey! This will massively help how we organise the second semester for PASS, so we can run workshops and talks on what is really important to you. This week we will be inviting some further placement students on Skype to have a chat about their experiences. We'll announce the companies involved closer to the time. See you there this Friday 13:00–14:00 in Collab.


FACEBOOK HACKATHON.

  Good luck to Izz Abudaka (Y3, CSwIE) who is flying to California to take part in the Facebook Hackathon World Finals in Menlo Park this Thursday, as part of the UK team. In case you didn’t know, the team from our School WON this Hackathon in 2014 – a $2,000 prize and an Oculus Rift each! Join me in wishing Izz and his team luck!


SMALL MEETING ROOMS.

  A reminder that if you need a small room for a meeting, interview practice etc, Rooms LF5 & 6, opposite the Byte Cafe, are available for you to use.


HACKTRAIN WIN.

  Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CSwiE) writes with this update on HackTrain, which we featured last week: On 4-6 Nov, HackTrain UK took place. Coding in a train moving around UK, that's what makes HackTrain different from any other hackathon. You can easily imagine why it is one of the most popular hackathons around the world. Two Computer Science students from The University of Manchester, Julio Vega (PhD) [below, 1st from right] and Dragos Alex Radu (Y3, AI) [below, right] were part of the team who won 2nd place. They developed a prototype to identify and categorize 3D objects from a cloud of points. Congratulations, guys!

Pic of Hacktrain winners


WRITING HELP.

  Places are still available at the University Language Centre’s Academic Writing Tutorial Service. This service is ideal for international students who are looking for support with their essays, projects or dissertations. These one-to-one sessions last approximately one hour and you can get expert help in improving your academic English.


MEET THE PROFESSIONALS.

  Dominic Laing, the School’s Careers Consultant, writes:  Wouldn’t it be great to sit down informally with a University of Manchester alumnus working for Bank of America, AutoTrader, FDM Group, Marshall WACE Asset Management, a video games company, IT solutions companies, or themselves as a freelancer, to find out about the work they do and how best to secure a place on a graduate job, placement or internship? AND with free food and drink? Well you can do just that tomorrow Tues 15 Nov 17:00–19:30 in Collab 1. Places are limited. Pre-registration needed.  

Meet the professionals promo graphic


MORGAN STANLEY.

  If you’re interested in Summer work with MS, please note that their application deadline for  Summer Analyst & Industrial Placement is Mon 28 Nov.

Children In Need teddy


CHILDREN IN NEED.

  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 today until 17:00 Fri 18 Nov. Get bidding!


TEACH FIRST.

  Teach First is an education charity, engaging the UK's brightest talent to fight a serious social problem – educational inequality. Young people in low-income communities need leaders to bring out the best in them. The Teach First Leadership Development Programme combines teacher training and a fully-funded PGDE enabling you to develop leadership qualities you can take forward into any career. Apply now.


GAMING CAREERS.

  Next Monday 21 Nov at 17:00, the award-winning Grads in Games initiative is coming to Kilburn. Talks will be given by the Grads in Games team, along with Simon Iwansizak from Red Kite Games. Find out what it really takes to make it into such a competitive industry. Book your free place now! Note that the event organiser Grads in Games is a recruitment agency not a gaming company (info about agencies).


WRITE IT DOWN.

  Here’s something interesting. New research claims that students taking notes by hand in classes remember more effectively and perform better than students who type into their laptops. Worth a look and a ponder.

Wikipedia logo


GIRL GEEKS.

  Practically everyone uses Wikipedia – but have you ever tried adding to it? Women are sorely under-represented in editing and contributing to Wikipedia articles, and Manchester Girl Geeks aim to shift the balance with their Voting For Change edit-a-thon. They're teaming up with the People's History Museum and the Working Class Movement Library to acquire material related to the fight for the vote, and then share this knowledge on Wikipedia. Helpers from Wikimedia UK and Manchester Girl Geeks will be on hand to help you learn and develop editing skills. Free event this Sunday 20 Nov.


ONLINE COMPS.

  Ford and Microsoft are running three online hackathons from with over $100,000 in prizes. Ford’s Go Detroit invites students to build apps that help Motor City residents get around more efficiently and safely with technology that complements the existing transit infrastructure. Hack and Roll Indore seeks new technology solutions that improve road safety for bicyclists, pedestrians, and motor vehicles in Central India’s largest city. Finally, Microsoft is challenging students to build productivity solutions for the modern workplace using the Office, SharePoint, and Graph APIs. Deadline for all comps is Jan/Feb 2017, see links for details.


TALOS.

  At Manchester Free Software's November Meeting, Michael Dorrington will talk about the Talos Secure Workstation, now on Crowd Supply hoping to become a tangible reality. What differentiates Talos from other free hardware is that it's very powerful.  Most free hardware is low power consuming but also has lower computing power, however Talos competes with high end workstation/server non-free hardware.  Another differentiation is that Talos uses a Power Architecture, an alternative to x86 and ARM. Tomorrow Tues 15 Nov 19:00, at Madlab (M4 1HN).


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 7 (B) • Monday 7 November 2016 • #16.08          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 7 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 – another 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


BADGES.

  Studying at University is about much more than just accumulating marks towards a degree, and today’s employers usually look beyond the raw numbers when they're deciding who to hire. This week we’re launching a new scheme for awarding digital Open Badges as a way of recognising some of the cool things you do during your time here in the School. Some examples: meeting all your coursework deadlines; being a student Rep or Ambassador; helping to run an event; being a PASS leader or coordinator; best 1st Year Project poster. You get the idea. Physically, a badge is a PNG image file, but it contains digitally signed metadata which verifies it’s been awarded to you by the School. You can display your badges on your FB or webpage, or in your CV. They're yours to do what you like with. Below you can see some of the badges we'll be awarding, and we'd also like to hear your ideas for 'badge-worthy' things, so let me know. You can find out about the tech details on the Badges Wiki. We’ll be rolling out the programme from now, so watch your email!

3x3 collage of badge designs


SSC.

  The first Staff-Student Committee meeting of the year is this Weds 9 Nov 14:00–15:00. If you'd like to raise anything, please contact one of your reps ASAP.


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: don't forget PASS1 is back this week, Weds 12:00–13:00 in Collab.


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: see you there this Friday 13:00–14:00 in Collab.


CAPTURE THE FLAG.

  Congratulations to Karol Jurasiński (Y4, CSwIE ), Grzegorz Jacenków (Y4, CSwIE), Arjun Mistry (Y3, CMwIE), Dongeun Seo (Y3, AI) and Tristan Maat (Y3, CS4) aka “Reverse Polish Gas Station” who were rewarded with a set of drones for their win in the BAE Systems Applied Intelligence Capture The Flag competition recently. We hope to run a similar event next year.

Todd on his bike in the mountains


TODD AT GOOGLE.

  Todd Davies (CS, graduated last year) has written a blogpost about the value of internships. Read about how he got on in his internship at Google, about what life is like at one of the world’s best-known tech companies, and how he turned his internship into a full-time position as a Google Software Engineer.


CREDIT SUISSE.

  Join Credit Suisse for drinks, nibbles and networking with a difference at their Technology Innovation Challenge. Test your problem solving and collaboration skills against the clock. At the Manchester Museum 13:30–15:30 this Weds 9 Nov (registration required).


PRIZE SURVEY.

  The University is doing a survey on students’ views on giving to charity – take this five minute survey and win stuff: a £10 food & drink for the SU Bar, UoM canvas bags, a summer term UniRider bus pass (RRP £55). Survey and prize draw close on Sun 13 Nov.


CYBERSECURITY TALKS.

  Interested in Cybersecurity/IT Governance? Starting this week there’s a series of guest lectures from eight experts in the field, including Jon Noel from McAfee on malware evolution, Keith Cottenden from Cyfor on digital forensics, and Tim Armit from Clifton Risk Management on IT disaster recovery. The series is part of the taught M.Sc. programme, but is open to anyone interested. Check the timetable at the link above and come along.


HACKTRAIN.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE), Daniel Thomas (Y3, CSwIE), Izz Abudaka (Y3, CSwIE) and Daniel Ireson (MSc) were on board the amazing London-Paris-Lyons (and back) HackTrain this past weekend, an international hackathon where 80 innovators were invited to tackle some of the rail industry's biggest problems. Struan and Daniel Ireson worked on a computer vision project, to give train operators real time information on the mood of a carriage, to provide personalised customer experiences; Daniel Thomas worked on a personal chatbot assistant for customer service on trains, which learns from the customers' needs; and Izz worked with another Hacktrainer on an app which uses the WiFi infrastructure of stations to go ticketless. See Struan's photo gallery from the two days.

Collage of Struan's Hacktrain pix


SOCIAL SCIENCE FEST.

  The ESRC Festival of Social Science is happening this week, a celebration of the social sciences and social science research. One event is the Manchester Open Data Dive this Weds 9 Nov. It’s a one-day hackathon bringing together coders, data enthusiasts, graphic designers, project managers and end users from all sectors. During the day, short parallel workshops will run on finding and understanding data, using APIs and Big Data. It’s free to attend, with free pizza and drinks. And on Sat 12 Nov, you might be interested in “It’s written all over your face: The science of face perception “ – at the  Museum of Science and Industry (always a fantastic place to visit). Psychologists from the University and Manchester Metropolitan University consider what makes a ‘super-recogniser’, why faces are attractive and how we identify known people, with demonstrations of cutting-edge face animation work and how faces age.

Social Science Fest banner


BANK OF ENGLAND.

  The Bank of England launches their Technology Competition today. It’s open to groups of students and centres around the question ‘How would you use technology for the greater good?’ The winners will have the opportunity to undertake a paid internship at the Bank of England. Deadline for registering is Mon 21 Nov.

Simon smiling


SIMON ON FONTS.

   Simon Harper (who teaches COMP33511 User Experience) was quoted in an interesting article in the Daily Telegraph newspaper last week, on the subject of the readability of fonts on websites.


MEET THE PROFESSIONALS.

  The Careers Service and the Alumni Relations team are running a Meet the Professionals event next Tues 15 Nov 17:00–19:30, here in Collab 1. You can meet University of Manchester alumni who are now working in the area of IT and/or Computing.  It will be held in a speed networking format, with groups of students meeting a different alumnus/alumna every 10 minutes. The formal networking lasts an hour and then you'll be able to network more informally with the alumni volunteers over pizza and soft drinks. Advance registration required.


GO PROGRAMMING.

  ManGo is a group for people in Manchester who know, use, or are just interested in starting to program in Go, the programming language designed by Google. All abilities are welcome from just-interested to advanced. They meet on the second Wednesday of every month, and the next event this Weds 9 Nov at MadLab in the Northern Quarter.


PG STUDY.

  Interested in postgrad study? Check out the PG Study Fair at Manchester Central next Weds 16 Nov (registration required).


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  As part of the School’s weekly seminar programme, this Weds 9 Nov at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.5,  Dr Nicolas Matentzoglu from the School’s Information Management Group will talk about “Benchmarking your research community: Setting up an international (reasoning) competition”. The OWL Reasoner Evaluation Competition is an annual competition which pits OWL 2 compliant reasoning systems against each other on various standard reasoning tasks over naturally occurring OWL ontologies. In this talk, we outline the design of the competition and present the infrastructure used for its execution: the corpora of ontologies, the competition framework, and the submitted systems. All welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 6 • Monday 31 October 2016 • #16.07          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 31 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 7 Nov (Week 7B). But this week is as busy as usual, so on with today’s news! And Happy Halloween!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


UKIEPC.

  Ettore Torti (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Last weekend at the UK & Ireland Programming Contest we had 11 teams competing from Manchester this year, out of around 200 in the UK, and 2 of our teams made the top 40. The top three teams from Manchester were: Kifte (4 problems) – Tsvetomir Tsanev (Y1, CS), Konstantin Vladimirov (Y1, CM) and Valentin Borisov (Y1, CM);  m4dch35t3r (4 problems) – Ettore Torti (Y3, CSwIE), Ion Diaconu (Y4, CS4), Izz Abudaka (Y3, CSwIE); and Anonymouslambda (4 problems) – Daniel Thomas (Y3, CSwIE), Ignas Bolsakovas (Y3, CMwIE),  William Brown (Y3, CSwIE). Well done all!

Group shot of UKIWEPC contestants in Collab


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: Since this week is Reading Week, there’s no PASS1, so see you all again next week. Remember, if there’s anything you struggle with during this week’s reading, bring it up with your PASS leaders!


EXAM FEEDBACK.

  Final call! The feedback session at 14:00 on Weds 16 Nov in IT407 gives returning students the opportunity to view their marked exam answer books for AY15 (and AY14 for IE students). Advance registration required: email SSO with your ID, name and list of courses you’d like to view (COMP only; excludes Y1 Java). Deadline for registration is 12:00 this Weds 2 Nov.

Headshot of Dominic, smiling


MEET DOMINIC.

  Hi! I'm Dominic Laing, the Careers Consultant working with your School. I’ll be in Kilburn on Thursdays if you'd like to see me about anything. Just book a slot with me on CareersLink. Whatever you want to see me about, whether it's applications advice, developing your interview skills or not knowing what to do, please make a booking. Look forward to meeting you soon!


ENTREPRENEUR / INTREPRENEUR?

  The University of Manchester, the Manchester Tech Trust, and Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (SVC2UK), are jointly hosting a business growth forum for students tomorrow Tues 1 Nov that aims to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and intrepreneurs. Speakers this year include Anthony Newstead from The Coca-Cola Company, Steve Flavell from LoopUp, David Haikney from Couchbase (BSc Computer Science 2001), Elizabeth Clark from Dream Agility Ltd and Alex Ayin from Social Chain. Details & registration.


STARTUP WEEKEND.

  Mihai Bujanca (Y2, out on IE) writes: Startup Weekend is coming to Manchester this Fri-Sun 4-6 Nov at Auto Trader. It’s a 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. This is a great opportunity to meet entrepreneurs and innovators to work on ideas that could potentially turn into successful start-ups. Teams organically form around the top ideas so attendees can come both as individuals or groups. A great team of speakers, mentors and judges will be attending, giving constructive feedback to teams and assisting them in executing their idea. Do you want to get hands-on and learn about business design, marketing research and developing a prototype? Use the code STUDENT to get an exclusive student discount of 50% OFF ticket price. Full details.


CALLING ALL BLOGGERS.

  Are you a keen writer/blogger? Want to earn a bit of extra money whilst studying? The School is recruiting up to 3 new student bloggers to represent life in the School and Manchester. To give you an idea, check out recent graduate Todd Davies's blog. We’re seeking talented writers who are in 1st or 2nd year and will commit to contribute posts regularly. We’ll pay £25 per blog post (up to 12 per year). Interested? Apply now.

Two pix from CAS Science day


FAMILY SCIENCE DAY.

  Thanks to Teo Taylor (Y4, CS4) and Mihai Garbur (Y3, CS) who joined the Computing At School team on Saturday at the Manchester Museum Science Spectacular to show families how exciting Computer Science can be. Children and parents watched the Nao robot perform the Macarena, and saw how Lego Mindstorms robots can be programmed, as well as carving pumpkins in Minecraft on the Raspberry Pi. If you’re interested in getting involved with events like this, David Rydeheard would be pleased to hear from you.


CUTTING EDGE RESEARCH.

  Our School is a hotbed of research, much of it done by PhD students working together with academic and research staff. Want to know what’s going on? Thinking of doing a PhD? Check out our annual Research Symposium this Tues-Thurs 1-3 Nov in Kilburn and find out what over 60 of our research students are up to. There’s amazing stuff covering a wide range of topics: from facial behaviour analysis to mobile device authentication; from reverse engineering legacy code to GPU acceleration of Java. Everyone welcome to attend talks or browse poster sessions. 


POSTGRAD STUDY.

  And if you’re interested in further study after your UG degree, pop along to our upcoming Postgraduate Open Days: this Weds 2 Nov for Research Programmes and Weds 23 Nov for Taught Masters. If you have any queries, contact Cassie Barlow.


DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT PHDS.

  The Centre for Digital Entertainment, based at Bath and Bournemouth Universities, is offering paid postgraduate research studentships, to start September 2017. Their funded PhD programme includes mentoring by companies specialising in games, visual effects, and animation.


GREAT UNI HACK.

  GreatUniHack 2016 will be held just up the road at Manchester Metropolitan University on the weekend of 12/13 Nov. Get your free tickets now!


CREDIT SUISSE.

  Join Credit Suisse for drinks, nibbles and networking with a difference at their Technology Innovation Challenge. Test your problem solving and collaboration skills against the clock. The event takes place at the Manchester Museum 13:30–15:30 next Weds 9 Nov.


MANCJS.

  Manchester's monthly JavaScript user group manc.js returns this Weds 2  Nov, at Common Bar, across the road from MadLab. Join them for casual JS/programming talk. Meetings range from lightning talks, panel discussions and pub quizzes to games like Code Golf or Code & Conquer. Everyone is welcome, regardless of their level of JavaScript.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 5 (A) • Monday 24 October 2016 • #16.06          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 24 October, and it’s Week 5, an A week. 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

Hacktrain logo


HACKTRAIN.

  Congratulations to Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE), Daniel Thomas (Y3, CSwIE) and Daniel Ireson (MSc) on being selected as three of the lucky participants in HackTrain (4–6 Nov), arguably one of the craziest and most memorable hackathon experiences. A weekend-long adventure hacking whilst travelling on a train from London to Paris, Lyon and back again. One hundred of the very best developers, designers and entrepreneurs will be building apps, websites and hardware that tackles the transport industry's biggest challenges. If you’d like to jump aboard, the last few places are still available.


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: It was great to see the much improved turnout for PASS1 last week, and we’re looking forward to seeing you all again this week on Weds at 12:00–13:00 in Collab.


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: Thank you to all the people that came to PASS2 last week, don’t worry if you couldn’t make it due to the Software Engineering deadline, the links to the techniques discussed will be put onto the PASS 2 Facebook group. This week we will be looking at Interviews and Assessment centres for companies such as IBM, Avecto and many more. See you there this Friday 13:00–14:00 in Collab.


EXAM FEEDBACK.

  The feedback session at 14:00 on Weds 16 Nov in IT407 gives returning students the opportunity to view their marked exam answer books for AY15 (and AY14 for IE students). Advance registration required: email SSO with your ID, name and list of courses (COMP only; excludes Y1 Java) you’d like to view. Deadline for registration (so we have time to get your papers out) is 12:00 next Weds 2 November.


CAPTURE THE FLAG.

  Thanks to all the students who took part in last weekend's Capture the Flag event organised by BAE Systems Applied Intelligence. Armed with tools like hex editors, packet sniffers, WireShark and Netcat there was clearly some serious learning (and legal hacking) going on. Ten teams of students participated, around 70 students in total in Collab 1&2, and they devoured £350 worth of pizza! We’ll announce the final results ASAP.

Capture the flag in Collab


CALLING ALL BLOGGERS.

  Are you a keen writer/blogger? Want to earn a bit of extra money whilst studying? The School is recruiting up to 3 new student bloggers to represent life in the School and Manchester. To give you an idea, check out recent graduate Todd Davies's blog. We’re seeking talented writers who are in 1st or 2nd year and will commit to contribute posts regularly. We’ll pay £25 per blog post (up to 12 per year). Interested? Apply now.


EEE CAREERS.

  The 2016 EEE Careers Fair will take place this Weds 26 Oct in the Renold building, North Campus. Of interest to students doing Computer Systems Engineering or Computer Science (with a hardware / systems bias).


GREAT UNI HACK.

  GreatUniHack 2016 will be held just up the road at Manchester Metropolitan University on the weekend of 12/13 Nov. Get your free tickets now!


PROGRAMMING CONTEST.

  Ettore Torti (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Manchester will be acting as host for the UK & Ireland Programming Contest this year! Sign up and compete in teams of 3 this Saturday 29 Oct. The top teams will be given an opportunity to represent the University at the Northwestern Europe Regional Contest (part of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest) in Bath later this year. We've only got space for 8 more teams, so sign up now!


LEGAL HACKTHON SUCCESS.

  Last weekend the Manchester Deaf Centre and the Schools of Law and Computer Science took over the lower floor of the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons for 24 hrs of legal hacking! All 7 mixed teams of law and CS students completed a working prototype ranging from an Android app to scan and analyse legal documents to a crowdsourcing site for legal advice in British Sign Language. Winners got vouchers as well as internships (on the law or on the tech side) with the law firm Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer.

Pic of the Deaf-Legal hackathon in Learning Commons, people having an intro talk


SKYSCANNER.

  This from Hacksoc: we’re proud to announce that Skyscanner will be holding a one hour talk entitled: “Distributed Systems at Skyscanner: Case Studies”, this Weds 26 Oct, at 15:00 in Kilburn 1.1. You’re all invited for a one-of-a-kind behind the scenes look at Skyscanner’s technology. See you there!


MORGAN STANLEY DROP-IN AND CV REVIEW.

  Following the success of last year’s event, Morgan Stanley are returning for a repeat of their CV screening skills session. Bring your CV to receive advice from industry leading professionals and ensure your CV is application ready. Tomorrow Tues 25 Oct, 13:00–15:00 on LF.


OXFORD ROAD CLOSURE.

  Oxford Road is currently closed for resurfacing between Hathersage Road and Booth Street until late Sun 30/early Mon 31 Oct. Find out more about the Oxford Road changes.


BUBBLE SORT.

  As a computer scientist you need to know about sorting data. How better to explain the classic Bubble Sort algorithm than through the medium of Hungarian Dance? Worth 5 minutes of anyone’s time! As you will know, other sorting algorithms are available, so the team from Sapientia University in Romania also demonstrate Quick Sort, Merge Sort, and Insert Sort.

10 Hungarian dancers in line, representing slots 0 to 9 in an array.


GIVE BLOOD.

  Your blood could make a difference to someone’s life. This Thurs 27 Oct in Byte Cafe between 11:30–14:00, why not sign up as a blood donor and make an appointment to donate (the donor centre is very close to the School). Do something amazing – become a blood donor.


CLOCKS.

  Don’t forget that clocks go back an hour to GMT at 02:00 this coming Sunday 30 October. It’s official – summer's over!


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 4 (B) • Monday 17 October 2016 • #16.05          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 17 October, and it’s Week 4, a B week. We're a month into the new Semester now, 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


STAFF-STUDENT COMMITTEE.

  Voting for student reps is now complete, and thank you to everyone who took part. This year’s reps have now been elected. You have 9 reps for Year 1, 7 for Year 2, and 4 for Year 3 – you can see them all, with contact details, on the SSC page. There’ll be a start-up session for the new reps this Weds 19 Oct, and the first meeting between reps and the School to discuss issues will be on Weds 9 Nov. If you’d like to raise any issues, please contact a rep for your year. A reminder that for day-to-day stuff (broken things, software install requests, etc), please use our support page to submit a ticket which will be actioned ASAP. I should also mention that we can’t guarantee to keep track of discussions on Facebook, so to make sure any concerns get raised and properly dealt with, please use the above mechanisms.

Mugshots of all 20 reps, in two rows of 10


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: Hey guys, PASS will be back in your normal rooms this week. The leaders have great sessions planned and plenty of snacks too! We'll see you at PASS this Weds 19 Oct at 12:00.


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: This week in PASS we're looking at study techniques, the title being "How to study less and remember more". There was great attendance last week, so see you there this Friday 13:0014:00 in Collab.


OUR RESPONSE TO YOUR FEEDBACK.

  We’ve now looked in detail at the Course Unit Survey results from Semester 2 of last Academic Year (2015-16). 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.


CAREERS FAIR.

  I hope you enjoyed our Careers Fair here in Kilburn last week on Wednesday & Thursday. It was a huge event with 28 employers coming from all over the UK to Kilburn to meet YOU! I'm sure you will join me in thanking Duncan Hull (Employability Tutor & Year 2 Tutor) and Mabel Yau (Careers and Placements Officer) for their fantastic efforts to put it all together. Thanks Duncan and Mabel!

6-panel collage of general views of the Careers Fair on LF


BIG CAREERS FAIR.

  The Manchester Central Exhibition Centre will be hosting the Big Careers Fair this Tues/Weds 18/19 Oct, with over 70 exhibitors.


YEAR 3 DEADLINE CHART.

  Third Year students to help you keep track of your work Third Year Tutor Tim Morris has summarised all the Semester 1 COMP deadlines in a single chart. We hope you find it useful.

Head-and-shoulders pic of Caroline.


GREAT UNI HACK.

  GreatUniHack 2016 will be held just up the road at Manchester Metropolitan Universiity on the weekend of 12/13 Nov. Get your free tickets now!


EYE TRACKING.

  Tonight at 18:45 is the monthly SciBar meeting at the Albert Club in Didsbury (M20 2PA) and Caroline Jay (who co-runs COMP23420 Software Engineering) is giving​ a talk on “The computer is watching you”. Caroline describes her talk: "The way we look at the world is the product of millions of years of evolution, and while we think what we ‘see’ in our heads is an accurate representation of the environment, in fact it is a construction, influenced by current thought processes and previous experience. Increasingly, eye tracking technology is being used to monitor where our attention lies. Are we willing to allow computers this level of access to our minds?" Free entry, all welcome!


SOCIAL JUSTICE.

  Tomorrow Tues 18 Oct, the Volunteering and Social Justice Festival is on campus to give you the chance to meet charities, see performances and explore a huge range of activities in Manchester, the UK and across the globe. Get inspired to take action in your local community and find out how you can help to build a fairer society through volunteering and campaigning, and lots more.


ROYAL VISIT.

  You probably noticed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge came to visit the University last Friday. See the full report.


TECH EVENING.

  This Thurs 20 Oct at ThoughtWorks, there's a free event taking its inspiration from Ada Lovelace – “Ada: The Empowered Technologist”. An evening of talks, workshops and discussions, designed to inspire, educate and empower technologists.


MORGAN STANLEY.

  Tomorrow Tues 18 Oct, MS are hosting a Technology Presentation & Networking event at Manchester Museum. Next Tues 25 Oct, they're doing CV review, on-campus interviews and a drop-in here in Kilburn.


UG OF THE YEAR.

  Could you be an Undergraduate of the Year 2017? TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year is an annual awards competition to find the best undergraduates in the UK. Prizes include work placements and overseas trips. Applications are now open in 11 categories, deadline for entering the competition is 30 Jan 2017. Why not enter?


CAPTURE THE FLAG.

  BAE Systems Applied Intelligence are running a Capture the Flag (CTF) event, a day of cyber security challenges and games, this Saturday 22 Oct in Kilburn. The competition will be held in Collab 1 & 2, starting at 10:00 and finishing at 16:00, with lunch provided by BAE Systems. Take part in challenges including web security, cryptanalysis, forensics, reverse engineering, shell coding, problem solving, packet analysis and hacking trivia. Develop your understanding of defensive programming, buffer overflows, SQL injections, program decompilation, data forensics, protocol analysis, advanced debugging and crypto limitations.

Logo for JP Morgan competitiom


GIRL POWER.

  JP MORGAN are running an exclusive event for female students looking to discover more about careers in technology with companies such as Accenture, BAE Systems, CGI, Deutsche Bank, ThoughtWorks and more. Students will spend a full day taking part in sessions to showcase their skills and personality including the opportunity to network with the recruitment teams, graduates and senior female managers. The event dates are: 28 October – J.P. Morgan HQ, London; 11 Nov – J.P. Morgan, Glasgow; 18 Nov – Bloomberg HQ, London;  2 Dec – Capital One,  Nottingham. The event is free and travel up to £50 will be reimbursed. Find out more.


LEGAL HACK.

  We've teamed up with our friends at the Manchester Deaf Centre, the University's School of Law and the law firm Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer to create a unique hackathon challenge this Fri/Sat 21/22 Oct in the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons (free food and drink throughout), to help make deaf people heard in the legal community.


ABOUT THE COURTYARD.

  You may be wondering what’s going on in the courtyard. It’s being redeveloped, and will include a “light well”, aka “a hole”, which will allow natural light to shine down onto the ground floor of the building, where IT Services would otherwise live and work in semi-darkness. It's a big job and will take many months. We'll try very hard to minimise disruption, but if you find the noise a problem, please let me know. What’s the strange white object, I hear you ask? That’s a (rather lovely, IMHO) kinetic sculpture installed when the building opened in 1972. It’s affectionately called Floating Point Zero, because it used to sit in a pond in the courtyard (which sprung an expensive leak into the Computer Centre below, but that’s another story).

Pic of ongoing work in the courtyard, plus FP0.


BEAGLEBOARD.

  This month's meeting of the Manchester Free Software group is all about the BeagleBoard-X15, with Michael Dorrington. The BeagleBoard is a series of ARM-based Free Hardware computers that are Free Software friendly. Everyone welcome at 19:00 tomorrow Tues 18 Oct at Madlab in the Northern Quarter.


FREE BOOKS ON-LINE.

  Wait! Don’t buy that book just yet! Did you know the University has a deal with lots of tech publishers so you can read full-text books online for free? It covers all the big names – O’Reilly, Microsoft Press, Addison-Wesley, Prentice Hall, Adobe Press and many more.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  As part of the School’s weekly seminar programme, this Weds 19 Oct at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.5, Prof Tim Palmer from Oxford University will talk about “More accuracy with less precision - from climate change to the human brain”. Many systems are so complex that they will never be simulated, at least in the foreseeable future, with any degree of completeness. This raises important questions when attempting to simulate a particular system of interest. For example, is it better to solve a more complete computational representation of the system less precisely, or a less complete computational representation of the system more precisely? All welcome!


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week &#xFF13; (A) • Monday 10 October 2016 • #16.04          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 10 October, and it’s Week 3, an A week.  I hope you're doing well and enjoying life both inside and outside the School! A lot to tell you today, including a huge number of events, some of which take place in Kilburn in the evening and at weekends, and you'll need an out-of-hours pass to attend those. If you haven't got one, get one now!  OK, on with the news…

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies 


STAFF STUDENT COMMITTEE.

  If you haven’t already, please vote for your reps! Voting closes at 12:00 this Friday 14 Oct. Login to Blackboard (via my.manchester); under "My Communities" click "CS UG Community"; click on the link for your year (e.g., “SSC Voting 1st Year"); on the next page click on the survey link. Results will be announced next week.

Photo of quiet lab, emphasizing large vertical "quiet" sign on concrete column


QUIET LAB.

  Labs can often be vibrant places, and you’ve been asking (for quite a few years) for a quiet lab... and now it’s here – Room 1.8 has changed from being the “3rd Year Lab” to "The Quiet Lab”. This lab is a place for all UGs for quiet working at PCs (when the room is not in occasional scheduled use for teaching). If it’s to be a success, it needs to be QUIET, and that’s up to you. Need to talk in there? OK, we understand that, but please do so VERY VERY QUIETLY INDEED :-). The room at the far end of this lab is still the Quiet Study Room (Room 1.12) which is strictly for quiet personal study (no PCs in there). I hope you’ll find these quiet rooms helpful, and of course I’d welcome your feedback (email me).


PASS1.

  Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: PASS1 is this Weds at 12:00–13:00 in Collab. All 1st year students welcome!


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: Thanks for the awesome turnout last week – we had more than 50 join us for our chat on placements! This week we'll be talking about the sorts of things you can do outside of study to make your CV stand out, such as Hackathons and other side projects (it doesn't quite match the flyer – but we're adapting to what people tell us is important to them). We'll be posting a lot of really useful resources in our PASS2 Facebook group: such as how to get free textbooks, and info on the application process for different companies. See you there this Friday 13:00–14:00 in Collab.


ATTENDANCE.

  As you know, we keep track of your attendance at tutorials, labs, examples classes and project meetings. We've implemented a new web-based system to enable you to view your attendance record.


EXAM FEEDBACK.

  The feedback session at 14:00 on Weds 16 Nov in IT407 gives returning students the opportunity to view their marked exam answer books for AY15 (and AY14 for wIE students). Advance registration required: email SSO with your ID, name and list of courses (COMP only; excludes Y1 Java) you’d like to view. Deadline for registration is 12:00 Weds 2 November.

Photo of RPi 3


PI CLUB.

  Will Woof, PhD student and TA writes: Are you, like so many of us, impressed by the capabilities of the Raspberry Pi, but just can't think of what to do with it? We'll be running the first of a series of Pi Appreciation events at 13:30–15:00 this Weds 12 Oct in LF31 where people can share cool projects and project ideas, and get help with Pi-related topics. In particular we’ll show you how to set up your Pi as a WiFi hotspot so you can connect to your Pi outside the labs. All welcome!


CAREERS FAIR.

  There are lots of employers in Kilburn and on campus this week recruiting students for placements and graduate positions. This Weds/Thu 12/13 Oct in Kilburn come and speak to Amazon, American Express, Apadmi, ARM, Autodesk, Avecto, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bloomberg, Cisco, Cyberscience, Deloitte, DigitalBridge, Ferranti, FreeAgent, GE Healthcare, Imagination Technology, Morgan Stanley, NCC Group, Ocado, Rentalcars.com, The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Shell, The Hut Group, Thoughtworks, Top Cash Back, UKFast, Ultra Electronics and Zuto. This week see also the Calculating Careers fair (Maths) and the Little Careers Fair (alternative employers). And next week there's the Big Careers fair in Manchester Central. Full list of events.​


CAPTURE THE FLAG.

  BAE Systems Applied Intelligence are running a Capture the Flag (CTF) event, a day of cyber security challenges and games, on Saturday 22 Oct in Kilburn. The competition will be held in Collab 1 & 2, starting at 10:00 and finishing at 16:00, with lunch provided by BAE Systems. Take part in challenges including web security, cryptanalysis, forensics, reverse engineering, shell coding, problem solving, packet analysis and hacking trivia. Develop your understanding of defensive programming, buffer overflows, SQL injections, program decompilation, data forensics, protocol analysis, advanced debugging and crypto limitations.


BLOOMBERG CODECON.

  CodeCon is a live programming contest. Push your programming and problem solving skills to the limit against the clock to win the title of Bloomberg CodeCon champion against your peers across the UK and Europe! The School’s top winners will be invited to Bloomberg CodeCon Global Finals in London office in January 2017 for a chance to win an amazing prize and compete against the best students from Europe and the US. The event will be taking place here in Kilburn, kick off at 18:30 this Thurs 13 Oct. Food and refreshments will be provided. Sign up! You'll need an out-of-hours pass to attend this event.


LEGAL HACK.

  We've teamed up with our friends at the Manchester Deaf Centre, the University's School of Law and the law firm Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer to create a unique hackathon challenge on Fri/Sat 21/22 Oct in the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons (free food and drink throughout), to help make deaf people heard in the legal community.


MAC LAB.

  Our iOS/MacOS Developers Lab (Kilburn Room LF17, opposite SSO) has 10 Mac-minis with 27” Thunderbolt displays, two wall-mounted HDMI TVs, and a projector. The lab is for all UG/PGT/PGR students who want to do iOS/MacOS development (but it’s not for regular lab work). You can use it any time. Check it out!

6 of our ambassadors in the Collab from Saturday


OPEN DAYS.

  The past two Saturdays the School hosted two undergraduate Open Days, and welcomed over 700 visitors in total. Both days were a great success, and we'd like to thank the student and alumni ambassadors (some seen here) who came and helped out on the days – we couldn't have done it without you!  If you’d like to be involved (paid) in our applicant Visit Days starting in November, contact Jez Lloyd.


MORGAN STANLEY.

  Join Morgan Stanley at one their UoM Technology events. This week: Weds 12 Oct, Calculating Careers Fair in the Alan Turing Building; Thu 13 Oct, Comp Sci Careers Fair in Kilburn; Tues 18 Oct, Technology Presentation & Networking at Manchester Museum; Tue 25 Oct, CV review, on-campus interviews and drop-in here in Kilburn.


JAGUAR LAND ROVER.

  Fancy the opportunity of a UG placement in engineering at Jaguar Land Rover? To enter the competition submit your CV & cover letter – see moodle for more info.


RETIREMENTS.

  Many of you will know Graham Gough (below left) and John Gurd (below right), both of whom retired last week. Graham and John made enormous and lasting contributions to the shape of the School. We owe them a lot. I'm sure you will join me in wishing them a happy retirement.

Graham and John at the retirement party


ADA LOVELACE DAY.

  Manchester Digital will be celebrating Ada Lovelace Day tomorrow Tues 11 Oct with a fireside chat with some of the leading women in the digital and tech industry in the North West. Details and registration.

8 UAV soc people standing and 3 their craft on the grass.


UAV SOC.

  Ismaeel Ramzan (School of Chemistry) writes: I would like to invite you to join the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles society. We are a student-run society that aims to attract students to work together on producing drones for autonomous flight competitions. We require no previous experience and are happy to provide instruction but most of the learning will be self-directed. Some of the things we are working on are rapid creation of orthomosaic photomaps, target identification using computer vision, communication between drones and a ground station, and communicating between the pixhawk autopilot and another board such as a Raspberry Pi. Interested? Email me !  


EXASCALE RESEARCH.

  Exascale computing will achieve 1018 floating point operations per second (the fastest achievable today is petascale – 1015 flops, the current leader being the Chinese supercomputer Sunway TaihuLight at 93 petaflops). This Weds 12 Oct, in the Frank Adams 1 lecture room in the School of Mathematics, 13:00–14:00, Professor Bill Gropp (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) will speak on MPI+X on the way to Exascale, addressing the task of transforming current-generation parallel programming models to make them effective for programming an Exascale supercomputer by the early 2020s. The talk will be delivered remotely and projected, followed by a panel discussion on the topic "Programming for Exascale, Complete disruption or slow evolution?". All welcome.


NIGHTLINE.

  Greater Manchester Nightline is a confidential listening and information telephone service run by student volunteers. They are 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 C.V. Interested? Find out more.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 2 (B) • Monday 3 October 2016 • #16.03          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 3 October, and it’s Week 2, a B week. I hope you’re enjoying the new Semester, and first year students, I hope you’re settling in well. Need any help? Call into SSO. Lots to tell you today, so let’s get on with the news, and I hope you have a good week!

best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


SSC.

  Represent your fellow students here in the School. Nominations for student reps on the UG Staff Student Committee (SSC) are still open. So if you’d like to be a rep email Paul Nutter by the extended deadline of 17:00 this Weds 5 Oct with a brief statement (max 50 words) about why you want to be a rep. Once all the nominations are in, there’ll be an online vote – details next week.

SU recruitment poster


SU UNION OFFICERS.

  And speaking of representing students, the SU elections are open. If you have ideas for events, campaigns or things the Students' Union and the University could be working on to improve the Manchester experience, then stand for election as a Student Officer. The Students' Union has a range of Student Officer roles filled by a cross-campus election each October. They offer training, support and advice throughout the year and all the resources you'll need to effectively represent the students you're working for. Use this form to stand for election, and see full role descriptions. Deadline 17:00 this Friday 7 Oct.


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  A reminder that the deadline for finalising and entering your Semester 1 Course Unit choices is 15:30 this Friday 7 Oct.


INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE.

  If you missed last week’s talk on Industrial Experience and summer internships, see Industrial Experience in a Nutshell.


CAREERS.

  Looking for a job, placement, internship or postgrad course starting in 2017? Check the UG events calendar of off-timetable activities. Coming up soon, next week Weds 12 and Thurs 13 October is the Kilburn Careers Fair, right here on your doorstep.


PASS1.

  First year students! Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) for 1st Year students start this Weds at 12:00-13:00 in Collab, and the first session will be about PASS leaders and groups getting to know each other, and exploring what PASS is all about.


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) write: this Friday 7 Oct 13:00-14:00 in Collab we’ll be looking at placements. A selection of third year students who have been on summer or year placements will be available for advice on the pros and cons of taking one.

PASS advert


CSSOC GO BOWLING.

  Stefania-Anais Hristea (Y2, HCIwIE) and Riccardo Biraghi (Y2, CS) say: if you like burgers and enjoy bowling, CSSoc has got you covered! Join us for our Burgers & Bowling night this Friday 7 Oct at 19:00 at the All Star Lanes.

Pic of the 6 BBC challenge winning students 2015, sitting on sofa with Duncan in BBC studio.


BBC CHALLENGE.

  Want to enhance your skills and employability? Relish the opportunity to gain insight into the operations of three major organisations while competing against other Northern Universities? Teams are invited to apply for the 2016 #UniTechChallenge – and we hope will retain the title we won last year (last year's winners pictured)! If you'd like to enter, email Duncan Hull before this Friday 7 Oct with details of your team members (maximum 7 per team) and why you think your team should be selected to represent The University of Manchester. 


GCHQ CRYPTO CHALLENGE.

  The annual Hack Manchester contest on Sat 29 Oct (tickets still available) has recently gained sponsorship from GCHQ, the security organisation providing signals intelligence to the UK government. If you’ve an interest in CyberSecurity take a look at their challenge based on steganography (hidden messages).


GIRL GEEKS.

  As part of Geek Mental Help Week, Manchester Girl Geeks are holding an all-day event this Sunday 9 Oct at Autotrader’s Manchester office (M15 4FN). There are talks and interactive workshops, and spots for lightning talks and smaller discussions. Tickets are £4.50 including refreshments and lunch.


COLLABS.

  We'll be setting up for our second Saturday UG Open Day from this Friday morning 7 Oct. The Collab rooms won’t be available that Friday afternoon, so apologies for any inconvenience.


MEET THE ROBOTS.

  Over the summer the University was part of a project to create a Robot Orchestra. After a successful debut, The Robot Orchestra will be performing at the Museum of Science and Industry on Weds 26 Oct as part of the Manchester Science Festival. Find out more in The Making of the Robot Orchestra.

Photo of Eben Upton holding up a Pi.


PI TALK.

  If you’re interested in the past and future of the Raspberry Pi, check out Pi founder and CEO Eben Upton answering lots of interesting questions from Slashdot readers.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  As part of the School’s weekly seminar programme, this Weds 5 Oct at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.5, Prof. Jim Torresen of the University of Oslo, will talk about “Unleashing Artificial Intelligence in the Real World”. Artificial intelligence (AI) has in recent years taken off. In contrast to earlier promising AI periods, this time not only academic researchers are involved but also a number of large companies including Facebook and Google. This talk will give a brief intro to the AI field represented by biologically inspired computing and give some examples of how they have applied it at University of Oslo in several applications including robotics, interactive music and others. All students and staff welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 1 (A) • Monday 26 September 2016 • #16.02          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 26 September, and it’s Week 1A of Semester 1. Teaching starts today for all years. Throughout the semester we alternate Week A's and Week B's, with different timetabled activities according to A and B. The 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 have a good 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 see Year 1 Tutor Sean Bechhofer – they’ll all be very happy to help.

Year 1 students in LT1.1 at Sean's intro lecture


PRIZE WINNERS.

   Every year the School awards prizes to UG students who have excelled academically or made significant contributions to the School. Below are the winners whose prizes were awarded last week by Professor Robert Stevens, our new Head of School. Top, left to right, IBM ThinkPad Challenge for the best second year group project: Tom Robinson (Y3, CS), Eugen-Alexandru Virtan (Y3, CS4wIE), Anuj Vaishnav (Y3, CSE), not present: Andrew Crofts (CS, out on IE), Cristian Brisan (CSwIE, out on IE), Ivelin Rachev (Y3, CS4); Professors' Prize for the best second year student: Andi Zhang (Y3, CM); Michael Jealous memorial prize for best first year student: Lewis Grozinger (Y2, CS4). Below, Golden Anniversary prizes for excellence in first year studies: Alexander Mitcu (Y2, CS4wIE), Samuel Da Costa (Y2, CMwIE), Yangguang Li (Y2, CM), not present: Igor Wodiany (Y2, CSwIE), Dmytro Chekunov (Y2, CS), Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CSwIE).

Robert giving lots of prizes


SSC.

  Represent your fellow students and make a difference. Nominations for student reps on the UG Staff Student Committee (SSC) are open. If you’d like to be a rep then email Paul Nutter by 12:00 next Monday 3 Oct including a brief statement (max 50 words) about why you want to be a rep. Once all the nominations are in, there’ll be an online vote for students to elect this year’s reps – details next week.


PASS1.

  PASS Coordinators Josh Dawes (Y3, CMwIE) and Hugh Williams (Y3, CMwIE) write: PASS for 1st Year students starts next week .


PASS2.

  Struan McDonough (Y3, CMwIE) and Tom Robinson (Y3, CS) have sent their announcement in visual form (see below) – so this week's PASS2 session is this Friday 30 Sept 12:00-13:00 in Collab 1, all about 3rd year students' opinions of their 2nd year courses.

PASS 2 schedule


HACKSOC.

  This from Cristian Bodnar (Y2, CSwIE): HackSoc is the main student-led tech society in Manchester. We organize hackathons in Manchester and bring the coolest companies to give talks and workshops. This Wednesday 28 Sept at 13:00 in LF15 we’ll have our first meeting. Come and find out more about what we do and become a member of the society! We hope we’ll see you there! Free pizza and drinks will be served.

Head and shoulders shot of Riccardo and Anais


CS SOCIAL SOC.

   Riccardo Biraghi (Y2, CS) and Stefania-Anais Hristea (Y2, HCIwIE), pictured here, write: this Weds 28 Sept at 15:00 in LF15 CSSoc are recruiting for our committee roles, so everyone is welcome! We also have our first meeting after recruitment and FREE pizza and drinks for everyone who's coming.


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  If you haven’t yet, please finalise and enter your Semester 1 Course Unit choices. Deadline 15:30 on Friday 7 Oct.


QUICK SURVEY.

  First year students, please take a few seconds to fill in our Applicant Experience Survey.


VOLUNTEERING.

  Why not become  a Computer Science volunteer?  Register your interest with no commitment, and hear about paid and unpaid volunteering opportunities. Or contact David Rydeheard.


HACK MANCHESTER.

  Hack Manchester, a 24-hour coding competition, will be held on Sat 29 October. Teams of up to four turn up with an idea and just 24 hours later present a working product. The event is at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry as part of the Manchester Science Festival. Registration is filling up quickly with the last few places available! If you’re interested, sign up now!

Laura


PODCAST.

  The School’s latest podcast features Laura Howarth-Kirke (pictured here) who graduated from the School in 2013 and won the national SET Student of the Year Award. She’s since worked at the BBC in their graduate scheme and is now a software developer for BBC Sport.


COLLABS.

  We'll be setting up for the first of the upcoming Saturday UG Open Days this Friday 30 Sept. The Collab rooms won’t be available that Friday afternoon, so apologies for any inconvenience.


DON’T BE PHISHED!

  Phishing scams are bigger than ever and targeting UK Universities, reports BBC News. If you have any doubt about an email asking to to click a link or provide personal details – “Congratulations! You’ve received an Educational Grant!” etc  – don't click anything! Forward it to IT Services, and if you need advice contact them on 0161 306 5544 – telephone support is available 24/7.


HARDWARE LIBRARY.

  Do you like to tinker with hardware? The School has a library of hardware components for you to borrow. We have Arduino boards and shields, Raspberry Pi components, Kinect sensors, robots, even drones, and much more.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Welcome Week • Monday 19 September 2016 • #16.01          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 19 September, it's Welcome Week, and a very warm welcome to you all, especially to students joining us for the first time. 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

Student ambassadors group-shot


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, sso@cs.man.ac.uk, 0161 306 8155. You’ll also see lots of people around campus wearing ASK ME badges so… ask them things!


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.


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.


STUDENT FEEDBACK.

  This year the School scored a 91% 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.


THE QUIET LAB.

  In response to your feedback, we've introduced a PC lab specifically for working quietly. Room 1.8 has changed from being the “3rd Year Lab” to "The Quiet Lab” (when not in scheduled use for teaching). The room at the far end of this lab is still the Quiet Room (Room 1.12) which is for quiet personal study (no PCs in there). There's no longer a dedicated lab for 3rd Year students.

Head and shoulders shot of Veneta.


UNDERGRAD AWARDS SUCCESS.

  Congratulations to Veneta Haralampieva (CSwIE, graduated 2016) who was Highly Commended in the international Undergraduate Awards for her 3rd Year Project. The scheme, which recognises exceptional performance at UG level, ran across 244 universities worldwide, with a total of 5,514 project entries. Veneta was selected as one of the 9 best Computer Science projects worldwide – an exceptional achievement!


UNIVERSITY AWARD SUCCESS.

  And congratulations to Almudena Carrera Vazquez (CM, graduated 2016) who received one of the University’s prestigious Academic Achievement Awards, awarded to the top 0.5% of students across the whole University .


COURSE UNIT SELECTION.

  You have until 15:30 on Friday 7 Oct to finalise your Semester 1 course unit  choices.  


OUT OF HOURS.

  Out of hours passes issued last academic year 2015/16 will be valid up until 30 September.  To get a pass for the new academic year, please follow these instructions


BECOME AN AMBASSADOR.

  The University’s Student Recruitment and Widening Participation Team are seeking Student Ambassadors. Get paid to promote the University! Interested? Contact them.


FINANCE HELP.

  The University has launched a new Finance microsite to help students manage their money – check it out.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  As part of the School’s weekly seminar programme, this Weds 21 Sept at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.5, Pete Warden from Google (and a graduate from our School!) will talk about Deep Learning, Hardware, and TensorFlow, looking at the rise of deep learning as a solution for many audio, image, NLP, and other ML problems. He'll discuss the work that Google has been doing with TensorFlow to support different platforms, with a focus on ARM and DSP solutions for mobile and embedded deployment of models. Everyone welcome.


FREE SOFTWARE.

  This month's meeting of the Manchester Free Software group is about Libreboot, a free BIOS replacement. This will include the different options, recent improvements and a live install demonstration. 19:00 tomorrow Tues 20 Sept at Madlab in Manchester's Northern Quarter.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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