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 11 June 2018 • #17.33          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Hello UG! I hope academic year 2017-18 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 of successes! Well done everyone!
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


THIRD YEAR PROJECT SUCCESSES.

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


PRIZE WINNERS.

  Every year the School awards prizes to UG students who have excelled academically or made significant contributions to the School. Here are the winners who received prizes at the start of Semester 1 from Professor Robert Stevens, our Head of School. Best second year (Single Honours) student: Nick Park (CSwIE, out on IE), the IBM/Software Engineering prize: James Ellis (Y3, CS4wIE), top right in the pic, Andrew Crofts (Y3, CSwIE) top left in the pic, Cristian Brisan (Y3, CSwIE), Nick Park, John Iyere (CSwIE, out on IE), Costanza Improta (CSwIE, out on IE), Martina Catizone (Y3, CS), Asta Simaityte (CSwIE, out on IE). The Michael Jealous memorial prize for best first year student went to Leshna Shamloll (Y2, CSwIE); and Golden Anniversary prizes for excellence in first year studies were awarded to (left to right in the pic below) Leshna Shamloll, Michael Yonli (Y2, CS4), Benjamin Maxwell (Y2, CS), Jack Hartley (Y2, CS4wIE), and Teodora Stoleru (Y2, CS, not pictured). Well done to you all!


CODECON WINNERS.

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


HACKATHON WIN!

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

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


HACKMANCHESTER WINS.

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

Melanie Cattell


UKIEPC SUCCESS.

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

Pic of the room, and of team Abracadabra


PORTICODE WINS.

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

SHots of the two winning teams


GREAT UNI HACK.

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

Smart tea grab

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

GUH montage of 4 shots

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


HACKKINGS WINS.

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

Awards at Hackkings


VENTURE OUT WINNER!

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

winners


UNI TECH CHALLENGE WINNERS!

  Congratulations to Amelia Caffrey (Y1, HCI) and the rest of her team (Raluca-lucia LuscaDragos CostinJoe JoscelyneLiutauras MazonasToby BayleyCatalina Maria Vlad and Orla Hadjisophocleous from the Alliance Manchester Business School) on winning the 2017 University Technology Challenge with UKFast and Barclays. They’ve each won a £100 Amazon voucher and a week of work experience at Barclays Technology Centre in Knutsford and UK Fast in Birley Fields, Manchester.


CREATE BUILD CODE WINNERS!

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

winners group pic


STAFF VS STUDENTS QUIZ.

  Congratulation to Milena Bruseva (Y2, AIwIE), Petia Davidova (Y2, CSwIE) and Stanislava Piskyulieva (Y2, CSwIE), aka team 'Slavettes', seen below, who won the Staff-Student quiz in February 2018.  The staff team came second! Thanks to all involved with organising this hugely successful event.

SSQ collage


HACKSOC VISIT BELGIUM.

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

Hacksoc collage


MALAWI AWARD AND 2018 PROJECT.

  The Project Malawi team of staff and students from the School were “Highly Commended” for their outstanding public engagement initiative in bringing Computer Science education to remote parts of central Africa. There were many very good projects across the Faculty in the highly competitive "Bettter World” awards ceremony. So congratulations to the team: Dave AmesKaren CorlessJo HodgeCarol MurrayDavid RydeheardSarah ZamanMihai-Dan GarburRazvan Lacatusu and Teo Taylor, and to Nikki Luxford and Ripple Africa for hosting the team in Africa.

Malawi


GOOGLE HASHCODE.

  This from Teodora Stoleru (Y2, CS): Google Hash Code happened on Thursday 1 March and we had an impressive number of over 140 students competing from our hub in Kilburn. After 4 hours of coding, we had a total of 24 submissions, with the top 3 positions in our hub being occupied by teams niceOne (Carlos GomesTsvetan MinkovHendrik MolderAndrej Ivanov), Penguins++ (Patrick Catalin Alexandru SavaVlad-Andrei MunteanuSilviu TroscotFilip Ion), and Degenerate Hessians (Andrew Webb, Alina NeculaeCharles ReynoldsCameron Shand). Congratulations to everyone for the fantastic results! You can find all the pictures and videos on HackSoc's facebook page.

Hashcode in Collab1


START HACK WIN.

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

startHack pic


HACK THE BURGH WIN.

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

HackThe Burgh group shot + tech shot


BLOOMBERG BATTLE.

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

Bloomberg collage


HEX WIN.

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

Hex winners


IMAGINE CUP SUCCESS.

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

Imagine cup winners with giant cheque


LEEDS HACK WINS.

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

Leeds Hack pix


TEACHER OF THE YEAR.

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

PWN


STAFF-STUDENT PROGRAMMING COMP.

  The 2018 6th annual Staff-Student Programming Competition in April featured 15 teams (see the final standings and problem descriptions). Congratulations to the winning team Aeropress (Staff):  Sean Bechhofer and Allan Ramsay! The runners up were The Lambdas (Giles Reger and Ahmed Bhayat (PG)); in 3rd place were team Ace: Luke Beamish (Y2, CS), Dominic Fischer (Y2, CS4wIE) and Levi Wright (Y2, CS4). Well done all! There will be a seminar "How to Solve the 2018 Staff-Student Programming Competition Problems" this Weds 2 May at 14:00 in LT1.4 at 14:00. Everyone welcome! Thanks to all who competed, and special thanks go to the student organizers: Vlad-Andrei Munteanu (Y1, CS), Sean Parker (Y1, CSwIE), Ivan Pupovac (Y1, CM), Patrick Sava (Y1, CS) and Bobby Mccann (Y2, CS).

Staff-stu comp montage


BLOCKCHAIN WIN.

  Congratulations to Ignas Gustainis (Y1, BM) and Kalin Smolichki (Y3, CS) whose team won 2nd prize in the UK vs US Blockchain Hackathon at Leeds University.

Blockchain attendees


STUDENTHACK WINS.

  We had some great wins at Studenthack VI, held at MMU. Team Beer Rover: Dominic Fischer (Y2, CS4wIE), Zachariah Forster (Y2, CSwIE), Sarah Kells (Y2, CSwIE) won 3rd Place; Winners of the Space Challenge were team Gravity Shift: Ioana-Ruxandra Dumitrescu (Y1, CS), Costin Ionescu (Y1, CSwIE), Rares-Catalin Meirosu (Y1, AI4), Paul Stefanescu (Y1, CS4wIE); Winner of The Hut Group Challenge, team BuffBirds: Anna Buck (Y1, CMwIE), Andras Geiszl (Y2, CSwIE), Laszlo Nagy (Y1, CSwIE), Gyorgy Rethy (Y2, CSwIE); Winner of the Twilio Challenge were A Hacker's Scavenger Hunt in the Galaxy: Irina Hristescu (Y3, CSwIE), Anca Popescu (Y3, CSwIE). Well done everyone!

StudentHack collage


MAY BALL.

  This from Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE): The Midland Hotel welcomed us with tasty cocktails and good vibes. Then, the night kicked off with a lovely dinner to the jazzy background of Top Deck. Afterwards, some of us sneaked into the photo booth for a memorable picture of the night, while the others filled the dance floor in an instant! We danced our heart out until past midnight, when our dressing gowns led us home with amazing memories of the Ball! Thus, CSSoc would like to thank you all for coming and hope you had at least as much fun as we did!

May Ball collage


PASS DINNER.

  In May the School treated PASS leaders, student coordinators and members of the team that delivered PASS2 to a slap-up dinner!

PASS dinner


 


Exams Week 4 • Monday 4 June 2018 • #17.32          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 4 June, and it's the final week of exams (exam timetable). As always in case of emergencies contact SSO (0161 306 8155) immediately. 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, Thurs 19 July. 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


MIT CIRCS.

  If you wish to report any mitigating circumstances that have affected your studies during the Semester 2 exam period, the deadline for submitting a mitigating circumstances form to SSO is this Friday 8 June. The School will be unable to consider your circumstances unless you submit by the deadline.


MALAWI UPDATE.

  Hannah Berrisford (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Thank you very much to everyone who donated to support our trip to Malawi, we’ve managed to raise over £4,000 to cover our travel costs and support the work of charity RIPPLE! Chris Kinderman (PhD student) has arrived in Malawi already, and final preparations are being made for myself, Ben Possible (Y3, CSwIE) and Gabija Bernotaite (Y1, BMwIE) to arrive on 14 June.  Our raffle is still ongoing and any further donations will be given to support RIPPLE!  We'll announce the winner on Monday 11 June.  Finally, make sure you follow our updates on our Twitter throughout our trip!

Malawi team


AMBASSADORS WANTED.

  The University’s recruitment team is seeking ambassadors to help deliver a pre-departure webinar to Romanian offer holders on 24 July, 16:00-18:00. Pay is £25. The aim of the briefing is to give offer holders a bit more detail about the University. For queries contact Sophie Hoyle.


FANCY A PHD?

  Final year students, did your 3rd Year Project make you think "research is great, I want to do more of this"?  If yes, then you may be interested in continuing to study with the School for a Postgraduate Research degree (PhD/EngD/MPhil). Come and meet Postgraduate Research Director Dr Simon Harper to discuss ideas, this Thurs 7 June 17:00-18:00, Kilburn 2.60. For queries contact Teri Gosling.


HACK ZURICH.

  Applications open this Thurs 7 June for Hack Zurich, 14-16 Sept.

HackZurich


DATA HACKATHON.

  Last minute call to sign up for the ArrowXL Data Hackathon this Wed/Thur 6/7 June in Liverpool. There’s a prize fund of  £5,000!


Exams Week 3 • Monday 28 May 2018 • #17.31          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 28 May, and it’s the Spring Bank Holiday today, so Kilburn access will be out-of-hours. It’s week 3 of the exams and I hope things are going well. Know your exam schedule (exam timetable) and in case of emergencies contact SSO (0161 306 8155) immediately. On with today’s news...
beat wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


COURSE CHOICES.

  We'd like you to choose your course units for next academic year as soon as possible, so please start thinking about that. 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.


MIT CIRCS.

  If you wish to report any mitigating circumstances that have affected your studies during the Semester 2 exam period, the deadline for submitting a mitigating circumstances form to SSO is Friday 8 June. The School will be unable to consider your circumstances unless you submit by the deadline.


OPEN DAYS.

  We're looking for students to demonstrate either their first or third year projects, or exciting and interesting interactive equipment from the hardware library at the upcoming Open Days on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 June. These events are a great way to experience some public engagement AND earn a bit of extra money before the summer! If you’re interested in helping out then please contact Jez Lloyd.


UNICODE NEWS.

  Brought to you by XKCD.

xkcd lobsters


INDUSTRY CLUB.

  The May 2018 edition of our Industry Club newsletter is now published. If you’re graduating this year and would like to keep in touch with the school after you leave, please subscribe to the newsletter which is published twice a year. Instructions on how to subscribe are in the newsletter.


SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.

  Do you have an idea which could have a positive impact on society or the environment but don’t have the funding to get it up and running? The Faculty's competition to encourage all staff and students to engage with the University’s Social Responsibility agenda is inviting applications for funding of up to £3000 to support Social Responsibility initiatives which can ‘make a difference’ within the University, in the local community and internationally. To apply, contact Fran Guratsky The deadline is today 28 May.


SOCIAL JUSTICE CHALLENGE.

  The deadline for second year students to complete the Social Justice Challenge is 15 June, and you need to complete the Challenge in order to achieve the Manchester Leadership Award. Complete it on Blackboard, and there's a drop-in session on Monday 11 June, 14:00-17:00, in Roscoe 4.2. 


Exams Week 2 • Monday 21 May 2018 • #17.30          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 21 May. It’s week 2 of the exams and I hope things are going well. Know your exam schedule (exam timetable) and in case of emergencies contact SSO (email / 0161 306 8155) immediately. On with today’s news!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


TECHMAKERS WIN.

  Congratulations to Teodora Stoleru (Y2, CS) on winning a prestigious Women Techmakers scholarship award from Google. The scholarship awards 7000 euros and a summer retreat hosted by Google. Teodora joins a network of distinguished engineers and computer scientists from around the world. Well done Teodora!


PASS2:

   Sami Alabad (Y3, CSwIE) and Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE) write: Hi all, we hope you are all coping with the exam crunch well. If you have any pressing questions feel free to reach out to us. In other news, we have selected the new PASS2 Coordinators for next year: Igor Wodiany (CSwIE, out on IE with Intel) and Nick Park (CSwIE, out on IE with Morgan Stanley). They will continue to run the sessions next year after we have left :(. To those who registered interest to be part of PASS2: don't fret, we will be in contact in the coming weeks as to additional roles. Thanks all, and good luck with exams!


GOOGLE ML.

  Also from Josh: Google runs a recently refurbished online machine learning introduction for aspiring practitioners. This a great course to introduce you to the fundamentals and prep you for any upcoming hackathons, third-year projects or your machine learning course over the summer. I highly recommend you go check it out!

Google ML course logo


UG OPEN DAYS.

  The Undergraduate recruitment team are looking for students to demonstrate either their first or third year projects, or exciting and interesting interactive equipment from the hardware library at the upcoming Open Days on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 June. These events are a great way to experience some public engagement AND earn a bit of extra money before the summer! If you’re interested in helping out then please contact Jez Lloyd.


MAKEFEST.

  Manchester Girl Geeks are looking for (girl and non-girl) volunteers to help run an activity as part of MakeFest next weekend (26/27 May), which involves converting people's names into binary and making a cool laser cut keyring with it. No prior experience is necessary, and it'll be a great opportunity to get some public engagement experience, working with award-winning maths communicator Katie Steckles. Find out more.


REFRESH.

  Here's something to take your minds off revision for a moment, courtesy of xkcd.


QUANTUM SUMMER SCHOOL.

  Interested in quantum computing? There are funded places available (including accommodation) at the Undergraduate Summer School in Quantum Technologies at UCL in London, 3-7 September 2018. Lectures from leading experts on QC, hands-on experiments, meetings and tutorials with PhD students and scientists and engineers from UCL. Limited places. Apply with your CV and a statement of purpose, deadline 15 June 2018.

Quantum Summer School logo


CAREERS FOCUS GROUP.

  Will you be in Manchester after the exams, particularly the last two weeks of June? The Careers Service are inviting students to review what services the Careers Service provides, what works well and what can be improved. If you’re interested in participating (free food and refreshments provided), they require two hours of your time (in Kilburn). Register your interest by emailing Alex Jones.


SEMICONDUCTOR SEMINAR.

   Christos P. Sotiriou (University of Thessaly, Greece) will talk about Challenges and Opportunities in Semiconductor and EDA, this Weds 23 May in Kilburn L.T 1.4 at 14:00. The talk will describe problems in the Electronic Design Automation (EDA) space today and discuss the synergy of EDA and semiconductor sectors. All welcome.


Exams Week 1 • Monday 14 May 2018 • #17.29          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 14 May, and as I’m sure you know, the 3-week exam period starts this Thurs 17 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


MAY BALL.

  This from Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE): Last weekend was all about the May Ball! The Midland Hotel welcomed us with tasty cocktails and good vibes. Then, the night kicked off with a lovely dinner to the jazzy background of Top Deck. Afterwards, some of us sneaked into the photo booth for a memorable picture of the night, while the others filled the dance floor in an instant! We danced our heart out until past midnight, when our dressing gowns led us home with amazing memories of the Ball! Thus, CSSoc would like to thank you all for coming and hope you had at least as much fun as we did!

May Ball collage


BEST SUPERVISOR AWARD.

  Congratulations to David Rydeheard (COMP26120) who has been awarded University of Manchester Supervisor of the Year. Everyone who knows David knows he is a hugely dedicated and enthusiastic teacher and this award is well-deserved!


PAST PAPERS.

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


PASS DINNER.

  Last week the School treated PASS leaders, student coordinators and members of the team that delivered PASS2 to a slap-up dinner!

PASS dinner


CSSOC.

  Oops, last week we mistakenly announced that Tejas Chandrasekar (Y1, CS4) was elected as CSSoc Treasurer for next year. Tejas has in fact been elected Secretary. Apologies.


SECURITY CHALLENGES.

  Interested in security challenges? Here are two: the OWASP AppSec Europe 2018 University Challenge is being held in London on 3-4 July. It’s a Capture the Flag event for teams from European Universities. Apply by Tues 22 May. And check out the European Cyber Security Challenge, sign up now.


SOCIAL JUSTICE CHALLENGE.

  2nd year students, if you haven't yet completed the Social Justice Challenge please be aware that this Challenge is only open to you in your 2nd year and the deadline is 15 June. It’s delivered via Blackboard (My Communities > EGC: Social Justice Challenge.) and takes about an hour. Completion of the Social Justice Challenge will appear on your Higher Education Achievement Report and also contributes towards the Manchester Leadership Award.


PHD POSITIONS.

  Two funded PhD places are available (deadline 30 May): Big-Data Techniques to Understand the Relationship Between Weather and Pain (details) and Big-Data Techniques to Improve Weather Forecasting (details).


FREE SOFTWARE MEETING.

  At this month’s Manchester Free Software meeting, Michael Dorrington will talk on GNU Guix (pronounced "geeks"). This is a package manager like apt or rpm but with features those tools don't have. Guix allows normal user accounts to easily have their own versions of software, have atomic upgrades and roll-backs, and more. Tomorrow Tues 15 May 19:00 at PLANT NOMA, M60 0AE.


Week 12 • Monday 7 May 2018 • #17.28          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 7 May, it’s Week 12, and it’s the Early May Bank Holiday today, so no scheduled activities. Kilburn is open but you'll need your out-of-hours pass. This is the last week of activities before the start of the exam period on Thurs 17 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. Now, on with today’s news!
best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


STUDENTHACK WINS.

  We had some great wins at Studenthack VI last week, held at MMU. Team Beer Rover: Dominic Fischer (Y2, CS4wIE), Zachariah Forster (Y2, CSwIE), Sarah Kells (Y2, CSwIE) won 3rd Place; Winners of the Space Challenge were team Gravity Shift: Ioana-Ruxandra Dumitrescu (Y1, CS), Costin Ionescu (Y1, CSwIE), Rares-Catalin Meirosu (Y1, AI4), Paul Stefanescu (Y1, CS4wIE); Winner of The Hut Group Challenge, team BuffBirds: Anna Buck (Y1, CMwIE), Andras Geiszl (Y2, CSwIE), Laszlo Nagy (Y1, CSwIE), Gyorgy Rethy (Y2, CSwIE); Winner of the Twilio Challenge were A Hacker's Scavenger Hunt in the Galaxy: Irina Hristescu (Y3, CSwIE), Anca Popescu (Y3, CSwIE). Well done everyone!

StudentHack collage


PASS AWARDS DOUBLE WIN.

  This year’s PASS Awards were held last Weds at the Ramada Renaissance Hotel and attended by over 100 students and staff from across the University. The awards were presented by the University’s Chancellor, Lemn Sissay. Congratulations to Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE) and Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) who won Outstanding Contribution to Peer Support awards for their contribution to the School’s 1st Year PASS Scheme. Congratulations also go to Josh Langley (Y5, CSwIE) and Sami Alabed (Y3, CSwIE) who won Outstanding Contribution to Peer Support awards for running the 2nd Year PASS Scheme. They were ably supported this term by the superb team of Oreste Wolcsics (Y3, CSwIE), Ben Possible (Y3, CSwIE), Mihai Bujanca (Y3, CSwIE) and Sebastian Mararu (Y3, CS). This is the 6th year in a row that the School has had at least one recipient of one of these prestigious awards and the first time that the School has won awards for both schemes. Thank you to everyone in the School, not forgetting Andrea Schalk and Gavin Donald, for making PASS in Computer Science a huge success again this year!


MIT CIRCS DEADLINES.

   If you wish to report any mitigating circumstances that have affected your studies during Semester 2, the deadline for submitting a mitigating circumstances form to SSO is this Friday 11 May. If there are any mitigating circumstances for the Semester 2 exam period, the deadline to tell is is Friday 8 June. The School will be unable to consider your circumstances unless you submit by the appropriate deadlines.


PASS.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM), Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE), Sami Alabad (Y3, CSwIE) and Josh Langley (Y4, CS4wIE): On behalf of PASS we want to thank everyone and wish you all good luck for the upcoming exams!


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… Best visual appeal: Y2; best user interface: Z6; best effort at gathering data: Y4; best implementation quality: W3; best implementation quantity: M4; most professional development: X2. Well done everyone!

101 showcase collage

101 winners


HACKSOC NEWS.

  This from Surya Prasad (Y1, CS4): CSSoc and HackSoc held a joint AGM last Weds 2 May where the new HackSoc committee members were elected: President: Luke Beamish (Y2, CS); Vice-President & Treasurer: Aayush Chadha (Y2, AI); Dev Officer: Kristijonas Zalys (Y1, CS); Events Officer: Ioana Dumitrescu (Y1, CS); PR Officer: Surya Prasad (Y1, CS4); Graphics Officer: Sara Caballero-Bruno (Y1, CSE). Below are the 2017 and 2018 team!

HackSoc 17 and 18


CSSOC NEWS.

  Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE) writes: Say hello to next year's CSSoc board! We'll have Ritam Anand (Y1, AI4) and Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE) as Co-Chairs; Tejas Chandrasekar (Y1, CS4) and Ben Piggott (Foundation Year) as Treasurer; and Dania Suheimat (Y1, SEwIE) as PR Officer. They will continue the legacy Rafid Lafir (Y2, CSwIE) and Zeki Forster (Y2, CSwIE) have created during the course of this year! It's hard to say goodbye to them and to the rest of the 2017/2018 team, but we wish them all the best in their future placements and thank them for the great year we've had together!

CSSoc committee


MALAWI UPDATE.

  Hannah Berrisford (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Big thank you to everyone who has donated so far, raffle tickets are still available from SSO or ASCO to win Martina Catizone's (Y3, CS) beautiful painting (below). Tickets are £1, unless you would like to donate more. We're also in the process of auctioning lino-cut prints that have been made by Uli Sattler using the University bee hives, so keep a look out for how you can get hold of one! If you would like to support us, please check out our page and help us to contribute to charity RIPPLE Africa.

Martina's pic


IE BLOG.

  Rhys Kentish (CSwIE, out on IE) has written a great blog about UG placements at small companies, talking about his current year out with Brightec. Check it out.


Week 11 (A) • Monday 30 April 2018 • #17.27          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 30 April, and it’s Week 11, an A week. We're in the final two weeks of term, and I hope everything is going well. If you need any advice or help, do ask your Personal Tutor, Project Supervisor, Year Tutor, or SSO. They'll all be glad to help. On with today's news!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


STAFF-STUDENT COMP.

  The 2018 6th annual Staff-Student Programming Competition last week featured 15 teams (see the final standings and problem descriptions). Congratulations to the winning team Aeropress (Staff):  Sean Bechhofer and Allan Ramsay! The runners up were The Lambdas (Giles Reger and Ahmed Bhayat (PG)); in 3rd place were team Ace: Luke Beamish (Y2, CS), Dominic Fischer (Y2, CS4wIE) and Levi Wright (Y2, CS4). Well done all! There will be a seminar "How to Solve the 2018 Staff-Student Programming Competition Problems" this Weds 2 May at 14:00 in LT1.4 at 14:00. Everyone welcome! Thanks to all who competed, and special thanks go to the student organizers: Vlad-Andrei Munteanu (Y1, CS), Sean Parker (Y1, CSwIE), Ivan Pupovac (Y1, CM), Patrick Sava (Y1, CS) and Bobby Mccann (Y2, CS).

Staff-stu comp montage


PASS1.

  This from Mike Cruchten (Y3, CM) and Pierre Barnaud (Y3, SE): This week is our last PASS session and we will have a PASS quiz like in December. It will include some exam-type questions and the classical pub quiz questions! Come along to have fun with the PASS leaders during the last session and on this note, we wish you all the best for your exams.


BLOCKCHAIN WIN.

  Congratulations to Ignas Gustainis (Y1, BM) and Kalin Smolichki (Y3, CS) whose team won 2nd prize in the UK vs US Blockchain Hackathon at Leeds University last week.

Blockchain attendees


NSS WINNER.

  Congratulations to Mohammadreza Asgari (Y3, CS) who won £100 in our final NSS prize draw last week.


CSSOC.

  Alexandra Stefanescu (Y1, BMwIE) writes: Ready for one last vote before the end of the year? Come to the Annual General Meeting of CSSoc & HackSoc, so that we can all elect next year's committee members! The joint AGM will take place this Weds 2 May at 13:00 in IT407. See you all there!


MANCML.

  Cristian Bodnar (Y3, CS) writes: The tickets for the 24 May MancML meetup are now available on Eventbrite. If you are interested in Machine Learning or just want to meet new people, grab a ticket while they are still available. As usual, free pizza and drinks will be served. I will be also giving a talk on my final year project on Text to Image Synthesis using Generative Adversarial Networks. I will go through Wasserstein GANs and explain how I used them to obtain improvements over the current state of the art models. Looking forward to seeing you there!


FOURIER TALK.

  This from Teodora Stoleru (Y2, CS): We hope you enjoyed last week's session of HackSoc's Mathematics for Computer Science Study Group when we looked at modelling a physics engine. This week's subject will be presented by Cavanagh Haunch (Y3, EEE), who will demonstrate the applications of Discrete Fourier Transformations for analysis and how to use convolutions to manipulate the frequency spectrum of signals. This is a great opportunity, especially for second year students taking COMP28512 Mobile Systems. See you in LT1.3 this Wednesday at 15:00, after the CSSoc/Hacksoc elections!


MALAWI UPDATE.

  Ben Possible (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Thank you to everyone who supported the Bake Sale last week, we managed to raise over £230! Martina Catizone (Y3, CS) has painted a lovely watercolour (below) of an African Sunset. We're selling raffle tickets to help us raise more funds, so If you want to win Martina's picture, you can buy tickets from SSO or ACSO. Feel free to help us to contribute to the charity RIPPLE Africa and again if you would like to support us check out our page which contains more information about what we're doing out there!

Ben cakes and picture


UNDERGRADUATE AWARDS.

  3rd year students: proud of your 3rd year Project? 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 12 June.


ART AND SCIENCE.

  Are you curious about the relations between the arts and the sciences? Mathematics and music have often been compared to one another, but what might that really mean for mathematicians, composers, musicians and their listeners? This Thurs 3 May join Gemma Moss, Lecturer in English at Birmingham City University, in conversation with composer Emily Howard and Ursula Martin, Professor of Computer Science at The University of Oxford. 17:30 in Theatre B, University Place, followed by a drinks reception in the First Floor Foyer, and a live performance of Emily's compositions by the RNCM's Mathias Quartet. Free, all welcome.


FIRE TECH.

  Fire Tech Camp are recruiting students for exciting CS educational outreach opportunities this summer. These are well paid, and some are overseas. If you're interested in these opportunities, Dave Ames from FTC will be available for discussion outside LF31 from 11:30 tomorrow Tues 1 May. Contact Dave in advance if you'd like to meet him.

Firetech logo


PHD OPPORTUNITIES.

  Interested in doing a PhD in data science? See details of a funded PhD position. There's also an open afternoon about Doctoral Training, this Weds 2 May from 14:00-16:00, Room C24 Sackville Street building. Register.


SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.

  Do you have an idea which could have a positive impact on society or the environment but don’t have the funding to get it up and running? The Faculty is re-launching a funding competition to encourage all staff and students to engage with the University’s Social Responsibility agenda, inviting applications for funding of up to £3000 to support Social Responsibility initiatives which can ‘make a difference’ within the University, in the local community and internationally. To apply, contact Fran Guratsky (deadline 28 May).


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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


LEEDS HACK WINS.

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

Leeds Hack pix


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


TEACHER OF THE YEAR.

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

PWN


GRADUATION DAY.

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


NSS.

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


SSC.

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

SSC reps


UG OF THE YEAR AWARDS.

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


SUSTAINABILITY.

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


PROGRAMMING COMP.

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

Vlad-Andrei's comp


BUILDING A PHYSICS ENGINE.

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


CTF.

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


LASER TAG.

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

`Laser Quest


IP EXPO.

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


MALAWI UPDATE.

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


WRITING HELP.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

 


IMAGINE CUP SUCCESS.

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

Imagine cup winners with giant cheque


SUMMER VACATION PROJECTS.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


STAFF-STUDENT PROGRAMMING COMP.

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


FRACTALS.

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

Toby'fractals


SO YOU’RE GOING ON PLACEMENT?

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


GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.

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


MALAWI.

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


STUDENTHACK.

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

Studenthack logo


FACULTY REVIEW.

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


NSS.

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


UNDERGRADUATE AWARDS.

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

UG Awards logo


RAISE AND GIVE.

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


GAVIN BROWN LECTURE.

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


SIEMENS CHALLENGE.

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


FREE SOFTWARE MEETING.

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


PHD IN MEDICAL IMAGING.

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


VOLUNTEER SOUGHT.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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


HEX WIN.

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

Hex winners


EASTER OPENING TIMES.

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


PASS1.

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


SUMMER VACATION WORK.

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


STAFF-STUDENT PROGRAMMING COMP.

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


NSS.

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


CYBERUK 2018.

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

cyberuk logo


PHD OPP.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


MATHS STUDY GROUP.

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


EASTER OPENING TIMES.

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


FROM STUDENT TO STARTUP.

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


WORKPLACE ETHICS WORKSHOPS.

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

Workplace workshops logo


DAI DROP-IN.

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


ML SEMINAR.

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


STUDENT IDEAS COMP.

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

student ideas comp logo


FREE SOFTWARE MEETING.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


UCU STRIKE ACTION.

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


HACK THE BURGH WIN.

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

HackThe Burgh group shot + tech shot


FEEDBACK SESSION.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


MATHS STUDY GROUP.

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


BLOOMBERG BATTLE.

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

Bloomberg collage


NSS DRAW WINNER.

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


HOODIES.

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


CAROLINE'S INSPIRATION.

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

CJay on YT


WARGAMES.

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

Wargames logo


PRIZEWINNER.

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

Nikolina with prize


FOCUS GROUP.

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


STUDY IN CHINA.

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

China logo


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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


UCU STRIKE ACTION.

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


GOOGLE HASHCODE.

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

Hashcode in Collab1


START HACK WIN.

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

startHack pic


SSC.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


BLOOMBERG BATTLE.

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

Bloomberg logo


MAY BALL.

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


SUMMER VACATION WORK.

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


TURING LECTURE.

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


SEB AND JOSH PODCAST.

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


EXEC OFFICER.

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


BE A WELCOME AMBASSADOR.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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


UCU STRIKE ACTION.

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


GOOGLE HASH CODE.

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


CSSOC AND BLOOMBERG.

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

Bloombery banner


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


SSC.

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

SSC photos


OUT OF HOURS PASSES.

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


KILBURN OUTAGE.

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


GRADUATION.

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


NSS DRAW WINNER.

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


MAY BALL.

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

May Ball banner


WIN £50.

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


CYBER-SECURITY.

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


STAFF-STUDENT QUIZ.

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


VOLUNTEERS.

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

Volunteers Thank You


DO A PHD.

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


GREAT MANCHESTER RUN.

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

Run


VENTURE FURTHER.

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


ESCAPE THE CITY.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


 


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

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


CSSOC MEET MATILLION.

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

CSSoc and Matillion


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


NSS – WIN £100.

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


MALAWI AWARD AND 2018 PROJECT.

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

Malawi


DATA SCIENCE:

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


MONDAY CAREERS ADVICE.

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

Alex Jones LinkedIn


WOMEN IN CS.

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


THANKS TO VOLUNTEERS.

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


ML TALK.

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

Gavin's talk


WRITING HELP.

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


FREE SOFTWARE MEETING.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


STAFF VS STUDENTS QUIZ.

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

SSQ collage


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


SSC DATES.

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


HACKSOC VISIT BELGIUM.

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

Hacksoc collage


OUR RESPONSE TO YOUR FEEDBACK.

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


PLANNED KILBURN OUTAGE.

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


SU ELECTIONS.

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

SU elections banner


MANCML.

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


MANCHESTER JOBS.

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


BE A TUTOR.

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


SEEKING A STARTUP BUDDY.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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


STAFF VS STUDENTS QUIZ.

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

Staff-student quiz banner


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


GUEST LECTURE.

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


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

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


EXAM FEEDBACK.

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


POETRY COMP.

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


GREEN IMPACT.

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

Green Impact logo


WIN £50.

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


MASTERS DEGREE.

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


MOTION PLANNING TALK.

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


GLOBAL IMPACT AWARDS.

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

GIA photo


BIG ACTION DAY.

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


DIGITAL CIVICS PHD.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


FINAL YEAR MEETING.

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


GUEST LECTURE.

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

Craig Dear LN shot


OUT OF HOURS PASSES.

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


HANDOUTS MOVE.

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


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

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


EXAM RESULTS.

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


EXAM FEEDBACK.

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


BETTER WORLD.

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


FIRST YEAR SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGE.

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


CALM HACKATHON.

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

Calmm hackathon poster


BLOCKCHAIN GANG.

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


TEAM UGANDA.

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

Team Uganda photo


VOLUNTEER WITH NIGHTLINE.

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


VOLUNTEER DAYS.

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


SO YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE UK?

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


CYBERSECURITY.

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


TURING LECTURE.

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

Turing lecture poster


TWO+TWO.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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


NEW OUT-OF-HOURS PASSES.

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


GROUND FLOOR.

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


MIT CIRCS.

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


GOOGLE HASHCODE.

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

HashCode logo


GOOGLE DIGITAL GARAGE.

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


STREET SUPPORT.

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


BETTER WORLD.

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

Better World logo


EXAM SUPPORT.

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


MULTISENSORY COMPUTING.

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

OLfactory blast


TURING LECTURE 2018.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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


FREE LUNCH!

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


EXAM SUPPORT.

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


KNEEBONE SUCCESS.

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


MIT CIRCS.

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


CERN TO BARCELONA.

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

Aayush collage


MICROSOFT IMAGINE CUP.

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


OXFORD HACK WIN.

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


UCIL COURSES.

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


TALKING ABOUT ROBOTS.

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


DE-STRESS!

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

De-stress logo


MELTDOWN AND SPECTRE.

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


ESCAPE THE CITY.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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


VENTURE OUT WINNER!

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

winners


UNI TECH CHALLENGE WINNERS!

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


CREATE BUILD CODE WINNERS!

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

winners group pic


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


SSC.

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


FIRST YEAR PROJECTS POSTER SHOW.

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

collage of event pix

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

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

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

winning posters and winning teams


ENROL NOW.

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


GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.

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


SSO XMAS OPENING.

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


KILBURN XMAS OPENING.

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

Rainbow over Kilburn


MIT CIRCS.

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


PARTICIPANTS NEEDED.

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


TEAM UGANDA.

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


MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

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


VIDEO INTERVIEWS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

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


HACKKINGS WINS.

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

Awards at Hackkings


VENTURE OUT FINALIST.

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


CAPTURE THE FLAG.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


FIRST YEAR POSTER SESSION.

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


SSC.

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

SSC reps mugshots


SSO XMAS OPENING.

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


APPLE TALK AND JOBS.

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


GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.

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


CSSOC PUB CRAWL.

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

CSSoc banner


CYBERSECURITY.

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


TECH TRENDS.

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


EMMA THE ADVOCATE.

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


DISTRIBUTED STREAMING.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

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


OXFORDHACK WIN!

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


LEARNING AT GOOGLE.

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

Todd


KNEEBONE BURSARY.

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


FACULTY FORUM.

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

Faculty Forum logo


MEET THE PRESIDENT.

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


CYBERSECURITY.

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


ALEXA,

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


GIVING TUESDAY.

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

Giving Tuesday logo


SOCIAL JUSTICE CHALLENGE.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

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

best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


PASS2 SURVEY.

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


PORTICODE WIN.

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


ANA’S BLOG.

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

View of Rio


KNEEBONE BURSARY.

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


MEET THE PRESIDENT.

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


WELLBEING WEEK.

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

Wellbeing week posters


MEET THE PROFESSIONALS.

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


LIBRARY SURVEY.

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


CHILDREN IN NEED AUCTION.

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


INTERESTING THING OF THE WEEK.

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

XKCD panel


CYBERSECURITY TALK.

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


UNI TRAVEL AWARDS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

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


GREAT UNI HACK.

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

Smart tea grab

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

GUH montage of 4 shots


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


SSC.

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


TEMPERATURES.

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


FEEDBACK SESSION.

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


CSSSOC/VISA PUB QUIZ!

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

pub quiz banner


MEET A PHD.

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

Meet a PhD


CYBERSECURITY TALKS.

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


LEARN MORE ABOUT CYBERSECURITY.

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


CHILDREN IN NEED AUCTION.

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

Children in Need banner


CAREERS FAIRS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


SSC.

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

mugshots of all the reps


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


KNEEBONE BURSARY.

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


GOOGLE TALK.

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


REMEMBERING GEOFF TOOTILL.

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

SSEM (left), Geoff (right)


GITHUB WORKSHOP.

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


GITHUB DINNER.

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


MEET THE PROFESSIONALS.

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


MANCHESTER TECH NIGHTS.

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

tech nights logo


WOMEN IN TECH.

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


BALTIC CONF.

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


BAE CAPTURE THE FLAG.

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


ESCAPE THE CITY.

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


ALEXA,

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


THOUGHTWORKS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

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


HACKMANCHESTER WINS.

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

Melanie Cattell


UKIEPC SUCCESS.

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

Pic of the room, and of team Abracadabra


PORTICODE WINS.

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

SHots of the two winning teams


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


TODD’S TALK.

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


SU ELECTIONS.

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


FEEDBACK SESSION.

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


WELLBEING CHAMPION.

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


CYBERSECURITY TALKS.

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


BANK OF ENGLAND COMP.

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


INTERESTING THING OF THE WEEK.

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


OPEN BADGES.

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


SUSTAINABILITY.

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


MANCML.

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


MANCHESTER GEEK NIGHTS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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


BARCELONA HACK WIN!

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

Barcelona photobooth shots of the team + cam


UCU ACTION.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


CSSOC.

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

Blade Runner poster


JAVASCRIPT HACKERS.

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


UG EVENTS CALENDAR.

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


WEDNESDAY WAGGLE.

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


UNIVERSITY TECH CHALLENGE.

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


WIKIPEDIA.

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


ARM STARTUP.

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


LIBRARY NEWS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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


HACKATHON WIN!

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

GUH team


GREAT UNI HACK.

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


SSC REPS.

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

SSC reps AY17


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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

PASS2 in Collab


CSSOC.

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


CODECON WINNERS.

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

CodeCon winners


HARDWARE LIBRARY.

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


UG OF THE YEAR.

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

UG of the year logo


ACCENTURE.

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


ADA.

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

Uli and Carole with the portrait of Ada


FEEDBACK SESSION.

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


HACK MANCHESTER.

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

HackManchester


DEBUG YOUR CV.

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


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

  They are both on the Amex graduate scheme.


NEURAL NETWORKS.

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


BE A MENTOR.

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


GOLDMAN SACHS.

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

GS logo


THE LITTLE CAREERS FAIR.

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


D3T DROP-IN.

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


SOCIAL JUSTICE.

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

Vol fair logo


FREE SOFTWARE MEETING.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


BIG CAREERS FAIR.

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

Montage of pic from the Week 2 Careers Fair


CSSOC.

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

CSSoc group shot


BLOOMBERG CODE COMP.

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


MORGAN STANLEY CHALLENGE.

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


HACKTRAIN.

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

Hacktrain logo


BE A STUDENT AMBASSADOR.

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


VENTURE OUT.

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


INDUSTRY CLUB.

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


LINUX ON YOUR LAPTOP.

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


TEACH FIRST.

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

Teach First ad


BLACKROCK.

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


BP.

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


RBS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

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

on a leafless branch
a crow has settled
an autumn evening

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


SSC.

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


COURSE UNIT SELECTION.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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

PASS2 <b>–</b> packed!


PASS SCAVENGERS.

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

Montage of Scavenger Hunt teams


CSSOC MEETING.

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

CSSoc poster


CAREERS FAIR.

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

Carees Fair poster


EVENTS CAL.

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


GREAT UNI HACK.

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

GUH logo


HACKSOC.

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


NETWORK WITH HACKSOC.

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


ROOM IMPROVEMENTS.

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


THE COURTYARD.

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

Courtyard 1967 and 2017


BE A STUDENT AMBASSADOR!

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


NASA SATELLITE COMP.

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


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

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


GO GREEN.

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


DIGILAB.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


FIRST YEARS.

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

All the 1st Years in 1.1


SSC.

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


PASS SCAVENGER HUNT.

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


PASS2.

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


PRIZE WINNERS.

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

Prizewinners and Robert


STUDENT HELPERS NEEDED.

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


HANDY TIMETABLES.

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


UKIEPC CONTEST.

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


KPMG BOOT CAMP.

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


SECURITY CHALLENGE.

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


VOLUNTEER.

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

Teo Taylor in Malawi


SCIENCE NIGHT (FREE).

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


IOT CONF (FREE).

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


RECREATION GRANTS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


WE'RE HERE TO HELP.

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

Lots of ASK ME people


TIMETABLES.

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


WELCOME WEEK PUB CRAWL.

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


LOOKING FOR INFO ABOUT THE SCHOOL?

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


THIRD YEAR PROJECT SUCCESSES.

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

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


COURSE UNIT SELECTION.

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


STUDENT HELPERS NEEDED.

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


STUDENT FEEDBACK.

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


HACK MANCHESTER.

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


GREAT UNI HACK.

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


TURING FIND.

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


FINANCE HELP.

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


FREE SOFTWARE MEETING.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

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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

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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

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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, compsci-sso@listserv.manchester.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.


Final week of term • Monday 6 June 2016 • #15.32          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 6 June, and it’s the last few days of the exams season, and also of this Semester, which ends on Friday. This is the last Monday Mail for this academic year, so I'll wish you a happy and rewarding summer. If you’re graduating, we hope to see you and your families here on Graduation Day (Thursday 21 July) for the ceremony in Whitworth Hall (10:00) and the reception and prize-giving here in the School afterwards – and we hope you’ll stay in touch with us as alumni. 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


MITIGATING CIRCS.

  A reminder that if you feel that any aspects of your exams have been affected by mitigating circumstances, please note that the deadline for notifying the School is this Friday 10 June.


COURSE UNIT SELECTION.

  If you're returning next academic year, please make your course unit selections ASAP after the system opens in July: 11 July for CM students, and 29 July for others. Please note that due to space constraints, a few courses have maximum enrollments.


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY.

  See results publication dates and more.


GRADUATE CAREERS FAIR.

  The Graduate Recruitment Fair will be at the Armitage Centre in Fallowfield next week, on Weds/Thurs 15/16  June. Over 150 exhibitors will be offering graduate jobs across the two days, with different exhibitors on each day.

Careers Fair logo


LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER TO VOTE.

  Several recent analyses have shown that the student vote is likely to have a significant impact on the upcoming EU Referendum. You have until midnight tomorrow Tuesday 7 June to register to vote.

Turing sculpture in Manchester, with sunflowers.


TURING’S SUNFLOWERS.

  The University has recently published the solution to a mathematical conundrum proposed by Alan Turing, sixty years after his death. See Turing’s Sunflowers.


SUMMER READING AND CODING.

  If you’re looking to pick up new technical skills over the summer, you might be interested to know that the University Library has a subscription to nearly 150 books from O’Reilly Media. The perfect place to broaden your technical skill set – for free!


EXPERIMENT.

  You can earn a £10 Amazon voucher helping PhD student Manuele Reani (supervisor: Caroline Jay) in his experiments on how people interact with graphical visualizations of data/problems. The experiment will be about an hour long, and you will be asked to look at some graphs on a computer screen describing some data. Sign up