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.

LATEST | UG | Y1 | Y2 | Y3 | Y4 | Courses | Timetables | | ( 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 all )

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

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

best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


PASS2 SURVEY.

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


PORTICODE WIN.

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


ANA’S BLOG.

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

View of Rio


KNEEBONE BURSARY.

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


MEET THE PRESIDENT.

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


WELLBEING WEEK.

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

Wellbeing week posters


MEET THE PROFESSIONALS.

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


LIBRARY SURVEY.

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


CHILDREN IN NEED AUCTION.

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


INTERESTING THING OF THE WEEK.

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

XKCD panel


CYBERSECURITY TALK.

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


UNI TRAVEL AWARDS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

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


GREAT UNI HACK.

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

Smart tea grab

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

GUH montage of 4 shots


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


SSC.

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


TEMPERATURES.

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


FEEDBACK SESSION.

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


CSSSOC/VISA PUB QUIZ!

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

pub quiz banner


MEET A PHD.

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

Meet a PhD


CYBERSECURITY TALKS.

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


LEARN MORE ABOUT CYBERSECURITY.

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


CHILDREN IN NEED AUCTION.

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

Children in Need banner


CAREERS FAIRS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


SSC.

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

mugshots of all the reps


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


KNEEBONE BURSARY.

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


GOOGLE TALK.

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


REMEMBERING GEOFF TOOTILL.

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

SSEM (left), Geoff (right)


GITHUB WORKSHOP.

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


GITHUB DINNER.

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


MEET THE PROFESSIONALS.

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


MANCHESTER TECH NIGHTS.

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

tech nights logo


WOMEN IN TECH.

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


BALTIC CONF.

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


BAE CAPTURE THE FLAG.

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


ESCAPE THE CITY.

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


ALEXA,

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


THOUGHTWORKS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

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


HACKMANCHESTER WINS.

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

Melanie Cattell


UKIEPC SUCCESS.

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

Pic of the room, and of team Abracadabra


PORTICODE WINS.

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

SHots of the two winning teams


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


TODD’S TALK.

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


SU ELECTIONS.

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


FEEDBACK SESSION.

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


WELLBEING CHAMPION.

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


CYBERSECURITY TALKS.

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


BANK OF ENGLAND COMP.

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


INTERESTING THING OF THE WEEK.

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


OPEN BADGES.

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


SUSTAINABILITY.

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


MANCML.

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


MANCHESTER GEEK NIGHTS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

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


BARCELONA HACK WIN!

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

Barcelona photobooth shots of the team + cam


UCU ACTION.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


CSSOC.

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

Blade Runner poster


JAVASCRIPT HACKERS.

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


UG EVENTS CALENDAR.

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


WEDNESDAY WAGGLE.

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


UNIVERSITY TECH CHALLENGE.

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


WIKIPEDIA.

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


ARM STARTUP.

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


LIBRARY NEWS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

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

Toby pic

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard

Director of Undergraduate Studies


WANNACRY.

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

Symantec wannacry spead over time


MSC ROOMS AVAILABLE.

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


NEW PODCAST.

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


OPEN DAYS.

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


EXAMS SUPPORT.

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


MIT CIRCS.

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


FUNDED PHD.

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


BANK HOLIDAY.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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


PASS AWARDS SUCCESS.

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


SPRING BALL.

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

Two pic from the Spring Ball


CSSOC NEXT YEAR.

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


SHOWCASES.

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

Collage of pix from the two showcases


NEW BLOGPOST.

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


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY.

   See exam results publication dates and more.


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

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


MIT CIRCS.

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


EXAMS SUPPORT.

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


FREE SOFTWARE MEETING.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


VENTURE FURTHER.

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


1ST YEAR PROJECT SHOWCASE.

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

the 4 winning groups' posters

Collage of 15 photos of the showcase


YEAR 2 & YEAR 3 PROJECT SHOWCASES.

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


CSSOC AGM.

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


HACKSOC NEWS.

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


SSC.

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


MIT CIRCS.

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


GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.

  The Unit Survey gives you the chance to tell us what you think about your course units, and for Semester 2 it runs until tomorrow 9 May. Please take a moment to give us your feedback – you can use Blackboard or download the app (iOS | Android). We take your views seriously, we react, and we publish a response to your views, for every course unit.


EXAMS.

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


HISTORY DISPLAY.

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

Shoe of Desmond Henry panels


EXAMS AND HELP.

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


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

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


UNIVERSITY GREEN.

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

University Green visualisation


PHD IN PARALLELISM.

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


MBS MASTERS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


HACKMED WIN.

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

Harry, Aayush and Lorena


PASS2.

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


SSC.

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

SSC mugshots


NEW BLOGGER.

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


GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.

  The Unit Survey gives you the chance to tell us what you think about your course units, and for Semester 2 it runs until 9 May. Please take a moment to give us your feedback – you can use Blackboard or download the app (iOS | Android). We take your views seriously, we react, and we publish a response to your views, for every course unit.


MALAWI PROJECT.

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

Malawi children, all smiling


WOW & FB USERS WANTED.

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


POSTGRAD LOANS.

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


ACADEMIC WRITING HELP.

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

UoM got talent logo


UOM GOT TALENT.

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


KANOPY.

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


WELLBEING CHAMPIONS.

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


GRAD FAIR.

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


PHD IN DATA SCIENCE AND UX.

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


DATA PHD.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 24 April, and it’s Week 10, a B week. I hope you had a good three weeks of vacation! There are now three more weeks of teaching and scheduled activities, and the exam period begins on 18 May. As the end of term nears, if you have lab work that needs marking, make sure to check the deadline arrangements for your courses. Now, on with today’s news!
best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


VACATION JOBS.

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


BANK HOL.

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

David Malan lecturing, head shot


DAVID MALAN TALK.

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


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

  Final year students, our NSS completion rate is now 56%, and the survey closes on Saturday. If you haven’t yet done your NSS please do, and take your ack to SSO for your free bar of choc and your chance to win £100 in our final prize draw this Friday 28 April.


PASS1.

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


ACADEMIC WRITING HELP.

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


EXAMS AND HELP.

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

Tell Us logo


GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.

  The Unit Survey gives you the chance to tell us what you think about your course units, and for Semester 2 it runs from today until 9 May. Please take a moment to give us your feedback – you can use Blackboard or download the app (iOS | Android). We take your views seriously, we react, and we publish a response to your views, for every course unit.


VOTE!

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


ENTERPRISE IT.

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


MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU.

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


SU ADVICE SERVICE.

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


DIGITAL HEALTHCARE.

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


SAGE PLACEMENT.

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


RADIUS PAYMENT SOLUTIONS DROP-IN.

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


DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT PHD.

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


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

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


EUROPEAN MASTERS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby picGood morning UG! It’s Monday 3 April, and it’s the first week of the 3-week Easter break. I hope you’re enjoying a well-earned rest and perhaps planning a bit of catchup and revision. 3rd Year students, good luck with writing your project reports and making your screencasts, and remember to ask your Supervisor for feedback on drafts of each. The Monday Mail is having an Easter break, but will be back again on Monday 24 April (Week 10, a B week). Meanwhile, on with today’s news, and have a Happy Easter!
Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


MAY BALL.

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

Imperial War Museum


HACKTRAIN WINS.

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

Durian fruit


SMELLY FRUIT ALERT.

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


KILBURN EASTER OPENING TIMES.

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


ALEXA PROJECT.

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


REP OF THE YEAR.

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


WORK FOR HORNET.

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

Kilburn and bunnies


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

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


CYBER CONF.

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


MASTERS BURSARY.

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


MACHINE INTELLIGENCE TALK.

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


XKCD.

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

xkcd on chat systems


SOCIAL GOOD.

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


NANOSCALE TALK.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

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

Best wishes,

Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


CS50.

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

Collage of 5 pix from CS50


DAVID MALAN TALK.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


BE A PASS LEADER.

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


STAFF-STUDENT CODING COMP.

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

Group pic of Staff-student competitors


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

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


KILBURN EASTER OPENING TIMES.

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


SUMMER VACATION WORK.

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

Teaching Awards logo


TEACHING AWARDS.

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


GRADUATE INTERN POSITIONS.

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


CREDIT KUDOS DROP-IN.

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


IT CONFERENCE.

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


DATA SCIENCE.

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


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


CAPTURE THE MEMES.

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

The four winners


HACKTHEBURGH.

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

Group show by Edinburgh Castle


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


STAFF-STUDENT CODING COMP.

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

David Malan


CS50.

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


DAVID MALAN SEMINAR.

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


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

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


HACKATHON PODCAST.

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


CAREERS SUPPORT.

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

Mr Bean and Teddy


RED NOSE BAKE.

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


TEACHING AWARDS.

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


GLOBAL GRADUATES.

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


LOVE CODING?

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


MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

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


BIG CHIP AWARDS.

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

Oxford Road visualization


OXFORD ROAD REOPENS.

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


IGEM COMP.

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


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

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


CITYVERVE.

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


C HELP WANTED.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


STUDENTHACK SUCCESS.

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

Student hack pano shot

Hackachon people

podcast logo


PODCAST WITH CRISTIAN.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


SSC REPORT.

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


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

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

NSS purple kilburn


BLOOMBERG MOBILE.

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


OPEN CONF.

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

Memes logo


CAPTURE THE MEMES.

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


CAREERS HELP.

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

Royce Building visualisaton


SCHOOL BOARD UPDATE.

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


CODE CLUB.

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


VENTURE FURTHER.

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

Manchester free software logo - a penguin on a gnu


GNU R.

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


MBS MASTERS.

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


GEODATA COMP.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


STUDENTHACK.

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

The Landing


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


SSC.

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

Kilburn-o-meter


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

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


PODCAST.

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


SCALING IT UP.

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


TEACHING AWARDS.

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


VISUALIZING ED.

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

Visualising Ed


GOOGLE SUMMER OF CODE.

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


URBAN MOBILITY HACKOUT.

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


TAUGHT MASTERS.

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


PG FUNDING.

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


PREDICTING DRUG INTERACTIONS.

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


GO GREEN.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


SSC.

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

SSC


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

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

Nancy


MEET THE PRESIDENT.

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


CS50 HACKATHON HELP.

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


FEMALE STUDENTS.

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


ACADEMIC WRITING HELP.

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


PHD STUDENTSHIPS.

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

GSOC logo


GOOGLE SUMMER OF CODE.

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


DIGILAB.

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


ROCKET SCIENCE.

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


BUILDING GRAPH APPLICATIONS.

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


DATA SCIENCE.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


GRADUATION.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


SSC.

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

SSC potraits


OUR RESPONSE TO YOUR FEEDBACK.

  We’ve now looked in detail at the Course Unit Survey results from Semester 1 of this Academic Year (2016-17). We take your views seriously, and we’ve asked all the Course Unit lecturers to respond to your comments. Your can read their responses here.


CSSOC PUB CRAWL.

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

Pub crawl banner


STAFF VS STUDENTS COMP.

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


STUDENT VOLUNTEERING WEEK.

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

hackathon winners group shot


NEW BLOGPOST.

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


WHAT NEXT?

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


LIBREBOOT.

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


WELCOME WEEK AMBASSADORS.

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


MEET BLOOMBERG.

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


FDM DROP IN.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


FOSDEM.

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

Fosdem group shot


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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

PASS2 banner


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

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

Aayush portrait


NEW BLOGGER.

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


MEET THE PRESIDENT.

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


CS50 HACKATHON.

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


EXAM FEEDBACK.

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


CRAIG DEAN.

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


OXFORD ROAD CLOSURES.

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


HASH CODE.

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

Ana


CHARITY BAKE.

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


STOCKPORT HACK.

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


WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY EVENING.

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


MANCHESTER DIGITAL.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


COURSE UNIT CHOICE DEADLINE CHANGE.

  Due to essential maintenance on Campus Solutions the deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units is now 15:30 this Friday 10 Feb (not 17:00 as previously advertised). See full details and instructions. Please note that some units may have a maximum enrolment capacity, and this is stated on the relevant syllabus pages. Any queries, please contact SSO.


AWARD WINNERS!

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

Better World winners


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


PI CLUB.

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


STUDENT HACK.

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

StudentHack banner


CS50 HACKATHON.

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

Paul Vlissidis


HACKING THE HACKS.

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


MONEY WEEK.

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


TRAVEL AWARD.

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


TEACHING CAREER.

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


WEB DEVELOPMENT.

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


SUMMER PLANS?

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

Venture cap logo


VENTURE CAPITAL.

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


EXTREME PROGRAMMING.

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


SCIENCE BUSKERS.

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


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 30 January, and it’s week 1 of Semester 2 teaching, an A week. The exams are over, and lectures and other activities start today. Check your timetable! I hope you’re ready for the new semester, and I hope everything goes well over the coming months. On with today's news!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


FINAL YEAR MEETING.

  There’s an important meeting for all final year students today Monday 30 Jan at 15:00 in LT1.1. We'll be talking about what you can do in Semester 2 to get the best out of your project and to secure the degree and the career that you want. See you there.


EXAM RESULTS.

  We plan to publish the provisional Semester 1 exam results on Thurs 23 February. We’ll let you know as soon as they’re available.


EXAM FEEDBACK.

  There’ll be a feedback session at 14:00 on Weds 15 March to give you the opportunity to view your marked COMP exam answer books for the Semester 1 exams. Advance registration required, please email SSO with your ID, name and list of courses you’d like to view. Deadline for registration 12:00 Weds 1 March.


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  The deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units on the University system is 17:00 Friday 10 Feb. See full details and instructions. Please note that some units may have a maximum enrolment capacity, and this is stated on the relevant syllabus pages. Any queries, please contact SSO.

Man City's shield


MAN CITY HACK.

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


PI CLUB.

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


DIGITAL TALENT DAY.

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


BBC GAME PLAY.

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


ON THE TELLY.

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


VOTE FOR US!

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


BOGLE STROLL.

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

Bogle Stroll banner


UG OF THE YEAR.

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


MANC JS.

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


MBS MASTERS.

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


SEEKING DEVELOPERS.

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


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

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


BIG  DATA SEMINAR.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 23 January, and it’s the second and final week of the Semester 1 exams. I hope they’re going well. Make sure you know your schedule, and in case of emergencies, don't delay, email SSO immediately or call them on 0161 306 8155. Semester 2 teaching starts next Monday – something to look forward to! Now, on with today's news...

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


FINAL YEAR MEETING.

  There’s an important meeting for all final year students next Monday 30 Jan at 15:00 in LT1.1. We'll be talking about what you can do in Semester 2 to get the best out of your project and to secure the degree and the career that you want. Advice about exams, too. See you there.


BBC GAME PLAY.

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


VOTE FOR US!

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


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  The deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units on the University system is 17:00 Friday 10 Feb.  See full details and instructions. Please note that some units may have a maximum enrolment capacity, and this is stated on the relevant syllabus pages. Any queries, please contact SSO.


BE AN AMBASSADOR.

  Want to share your passion for Computer Science with secondary school/college kids who want to be Computer Scientists? Learn new skills to develop your CV, meet new people and earn some money too. Become a Computer Science Student Ambassador! The School has up to 20 positions available. Deadline for applications is 09:00 this Friday 27 Jan.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby picGood morning UG! It’s Monday 16 January. Welcome back and Happy New Year to you! I hope you had a good break. The two-week exams period starts today, so I wish you good luck. Top tips: stay calm, write and illustrate your answers clearly – and keep in mind that someone has to actually read your writing! Now, on with today's news!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Sleep pod


EXAM SUPPORT.

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


PAST PAPERS.

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


MIT CIRCS.

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


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  The deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units on the University system is 17:00 Friday 10 Feb.  See full details and instructions. Please note that some units may have a maximum enrolment capacity, and this is stated on the relevant syllabus pages. Any queries, please contact SSO.


BE AN AMBASSADOR.

  Want to share your passion for Computer Science with secondary school/college kids who want to be Computer Scientists? Learn new skills to develop your CV, meet new people and earn some money too. Become a Computer Science Student Ambassador! The School has up to 20 positions available. Deadline for applications is 09:00 Friday 27 Jan.


ENGINEERING CHALLENGE.

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


LOVELACE EVENT.

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

UG of the Year


UG OF THE YEAR.

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


ACADEMIC WRITING HELP.

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


VOLUNTEER IN UGANDA.

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


BLACK ROCK.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


1ST YEAR PROJECTS.

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

The 3 winning posters

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

collage of 12 photos from the 101 poster session


PORTICODE WIN.

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

Porticode winners


KNEEBONE BURSARY AWARD.

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


VENTURE OUT WIN.

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

Zac Riley and Diwakar Saxena at the Venture Out awards


XMAS OPENING.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


SSC.

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


MIT CIRCS.

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

Tell us logo


GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.

  The Unit Survey gives you the chance to tell us what you think about your course units, and for Semester 1 courses it runs from today until Fri 23 Dec. Please take a moment to give us your feedback – you can use Blackboard or download the app (iOS | Android). We take your views seriously, we react, and every year we publish a response to your views, for every course unit. For example, here are the responses to your comments on Semester 2 of last year.


EXAM PREP.

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


OUTREACH.

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


BUILDING BRAINS.

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

Dominic Laing


CAREERS ADVICE.

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


MONEY SKILLS.

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


MORGAN STANLEY.

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


GIRL GEEKS PARTY.

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


NEW TECH HUBS.

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


MACHINE LEARNING.

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


MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

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


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 5 December, and it’s Week 11, a B week. I hope everything is going well. It's been a long and busy semester but keep going – Xmas is in sight! Good luck to all First Year students on their project presentations this week, and the poster session on Thursday (details). On with today’s news and lots to tell you about today!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


HACK-KING SUCCESS.

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

Hack Kings group shot


SSC.

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

Mugshots of all the reps


KILBURN OUT-OF-HOURS.

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

Tell Us logo


GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.

  The Unit Survey gives you the chance to tell us what you think about your course units, and for Semester 1 courses it runs from today until Fri 23 Dec. Please take a moment to give us your feedback – you can use Blackboard or download the app (iOS | Android). We take your views seriously, we react, and every year we publish a response to your views, for every course unit. For example, here are the responses to your comments on Semester 2 of last year.


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


VENTURE OUT.

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


CODE CLUB.

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

PASS night in Collab 1


PASS NIGHT.

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


MONEY SKILLS.

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


iOS APPS.

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


VOLES ON THE LINE.

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

Sean's voles tweet


THOUGHTWORKS MANCHESTER.

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


OFFICE 365.

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

Office 365 logo


DANNY ON SECURITY (AND MUCH ELSE).

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


ACCELERATE!

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

Film comp logo


SHORT FILM COMP.

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


MANCHESTER FREE SW PARTY.

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


LASER WORKSHOP.

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


GRAPHENE PhD.

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


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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


PROGRAMMING COMP.

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

Top view of the NWERC event


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


KNEEBONE BURSARY.

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


HOW TO GET INSIDE A HACKER'S MIND.

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

Skyscanner logo


SKYSCANNER.

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


LF ON WEDS.

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


FOCUS GROUPS.

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


ENGINEERING SCHOLARSHIPS.

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

Oxford Road visualization


OXFORD ROAD CLOSURE.

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


INTERNATIONAL ALUMNI EVENT.

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


SCALA MANCHESTER.

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


MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


OXFORD HACK WIN.

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

Oxford Hack winners


HACKERGAMES WIN.

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

Venta holding her certificate


INTERNATIONAL AWARD.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


CHILDREN IN NEED.

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


MEET THE PROS.

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

Meet the Pros banner


SMALL STUDY ROOMS.

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

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


SUPPORT SEAN AND SIMON.

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


PROJECT SURVEY.

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


UNI TRAVEL AWARDS.

  The University offers three travel awards annually for students wishing to travel either as part of their course or outside term time: the Zochonis Special Enterprise Fund (to assist students with the cost of a project or special study), the H.E. David Travelling Scholarship (to foster international understanding and goodwill), and the Pawel Koprowski Memorial Vacation Award (to enhance your studies or for a holiday). Deadline for applying March 2017.


GIRL POWER.

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


GET IN THE GAME.

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


POSTGRAD STUDY.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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


GREAT UNI HACK.

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

Great Uni Hack group shot


SSC.

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

Gallery of SSC Reps


KNEEBONE BURSARY.

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

Hackathon orhaniser badge


BADGES UPDATE.

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


PASS2.

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


FACEBOOK HACKATHON.

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


SMALL MEETING ROOMS.

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


HACKTRAIN WIN.

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

Pic of Hacktrain winners


WRITING HELP.

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


MEET THE PROFESSIONALS.

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

Meet the professionals promo graphic


MORGAN STANLEY.

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

Children In Need teddy


CHILDREN IN NEED.

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


TEACH FIRST.

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


GAMING CAREERS.

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


WRITE IT DOWN.

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

Wikipedia logo


GIRL GEEKS.

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


ONLINE COMPS.

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


TALOS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


BADGES.

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

3x3 collage of badge designs


SSC.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


CAPTURE THE FLAG.

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

Todd on his bike in the mountains


TODD AT GOOGLE.

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


CREDIT SUISSE.

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


PRIZE SURVEY.

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


CYBERSECURITY TALKS.

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


HACKTRAIN.

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

Collage of Struan's Hacktrain pix


SOCIAL SCIENCE FEST.

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

Social Science Fest banner


BANK OF ENGLAND.

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

Simon smiling


SIMON ON FONTS.

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


MEET THE PROFESSIONALS.

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


GO PROGRAMMING.

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


PG STUDY.

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


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 31 October, and it’s Week 6 – Reading Week. There are no scheduled teaching activities this week – it's a chance for you to have a break and recharge your batteries and maybe do some catchup. Usual teaching and timetabled activities resume next Monday 7 Nov (Week 7B). But this week is as busy as usual, so on with today’s news! And Happy Halloween!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


UKIEPC.

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

Group shot of UKIWEPC contestants in Collab


PASS1.

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


EXAM FEEDBACK.

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

Headshot of Dominic, smiling


MEET DOMINIC.

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


ENTREPRENEUR / INTREPRENEUR?

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


STARTUP WEEKEND.

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


CALLING ALL BLOGGERS.

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

Two pix from CAS Science day


FAMILY SCIENCE DAY.

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


CUTTING EDGE RESEARCH.

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


POSTGRAD STUDY.

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


DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT PHDS.

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


GREAT UNI HACK.

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


CREDIT SUISSE.

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


MANCJS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 24 October, and it’s Week 5, an A week. I hope everything is going well!  A reminder that next week is Reading Week and there won't be any scheduled teaching activities then – it's a chance for you to have a break and maybe do some catchup. But this week is as busy as usual, so on with today’s news!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Hacktrain logo


HACKTRAIN.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


EXAM FEEDBACK.

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


CAPTURE THE FLAG.

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

Capture the flag in Collab


CALLING ALL BLOGGERS.

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


EEE CAREERS.

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


GREAT UNI HACK.

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


PROGRAMMING CONTEST.

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


LEGAL HACKTHON SUCCESS.

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

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


SKYSCANNER.

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


MORGAN STANLEY DROP-IN AND CV REVIEW.

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


OXFORD ROAD CLOSURE.

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


BUBBLE SORT.

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

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


GIVE BLOOD.

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


CLOCKS.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 17 October, and it’s Week 4, a B week. We're a month into the new Semester now, and I hope everything is going well. First Year students, I hope you're beginning to feel settled in the School, and in Manchester too. Remember, if you have any questions or concerns, talk to us! SSO is a great place to start and they can advise who best to speak to. Right, let's get on with today’s news, and there’s rather a lot of it – as usual!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


STAFF-STUDENT COMMITTEE.

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

Mugshots of all 20 reps, in two rows of 10


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


OUR RESPONSE TO YOUR FEEDBACK.

  We’ve now looked in detail at the Course Unit Survey results from Semester 2 of last Academic Year (2015-16). We take your views seriously, and we’ve asked all the Course Unit lecturers to respond to your comments. Your can read their responses here.


CAREERS FAIR.

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

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


BIG CAREERS FAIR.

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


YEAR 3 DEADLINE CHART.

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

Head-and-shoulders pic of Caroline.


GREAT UNI HACK.

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


EYE TRACKING.

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


SOCIAL JUSTICE.

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


ROYAL VISIT.

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


TECH EVENING.

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


MORGAN STANLEY.

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


UG OF THE YEAR.

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


CAPTURE THE FLAG.

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

Logo for JP Morgan competitiom


GIRL POWER.

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


LEGAL HACK.

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


ABOUT THE COURTYARD.

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

Pic of ongoing work in the courtyard, plus FP0.


BEAGLEBOARD.

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


FREE BOOKS ON-LINE.

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


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies 


STAFF STUDENT COMMITTEE.

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

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


QUIET LAB.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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


ATTENDANCE.

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


EXAM FEEDBACK.

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

Photo of RPi 3


PI CLUB.

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


CAREERS FAIR.

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


CAPTURE THE FLAG.

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


BLOOMBERG CODECON.

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


LEGAL HACK.

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


MAC LAB.

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

6 of our ambassadors in the Collab from Saturday


OPEN DAYS.

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


MORGAN STANLEY.

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


JAGUAR LAND ROVER.

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


RETIREMENTS.

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

Graham and John at the retirement party


ADA LOVELACE DAY.

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

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


UAV SOC.

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


EXASCALE RESEARCH.

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


NIGHTLINE.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

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

best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


SSC.

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

SU recruitment poster


SU UNION OFFICERS.

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


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

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


INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE.

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


CAREERS.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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

PASS advert


CSSOC GO BOWLING.

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

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


BBC CHALLENGE.

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


GCHQ CRYPTO CHALLENGE.

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


GIRL GEEKS.

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


COLLABS.

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


MEET THE ROBOTS.

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

Photo of Eben Upton holding up a Pi.


PI TALK.

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


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 26 September, and it’s Week 1A of Semester 1. Teaching starts today for all years. Throughout the semester we alternate Week A's and Week B's, with different timetabled activities according to A and B. The Monday Mail will always remind you which week it is – and this is a Week A (here's the full UG timetable). OK, on with today’s news… and have a good week!
Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


FIRST YEARS.

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

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


PRIZE WINNERS.

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

Robert giving lots of prizes


SSC.

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


PASS1.

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


PASS2.

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

PASS 2 schedule


HACKSOC.

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

Head and shoulders shot of Riccardo and Anais


CS SOCIAL SOC.

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


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

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


QUICK SURVEY.

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


VOLUNTEERING.

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


HACK MANCHESTER.

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

Laura


PODCAST.

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


COLLABS.

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


DON’T BE PHISHED!

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


HARDWARE LIBRARY.

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


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


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

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 19 September, it's Welcome Week, and a very warm welcome to you all, especially to students joining us for the first time. I'm Toby Howard, Director of Undergraduate Studies, and you are reading the Monday Mail – which I send to all undergraduates every Monday during term-time – to keep you up-to-date with what's happening in the School. And there's always a lot happening! So have a great week, and on with today's news.

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Student ambassadors group-shot


WE'RE HERE TO HELP.

  Got any questions? Need any help? Call into the Student Support Office (aka SSO) open Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00 in Kilburn Room LF21, 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 for a slot.


 EVALUATE BIG DATA SOFTWARE.

  The University is looking for students (and staff) who can help evaluate big data analytics and visualisation software including Tableau, Qlik, Spotfire and IBM Watson Analytics. There’ll be a prize for the three best evaluation reports: £250, £150 and £100 of Amazon Vouchers.


ANARCHY AMONG THE ENGINEERS.

  If you missed the Cockcroft Rutherford Lecture “Citizen Science: Anarchy Among the Engineers” by Professor Danielle George last month, it’s now on YouTube.


Exams Week 3 • Monday 30 May 2016 • #15.31          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good afternoon UG! It’s Monday 30 May, and it’s the Spring bank holiday today. I hope your exams are going well. On with today’s news ...

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies

 


EXAM STUFF.

  Make sure you know your exam schedule and locations – it's your responsibility to be in the right place at the right time! In case of emergencies contact SSO immediately – email them or phone 0161 306 8155.

Undergraduate Awards logo


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? 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 14 June.


STAFF NEWS.

  Congratulations to staff from the School that were nominated by students for the Manchester Teaching Awards 2015/16. Most Inspiring Lecturer: Bijan Parsia, Andy Brass; Best Lecturer: Suzanne Embury, David Rydeheard, Uli Sattler; Best Supervision (Postgraduate Taught): Mikel Lujan. And congratulations to Caroline Jay on her promotion to Senior Lecturer, and Mikel Lujan for his promotion to Professor.


COURTYARD.

  The courtyard area of Kilburn will soon be undergoing some changes, in particular the installation of a “lightwell” that will allow natural light to shine down to the ground floor of the building, which is being refurbished. You can find more details of the plan and add your thoughts about the changes, and the Big Question – what should happen to Floating Point Zero? – here

Courtyard plan, and Floating Point Zero


QUIET ROOM.

  Room 1.12 is a quiet study space for UG students. You get to it through the 3rd Year Lab (Room 1.8). It's specifically for quiet, personal study.


MIT 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 Friday 10 June.


LIBRARY SUPPORT.

  The University Library is offering revision support workshops and de-stress events to support students during revision and exams. You can find information about all their services here.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Exams Week 2 • Monday 23 May 2016 • #15.30          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 23 May. So the exams period is underway and all Year 1 students will have had their first exam last week, together with some Year 2 and Year 3 students. I hope things are going well, and good luck for any exams you have in the coming week. On with today’s news...

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


EXAM STUFF.

  Make sure you know your exam schedule and locations – it's your responsibility to be in the right place at the right time! In case of emergencies contact SSO immediately – email them or phone 0161 306 8155.

Gavin pic


QUIET ROOM.

  Need a noise-free zone? Room 1.12 is a quiet study space for UG students. You get to it through the 3rd Year Lab (Room 1.8). It's specifically for quiet, personal study.


MACHINE LEARNING SUCCESS.

   Gavin Brown (pictured) from the Machine Learning and Optimisation Group, and Co-Investigator Mikel Lujan from the Advanced Processors Technologies Group have been awarded a 4-year £500,000 grant to conduct research in "Learning Algorithms for Broad and Deep Architectures" (LAMBDA). The LAMBDA project explores an approach to deep learning which is not just deep, but also broad. The project aims to make "broad" models that are faster and easier to learn, and as a consequence reduce energy consumption and make learning such architectures significantly easier for scientists.


MIT 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 Friday 10 June.


LIBRARY SUPPORT.

  The University Library is offering revision support workshops and de-stress events to support students during revision and exams. You can find information about all their services here.


REGISTER TO VOTE.

  You may possibly have noticed that the UK is having a referendum on its continued membership of the European Union. To make your voice heard, you’ll need to register to vote  at either your home or term-time address. See the BBC News item “end-of-term students risk missing referendum vote”.


NEW PODCAST.

   Our External Affairs Officer Jez Lloyd has published episode 7 in his excellent series of School podcasts. It’s all about life after graduation and features interviews with four recent graduates about their experiences working at organisations including Twitter, the BBC, Envoy, Appsense and IBM. Well worth a listen.

podcast logo


CYBERSECURITY CHALLENGE.

  Interested in representing the UK at the 2016 European Cyber Competition in Germany this November? Pre-qualification is now open until 28 May – everyone must have registered and attempted six challenges to be considered for qualification.

Manchester History Festival logo


WOMEN SCIENTISTS TOUR.

  Join Manchester Girl Geeks for an afternoon walking tour of Manchester's city centre featuring stories of Manchester's historical scientific women. Learn about the contributions women have made to science in Manchester and around the world, and hear the stories of well-known – and less well-known – science heroes. And afterwards, come for tea and cake (included in your ticket price). The walk starts at Manchester Art Gallery, 14:00–17:00 on Sunday 5 June. Tickets are £4.50.


BAKE-OFF.

  The 2nd Annual Computer Science Bake-off will be held this Friday 27 May. To enter please email Karon Mee. Don't worry if you’re not a baker, as there’s a category for best decorated shop-bought cake too!


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Exams Week 1 • Monday 16 May 2016 • #15.29          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 16 May. Scheduled teaching activities are now over, and the Exams period starts this week. 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 (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 


SCHOOL VACATION JOBS.

  A reminder that the deadline for applying for summer Vacation Work here in the School is 17:00 this Weds 18 May.


MORE VAC WORK.

  David Rydeheard writes: two organisations have paid opportunities to support schools over the summer: MCS projects run technology competitions for schools around the UK, and Firetech Camps run vacation workshops for schoolchildren around the UK and in Europe too. The School works with both of these excellent organisations and both are looking for students to help them run activities. Good pay, good fun and rewarding. Contact David ASAP for more details.

Tell-us logo


HAVE YOUR SAY.

  The Unit Survey gives you the chance to tell us what you think about your course units, and for COMP16212, COMP28512, COMP19120 and COMP29220 the survey has been extended to 24 May. Please take a moment to give us your feedback on these courses – you can use Blackboard or the app (iOS | Android). We take your views seriously, we react, and we publish a response to your views, for every course unit.


RESULTS.

  The expected results publication dates (via MyManchester) are 29 June (for Year 3) and 8 July (for Years 1, 2 and 4). If there’s any change to these dates we’ll let you know.


MIT CIRCS.

  A reminder that if you feel that any aspects of your studies so far have been affected by any mitigating circumstances, please note that the deadline for notifying the School is this Thurs 19 May. If you’re affected during the exams period (19 May–8 June), the deadline is Friday 10 June.


NEW SCHOOLS STUDY.

  The Royal Society has commissioned a study, funded by Google and Microsoft, and led by our own Professor Steve Furber, to understand the challenges faced by schoolteachers delivering Computing and Computer Science. The research will review the progress made since the introduction of the new English computing curriculum in 2014, and will develop a wider action plan to further transform computing in schools.


SCAM ALERT.

  There’s a scam email flying around – Subject: “You have been awarded a grant” – saying something like “Dear student, I am pleased to inform you that you have been awarded the Student Educational Grant by the Department for Education (DfE) ... please submit your details via the link below...” It’s a phishing scam, wanting your details for nefarious purposes. Press delete!


OXFORD ROAD CLOSURE.

  From today until Sunday 5 June inclusive, Oxford Road will be closed to traffic between the junctions with Brunswick Street and Booth Street West/East while the University demolishes the end of the Precinct opposite the RNCM.

Ocford Road closure


MADLAB JOB OP.

  Manchester Digital Laboratory – aka MadLab – has a full-time, three-month paid position available at their city centre HQ. This is a fantastic opportunity to develop new skills and gain experience of working in a ‘real’ working environment. MadLab will offer support and training throughout your placement. Interested? Send them your CV and covering letter ASAP.


BLENDER MEETING.

  And speaking of MadLab, Manchester Free Software's May Meeting is about video editing with Blender, by Michael Dorrington. It’s a follow-on-your-laptop tutorial. Tomorrow Tues 17 May 18:30–20:00 at Madlab in the Northern Quarter. All welcome.

Walking logo


WALKING.

  Why not have a break and go for walk? The Greater Manchester Walking Festival offers over 200 free, guided walks in and around Manchester and districts throughout May.


LIBRARY SUPPORT.

  The University Library is offering revision support workshops and de-stress events to support students during revision and exams. You can find information about all their services here.


BAKE-OFF.

  The 2nd Annual Computer Science Bake-off will be held on Friday 27 May. To enter please email Karon Mee. Don't worry if you’re not a baker, as there’s a category for best decorated shop-bought cake too!


GIRLS IN TECH EVENT.

  GHC/1 is a one-day condensed version of the US Grace Hopper Celebration, in association with the Anita Borg Institute. It’s in London on 22 June, info and sign up here.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 12 (B) • Monday 9 May 2016 • #15.28          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 9 May, and it’s Week 12, a B week. It’s the final teaching week of the year. Phew, it’s been a long Semester, and I hope it’s been a good one for you. I hate to mention it, but the exams start next Thursday 19 May for two weeks. Good luck! On with today’s news, and there’s quite a lot going on…!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies

 


Y1 PROJECT SHOWCASE.

  Last Thursday’s 1st Year Project Showcase was a huge success and 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: X5 for Clink; Best User Interface: X4 for Dungeon; Best data content: Y4 for Festival Finder; Best implementation quality: Z6 for Available; Best implementation quantity: Y9 for Synnefo; Best data content: W3 for Byte Cafe Mobile Order. Y9 achieved “Highest Overall Votes”, closely followed by X5. Winners: to claim your prize, one of your group please contact Uli Satter ASAP. Well done winners and well done all groups for your fantastic work!

Mosaic of Y1 showcase pix


PASS AWARDS SUCCESS.

  Congratulations to Devin Ridgway (Y4, CS4) and George Vanburgh (Y3, CSwIE), who each received awards for their outstanding contributions to the School’s PASS scheme at the Peer Support Celebration Evening last week, attended by over 100 students and staff from across the University. And thank you to everyone in the School who has helped to make our PASS scheme a huge success again this year!


PASS2.

  And speaking of PASS, this from David Green (Y3, CMwIE) and Liam Breeze (Y3, CS4): Second years, it's week 12 and your exams start next week! Come along to PASS2 at 13:00 on Friday in G102 for any last minute questions you have.

Tell us - logo


HAVE YOUR SAY.

  The Unit Survey gives you the chance to tell us what you think about your course units, and for Semester 2 courses it’s open until 15 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.


SSO SURVEY.

  We’d like you to tell us what you think about the School's Student Support Office (SSO). Do we provide everything you need? Please take a moment to complete this very short questionnaire by next Monday 16 May and help us to continue to review and improve our support for all our students. We really value your feedback.


KILBURN CLOSURE.

  An upgrade to the University’s telephone system means that the Kilburn building will be closed next Saturday14 May from 08:00–13:00. We apologise for any inconvenience, but we hope that you'lll have time to plan any work that would have required you to be in the building that morning. A reminder that there is alternative working space in The John Rylands Library and The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons.


STAFF STUDENT QUIZ.

  Last Wednesday evening’s staff-student pub quiz with pizza and drinks (courtesy of Head of School Prof Jim Miles) was great fun, with 50 students and 15 staff taking part. Thanks to everyone who helped organise the event. Our fantastic emcee Seb Mararu (Y2, CSwIE), below top right, clearly has a glittering future in the entertainment industry should he ever decide to switch from Computer Science! Congratulations to the winning team “Segfawlty Towers”, pictured below bottom right – Rob Woods (Y2, CSwIE), Olumide Adenmosun (Y3, CSwIE), Tatjana Siderenko (Y3, CS), Izzy Whistlecroft (Y3, CS) and Richard Hunt (Y3, CS4).

Staff-student quiz photomosaic


NSS.

  Tim Morris writes: NSS has ended and the Response-O-Meter has gone into hibernation for another year. Overall, CS finished with 114 responses from 167 eligible people (68%); not quite enough to get to the final prize. Last year we had 78% of students completing the survey. The university as a whole had a response rate of about 72%, the best score came from the School of Geography: 84%. Thanks to all of you who did complete the survey. We'll get the results in August and look at them carefully.


VACATION JOBS.

  We have Vacation Work opportunities for UG students here in the School for Summer 2016. There are two separate schemes running, and you can apply for as many projects as you like from both schemes. The first scheme is run by the School with 12 projects available, application deadline 17:00 next Weds 18 May; The second scheme is a collaboration between the School and the Faculty of Humanities, with 5 projects available, application deadline 17:00 this Friday 13 May.


PHOTOSHOP WORKSHOP.

  Anais Hristea (Y1, HCIwIE) writes: there’s an Adobe Photoshop workshop this Weds 11 May at 13:00 in IT407. It's about the basic features of Photoshop, and everybody is welcome.


MACHINE LEARNING TALK.

  This from Cristian Bodnar (Y1, CSwIE): this Weds 11 May at 13:00 in LT1.3, HackSoc Manchester is hosting a Machine Learning talk given by Dr Martin Fergie. It’s a step-by-step walkthrough of implementing a basic linear classifier/regression model using Python. Topics such as bias/variance, regularisation and non-linearity through kernel mappings will be covered. Pizza and drinks will be served! Martin is the CTO of DigitalBridge, a computer vision start-up which develops applications for interior decoration. He did his PhD here in the School supervised by Aphrodite Galata, on Gaussian processes for markerless articulated human pose tracking.


MIT CIRCS.

  A reminder that if you feel that any aspects of your studies so far have been affected by any mitigating circumstances, please note that the deadline for notifying the School is next Thurs 19 May. If you’re affected during the exams period (19 May–8 June), the deadline is Friday 10 June.


LIBRARY SUPPORT.

  The University Library is offering revision support workshops and de-stress events to support students during revision and exams. You can find information about all their services here.


SPINNAKER.

  Here’s something you don’t see every day – people building a 500,000-core computer. Jonathan Heathcote (pictured) made this timelapse video as he helped construct the SpiNNaker machine, here in Kilburn. Jonathan graduated from the School in 2012 and is now completing his PhD in the APT Research Group.

SpiNNaker vid screenshot


CAREERS SUPPORT.

  Ben Carter, Careers Consultant for the School writes: if you’re graduating this Summer, the Faculty’s Careers team is offering enhanced support to anyone who has yet to finalise their next move after University. Please take a moment to complete this short survey (it won’t take any longer than 2 minutes – I promise!), and if you are happy for us to contact you, we’ll be in touch shortly with further details.


BAKE-OFF.

  The 2nd Annual Computer Science Bake-off will be held on Friday 27 May. To enter please email Karon Mee. Don't worry if you’re not a baker, as there’s a category for best decorated shop-bought cake too!


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  This Weds 11 May at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.4, Nick Edwards will talk about Better Decision Making, looking at how we use intelligence in everyday situations to evaluate risk and make informed decisions. We can also learn from examples of how Secret and Confidential intelligence has been shared in the past and from "intelligence failures". Everyone welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 11 (A) • Monday 2 May 2016 • #15.27          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 2 May, and it’s Week 11, an A week. It’s also the Early May bank holiday, so no scheduled activities today – have a break! On with today’s news…

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
​Director of Undergraduate Studies


SPRING BALL.

  Shane Booth (Y3, CS) writes: We hope everybody enjoyed the Spring Ball on Friday! We had almost 200 people, including 100 CS students, and everyone had a great time. We'll be finishing our events and soon passing over to our new chairs Anais Hristea (Y1, HCIwIE) and Riccardo Biraghi (Y1, CS), but before then we have one last big event  the Staff vs Student pub quiz! We've got drinks and pizza provided by the school and we should have some amazing prizes! Tickets are £3 and all money goes to Macmillan Cancer Support! We'll be selling in the Byte Café from 12:0014:00 on Tuesday and Wednesday and we'll be selling any remaining tickets on the door. So come along, you don't even have to work hard to find it, since it's in Kilburn, Atlas 1&2 at 17:00 this Weds 4 May!

Montage of 6 pix from the Spring Ball


SOFTWARE ENGINEERING.

  Suzanne Embury writes: good luck to All COMP23420 teams in the Stendhal Quick Quest Challenge this week.  Over the past semester, our second year students have been grappling with the code base for Stendhal, an open-source massively multi-player online role playing game.  They have fixed bugs and added features, including magic rings, cheese pies and mysterious Java-obsessed strangers. In this final week, all their hard work will culminate in a Quick Quest Challenge.  Each team is challenged to implement a brand new quest, provided on the day, in just 30 minutes.  They'll be coding live in front of TAs, staff and industry mentors, for the prize. Wish them luck – and drop in and see what’s going on: this Thursday at 11.00 in G102/KB2.25A, and Friday at 09:00 and 11:00, in Collab. Below is a screenshot from team Q1's COMP23420 coursework. Each of the 30+ teams has been mentored by our partners from a wide range of organisations including IBM, the BBC, Sage Group, Imagination Technologies, ARM Holdings, AppSense, Cheshire Data Systems, OnTheBeach.co.uk, NCC Group, Code Computer Love, Rental Cars, Web Applications UK, Data Centred, and Zuhlke.com.

Screenshot of SE team work


PASS2.

  This from David Green (Y3, CMwIE) and Liam Breeze (Y3, CS4): Second years, your third year project selection deadline is this Friday! Come along to PASS2 at 13:00 on Friday in G102 for some last minute advice.

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 courses it runs from today until 15 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.


START-UP TALK.

  Alumnus Tomas Paulik (AI, graduated 2012) is now CEO and Software Architect at Shout Platform Ltd., and tomorrow Tuesday 3 May, he’s giving a talk about the challenges of starting a tech start-up company and how it progressed “From classroom to £1m valuation”. It’s at 17:30 in the Alliance Manchester Business School Alumni room. Full details.


AWARDS NOMINEES.

  Congratulations to Rizos Sakellariou and Clara Diaconeasa for being nominated for the Faculty’s awards this year; Rizos for Teacher of the Year (pictured here with Louise Walker, Head of UG in Maths) and Clara for Student of the Year (pictured here with Steve Pettifer). Well done both!

Side by side pix of Rizos and Clara


LIBRARY SUPPORT.

  The University Library is offering revision support workshops and de-stress events to support students during revision and exams. You can find information about all their services here.

Edoardo


BLOG.

  Edoardo Moreni (Y4, CS4) has been one of the School’s bloggers since 2013, and as his graduation approaches, he’s posted his final blog. We’re always looking for talented bloggers who’ll commit to contribute posts regularly. You can check out current and past bloggers here. If you’re interested in joining the team, why not apply and you could earn £100 each semester.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  This Weds 4 May at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.4, Prof Nobuko Yoshida and Dr Raymond Hu, from Imperial College London, will talk about “Multiparty session types and their applications”, focussing on recent research developments on multiparty session types for verifying distributed, parallel and concurrent programs, Scribble, the runtime session monitoring framework used in Ocean Observatories Initiative, and static deadlock analysis for Google's Go language. Everyone welcome.


MASTER OF ENTERPRISE.

  If you’re interesting in gaining the specialist knowledge and skills required to become an entrepreneur and set up your own business, or are an intrapreneur within an existing organisation, the Master of Enterprise (MEnt) programme might be right for you. Find out more.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 10 (B) • Monday 25 April 2016 • #15.26          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 25 April, and it’s Week 10, a B week. We have 3 weeks of teaching left, and I hope everything is going well. 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

 


SCIENCEX.

  The University held its ScienceX public engagement festival at the Trafford Centre last weekend and the School was there with demonstrations of virtual reality and NAO robots organised by David Rydeheard, with students Lora Lovchalieva (Y3, CSwIE), Teo Taylor (Y3, CS4) and George Vanburgh (Y3, CSwIE) out in force, along with Dave Ames from Edge Hill University, and Carol Murray and Sarah Zaman from the Computing At School North West Regional Centre here in the School.  Below are Dave, George, Lora, David and Sarah (photo by Teo). If you'd like to get involved with public engagement activities like like, contact David.

Trafford centre group shot


PASS2.

  This from David Green (Y3, CMwIE) and Liam Breeze (Y3, CS4): Second years, you only have two more weeks to make your third year project selections! Come along to PASS2 at 13:00 on Friday in G102 if you have any questions about the projects.


NSS.

  Y3/Y4 students, I hope you enjoyed the pizza on Thursday. NSS comes to an end this Saturday, so this week will be your final chance to pass comment on the School and your experience at university. Remember that this is a summary-type survey, and that the Course Unit Surveys (see below) will be opening this week and they are your chance to pass immediate comment on the specific units you’ve taken this semester. On a lighter note, the Response-o-meter changed this week instead of two mystery prizes, there’s now just something extraordinary once we get to 3/4 of you replying to the survey. And the something extraordinary is a prize draw, open to all NSS-eligible students. The prizes will be five £100 Amazon vouchers. We need to hit the 75% mark for the draw to happen, so if you haven't completed your NSS yet, please do it TODAY, and ask your friends to do the same!

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 courses it runs from today until 15 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.


SSC REPORT.

  Last Wednesday we had the second of the two SSC meetings this semester, and as usual we had a lively and helpful discussion. Remember you can contact your Reps at any time, and they’ll pass your concerns on.


IOS WORKSHOP.

  The first student-led iOS Development Workshop in the Mac Lab (LF17) was a resounding success last Wednesday. 10 students booked onto it and 17 turned up! Ben Ormos (Y3, SE) was the course designer and co-presenter, and in the first hour Matt Spear (Y1, CS) presented the Swift programming language. Ben did the second hour on using Xcode to build an iOS app and link it to specific application code.  Ben is also the first person in the School to present a workshop using wifi projection from his MacBook to two TV monitors at either end of the Lab simultaneously. This meant all the attendees could see the examples and directions without having to stand up or move. We’re currently working on installing wifi projection in most meeting rooms in the School.


MIT CIRCS.

  If you feel that any aspects of your studies so far have been affected by any mitigating circumstances, please note that the deadline for notifying the School is Thurs 19 May 2016. If you’re affected during the exams period (19 May – 8 June), the deadline is Friday 10 June.


FERRANTI DROP IN.

  Following their announcement of the first UK office opening for over 20 years at The Landing at MediaCity UK, the Ferranti team will be available from 12:00–14:00 tomorrow Tues 26 April in the LF area. Come and have a chat about potential career opportunities.


STAFF STUDENT PUB QUIZ.

  Josh Langley (Y3, CS4wIE) writes: On Weds 4 May 17:00–20:00  CSSoc and the School will be hosting a Staff vs Student Pub Quiz in the Kilburn Atlas Rooms. Tickets are £3 and include free food and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for the evening. We’ll be selling in Byte Cafe from 12:00–14:00 every day next week. Teams will be limited to 3–5 people a team. Come grab a ticket! For more details and updates, join the event on FB.


NEW AND MOVED SHOPS.

  Did you know a new convenience store has opened in University Place, just next to Kilburn? It’s called "The Shop", and it's open Mon-Fri 08:00–20:00, and Sat/Sun 10:00–16:00. Also Blackwell’s Bookshop + Cafe has relocated from the precinct to a temporary building between the Humanities and Arthur Lewis buildings, opposite the construction site at the Business School.

The new-look precinct,


OXFORD ROAD CLOSURE.

  Heads up! Oxford Road will be closed from 16 May for three weeks when the University will demolish the end of the Precinct opposite the RNCM and start building the snazzy new metal and glass frontage.


POSTGRAD STUDY.

  If you’re considering postgraduate study in the School, we have a number of bursaries and scholarships for Taught Masters and PhD study. For Taught Masters there are Kilburn Scholarships, Faculty Alumni Loyalty Bursary, and Postgraduate Loans from the UK government. For PhD there are 3- and 4-year fees and stipend studentships for Home/EU students and 3-year fees-only awards for international students. If you have any questions, call in to see the Admissions team in Kilburn Room 2.10.


ADVANCED SEMINAR SERIES.

  Antonio Pop writes: this week, we have two talks on the current research and new directions in the School. "Scheduling scientific work-flows for energy and performance" by Rizos Sakellariou will explore the optimization opportunities and challenges of mapping complex directed acyclic task graphs onto parallel machines. This will be followed by "Enabling Exascale-capable computing systems" by the Advanced Processor Technologies group's Javier Navaridas, who will present the challenges and novel ideas investigated within the School to deliver the communication infrastructure required to reach the Exa-scale milestone. This Weds 27 April at 15:00 and 16:00 in LF15. Everyone welcome!


JAVASCRIPT REACT.

  Using or interested in using the React Javascript library? The Manchester React User Group is meeting this Weds 27 April, at 19:00 at SpacePortX in central Manchester. All welcome!


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  This week’s seminar is Weds 27 April at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.4, when Dr David White  from the University of Glasgow will talk about “Genetic Improvement of Software: the Story so far”. All students and staff welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 9 (A) • Monday 18 April 2016 • #15.25          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 18 April, and it’s Week 9, an A week. I hope everything is going well. Lots to tell you today, so on with the news!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies 


NSS PIZZA.

  Having reached 60% completion rate, we're giving away pizza this week, either on Thursday or Friday, to all students graduating this year, We need to know how many of you are likely to want pizzas, so please fill out this Doodle Poll with your preferred day. If you haven't yet completed your NSS, please do so TODAY (it only takes a few minutes), and help us get to the next milestone.


STAFF VS STUDENTS.

  Ion Diaconu (Y3, CS4) writes: the annual Staff versus Students Coding Competition took place last Weds 13 April. The winners were a PhD/RA team (Andrew Webb and Joe Mellor), while second place went to Alan Ramsay and Giles Reger.  The prize for cutest (and youngest) contestant went to Sophie Paton, age 6, who coded her solution in Scratch for our problem Alchemy Master! 

Staff vs students group shot

Suzanne and Sophie


PASS1.

  George Vanburgh (Y3, CSwIE) writes. Hello first years! Just a quick reminder that as we approach the end of the year, PASS is still here to help with last minute coursework help, advice on exam prep, or even just a place to come blow off steam! See you all this Weds 20 April at 12:00 – same PASS time, same PASS place.


PASS2.

  This from David Green (Y3, CMwIE) and Liam Breeze (Y3, CS4): Second years, your project selection deadline is fast approaching! Come to PASS2 in G102 on Friday at 13:00 to ask us any questions you might have about 3rd Year projects.


MLH AWARD CEREMONY.

  Congratulations again to all the students involved in Major League Hacking (MLH) events last autumn (#MLHEUFALL). The trophy was finally awarded to students in School of Computer Science last Wednesday here in IT407, with pictures of the event on Twitter. The new trophy sits proudly in the cabinet next to Byte Cafe, next to the previous one.

MLH win


MEET THE PROFESSIONALS.

  Want to work with organisations like Oracle, Cisco Systems or the BBC? Want to work as a web designer, product manager, security or software engineer? Come and talk to graduates from the School of Computer Science. They'll be here to chat around tables – no lectures or Powerpoints, and you'll get the chance to meet everyone. Come for the networking, stay for the pizza and drinks! This Thurs 21 April, 17:15–19:30, Collab 1. Advance registration required.


SUMMER VACATION WORK.

  The School will be offering a number of paid work opportunities 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 early May.


GRADUATION.

  The Computer Science graduation ceremony will be held on Thursday 21 July 2016 starting at 10:00 in the Whitworth Hall, with a reception in the School following the ceremony. Details the ceremony will be published here, and you’ll be able to register to attend the ceremony from Monday 25 April – the Student Services Centre will email you when the system has opened.

Van in China


TALES FROM CHINA.

  Van Minh Nguyen (Y2, CM) spent three weeks in China over Easter as part of the University’s Study in China scheme. He’ll be talking about his experiences in LT1.4 this Weds 20 April at 13:00. If you’re interested in applying next year (or just curious to find out more about Chinese culture, business and education) come along and hear about Van Minh’s chinese adventures.


TECHX WITH MICROSOFT.

  This from Sami Alabed (Y2, CSwIE): Hacksoc is organising 3 hours of tech talks and workshops with Microsoft this Weds 20 April from 14:00–17:00 in Kilburn 1.1. The 3 talks will centre around Machine Learning, facial recognition and IoT. Experts from Microsoft will be there so it is a good opportunity for you to discuss your 3rd year project with them and/or how it's like to work at Microsoft. RSVP here. Pizza will be provided. Speaking of Hacksoc, congratulations to new president Cristian Bodnar (Y1, CSwIE) and vice-president Anais Hristea (Y1, HCIwIE), and to everyone who got an officer role in HackSoc. We wish you all the best and good luck with your new roles!


ADVANCED SEMINAR SERIES.

  Antonio Pop writes: This week's talk, "Reasoning about Programs with a Theorem Prover", by Giles Reger from the Formal Methods Group, will explore the prize-winning Vampire theorem prover, developed here in the School, and how it can be used to check that a piece of code is correct.  Weds 20 April at 15:00 in Kilburn 2.19, all welcome.


iOS WORKSHOP.

  Ben Ormos (Y3, SE) is running an iOS workshop 16:00-18:00 this Weds 20 April in the Mac Lab (LF17, opposite SSO). He'll cover the basics of Swift, along with how to begin programming for iOS. Interested? Email Ben.

KilburnnHack logo


KILBURN HACK.

  Charlie Reynolds (Y3, AI4wIE) writes: HackSoc & 1UP invite you to KilburnHack, this coming Fri/Sat 22/23 April. Over two days teams will compete for prizes and prestige, with the best hack taking pride of place alongside the SpiNNaker board and historic memory device currently on display in the Byte Cafe. Participants will be encouraged to make use of hardware provided by the school, or use their own. Software hacks are just as encouraged, however judging will reward projects that are impressive, interactive and can be adapted to fit inside the cabinet with a control panel exposed on the outside. If the winning hack isn't in a form where this is possible, we can work with you to make it so after the event. Signup is now open.


SPRING BALL.

  This from Shane Booth (Y3, CS4): We're now sold out of Spring Ball tickets, so thanks to everyone for showing so much interest! To the people who've bought tickets, you should expect an email soon to sort out seating plans. Other than that, CSSoc aren't running any more events before the Spring Ball, but we're currently organising another Staff-Student Pub Quiz the Wednesday after (4 May), so keep an eye out for more info!


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  This week’s seminar is on Weds 20 April at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.4, when Sydney Padua will talk about “The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage”, and give an outline of the history, mechanics, and programming of the 19th century Analytical Engine.  All students and staff welcome.

Lovelace and Babbage logo


ROBOT ORCHESTRA.

  Have you heard that the Robots are coming?  This year, as part of the European City of Science, Manchester is creating the largest Robot Orchestra ever on Tues 17 May. The organisers are looking for student volunteers to help with the event. Sign up – spaces are limited.


CITIZEN SCIENTISTS,

  ANARCHY AMONG THE ENGINEERS! This year’s Cockcroft Rutherford Lecture – the flagship event for friends and alumni of The University of Manchester, will be held on Thursday 26 May at 18:00.  Professor Danielle George from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering will be asking if it is possible to deliver successful engineering projects by crowdfunding. She’ll also be asking if citizen data scientists can help astrophysicists study the dawn of time. Free registration is open now.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 8(B) • Monday 11 April 2016 • #15.24          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 11 April, and it’s Week 8, a B week. I hope you've had a refreshing three weeks' break over Easter. We have another 5 weeks of teaching, and then it’s the exams. And after that, yes, it's the Summer – so lots to look forward to! Have a good week. On with today’s news… lots of tell you today!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Thumbnail of Imogen's poster


POSTER WIN.

  Congratulations to Imogen Gough (Y3, CMwIE) who was awarded Second Prize in the third year poster competition at the 2016 BCS Lovelace Colloquium held at the University of Sheffield on 31 March. Imogen's poster "Models for neurons and neuronal networks" summarised results of her 3rd year project supervised by Eva Navarro López. You can see the full-sized poster here. Well done Imogen!


FREE COFFEE DAY.

  Because we’ve passed 40% on the NSS Response-o-meter, this Wednesday 13 April is free coffee day for all Y3 and Y4 students graduating this year. Call into SSO from 09:30 on Wednesday with your Student ID card, to collect your voucher for a free coffee at the Byte Cafe. (Small print: 1 coffee per person, valid Weds 13th only, Byte Cafe only). And...


NSS NEXT TARGET.

  ...we're now at 53% completion rate. When we hit 60%, it’s a FREE PIZZA LUNCH for all students graduating this year. So if you haven't yet completed your NSS, please do so TODAY (it only takes a few minutes), and make those pizzas appear!


PASS2 AND PROJECTS.

  David Green (Y3, CMwIE) and Liam Breeze (Y3, CS4) write: Second years, your third year project selection period starts now! Take a look at the list of projects and come talk to us about them in PASS2 at 13:00 on Friday. We'll be answering any questions you might have regarding third year projects.


TECH SHOWCASE.

  Starting your career in Manchester? Want to know what it's like working in local tech firms? Tomorrow 12 April 11:00–13:00 we'll have an array of Manchester businesses on parade in the Kilburn Building. Come along to find out what they do, why they do it, and what it's like to work for them. Companies coming include Autotrader, Avecto, Formisimo, Metronet, MX Data (T/A Mapway), and Wakelet.


IOS WORKSHOP.

  Ben Ormos (Y3, SE) writes: I'm holding an iOS workshop 16:00–18:00 next Weds 20 April in the Mac Lab ( LF17, opposite SSO) and teach you how to actually make your first App. We will cover the basics of Swift, along with how to can begin programming for iOS. Interested? Please email me.

Kilburn Hack logo


KILBURN HACK.

  Charlie Reynolds (Y3, AI4wIE) writes: HackSoc & 1UP invite you to KilburnHack, on Fri/Sat 22/23 April. Over two days teams will compete for prizes and prestige, with the best hack taking pride of place alongside the SpiNNaker board and historic memory device currently on display in the Byte Cafe. Participants will be encouraged to make use of hardware provided by the school, or use their own. Software hacks are just as encouraged, however judging will reward projects that are impressive, interactive and can be adapted to fit inside the cabinet with a control panel exposed on the outside. If the winning hack isn't in a form where this is possible, we can work with you to make it so after the event.


ADVANCED SEMINAR SERIES.

  This week, we have two talks on the current research and new directions in the School. "From Sensor Networks to a Web of Things" by Alvaro Fernandes, from the Information Management Group, will review research on Sensor Networks and discuss how this is now taken further to build a Data-Centric Web of Things. Followed by "Enabling Exascale-capable computing systems" by the Advanced Processor Technologies group's Javier Navaridas, who will explore the challenges and novel ideas investigated within the School to deliver the communication infrastructure required to reach the Exa-scale milestone. All welcome. This Weds 13 April at 15:00 in LF15.

Spring Ball poster


SPRING BALL.

  Shane Booth (Y3, CS4) writes: tickets for the Spring Ball on 29 April at The Place are still on sale for the next two weeks, on the SU website! So buy your tickets, get your best suit or dress ready – there will be food, a live band, a photo booth and much more, so come along and have the night of your life! To those who are having trouble buying tickets, make sure you register as a member of the society on the SU website as we have discounted tickets!


MEET THE PROFESSIONALS.

   Want to work with organisations like Oracle, Cisco Systems or the BBC? Want to work as a web designer, product manager, security or software engineer? Come and talk to graduates from the School of Computer Science. They'll be here to chat around tables – no lectures or Powerpoints, and you'll get the chance to meet everyone. Come for the networking, stay for the pizza and drinks! Next Thurs 21 Apr, 17:15–19:30, Collab 1. Advance registration required.


STAFF VS STUDENTS.

  The annual Staff versus Students Coding Competition takes place this Weds 13 April.  Teams can be staff, students or mixed.  But places are limited! Sign up now! Teams of 2 compete against others for fantastic prizes, solving 5 algorithmic challenges.  Write in Java/C++/Python. Starts 14:30 in Collab, with FREE PIZZA, followed by a trip to KRO Bar sponsored by the Head of School!


NEW STUDENT BLOG POST.

  Veneta Haralampieva, one of the School’s team of student bloggers, has a new post up. We’re always looking for talented bloggers who’ll commit to contribute posts regularly. You can check out current and past bloggers here. If you’re interested in joining the team, why not apply and you could earn £100 each semester.

Manchester Teaching Awards logo


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, open until 15 April.


HACKSOC AGM.

  Sami Alabed (Y2, CSwIE) writes: The HackSoc AGM will take place this Weds 13 April at 13:00 in IT407. This is your chance to run for officer positions and the President position within HackSoc, organising hackathons, tech talks, coaches to other events, and hopefully conferences. More information on the facebook event page. See you all there.


HACKER AWARDS.

  And straight after the AGM, HackSoc is hosting the third European MLH season awards ceremony. They'll be celebrating the wins of The University of Manchester, the University of Birmingham and University College London with a few talks about their wins, lots of food and snacks and general socialising with the hacker community.  Read more about our win. Sign up for the awards ceremony. Following the ceremony we are going to invite everyone to TOPs buffet for a nice dinner paid for by MLH, RSVP here,


TECHX WITH MICROSOFT.

  Also from Sami Alabed: Hacksoc is organising 3 hours of tech talks and workshops with Microsoft next Weds 20 April from 14:00-17:00 in Kilburn 1.1. The 3 talks will centre around Machine Learning, facial recognition and IoT. Experts from Microsoft will be there so it is a good opportunity for you to discuss your 3rd year project with them and/or how it's like to work at Microsoft. RSVP here. Pizza will be provided.

Bridge Demo YouTube still


BRIDGE DEMO.

  If, like me, you enjoy watching things being demolished, check out this cool timelapse video of the Faraday bridge on the North Campus being removed last month.


LEVY MARKETS.

  Levenhulme’s travelling food and drink market is back on campus, every Tuesday 11:30–14:30 on Bridgeford Street, next to the Manchester Museum. Italian street food, gyoza, bao, kimchi, hot dogs, Polish specialties including pierogi dumplings, gourmet burgers, luxury ice cream, and up to 20 flavours of gooey chocolate brownies.


FREE EYE EXAM.

  Did you know you can get a free eye test here on campus?  Final year Optometry students perform the eye examination under supervision by fully qualified staff. Book your free appointment on 0161 306 3860.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Easter Vacation • Monday 21 March 2016 • #15.23          The Monday Mail

Toby pic but with Easter bunny

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 21 March, and it’s the first week of the 3-week Easter vacation. I hope you’re enjoying a well-earned rest and maybe doing a bit of catch-up. Year 3 students, good luck with writing your project reports and making your screencasts, and remember to ask your Supervisor for comments on drafts of each. The Monday Mail is having an Easter break, but will be back again on Monday 11 April (Week 8, a B week). Meanwhile, on with today’s news, and have a Happy Easter!

Best wishes,

Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


SPRING BALL.

  Shane Booth (Y3, CS4) writes: CSSoc, along with the School of Languages, present to you the swankiest night of the year – The Spring Ball 2016 – on Friday 29 April. This year, we've decided to move to a new venue, The Place (see pic below). Please come in formal wear – there's no theme but it’s a Ball, so we want everybody to look great! Each ticket includes drinks on arrival, 3-course meal with wine (vegetarian options available), live band, photobooth and photographers, DJ and dancefloor. Tickets are £27, available now from the Students Union.

The Place - swanky function room


EASTER OPENING HOURS.

  A reminder that during the Easter vacation 21 March – 10 April you’ll need your out-of hours pass to use the Kilburn building, at all times, not just out-of-hours. Labs open are Tootill and 1.8 (3rd Year Lab).

The response-o-meter on LF


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

  The amazing Raspberry Pi-powered NSS Response-o-Meter is now up and running on LF, thanks to Steve Rhodes, Jeff Pepper and Tim Morris. Remember, when the response rate hits 40%, it’s FREE COFFEE for all Year 3 & 4 students. When it hits 60%, it’s a FREE PIZZA LUNCH. Beyond that… well it will be something special!


CAREERS APPOINTMENTS.

  If you’re looking for a careers appointment in-School this week, Ben Carter’s usual Thursday session has been shifted to tomorrow Tues 22 March. You can book on CareersLink as usual.


STAFF VS STUDENTS.

  This year’s  Staff versus Students Coding Competition will be on Weds 13 April. Teams can be staff, students or mixed.  But places are limited! Sign up now! Teams of 2 compete against others for fantastic prizes, solving 5 algorithmic challenges. Write in Java/C++/Python. Starts 14:30 in Collab, with FREE PIZZA, followed by a trip to KRO Bar sponsored by the Head of School!


HACKSOC AGM.

  Sami Alabed (Y2, CSwIE) writes: The HackSoc AGM will take place on Weds 13  April at 13:00 in IT407. This is your chance to run for officer positions and the President position within HackSoc, organising hackathons, tech talks, coaches to other events, and hopefully conferences. More information on the facebook event page. See you all there.


HACKER AWARDS.

  And straight after the AGM, HackSoc is hosting the third European MLH season awards ceremony. They'll be celebrating the wins of The University of Manchester, the University of Birmingham and University College London with a few talks about their win, lots of food and snacks and general socialising with the hacker community.  Read more about our win. Sign up for the awards ceremony.


JISC COMP.

  Check out Jisc’s Summer of Student Innovation competition, which funds talented, innovative students to come up with practical technology solutions to problems in today’s education and research. Participants get to work through the whole process, acquiring business, entrepreneurship and technical skills. Past entries have included apps to enhance wellbeing and enhance the student experience.


GRUNDY AWARDS.

  The Grundy Educational Trust provides funding for postgraduate degrees in Science and Technology. Apply here.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 7 (A) • Monday 14 March 2016 • #15.22          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 14 March, and it’s Week 7, an A week. I hope things are going well for everyone. It’s been a long Semester so far, but the good news is that this is the last week of teaching before the 3-week Easter break. I hope you enjoy this week!

Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


STUDENTHACK.

  Sami Alabad (Y2, CSwIE) writes: Last weekend we hosted StudentHack IV, a 40-hour hackathon held at Manchester Metropolitan University Business school. We had 288 attendees from 48 different universities and schools, becoming the second biggest student-run hackathon in the UK. Over the weekend we saw impressive hacks being developed, and the winner of 2nd place and my personal favourite was AskNigel, a talking monkey that suggests places to visit, created by Cristian Bodnar (Y1, CSwIE). Other winners from The University of Manchester were Personal Ai Trainer by Alexandru Lupuleti (Y2, CS4), Stefan Idriceanu (Y2, CS4), Mihai Garbur (Y2, CSwIE) and Alex Stratulat (Y2, SE4wIE), winning The Hut Group challenge, and Park Painter by Matt Spear (Y1, CS) and 3 others, which won the Yelp challenge. See all the hacks submitted. To see how much fun we had check StudentHack's album – thanks to Teo Taylor (Y3, CS4) for awesome photography work. The University also issued an official Press Release about the event. Thanks to everyone who participated, volunteered, judged, and sponsored StudentHack. Mihai Bujanca (Y2, CSwIE) and HackSoc will be organising the next GreatUniHack in November.

Montage of photos from the StudentHack event


PASS2.

  This from David Green (Y3, CMwIE) and Liam Breeze (Y3, CS4): Second years, if you're still struggling to find a placement or falling behind with your course come along to PASS2 at 13:00 on Friday in G102 for some help.

Head-and-shoulders shot of Geraint North.


INTERNET OF THINGS.

  This week’s COMP101 guest lecture is by Geraint North from ARM on Software Development on the Internet of Things (IoT). Geraint will be demonstrating mbed.com, a platform for developing applications using the IoT. Geraint graduated with a BSc in Software Engineering with Industrial Experience from The University of Manchester in 2002. Since graduating Geraint has held various roles at Transitive, IBM and now ARM in Manchester where he is a High-Performance Computing (HPC) Architect. All welcome, this Thurs 17 March at 11:00 in LT 1.1.


MAC LAB.

  Our iOS 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/OS X development. All of the Macs have now been upgraded to the latest El Capitan (10.11.3) and Xcode (7.2.1).


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

  Attention everyone graduating this year! As you probably know, the government is seeking your views on your time at University. It’s really important for the School that as many of you as possible complete the Survey and give your feedback. So I’d be really grateful if you could that… and to encourage you to participate, we’re starting a new reward scheme this week. Once we get to certain levels of responses, we’ll be giving you all points. And what do points mean? PRIZES! So look out for the brand new high-tech response-o-matic totaliser, to appear on LF sometime this week. And there’ll be more details about the prizes next week. Thanks in advance for your cooperation!

NSS banner logo.

Head-and-shoulders hots of Veneta and Todd.


BLOG UPDATES.

  Check out the excellent new blogs by Veneta Haralamieva (Y3, CSwIE) and Todd Davies (Y3, CS), pictured here. Veneta, together with Zarina Meeran from Brunel University, has created another blog too, Tech-logica.com, “Planting A Voice For Women In Technology”, aimed at encouraging young kids, and more girls, to pursue a career in Computer Science. If you’d like to contribute to Veneta and Zarina’s blog, and share your experiences of studying Computer Science, please contact Veneta. By the way, the School is always looking for talented bloggers who’ll commit to contribute posts regularly. You can check out current and past bloggers here. If you’re interested in joining the team, why not apply and you could earn £100 each semester.


ADVANCED SEMINAR SERIES.

  This week, Dirk Koch from the Advanced Processor Technologies group will talk about the "The 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 FLOPS Computer" – the development of the technical foundations to reach Exa-scale performance, providing at least 10^18 FLOPs. The University of Manchester and the APT group are playing a major role in this European endeavour. This talk will be about applications, systems, and the tricks to be used in order to achieve this gigantic performance without needing the power of a few nuclear reactors. This Weds 16 Mar at 15:00 in Kilburn G102, everyone welcome.


MADLAB MEETING.

  At this month's Manchester Free Software group meeting, Michael Dorrington will be talking about LibreOffice. Tomorrow Tues 15 March 2016 19:00–20:30, at Madlab. All welcome.


GOOGLE SUMMER OF CODE.

  Applications open today (14 March) for GSoC, a global program focused on introducing students to open source software development. Students get paid to work on a three month project with an open source organization during their summer break from university. Read full details.


SILICON DRINKABOUT MANCHESTER.

  Why not come to this weekly meet-up for startups and techies to meet like-minded people, have some fun and relax at the end of the working week. There's no sign-up needed, just come along and say hi! This Friday 18 March, 18:00–22:00, SpacePortX, Manchester, M11DZ.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 6 (B) • Monday 7 March 2016 • #15.21          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 7 March, and it’s Week 6, a B week. I hope things are going well for everyone. Time marches on – it’s only 2 weeks to the Easter vacation. Lots of news today – have a good week!
best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


HACK SUCCESS.

  Sami Alabed (Y2, CSwIE) writes: The University of Manchester has won the Major League Hacking EU Hackathon Season for the second time. We came first last season ahead of 300 other European universities that participated in the fall hackathon season. What makes this even more interesting is that we are the only university that kept its position within the top 3 in the last 3 seasons, an extremely impressive feat considering how competitive the Spring season was! Read full details of the win. Well done all!

Major League Hacking 3-2-1 results banner


PASS2.

  David Green (Y3, CMwIE) and Liam Breeze (Y3, CS4) write: Second years, if you’re still struggling to find a placement or falling behind with your course come along to PASS2 at 13:00 on Friday in G102 for some help.


STUDY ROOMS.

  Rooms LF5 & 6, opposite the Byte Cafe, have been out of action for a while, but they’re back and open for you to use as study rooms.


GRADUATION.

  Our School’s graduation ceremony will be on Thurs 21 July at 10:00 in the Whitworth Hall. The University’s Graduation Team will contact students directly, April-ish, about registration.  There’ll be a reception in School after the ceremony.


START THE WEEK.

  Steve Furber was was a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Start The Week last week, discussing SpiNNaker, computer science and robotics. Well worth a listen.

Pizza


CSSOC AGM.

  Shane Booth (Y3, CS4) writes: Come to CSSoc’s Annual General Meeting! It's the time of the year when people can put themselves forwards and everybody decides who will lead us to further drunken glory! But far more importantly, we're going to be bringing a tonne of pizza, snacks and drinks! So come for the pizza, vote on who gets to run the society and feel free to run for a role, if it sounds like something you'd enjoy! This Weds 9 Mar 14:00–15:00 in LF15.


WOMEN IN COMPUTING.

  There are too few women in computing. Can we change this? As a Computing at School Regional Centre, the School hopes to have influence and is running an “Ada Lovelace Day” – a girls-only day to be held here next Weds 16 March. If you’d like to be involved contact Sarah Zaman or Carol Murray.


PASS LEADERS.

  George Vanburgh (Y3, CSwIE) writes: We’re looking for those of you who want to share your experience, enthusiasm, and knowledge to become PASS leaders next year. Becoming a PASS leader helps to improve all the soft skills that employers are looking for: communication, team working and facilitation. It stands out on your CV as something you do to help give back to the community – a virtue that companies actively seek. Applications for PASS Leaders are open to any student who is not graduating this academic year or who will be on placement in the academic year 2016/17. Please complete this application form. Any PASS Leaders from previous years are welcome to return but please complete the form. If you have any questions before completing the form, please speak to your PASS leaders – or email either me or Devin Ridgway. By completing this form, you are not committing to becoming a PASS leader, merely informing us of your intentions.

JustFest logo


JUSTFEST.

  The University of Manchester’s Social Justice Festival takes place this Weds 9 March in and around Academy 1 from 12:00 to 16:00. The event challenges injustice, supports human rights and promotes a fairer society, in a festival environment. There’s a diverse line-up of performers who share a passion for Social Justice including, George The Poet, Akala’s Hip-hop Shakespeare Company and Blak Twang and Silvastone. In the JustFest Exhibition you can speak to people whose work challenges injustice, including those working in international humanitarian relief, mental health, and refugee support.


IP CHALLENGE.

  The IP Magnet Challenge is a one day Intellectual Property data hackathon/idea development day, this coming Sat 12 March, 09:00–17:00, at Central Library. St Peter’s Square, Manchester. It’s part of the Google Digital Garage project, and open to all – developers, designers, idea generators, startups, IP experts or anyone with an interest in patents and trademarks. Bring a laptop. At the end of the day, each entrant/team will give a three-minute presentation on their project and the winner will be chosen by the judging panel during the next week. The Best Idea Winner will win a contract worth up to £4,000 to develop the idea into a working prototype. It's free to enter, with free tea, coffee, cakes, lunch & networking. Sign up.


DEBUGGING THE GENDER GAP,

  Autotrader are opening their doors tomorrow evening Tues 8 March for a screening of the documentary film about women in software engineering. Full details.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 5 (A) • Monday 29 February 2016 • #15.20          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 29 February (yes, 2016 is a Leap Year!), and it’s Week 5, an A week. I hope things are going well for everyone – and good luck to all 3rd year students whose project demos begin this week. Have a good week!

best wishes
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


SOFTWARE ENGINEERING MENTORS.

  As part of the complete redesign of COMP23420, last week more than 40 software engineering mentors from companies across the North West visited the School to meet all the 23420 teams. The two days were very successful and I hope everyone found this exciting new initiative helpful. Join me in thanking Duncan Hull for securing mentors from an impressive range of companies: AppSense, ARM, the BBC, Barclays, CDL, Code Computer Love, DataCentred, EGN Digital, Farm Digital, IBM, Imagination Technology, NCC Group, OnTheBeach, RentalCars, Sage, The University of Manchester, Web Applications UK and Zuhlke.

Collage of polaroid-style photos of the mentors with their teams, in various rooms.


VISIT AUTOTRADER.

  AutoTrader would like to invite a small group (max 10) final year students to an event in their Manchester office this Friday 4 March from 10:30–15:00. The event will be a showcase of their 2014 graduate intake and an opportunity to network/find out more about working there. Contact Duncan Hull ASAP if you’re interested.


SSC.

  The next Staff-Student Committee meeting is this Weds 2 March 14:00–15:00. If you'd like to raise anything, please contact one of your reps ASAP.


PASS2.

  David Green (Y3, CMwIE) and Liam Breeze (Y3, CS4) write: Second years, if you're still struggling to find a placement or falling behind with your course come along to PASS2 at 13:00 on Friday in G102 for some help.


EXAM FEEDBACK.

  Last call for registering for the feedback session at 14:00 on Weds 16 March, where you can view your marked COMP exam answer books, and the marking schemes, for the Semester 1 exams. Advance registration required, please Email SSO with your ID, name and list of courses you’d like to view, by the deadline of 12:00 this Weds 2 March. Also, each Semester staff write general feedback about the way their exams were answered, and you can read that feedback here.

Flyer for the UP workshop


ULTIMATE PROGRAMMING  WORKSHOP.

  Charlie Reynolds (Y3, AI4wIE) writes: Tomorrow Tues 1 March at 14:00 in Collab OnTheBeach.co.uk will be running a workshop in which we will go through a simple holiday filtering exercise using Ruby and HTML, given some criteria and holiday data. We aim to cover some of the fundamentals of TDD and BDD (Test Driven, and Behaviour Driven Development) using Cucumber and ultimately students will develop some of their own features alongside the examples provided.


CSSOC.

  This from Zaviriya Jina (Y2, CSBMwIE): CSSoc are having a pub golf night tomorrow (Tues 1 March) Come along to Ford Madox Brown at 19:00 to enjoy a night coursing through pubs on Oxford Road whilst getting a chance to meet people on our course and making friends!


QUIET ROOM.

  A reminder that we have a quiet study space for all UG students, here in Kilburn, a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle. It's Room 1.12, and you get to it through the 3rd Year Lab, Room 1.8. It's specifically for quiet, personal study.


DROP IN WITH MARKS & CLERK.

  One of the world’s leading intellectual property practices with offices across four continents are looking for students who are interested in using their technical knowledge as a patent attorney. Come to the drop-in on Kilburn LF 12:00–14:00 tomorrow Tues 1 March and have a chat with Comp Sci alumni. Pizza and donuts will be served!

Big Green logo


BIG GREEN.

  Our Faculty is holding a Big Green Gathering next Tues 8 March – a day to celebrate the environmental sustainability activities of our staff and students. Visit the programme page to find out more.


GREEN TECH CONTEST.

  And also on the Green theme, the University has been invited to submit a team to participate in the TECO Green Tech Contest (23 August 2016, Taiwan).  The team will consist of at least five members, including both academic staff and students. Applications based on UG/PG/RA projects that are related to green technologies are eligible for consideration.  Teams will give a 10 minute presentation and 5 minute demonstration of their project. Three return air tickets will be funded by the organiser and the winning team’s prize will be a trophy and $12,000. Interested? Submit your application (Title, Abstract and team members) to John Keane by next Mon 7 March.


SCALA DEV.

  Interested in functional programming and Scala development? The Scala development interest group meet the last Monday of every month, and next meeting is tonight Mon 29 Feb at 19:00 at Madlab in the Northern Quarter. All abilities welcome, including noobs.


ROBOT SHOWCASE.

  Next Weds 9 March 13:00–17:00 the Robotics Group in the School of EEE are hosting a showcase of their research. Talk to the academics, students and researchers and see what research and collaboration opportunities are available. Demonstrations and presentations throughout the afternoon. Sackville Street Building, F46.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 4 (B) • Monday 22 February 2016 • #15.19          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 22 February, and it’s Week 4, a B week. I hope all's going well. We're about halfway through the first part of Semester 2, with the Easter break in another 4 weeks. Lots of news today, so let's get on with it!
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


FACEBOOK WIN.

  Congratulations to Antonio Marino (Y3, SEwIE) whose team won the Facebook's Favourite Choice award at the TreeHacks hackathon at Stanford University in California last week. Antonio writes:  Sam Kortchmar (Brown University), Avery Lamp (Millburn High School, New Jersey), Beth Yue Shi (UC San Diego) and I built Appception, an app that lets you build React Native apps with a drag-and-drop UI. The interesting thing about it (and what differentiates it from AppChef, Team Goat's project at the Facebook Finals) is that the app you're building is fully operational while you're building it (so there aren't "edit" and "run" modes). TreeHacks (@hackwithtrees) had more than 700 attendees. 85 teams submitted projects, of which 39 entered the Facebook's Favourite Choice challenge (best use of any Facebook technology).

Antonio Marino and his 3 team-mates.


SOFTWARE ENGINEERING MENTORS.

  This week marks the start of the School's brand new industry mentoring scheme for second year Software Engineering students.  We have more than 40 talented and experienced software engineers from employers across the North West visiting the school on Tuesday and Thursday, to work with the COMP23420 teams while they work on their projects, and to talk about the realities of software development today. I know you will give the mentors a warm welcome!


SSC.

  The next Staff-Student Committee meeting will be Weds 2 March 14:00–15:00. If you'd like to raise anything, please contact one of your reps as soon as possible so we have time to review any issues in advance of the meeting.


PASS2.

  David Green (Y3, CMwIE) and Liam Breeze (Y3, CS4) write: Second years, struggling with deadlines? Falling behind in lectures? Can't find a placement or internship? Come along to PASS2 at 13:00 on Friday in G102 for help and advice


EXAM FEEDBACK.

  A reminder that there will be a feedback session at 14:00 on Weds 16 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 2 March.


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.

Student volunteering week logo


VOLUNTEERING WEEK.

  This week is Student Volunteering Week #SVW2016 at universities across the UK. Find out about voluntary unpaid activities that involve spending time doing something that aims to benefit people and the environment.


HACKING EDUCATION.

  Speaking of volunteering, representatives from CodeClub, Manchester Robogals, The Hive Learning community, and others, will be giving a series of lightning talks about how computer scientists can volunteer their technical skills for the benefit of the local community. The talks are part of COMP101 this Thurs 25 Feb at 11:00 in Kilburn 1.1. All welcome!


CSSOC.

  Shane Booth (Y3, CS4) writes: This Weds 24 Feb at 20:00 CSSoc are taking over the Grove to ask a bunch of questions to you guys and see who comes out on top! We've got a £50 cash prize to the team that scores the most points, and a few prizes for other teams! We've also got a special team, made of a number of staff members for you to pit your knowledge against and we're looking for more. So please come along and invite all your lecturers.


DIGITAL HUMANITIES PROJECT.

  Sean Bechhofer writes: the School is collaborating with researchers in the Faculty of Humanities on a number of inter-disciplinary projects and we’re looking to employ vacation students in Summer 2016. If you’d like to find out more, please contact me.


GOOGLE HASH CODE.

  Julio Vega Hernandez (PhD) writes: The Google Hash Code competition last Thursday had 79 people divided into over 20 teams participating from our hub in the Kilburn Building. We would like to thank everyone for their incredible effort as teams had to solve a very tough problem in just under 4 hours. Hope you had a fun coding night! Special mention goes to the top 2 teams of our hub: MancPowah Tudor Morar (PhD), Andrew Webb (PhD), Ion Diaconu (Y3, CS4) and Hikmat Hajiyev (Y2, CS), and Tree New Bee Andi Zhang (Y2, CM), Zhenzhong Xiao (Y2, CSwIE) and Mingtian Zhang (Y2, CS). See you next year!


BOGLE STROLL.

  Are you one of the brave? Can you take on a challenge for charity and beat the mysterious Bogle? In 1961 a team of stranded UoM lecturers tamed the mythological Bogle monster as they made the gruelling 55 mile journey from Lancaster to Manchester, having missed the last train. Each year since then UoM students and staff, alongside members of the public, have taken on the challenge to beat the Bogle, walking 26 or 55 miles around Greater Manchester for charity. Now in its 55th year, Bogle 2016 is taking place on 4 & 5 March.  Take a sponsored scenic stroll around our wonderful city, for partner charity the Booth Centre (working to support homeless people ) or for a charity of your choice. Sign up! Bogle is organised by Manchester RAG (Raise & Give), the fundraising arm of the University of Manchester Students’ Union.

Bogle Stroll banner logo


ON THE RADIO.

  Our very own Steve Furber, Professor of Computer Engineering, who teaches on COMP28512 Mobile Systems, and is the principal designer of the ARM chip, talks on BBC Radio3 about his work on neural networks constructing machines which work like parts of the human brain.


WOMEN IN TECH.

  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. The event will run from 17:30 on Tues 15 March. Deadline for registration is Friday 4 March


TURING LECTURE:

  The annual Turing Lecture is in University Place this Weds evening (24 Feb). This year the lecture is being given by Bob Schukai, head of innovation at  Thomson Reuters on “The Internet of me: It’s all about my screens”. Free registration.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 3 (A) • Monday 15 February 2016 • #15.18          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 15 February, and it’s Week 3, an A week. I hope everything is going well. Spring is in the air, and the daffodils are coming up around the campus. Hooray! Now, on with today's news, and I have quite a lot for you today!

best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


ART PROJECT.

  Peter Bogdan (Y3, CS) has helped create a piece for The Imitation Game, an exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery (open now, free entry, Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3JL). Peter writes: My 3rd Year Project (supervised by Steve Furber) deals with creating a robot control system using a spiking neural network simulation running on SpiNNaker. I have put together and implemented sections of "brain" to form a motor cortex which drives the arms of two robots so that they can gesture while talking and lift their arm in the air in a silencing movement. The physical robots have been built by Mechatronics MSc students from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm”. The Imitation Game features work by eight international contemporary artists who explore the theme of machines and the imitation of life. Its title is inspired by Alan Turing’s Turing Test, devised to test a computer’s ability to imitate human thought. Why not pop into Manchester Art Gallery and check out Peter’s work?

The robot installation in situ at Manchester Art Gallery. The two robots sit on chairs opposite each other, a red curtain behind them. The robots are skeletal, but with faces on their skulls.


OUR RESPONSE TO YOUR FEEDBACK.

  We’ve now looked in detail at the Course Unit Survey results from Semester 1 of this 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.


PASS2.

  David Green (Y3, CMwIE) and Liam Breeze (Y3, CS4) write:  The summer is fast approaching and time is running out to find an internship or placement, so if you need help or advice come along to PASS2 at 13:00 on Friday in G102.


EXAM FEEDBACK.

  There will be a feedback session at 14:00 on Weds 16 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 2 March.

Head-and-shoulders of portrait of Nancy.


MEET THE PRESIDENT.

  The President of the University, Nancy Rothwell, is making her annual visit to the School this Weds 17 Feb 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, you can ask a student Rep to raise an issue on your behalf. Also, Becky Fox, Student Representation Intern at the Students Union, will have a table on Kilburn LF tomorrow Tues 16 Feb from 12:00-14:00 with postcards you can fill in with anything you’d like to say to the President, and these will be passed onto Reps for the meeting.


STUDENTHACK.

  Sami Alabed (Y2, CSwIE) writes: StudentHack IV is back! this time bigger, longer and more epic than ever! 38 hours of hacking starting 19:00 on Friday 4 March and ending 09:00 Sunday, we are inviting students from all around the UK to join us. Companies such as CDL, Yelp, Microsoft, telcom and many more are supporting this event and they are coming to see your amazing projects!  Since 2012, StudentHack is one of the longest running student hackathons in the UK and has now joined with GreatUniHack to deliver one epic event! Tickets will be available to grab at 18:00 today, Monday. We expect a massive demand, and last Wednesday all tickets were gone in under 5 minutes!


CSSOC.

  Also this from Sami: Do you get hungry? Do you feel like throwing balls at stuff? Are you feeling famous? Well CSSoc is going to Almost Famous for some burgers and then to burn those burgers with some casual bowling! Meet us at Almost Famous tomorrow Tues 16 Feb at 17:00. For more details, join the event page.

NSS logo.


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

  All students graduating this year will have been emailed by IPSOS/MORI and invited to take part in this survey. Once you’ve done the survey, take the acknowledgement (on your phone, or printed) to SSO for a FREE bar of chocolate and the chance to vote for a charity. When the survey ends at the end of April) the School will donate £400 to the charity with the most votes. The contenders are: Francis House Children's Hospice, Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention, Manchester Deaf Centre, Manchester Mind, and Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity.


SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS.

  Sarah Zaman and Carol Murray from the North West Regional Centre for Computing at School, based here in Kilburn, are looking for students to volunteer to help run activities in schools across the North West. If you’re interested, email Sarah to find out more.


TURING LECTURE:

  The annual Turing Lecture is in University Place on the evening of Weds 24 Feb. This year the lecture is being given by Bob Schukai, head of innovation at  Thomson Reuters on “The Internet of me: It’s all about my screens”. Free registration.


INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEERING.

  If you’re interested in volunteering this summer and are looking for a way to step out of your comfort zone and experience something new, then one of the University’s overseas volunteering projects could be for you.

Camp Digital logo.


CAMP DIGITAL.

  Camp Digital is a conference that brings together Digital, Design and User Experience (UX) communities on Thursday 17 March in Manchester Town Hall. The organisers have 12 free tickets (normally £300) to give to students at the University.


ENTREPRENEUR CONF.

  How will technology of today and tomorrow shape the way we live our lives? Check out the Manchester Entrepreneurs What Next? Conference, a week on Saturday, 27 Feb. The line-up includes Head of Technology for Partners at Microsoft, and Head of Training and Development at Digital Garage from Google. Ticket includes access to all talks, a workshop, breakfast and lunch, refreshments, free after-party drinks and a chance to win £500 cash from a pitch competition.


ENTREPRENEUR WORKSHOP.

  Have you spotted a market opportunity that can be turned into a successful business, but don't know where to start? At a workshop on 24 Feb, 14:-00-17:00, Martin Henery (Manchester Enterprise Centre) and Gabriel Perez (PGDip in Bioscience Enterprise) will introduce you to the right business tools involved in product innovation and refining your venture's value proposition. Register.


BUSINESS MASTERS.

  Interested in a Master’s course at Alliance MBS? They have 17 courses to choose from: from business analysis to operations, and marketing to finance.  Register for an info session. There’s also a Loyalty Bursary for students and alumni of the University. Email for further information.


HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING.

  Interested in HPC? Find out more about OpenStack (an open source platform for cloud computing used at CERN etc) tomorrow Tues 16 Feb at SpacePortX in Manchester from 18:00. There will be short talks by speakers from CERN, DataCentred, Cardiff University, OpenStack and the University of Cambridge.  Free pizza and beer too!


MEET SHELL.

  Do you have the passion, creativity and capability to bring to life projects that will drive the future of energy and technology? Shell is looking for remarkable computer science graduates to join them. They offer a variety of challenging internships and graduate roles in mobile application development, business analysis, project management, data analysis and risk management. Stop by the Byte Café area today Monday 15 Feb between 10:00 and 13:30 to speak to Shell staff: learn about Shell internship/graduate schemes, speak with Shell IT graduates about the unique roles available and the application process, and bring your CV for a free review.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 2 (B) • Monday 8 February 2016 • #15.17          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 8 February, and it’s Week 2 of teaching, a B week. I hope you're getting back into the swing of things after the exams period, and we plan to announce provisional exam results on Thursday 25 Feb. There's lots of Monday news today, so let's go!
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


COURSE CHOICES.

  Final call. The deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units is 16:00 this Friday 12 Feb. After that, course changes won’t be possible. See full details and instructions.

Autotrader


CLEAN CODE.

  This week’s COMP101 guest lecture is from George Theofanous, Danya Bouskouchi and Gareth Mok, Java Developers at AutoTrader, who will talk about clean and smelly code, or “how to make your code awesome”. Gareth graduated with from the School in 2012 (CSwIE). Thursday 11 Feb at 11:00 in LT1.1. All welcome, see full details.


VISIT AUTOTRADER.

  And speaking of AutoTrader, they’d like to invite a small group (max 10) final year students to an event in their Manchester office on Friday 4 March from 10:30-15:00. The event will be a showcase of their 2014 graduate intake and an opportunity to network/find out more about working there. Contact Duncan Hull ASAP if you’re interested.


PASS1.

  This from George Vanburgh (Y3, CSwIE): Hello first years! Welcome back to sunny Manchester! Hopefully you're all well rested after the Christmas break, and January exams didn't treat you too harshly. Just a quick note to remind you that PASS kicks off again this week, 12:00 Weds as usual we're looking forward to tales of your Christmas, as well as any problems you choose to bring along. See you there!


PASS2.

  David Green (Y3, CMwIE) and Liam Breeze (Y3, CS4) write: Second years, since this Friday 12 Feb is your last chance to get advice on your second semester course options, come along to PASS2 at 13:00 in Collab 1 to ask any questions you might have.

Joe Forshaw


GRADUATE WISDOM.

  Joe Forshaw (CSwIE, graduated 2014, now at Retrofuzz creative design agency in Manchester) has written some from-the-heart 6-point advice for Computer Science undergraduates, based on his own experiences here in the School. As well as his 6 Top Tips he says: “Remember to have a good time. Particularly with Computer Science, you're surrounded by smart, brilliant people. Make the most of it!” How true! Read Joe’s excellent blog post.


STUDENT ACTIVITIES FUND.

  A reminder that we have a UG Student Activities Fund, to help you participate in opportunities which benefit you educationally or personally, and which can bring wider benefit to others in the School. Since we launched the scheme in November 2015 we’ve supported four different activities benefitting over 100 students. Read full details of the fund and how to apply.


THURSDAY CAREERS ADVICE.

  Ben Carter from the Careers Service is Careers Consultant for the School, and writes: If you’re in the mood for some hearty Careers advice, from this week on you’ll find me in Kilburn room LF5 on a Thursday morning. You can book in advance for a quick 15 minute application check, or a 30 minute Guidance chat or Interview Simulation. Log in to CareersLink to book: look for the link on the left once you’re in.


MEET THE PRESIDENT.

  The President of the University, Nancy Rothwell, is making her annual visit to the School on Weds 17 Feb and she's holding an informal open 30-minute meeting for students (no staff, just 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, you can ask a student Rep to raise an issue on your behalf. Also, Becky Fox, Student Representation Intern at the Students Union, will have a table on Kilburn LF next Tues 16 Feb from 12:00-14:00 with postcards you can fill in with anything you’d like to say to the President, and these will be passed onto Reps for the meeting.

Roast dinner


NICE AND CLEAN.

  You may have noticed a certain sparkle in the labs. I hope you have! Because we had all the UG labs professionally and anti-bacterially cleaned in early January quite a job, 324 keyboards, mice, monitors and desk areas. One of the cleaners noted that a particular PC “looked like someone had eaten a roast dinner off it”, so please remember that food and drinks (other than bottled water) are off-limits in labs! And definitely no roast dinners!


CSSOC PUB CRAWL.

  Shane Booth (Y3, CS4) writes: Now that we're finally done with exams, CSSoc is proud to organise its first event of the semester: the “We Made It” Pub Crawl! Whether you feel like celebrating success or drinking your problems away, come this Weds 10 Feb, and have a pint with us! Meet us at Ford Maddox Brown at 19:00. For more details, join the event page. Also, an update on the hoodies: due to a mixup with the SU processing the invoice, the hoodies have been delayed slightly, but we hope to have them ready for collection in the next 2 weeks.


E-LEARNING COMP.

  The University’s “Best in eLearning” competition is looking for e-learning resources that you think are exceptional. You can nominate any course for its innovative or effective use of eLearning, deadline 20 May. If you nominate you’ll be entered into a weekly prize draw to win an iPod Shuffle, as well as the grand prize draw to win an iPad. Nominate.

Digital Talent Day


DIGITAL TALENT DAY.

  Manchester Digital Talent Day, this Weds 10 Feb in Manchester Town Hall, has some great opportunities from a wide range of employers including The Co-operative, AO.com, Rentalcars, AutoTrader, The Hut Group, On The Beach and the BBC. Free registration.


INTERVIEW BOOT CAMP.

  Got an interview for a placement or graduate job? The Careers Service are running a boot camp this Weds 10 Feb. Email them ASAP to book your mock interview.  


BUX COMP.

  BUX is running a trading competition, with total cash prize of £400 and an opportunity to win a free trip to Amsterdam and visit their office. Sign up and have a go.


BOSCH DROP IN SESSION.

  Bosch will on Kilburn LF tomorrow Tues 9 Feb from 12:00-14:00. They’re looking for individuals to join their bespoke two-year Graduate Engineering Scheme in the summer of 2016. The programme includes software testing, diagnostic authoring, product ownership. For more info speak to the Bosch team.

Hashcode


HASHCODE.

  Hash Code is a team-based programming competition organized by Google. You pick your team and programming language, Google picks a real-life engineering problem for you to solve.  The University’s HackSociety is hosting a hub in Kllburn Collab 1 this Thurs 11 Feb at 17:30 for the Online Qualification Round, and registered teams from Manchester are invited to participate from the hub. Top-scoring teams from this round will then be invited to Google’s Paris office to compete in the Final Round of the competition in March. If you’re interested in joining the hub, find a team (2-4 people) and first register with Google (be sure to select Manchester from the list of hubs) and then register for the hub itself (before the event, otherwise you may not get in) using this form.


IKNOW SOLUTIONS RECRUITMENT.

  Looking for a career in Consulting with European travel? Pop along at lunch time next Tues 16 Feb and have a chat to iKnow Solutions who are a IBM Business Partner focusing on Big Data, Analytics, Integration & Governance and Master Data Management. Sign up for the session.

Credit Suisse comp


CREDIT SUISSE COMP.

  CS is running their Global Navigator competition. Play by 14 Feb for the chance to win a ski trip to Switzerland, an Apple Watch, or £250 Amazon Voucher.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  This week’s seminar is Weds 10 Feb at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.4, when Professor Blaž Zupan from the University of Ljubljana will talk about “Data Fusion (of Everything)”. Blaž says: have you ever been overwhelmed by data? In many fields, including life sciences, data abounds. One of the grand challenges of machine learning is to infer a predictive model by jointly considering all the available data sets. In my talk, I will present an approach to data fusion by matrix tri-factorization, and show its application in several recent studies, including in finding new bacterial response genes in social amoeba Dictyostelium. All students and staff welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 1 (A) • Monday 1 February 2016 • #15.16          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 1 February, 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!
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


EXAM RESULTS.

  We plan to publish the provisional Semester 1 exam results on Thursday 25 Feb. We’ll let you know as soon as they’re available.


FINAL YEAR MEETING.

  There’s an important meeting for all final year students this Weds 3 Feb at 13:00 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.


FOSDEM TRIP.

  Sami Alabed (Y2, CSwIE) writes: this weekend HackSoc went on their first trip abroad to Brussels, Belgium, taking 18 students whose accommodation was funded by the School’s Student Activities Fund. In addition to it being famous for the waffles and chocolate, Brussels is where the annual FOSDEM is held, a conference with more than 600 talks about various topics with heavy emphasis on free software.The highlight of the trip was Richard Stallman who talked about why he classifies proprietary software as malware, and he held a Q&A session afterwards where we got to talk with him in person! There were more than 6,000 developers at the event and it was inspiring to hear their stories about being a software engineer in various fields. We’ll be writing a blog post to cover everything as it would be unfair summarise this event in just a few paragraphs, so keep an eye on the Monday Mail for a follow-up!

FOSDEM collage


HACKING THE HACKS.

  This week’s COMP101 lecture will be given by Paul Vlissidis, technical director at NCC group, on "Hacking a Hack – How the cloud helped me become a cyber-stalker". His talk will discuss white hat security and how he (ethically) hacked a journalist (Claudia Joseph of the Daily Mail) and stole her credit card details, keys to her house and lots of personal information, by starting with phishing emails. All students and staff are welcome (not just first year students) 11:00 in LT 1.1 this Thurs 4 Feb.

Tech community cal


TECH EVENTS IN MANCHESTER:

  There are tonnes of Technology Events in Manchester (and the North West) every week, so wouldn’t it be nice if there was a single calendar which told you about all of them? Thankfully, Gemma Cameron aka @Ruby_Gem (who many of you will know from HackManchester.com) has put together a shared calendar of events which is regularly updated by the tech community in the North West. Check it out.


PASS2.

  David Green (Y3, CMwIE) and Liam Breeze (Y3, CS4) write: struggling with second semester option choices? Haven't found an internship yet? Come along to PASS2 for help this Friday 5 Feb at 13:00 in Collab 1 as usual!


HACKSOC.

  Sami Alabed (Y2, CSwIE) writes: HackSoc is having a quick meeting this Weds 3 Feb at 12:00 in LF15 about the upcoming GreatUniHack / StudentHack events in March. Please rsvp.


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  The deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units is 16:00 a week on Friday (12 Feb).  See full details and instructions. Some courses may have a maximum enrolment capacity, and if so that’s noted on the relevant syllabus pages. Any queries, please contact SSO.

Time to change logo


TIME TO TALK.

  1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, yet there continue to be stigmas and misconceptions around mental health. This Thurs 4 Feb is Time to Talk Day (see video), a day for the nation to take 5 minutes to have a conversation about mental health and tackle the stigma surrounding it.  Check out the the charity bake sale and information sessions on Thurs from 11:00–14:00 in University Place Foyer and First Floor Atrium. If you think you need to talk to someone, the University's Student Counselling Service offers the chance for you to do so in a totally confidential environment.


LADIES OF CODE.

  Angie Maguire of the “Ladies of Code” group writes: we  have a very active chapter in Manchester and run free workshops, speaker sessions and social evenings and we'd love to see you all at future events.  On Tues 23 Feb we’re  hosting a free screening of CODEGIRL, an award-winning documentary by Lesley Chilcott. See our meetup page for more info.

Historical podcasting


PODCASTING.

  It’s got a longer history than you might think. In the late 1960s two lecturers here in the School, Simon Lavington and Jeff Rohl, pioneered a system for recording lectures and making them available on 1” videotape. The tech was a bit different in those days! Read more.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  This week’s seminar is this Weds 3 Feb at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.4, when  Professor Jerzy Marcinkowski  from the University of Wroclaw, Poland, will talk about “The Hunt for a Red Spider: Conjunctive Query Determinacy Is Undecidable”. The scenario is as follows. There is a database D, which we do not see (for efficiency or security reasons). We however see a view V over D. We have another query Q to D. Can we evaluate Q only seeing V, but not D? Of course sometimes we can and sometimes we cannot. Whether there is an algorithm to decide this had been an open question for over 30 years. In 2015 we found a negative answer to this question. The talk will not be very technical and no special background is needed to follow it. All welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Exams Week 2 • Monday 25 January 2016 • #15.15          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 25 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 6625. Semester 2 teaching starts next Monday – something to look forward to! Now, on with today's news!
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  A reminder that the deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units is 16:00 Friday 12 Feb. See full details and instructions. Please note that some units may have a maximum enrolment capacity, and this is noted on the relevant syllabus pages. Any queries, please contact SSO.


HACKSOC.

  Sami Alabed (Y2, CSwIE) writes: Hope you all had good exams, good luck to those who still have some to do! HackSoc is having a quick meeting next Weds 3 Feb in LF15 at 12:00. The meeting is about the upcoming GreatUniHack / StudentHack events in March, and to bring everyone up to speed, how to get involved with us in organisation/volunteering, and gathering ideas for the next event. Please rsvp. Refreshments will be provided  // if Sami remembers to buy them.

BM logo


IBM MENTORING.

  IBM is bringing its Peer2Peer mentoring scheme to The University of Manchester. Connect with a current student or recently-graduated employee at IBM and get one-to-one guidance and feedback on your applications and CVs, and insight into careers. Register your interest by emailing Belinda Mbuthia (a current University of Manchester Electrical and Electronic Engineering student working at IBM). Deadline Monday 22 Feb.


SUMMER SPY SCHOOL.

  Applications are now open for the GCHQ summer school in Manchester / Scarborough / Thames Valley. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about cybersecurity (and get paid) but you’ll need to have been resident in the UK for at least ten years to get security clearance. Students from Manchester who’ve attended this summer school in the past have strongly recommended it.


BUSINESS FUND.

  Do you have a Business idea you want to turn into reality? UMIP, the University’s Centre for Intellectual Property Commercialisation have announced their Propeller Fund. Selected candidates will receive expert mentoring assistance and funding support to catapult their business ideas toward success. Entries can be anything from a simple idea, to a fully formed business plan. Apply by 14 Feb.

CDE logo


DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT PHDS.

  The Centre for Digital Entertainment, based at Bath and Bournemouth Universities, is offering 12 paid postgraduate research studentships, to start September 2016. Their funded PhD programme includes mentoring by companies specialising in games, visual effects, and animation.


BIG DATA AT AUTOTRADER.

  “Big data”, “data lakes”, “data science”, all the latest business buzzwords. What really matters is the ability to put data at the centre. Learn how Autotrader in Manchester became data driven next Weds 3 Feb at an event at the Autotrader HQ in Manchester (with ThoughtWorks). Sign up for this free event, great for learning and networking.


WATCHING THE DEFECTIVES.

  The Defectives is a testing-focused community for the UK run by ROQ IT. They host events where teams of software testers or developers work (or compete) with each other in a variety of fun and innovative ways. The Defectives University Challenge is a specific event open to North West Universities and will not only be a fun introduction to the software development lifecycle, but will also introduce a competitive edge with teams working together to find defects on specific websites against the clock, with a chance to win The Defectives University Challenge Trophy. No previous knowledge of software testing is required to take part as training will be given, just a general interest and appreciation of IT and a sense of fun. Join their LinkedIn group to get involved.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  This week’s seminar is tomorrow 26 Jan at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.3, when Dr Hans Vandierendonck from Queen's University Belfast will talk about “The Swan Task Dataflow Scheduler: Design and Applications”. Task dataflow is increasingly investigated as a programming model and execution model for high-performance and energy-efficient computing systems. The model requires programmers to annotate tasks with the data read and written by the task and uses this information to optimise runtime scheduling. This talk presents the rationale behind the design of Swan, analyses its performance and discusses current projects in high-performance computing and data analytics using Swan. All welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Exams Week 1 • Monday 18 January 2016 • #15.14          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 18 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!
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  Selection of Semester 2 course units is open, and the deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units on the University system is 16:00 Friday 12 February 2016.  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.


KNEEBONE BURSARY AWARD.

  Congratulations to Anuj Vaishnav  (Y2, CSE), selected as this year’s recipient of the 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.


TECHCRUNCH WIN.

  Edoardo Moreni (Y4, CS4) has now blogged about his team’s win at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon just before Xmas. And you can see a video of his presentation at TechCrunch. His team-mates were Antonio Marino (Y3, SEwIE), Bartlomiej Siemieniuk (Y3, SE) and Mark Larah (graduated last year).

Edoadro Moreni


UG OF THE YEAR.

  Could you be an Undergraduate of the Year 2016? TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year is an annual awards competition which aims to find the best undergraduates in the UK. Prizes include work placements and overseas trips. Applications are now open in 12 categories, deadline for entering the competition is 28 Jan 2016. Why not enter?


WRITING HELP.

  The Academic Writing Tutorial Service is free to international students who want to improve their written English. These one-to-one one-hour sessions offer expert help in improving your academic work. Full details and how to apply here.

Ben Carter


MEET BEN CARTER.

  Hi everyone, my name’s Ben Carter and I’m the newly-arrived Careers Consultant for the School of Computer Science. If you’d like to meet up with me to look over applications, practice for interviews or just chat about career concerns, you’ll be able to find me in the CareersLink booking system as we go into the new semester, as well as on Facebook. I’ve come to Manchester for a new challenge after spending four years careers advising at the University of St Andrews. Before that I was a research chemist in Liverpool (ask me about dry water and flammable ice), and science remains the thing that motivates all my work. Outside of the office you’ll find I am an enormous geek, and will happily hold forth on Game of Thrones, D&D, Warhammer or many other topics, given the chance. I look forward to meeting you as I settle in Manchester, please get in touch if you would like my help.


WOMENSPHERE CODEFEST.

  Womensphere Global Codefest is a global, virtual, interscholastic competition inviting female students to create code that help achieve the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Registration is open now.


MANCHESTER DIGITAL.

  The annual jobs fair organised by Manchester Digital will take place on Weds 10 February in Manchester Town Hall with many local employers who are looking to fill technical roles including Autotrader, the BBC, The Co-operative Group, RentalCars.com, The Hut Group and many more. Free registration.


INTERVIEWERS WANTED.

  The Times Final Year Student Survey 2016 is looking for student representatives to carry out part-time work as interviewers for the survey in February. You must know 25 final year students and be organised and reliable. The work will take approximately 6-8 hours in total and you'll be paid up to £90. If you’re interested, contact Henry Jungnitsch.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 12(A) • Monday 14 December 2015 • #15.13          The Monday Mail

Toby pic with Xmas hat

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 14 December. Not only is it Week 12, an A week, 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 in mid-January, for the first week of the exams. Until then, have a great Xmas and recharge your batteries! Now, on with today's news… lots of it too! Best wishes,
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


TECHCRUNCH WIN.

  Congratulations to Antonio Marino (Y3, SEwIE), Edoardo Moreni (Y4, CS4), Bartlomiej Siemieniuk (Y3, SE) and Mark Larah (graduated last year) who won the William Hill Prize at TechCrunch Disrupt London Hackathon. Their hack was a conditional betting automation app that allows the user to place recurring sports bets (see their video). Their prize is a world trip, to be taken probably after graduation, which includes the full VIP treatment as they attend the football in Madrid, soak up a weekend of seasonal sport in Sydney, and take in the lights of Vegas during a weekend at the casinos. They’ll also get to experience life in William Hill offices across the globe with lots of potential career opportunities along the way. That’s a win!

Teachcrunch winners


GREAT UNI HACK.

   Sami Alabed (Y2, CSwIE) writes: On Saturday 5 Dec, we held the 3rd edition of GreatUniHack at CityLabs, and we saw an amazing turnout – 190 people! A HUGE thank you to everyone who made this event a huge success: of course the attendees, University of Manchester students and most importantly all those who spent the weekend working to deliver a great event  Sven Cortel (Y2, CS4wIE - organiser), Sebastian Mararu (Y2, CSwIE - MC and entertainment), Ben Possible (Y2, CSwIE - Volunteer lead), Hamza Ghani (organiser), Petar Hristoskov (Y1, CSwIE - logistics), Teo Taylor (Y3, CS4 - IT and photographer), Tim Xiao (Y2, CSwIE - Social media and volunteer), Madalina Raicu (Y1, HCI4wIE - Hardware), Dainis Gorbunovs (Y2, CS4wIE - photographer), Dhananjay Sharma (Y1, CS - logistics), Alexandra Misca (Y1, HCI4wIE - logistics), Abdurraham Dridi (Y1, CS - logistics), Efthymios Makaras (Y2, CS4wIE - logistics). The first pic below show the winning teams, the second an overview of the GUH experience! And to everyone who came to represent Manchester over the weekend, we hope you all had fun and see you in March. See all the submitted demos.

Great Uni Hack winners

Great Uni Hack collage


VENTURE OUT.

  And congratulations to Antonio Sanchez Gomez (Y3, CSBM) who was Runner-Up in this year’s Venture Out Digital Awards, organised by the Manchester Enterprise Centre, for his business plan “Bridging the gap between app developers and app users”. Well done Antonio!


1ST YEAR PROJECTS.

  The First Year Project poster session last Thursday was, as always, buzzing, with fabulous ideas on display and you can see all the posters in the Y1 Project Poster Gallery.

1st year project poster session


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  Selection of Semester 2 course units is now open, and the deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units on the University system is 16:00 Friday 12 February 2016. 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.

Have your say


HAVE YOUR SAY.

  A reminder that each Semester the University runs Unit Surveys to give you the chance to tell us what you think about your course units. 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.


PASS2.

  David Green (Y3, CMwIE) and Liam Breeze (Y3, CS4) write: It's the last week of the semester now so it's your last chance to get any help you need in PASS2 for your course and placements. If you need any help come along to Collab 1 at 13:00 this Friday 18 Dec.


CSSOC IN THE PUB.

  Shane Booth (Y3, CS4) writes: CSSoc are pub crawling this Friday 18 Dec, to celebrate the end of the semester and to say goodbye to all of our friends who are going home for the holiday! We're meeting at the Ford Madox Brown at 19:00 (or 18:30 if you want food) and heading to The Oxford at around 19:45 with further stops being announced on Facebook. We're also heading into our last week of selling hoodies, at the Byte Café this Thurs/Fri 17/18 Dec 12:00-14:00 If you want a hoodie, this is your last chance to order one we're hoping to distribute the hoodies in the first week or two after the exams.

Steve Pettifer


STEVE'S NEW ROLE.

  Congratulations to Steve Pettifer on his appointment as Associate Vice Dean for Teaching and Learning in our Faculty (this is an extra job, he's not leaving the School!). Those of you who have been taught by Steve will know he’s an outstanding lecturer. Steve believes passionately in excellent teaching and will be a huge asset to the School, and the University as a whole, in his new role.


XMAS OPENING HOURS.

  From Saturday 19 December 2015 Sunday 17 January 2016 inclusive, Kilburn/IT access is daily 08:00 23:30 if you have an Out-of-Hours Pass, except for Thurs 24 Dec Sunday 3 Jan inclusive, when both buildings are closed and there is no student access. The Learning Commons and George Kenyon IT Cluster are open throughout this period except for Friday 25 and Saturday 26 Dec. Full details on the access page.


SSO XMAS OPENING.

  The School's Student Support Office (SSO) will be open as usual during December apart from the following: today Mon 14 Dec closed from 13:30, Weds 16 Dec closed 11:00-12:00, and from 15.00, Fri 18 Dec closed from 13:45, and Weds 23 Dec closed from 16:00 for the University's Christmas Holiday period, re-opening at 09:00 on Monday 4 Jan 2016.


TEACHING CAREER.

  Are you looking for a graduate career with a difference? Don’t fancy working in an office? Bursaries and prestigious scholarships worth up to £30,000 tax free are being offered to top graduates who choose to get into teaching and help raise standards across England’s schools. If you’re interested and would like further information, email Jack Lofthouse from Get Into Teaching.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

   There are two seminars this week. On Weds 16 Dec Gavin Brown will talk about “Manchester and Athens”. Gavin says: In 1988, the physicist Freeman Dyson wrote "The first academic city in the world was Athens, and the first industrial city was Manchester, so I like to use the names of Athens and Manchester as symbols of the two styles of scientific thinking. This will be a non-technical talk, a bit of a philosophical reflection"; and on Thus 17 Dec, Rieny Rijnen from Topic Embedded Systems will talk about “Distributed reconfigurable computing challenges”. Both talks are at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.4. Everyone welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 11(B) • Monday 7 December 2015 • #15.12          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 7 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! On with today’s news and lots to tell you about today!
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


TECH CHAMPIONS!

  Congratulations to Andrei Muntean (Y2, CSwIE), Geanina Hinta (Y1, CSwIE), Cristian Bodnar (Y1, CSwIE), Anais Hristea (Y1, HCIwIE), Alexandra Misca (Y1, HCI4wIE), and Dainis Gorbunovs (Y2, CS4wIE) L to R in the pic, with Duncan Hull on the far right  who won the #UniTechChallenge at BBC Salford Keys last Thursday 3 Dec. They beat stiff competition from five other teams at Universities across the North West, and won prizes of £600 between them and work experience at the BBC, BAML or Barclays (who organised the contest), plus fast-tracked applications to graduate and intern programs. An impressive and fantastic result, well done all!

Salford winners


GREAT UNI HACK.

  And speaking of wins, Sami Alabed (Y2, CSwIE) writes: Last Saturday 5 Dec, we held the 3rd edition of GreatUniHack at CityLabs, and we saw an amazing turnout  we were expecting 120 and instead 190 people showed up! IT WAS GREAT. We saw impressive hacks throughout the weekend and the University of Manchester teams really stood out, winning the majority of the categories. Full details in next week's Monday Mail.


1ST YEAR PROJECTS.

  Good luck to all 1st Year students for their project presentations this week. The poster session, this Thurs 10 Dec 11:00 – 12:30 on Kilburn LF, is open to all students and staff, so come and check out the creativity and ideas of this year’s 1st Year students.

Tell us


HAVE YOUR SAY.

  Each Semester the University runs Unit Surveys to give you the chance to tell us what you think about your course units. 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 (here’s our response to your 2014 Semester 2 comments).


PASS2.

  David Green (Y3, CMwIE) and Liam Breeze (Y3, CS4) write: Stuck with deadlines or can't find a placement? PASS2 can help! Come along at 13:00 this Friday in Collab 1 for help from the third year students.


CENTRICA DROP IN.

  Centrica will be visiting the School tomorrow Tues 8 Dec, 12:00-14:00 on Kilburn LF, to talk about why it is such an exciting time to join them on their Information Systems graduate and summer placement programme. Drop by their stand for a chat.

hoodie


CSSOC HOODIES.

  This from Shane Booth (Y3, CS4): CSSoc are taking orders for our popular Computer Science hoodies this week! We're selling them for £15 in the Byte Cafe this Thursday and Friday 10 & 11 Dec, from 12:00-14:00. They come with the University of Manchester crest on the left and the CSSoc logo on the back as well as the new option to have your name on the right! Place your orders!


SSO XMAS OPENING.

  The School's Student Support Office (SSO) will be open as usual during December apart from the following: next Mon 14 Dec closed from 13:30, Weds 16 Dec closed 11:00-12:00, and from 15.00, Fri 18 Dec closed from 13:45, and Weds 23 Dec closed from16:00 for the University's Christmas Holiday period, re-opening at 09:00 on Monday 4 Jan 2016.


SHOPPING TECH.

  Ever wondered how Computer Science helps with your Christmas shopping? Will Peck, who graduated from the School in 2006 and is now a Team Leader at Ocado technology, reveals all.


DOCKER.

  The Faculty of Life Sciences Bioinformatics Society’s latest event is a talk by Christian Brenninkmeijer on “Docker: Isolated, reproducible software builds with IPython, RStudio and Galaxy” Stopford Building Room 1.065/6 16:00-17:00, this Friday 11 Dec, all welcome.

MIPS


MIPS CPU Hackathon.

  Dirk Koch and 1-UP are organising a MIPS CPU Hackathon this Friday 11 Dec from 13:00 in Tootill 0. This is a "flipped hackathon" where you get a system that comes already with everything, including a small ROM (containing a 32-bit MIPS-1 binary program), but with a missing CPU! Your challenge: build the CPU and get the program running on real hardware (FPGA)! All students are invited, and no previous skills are needed (a brief knowledge of HDL and assembly is a plus). Please let Dirk know if you plan to come, and for any other queries, contact Anuj Vaishnav (Y2, CSE).


IBM COMP.

  IBM is running its tenth annual Master the Mainframe contest for students across the UK. No experience with mainframes is necessary, and there are great prizes.

Hash code


HASHCODE.

  Hash Code is a team-based programming competition organized by Google. You pick your team and programming language, Google picks a real-life engineering problem for you to solve. The online qualification round will be followed by a final held in Google’s Paris HQ. Sounds exciting! Registration is open now.


FOODIE TUESDAY.

  The foodie market is back by popular demand, and just in time for Christmas! Street food and produce traders from Levenshulme Market will be next to the Manchester Museum (opposite University Place) tomorrow Tues 8 Dec. Goodies on offer include hot veggie and meaty wraps and quesadilla, gooey chocolate brownies, wild game dishes, homemade pierogi (Polish dumplings) and stews, plus fresh bread and baked goods. Why not try something different for lunch!

Spinnaker


ADVANCED SEMINAR SERIES.

  This week, David Lester from the Advanced Processor Technologies group will tell us about “SpiNNaker and the Human Brain Project: What’s it all about?”. SpiNNaker has been in development for over ten years; the physical hardware is now over four years old; and the Human Brain Project was first mooted over five years ago: in that time how has the technology and the project developed? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the technology and the project, and how do they compare with the alternatives? Finally, David will discuss open problems within HBP and how staff, UG, PGT, and PGR students can get involved with the project. He will emphasise the software rather more than the hardware, and highlight the neuroscience use-cases driving APT involvement in the HBP. There may be cake! Tomorrow Tues 8 Dec at 17:15 in Kilburn LF15, everyone welcome. You will need an out-of-hours access pass to attend this event after 18:00.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 10(A) • Monday 30 November 2015 • #15.11          The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 30 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, 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. Now on with today’s news!
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


TECH CHALLENGE.

  Congratulations and good luck to Anais Hristea (Y1, HCIwIE), Cristian Bodnar (Y1, CSwIE), Dainis Gorbunovs (Y2, CS4wIE), Geanina Hinta (Y1, CSwIE), Alexandra Misca (Y1, HCI4wIE), and Andrei Muntean (Y2, CSwIE) who’ve been selected to present their solution to the University Technology Challenge to a panel of judges from Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the BBC, at MediaCityUK in Salford this Thurs 3 Dec.


ALL ABOUT ARM.

 ARM-1 The Guardian has a feature on ARM this week, which talks about the history and future of the company, featuring our very own Steve Furber, principal designer of the ARM chip. You can also see this interactive visualisation of the ARM-1 chip in action, made to celebrate the 25th birthday of ARM last week.


ARM IN ASIA.

  Speaking of ARM, they’ll be here in the School this Friday 4 Dec at 13:00 in Kilburn LT1.3 talking about opportunities in Taiwan and China. All welcome, please sign up.


KNEEBONE BURSARY.

  Also ARM-related, this is the final call for applications for the Kate Kneebone Acorn Bursary  the 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 Year 2 UG students in the School are eligible to apply, deadline 17:00 this Friday 4 Dec. See full details and how to apply.


PASS1.

  This from George Vanburgh (Y3, CSwIE): Hello first years! We’re coming towards the end of your first semester at Manchester! Hopefully you’ve all enjoyed yourselves – but I’m sure you’re also aware that you have exams in January. With that in mind, we’ll be running our ever-popular PASS workshops for Maths and Architecture this week, in addition to your regularly scheduled PASS sessions. If any of you have requests about the kind of content you’d like to see covered during either of these workshops – feel free to email me. Just ask your leaders for directions – same PASS time, same PASS place, 12:00 this Weds 2 Dec. On the subject of workshops, hopefully those of you who attended our COMP151 workshop after Reading Week found it useful. Todd Davies (Y3, CSwIE), who ran the workshop – has posted the code used on GitHub, in case any of you find it useful. Have a great week, and see you all on Wednesday!


ACM COMP.

  Ion Diaconu (Y3, CS4) writes: We had two teams, with two coaches, in the regional final of this year's prestigious ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest held this past weekend at Linköping University in Sweden. Each team managed to solve two problems each and we learned a lot from the experience. We had a great time and feel motivated for next year's contest! Left to right: Fizuli Valizada (Y3, CS), Mingtian Zhang (Y2, CS), coach Tudor Morar (PhD), Zhenzhong Xiao (Y2, CSwIE), Hikmat Hajiyev (Y2, CS), coach Ion Diaconu (Y3, CS4), Ramin Jafarov (Y3, CS), Andy Zhang (Y2, CM).

ARM teams


SSO XMAS OPENING.

  The School's Student Support Office (SSO) will be open as usual during December apart from the following: this Weds 2 Dec closed 14:45-15:15, Mon 14 Dec closed from 13:30, Weds 16 Dec closed 11:00-12:00, and from 15.00, Fri 18 Dec closed from 13:45, and Weds 23 Dec closed from16:00 for the University's Christmas Holiday period, re-opening at 09:00 on Monday 4 Jan 2016.

Gavin in full flow


ADVANCED SEMINAR SERIES.

  Antoniu Pop writes: this week, Gavin Brown from the Machine Learning and Optimisation group will give an overview of the field of Multiple Classifier Systems, also known as "Ensemble Methods". This is a sub-field of Machine Learning, hence assuming an introductory course level background in Machine Learning. Gavin will cover the basics of the field, including the most popular algorithms and the theory behind them, concluding with the outstanding theoretical questions of the area. This talk will be in 2 parts, each about 50 minutes, with a possible third part for those interested. Tomorrow Tues 1 Dec at 17:15 in Kilburn LF15. You'll need an out-of-hours access pass to attend this event after 18:00.


MIPS CPU HACKATHON.

  Dirk Koch and 1-UP are organising a MIPS CPU Hackathon next Weds 9 Dec from 13:00 in Tootill 0. This is a "flipped hackathon" where you get a system that comes already with everything, including a small ROM (containing a 32-bit MIPS-1 binary program), but with a missing CPU! Your challenge: build the CPU and get the program running on real hardware (FPGA)! All students are invited, and no previous skills are needed (a brief knowledge of HDL and assembly is a plus). Please let Dirk know if you plan to come, and for any other queries, contact Anuj Vaishnav (Y2, CSE).


PLACEMENTS.

  The Diamond Student Sandwich Placement scheme offers undergraduate students an exciting opportunity to gain paid working experience within an operational scientific environment at Diamond. Full details.

Music at MadLab


MUSIC AT MADLAB.

  Manchester Girl Geeks are hosting a musical tea party, with four talks on music and tech. It’s at MadLab this Saturday 5 December from 14:00-16:00. Girl geeks and boy geeks (and grown-ups too) equally welcome! Get tickets.


DIGITAL CAREERS EVENT.

  Talent Day is the largest digital careers fair in the North and a must-attend event for anyone looking to work in the digital and creative industries. Over 60 of the North West's leading digital and creative companies will be at Manchester Town Hall on 10 Feb 2016 scouting for the best and brightest young talent to come and work for them. Get your place now!


SABISU CHALLENGE.

  The Manchester student chapter of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) is hosting the second Sabisu Challenge next Weds 9 Dec 13:00-16:00 in the Alan Turing building. Sabisu is a data aggregation and predictive behaviour platform for oil and gas manufacturing and chemical industries. Register.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  This week’s seminar is this Weds 2 Dec at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.4, when  Prof Roy Chantrell from the University of York will talk about “Ultrafast magnetization dynamics: how fast can we go?”. Everyone welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


Week 9(B) • Monday 23 November 2015 • #15.10          The Monday Mail

Toby picGood morning UG! It’s Monday 23 November, and it’s Week 9, a B week. I hope everything is going well! This Semester seems to have gone quickly after this week there are only 3 more weeks before Xmas! On with today’s news...
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


PGT OPEN DAY.

  The School is holding a PGT open day this Weds 25 Nov, which will include a presentation from MSc Programme Director Norman Paton and an opportunity to talk about the different pathway options available. Refreshments will be provided and you’ll have the opportunity to chat to members of staff and current MSc students. Register.

Drinkabout


CSSOC.

  Shane Booth (Y3, CS4) writes: CSSoc is organising a trip to the Silicon Drinkabout, at the Manchester Museum (opposite Kilburn) this Friday 27 Nov from 18:00-22:00. It's a great chance to meet some interesting people from tech startups. Free food and drink sponsored by the Biospheric Foundation.


PLACEMENT AND GRADUATION ADVICE.

  This from Dominic Laing of the Careers Service: Careers Meeting appointments are available today Monday 23 Nov from 12:00-16:00 in Kilburn LF5. Book your 15-minute appointment now click on “make an appointment” and  select “Careers meeting: Computer Science Students - 15 mins” from the drop down menu. Find Monday 23 Nov 2015 and select the 15-minute appointment slot which suits you the best. Please bring along a copy of your CV if you have one. Need a longer discussion? Book a double slot.


QUIET ROOM.

  A reminder that we have a quiet study space for all UG students, here in Kilburn, a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle. It's Room 1.12, and you get to it through the 3rd Year Lab, Room 1.8. It's specifically for quiet, personal study.

interview clipart


CODING DOJO.

  Tudor Morar (PhD) writes: Join us for a workshop focused on how to do well in a technical interview. We’ll provide some guidelines and tips to increase your chance for getting the position. We'll also do some mock interviews using real interview questions so come along if you're interested! This Weds 25 Nov at 14:00 in Collab.


CODING FOR KIDS.

  STEMSoc is looking for volunteers to help primary school kids learn coding using Scratch, in Wednesday afternoon local Code Clubs on 2/9/16 Dec. You need to have a current DBS check to work directly with the kids, but if you don't there may be other ways you can contribute. If you’re interested contact Sarah Fisher via her FB page.


INTERNET OF THINGS.

  The next Manchester Geek Night is tomorrow Tues 24 Nov at 18:30 when Mat Henshall, Head of Things at ThoughtWorks, will be showing a glimpse of the future with the Internet of Things. 18:30 at Autotrader HQ.

Turing pic


ALAN TURING TALK.

  Sir Dermot Turing has written a new biography of his uncle, Alan Turing, titled Prof: Alan Turing Decoded. He’ll be talking about the book next Weds 2 Dec from 14:00-16:00 in Room G205 in, fittingly, the Alan Turing Building. Tea and cake will be served after the event. Pre-registration is open now.


SHELL EVENT.

  Shell is looking for remarkable computer science graduates to join them. They offer a variety of challenging internships, year out placements and graduate roles in mobile application development, business analysis, IT project management, and big data analysis. Meet them in the Byte Café this Thurs 26 Nov 10:00-3:00.


MAN AHL.

  Man AHL (they do computer-driven hedge funds) is launching an exciting new coding competition, the Man AHL Coder Prize, targeted exclusively at students, offering a prize of £5,000 and the chance to apply for an Internship in their London office. The competition is now open for registration and goes live on 1 December.


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  This week’s seminar is on Weds 25 Nov at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.4, when Dr Grigori Fursin from dividiti will talk about “From ad hoc computer engineering to collaborative and reproducible data science”. Everyone welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


#15.09 • Monday 16 November 2015 • Week 8 (A)         The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 16 November, and it’s Week 8, an A week  yes it’s definitely an A week, I double-checked! As always I hope everything is going well, especially for Y3 students who are doing their project seminars at the moment. On with today’s news, and lots of it as usual!
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


HACKATHON WINS.

  Congratulations to Catalin Lupuleti (Y2, CS4), Paul Gafton (Y2, CS4wIE), Stefan Idriceanu (Y2, CS4) and Bogdan Duta (Y2, SE4wIE) who won the Majestic and CapGemini prizes at AstonHack in Birmingham last weekend (pic below), and also to Cornelia Secelean (Y2, CS4wIE), Teodor Vicovan (Y2, CSwIE), Mihai Bujanca (Y2,CSwIE), and Horia Porav (non-School), who won 2nd Place at FuseHack in Amsterdam. Well done everyone!

Aston Hack winners


STAFF-STUDENT COMMITTEE.

  Last Wednesday we had the first of the two SSC meetings this Semester. As usual it was lively and productive! You can read a report of the meeting on the Blackboard SSC page (My Communities > CS UG Community > School of Computer Science SSC). The next meeting will be on Weds 9 Dec. If you’d like to raise anything, please contact a rep. For day-to-day operational stuff please raise a ticket via our support page. A reminder that we can’t track discussions of issues on FB!


OUR RESPONSE TO YOUR FEEDBACK.

  We’ve now looked in detail at the Course Unit Survey results from Semester 2 of Academic Year 14-15. We take your views seriously, and we’ve asked all the Course Unit lecturers to respond to your comments.


PASS2.

  David Green (Y3, CMwIE) and Liam Breeze (Y3, CS4) write: We're over halfway through the first semester now so you should be well into your applications, interviews and coursework. If you need any help or advice about any of them come talk to us in PASS2 at 13:00 on Friday in Collab 1.


CYBER SECURITY WINNERS.

   The BAE systems Capture the Flag day of cybersecurity challenges was held in Kilburn on Saturday. Congratulations to the winning team (below): Harry Ward (Y2, CS4), Shamveel Ahammed (Y1, SE4wIE), Eugen Patru (Y1, CS4), Tristan Maat (Y2, CS4), together with non-School team-mates Wouter van Verre and Alex Chow, who achieved the highest ever score at a BAE Capture the Flag event. The runners-up were also highly commended, and had the 2nd or 3rd place teams been at either of the previous two BAE events they would have won both!

Flag winners


FEEDBACK SESSION.

  The Semester 1 exam feedback session is this Weds 18 Nov at 14:00 in LF15. If you’ve registered but are unable to attend, please tell SSO in advance.


KNEEBONE BURSARY.

  A reminder about the Kate Kneebone Acorn Bursary  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 Year 2 UG students in the School are eligible to apply, deadline 17:00 Friday 4 Dec. See full details and how to apply.


HACKSOC.

  Horia-Mihai Bujanca (Y2, CSwIE) writes: Join HackSoc for our very first workshop! This will be the first of many workshops organised by our society, and we welcome anyone to attend. Dan Hodgson (Y2, CSwIE) and Dragos Alex Radu (Y2, AI4) will be covering Javascript derivatives. The workshop is this Weds 18 Nov 14:30-16:30 in LT1.3. This is all hands-on so make sure you bring your laptops and your thinking caps. We hope to see you there!


CSSOC.

  Shane Booth (Y3, CS4) writes: CSSoc is going to Laser Quest this Thursday 19 Nov at the Trafford Centre. Come along for some great fun! The tickets cost £5 for two games and we'll be selling them today (Monday) and Wednesday from 11:00-12:00 in the Byte Cafe. Meet for Laser Quest on Thursday at 18:15 in front of Kilburn.

FLS Bioinformatics Soc


CODE FOR LIFE.

  The University of Manchester Bioinformatics Society is running a weekly series of workshops called Code for Life every Friday at 16:00 in Stopford 1.065, open to all levels. In their first 2 workshops they covered Git and SQL. The next event is RNA-seq analysis using Tophat/Cufflinks  open source software for gene expression analysis. Full details.


TIMETABLE LINK.

  If your cal supports the iCal format you can now link your personal timetables from MyManchester. This service had been suspended since September because of a timezones bug now fixed.


OUTREACH VOLUNTEERS.

  This from David Rydeheard: A big welcome to those who volunteered for outreach projects, especially with schools, earlier this semester. There are many exciting opportunities! Our kick-off meeting will be this Weds 18 Nov 14:00-16:00 in Kilburn Room 2.19, when we’ll explore activities for outreach. If you haven’t volunteered but wish to be involved, please email me.


PODCASTING.

  The University wants to know what you think about lecture podcasts and will be holding a focus group, with lunch, at 12:30 on Monday 14 December in the Council Chamber at the Sackville Street Building. Interested in taking part? Email Stephen Wheeler.


TEACHING CAREERS.

  Considering school teaching as a possible career? There are generous bursaries available (up to £30,000) for Computer Science students to train as teachers. There are a number of schemes available, here’s one of them.  If you’re interested, talk to David Rydeheard.

Ninja


ARE YOU A SECURITY NINJA?

  The 2015 NCC Group Graduate Challenge has launched. It allows graduates to qualify for the interview stage of their 2015 program intake by working through online challenges and finding as many “flags” as possible


ADVANCED SEMINAR SERIES.

  This week, join Caroline Jay and Markel Vigo from the Information Management Group to find out about the complexities of human-computer interaction and how to improve the way we design devices and applications. They’ll talk about data-driven approaches to understanding behaviour with complex artefacts including software, ontologies, data-intensive dashboards, artwork and citizen science. Tomorrow Tues 17 Nov at 17:15 in LF15. You’ll need an out-of-hours pass to attend this event after 18:00.


POSTGRADUATE STUDY FAIR.

  If you're just starting to think about postgraduate study or if you want to apply for courses for 2016, then this is the fair for you! Over 100 universities will be exhibiting, mainly UK, but also some from overseas. The fair is today Monday 16 Nov at Manchester Central.


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 18 March 2016.


JAVA MEETING.

  Interested in Java? The Manchester Java Community holds free monthly meetings. Next Thurs 26 Nov Dr Heinz Kabutz will be talking about "The Secrets of Concurrency".


SCHOOL SEMINAR.

  This week’s seminar is on Weds 18 Nov at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.4, when Dr Neils Peek of the University's Health eResearch Centre will talk about “Challenges for learning health systems”. Everyone welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

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


#15.08 • Monday 9 November 2015 • Week 7 (A)         The Monday Mail

Toby pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 9 November, and it’s Week 7, an A week. I hope you had a bit of a break last week, but now it’s back to business and we’re on the home stretch towards Xmas another 6 weeks to go! Have a great week, and on with today’s news!
Toby Howard
Director of Undergraduate Studies


STAFF-STUDENT COMMITTEE.

  The first of two meetings this Semester to discuss issues is this Weds 11 Nov 14:00-15:30. If you’d like to raise anything, please contact a rep. For day-to-day operational stuff (broken things, IT issues, software installs, etc), please raise a ticket via our support page. Please use the above routes (not Facebook!) to ensure any concerns get properly raised and dealt with.


PASS2.

  David Green (Y3, CMwIE) and Liam Breeze (Y3, CS4) write: To all second years. welcome back from Reading week! Hope it went well. PASS2 is back! This week we will hold an open session, you bring the questions and we will bring the answers! PASS2 will be in the same place at the same time as usual, Collab 1 at 13:00 this Friday 13 Nov. Looking forward to seeing you there.


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, drones, and much more. Full details.

Hardware library


ADVANCED SEMINAR SERIES.