Department of Computer Science


Your weekly round-up of undergraduate life in The University of Manchester Department of Computer Science from Paul Nutter, Director of Undergraduate Studies.

LATEST | UG | Y1 | Y2 | Y3 | Y4 | Courses | Timetables |
2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 all

Highlights of the Year • Monday 1 June 2020 • #19.32          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

For the last time this academic year … Good morning UG! Although we’ve all been severely impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic, I hope the 2019/20 academic year has gone well for you. I’ve certainly enjoyed my first year as Director of UG (although I have no idea where the time has gone). In this Monday Mail, the final one of the year, we’re taking a look back at what has happened over the year. Each year I get more and more impressed by the great things you get up to; it makes me very proud to be involved with UG teaching. Well done everyone! Please keep safe.
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


UNICS PUB CRAWL.

  This from Nora Tuta (Y2, HCI4wIE): Hello everyone and welcome (back)! UniCS, the Computer Science society, has prepared some activities during Welcome Week for both first year and returning students. First, you are invited to UniCS Freshers' Pub Crawl this Weds 18 Sept from 19:00. And, you can find our stall at the Society Fair in Academy 1 (next to the Students Union) 10:00-16:00 this Weds/Thurs 18/19 Sept, so come and ask us any questions you might have! Check our Students' Union pagewhere you can find all our social media and join our group. And here is a calendar with all the events that UniCS is going to organize this year. Have fun and good luck in the coming year! Below is this year's and last year's committee!


BP AWARD.

  Congratulations to Sam Joynson (Y2, CSwIE) who has won a BP Achievement Award. Well done, Sam!


PRIZE WINNERS.

  Every year the School awards prizes to UG students who have excelled academically or made significant contributions to the School. Last week our Head of Department Professor Robert Stevens awarded the prizes. Below, L to R, Joshua Cheung (Y3, CSwIE), winner of the Kate Kneebone Bursary 2018; Nicky Chau (Y3, CS), Professor's Prize; Kanyinsola Sagoe (Y3, BM), Professor's Prize. Other Professors Prize winners were Jonathan Tang (Y3, CMwIE), Yuxuan Zhou (HCI, out on IE) and Ivan Pupovac (CM, out on IE). Well done everyone!


FIRST YEAR STUDENTS.

  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, and see next item!), contact your Personal Tutor, or Gareth Henshall (all programmes except CM and HCI), Andrea Schalk for CM, or Simon Harper for HCI – they’ll all be very happy to help.


PASS SCAVENGER HUNT.

  This from Erika Angell (Y3, CM): Thank you everyone who attended the scavenger hunt last week. I hope you all had a good time, got to know some second years and your campus a little better! Congratulations to the winning team Köfte! Look out for future events for PASS!


PRIZEWINNERS.

  Every year the Department awards prizes to UG students who have excelled academically or made significant contributions to life in the Department. Last week our Head of Department Professor Robert Stevens awarded the prizes. Below, L to R: Alex Bowker-Lonnecker (Y2, CSwIE), winner of the Michael Jealous Memorial Prize for best first year student. Golden Anniversary Prizewinners, for excellence in first year studies: Nathan Mannall (Y2, CS4wIE), David Baxter (Y2, CS4wIE), Vlad-Mihai Ene (Y2, CS4), Chen Bo Calvin Zhang (Y2, CM), Simas Kuprelis (Y2, CS) and (not pictured) Kalina Stefanova (Y2, CS). Well done everyone!


INTERNATIONAL UG AWARDS SUCCESS.

  Congratulations to no less than FOUR of our recent UG students, all of whom graduated last summer, who have won prizes in the prestigious annual Global Undergraduate Awards! Andrej Ivanov (now at ETH Zurich) and Igor Wodiany (now doing a PhD with our APT group) received Highly Commended in the Computer Science category; Samanyou Garg won Regional Winner for Europe in the same category, making his entry the best Computer Science work amongst all submissions from Europe; and Aayush Chadha (now doing a PhD with the Graphene NOWNANO project) won Global Winner in the Engineering category for his 3rd year project BL!NK: Detecting, Analysing and Storing Eye Blinks, supervised by Professor Tom Thomson. Well done all for these outstanding achievements. I’m sure your success will enthuse others to submit their projects to the 2020 awards, which we’ll tell you about when they open.


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Hi from the PASS2 team! We were very thrilled to see the turnout for our first session of PASS2 (pictured below). We hope you found it beneficial. If you have any feedback for us on how we can improve our sessions going forward, please do visit our website and submit your suggestions. PASS2 continues this week, today Monday 7 Oct at 12:00 in Collab. We will be talking about CVs and LinkedIn and all the Dos and Don’ts in making killer job applications. We hope to see you there. Do bring your CV too, we will be happy to take a look.


MEET YOUR STUDENT REPS.

  Voting is over and your student reps are now elected, so congratulations to them all: Sana Aftab (Y2, CS4), Andrei Aleksanian (Y1, CS4), Gurneet Bhatia (Y1, AIwIE), Shu-Ting Chang (Y2, CSwIE), Yash Chopda (Y2, AI4wIE), Jacopo Matteo (Y3, AIwIE), Alex Dumitru (Y3, CM), Leo Elmecker-Plakolm (Y1, CS) (not pictured), Maria Praxedes (Y2, SEwIE), Vlad-George Ionescu (Y2, CS4wIE), Diana-Cristina Irimia (Y1, CM), Zain Jaffal (Y1, SE), Edoardo Lunati (Y3, CM), Cristina-Malina Mircescu (Y2, CSwIE), Kashish Raimalani (Y1, CMwIE) (not pictured), Sai Sambaraju (Y1, CSEwIE), Stuti Sethi (Y4, CS4), Alexandru-Mihai Suciu (Y1, CS4wIE), Nora Tuta (Y2, HCI4wIE), Brian Tam (Y2, BM). You can find their 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 6 Nov.


AMEX QUIZ.

  This from Simas Kuprelis (Y2, CS): Thanks to everyone who attended our pub quiz with American Express last week! We had a massive turnout of 28 teams! Congratulations to the winning team, who will be treated to a VIP experience in Brighton & London. They will also represent our university in the grand final next month. If you enjoyed the American Express culture, check out their student careers opportunities. To stay up to date with upcoming great UniCS events, like our Facebook page or subscribe to our events calendar.


HACKUPC.

  This from Gurneet Bhatia (Y1, AIwIE): Last weekend a few of us had the opportunity to attend HackUPC in Barcelona. I had Jang Belche (Y1, HCI) on my team and we worked on an Android mobile game that calculated your stress level by monitoring your heartbeat through a fitness tracker and decided on a difficulty level based on that. While we did not win the hackathon, we had a really good time working on it and learned a lot since we had never worked on hardware before. It was especially difficult since the fitness tracker didn't have its own API for transmitting the data and we had to write our own. Here is a Devpost link to our project.


GOOGLE TALK.

  Last week's Google talk was a great success, with our alumni Teo Stoleru (graduated last summer) and Todd Davies (graduated 2016). Thanks to them both for coming! You can see more pix here.


UKIEPC.

  On Saturday 19 Oct, the UK Ireland Programming Competition (UKIEPC) took place, in which teams of three attempted a series of thirteen fiendish programming challenges over a five hour period. Teams from universities across the British Isles competed at a number of sites, one of which was Manchester. Of the 17 Manchester teams, 3 did particularly well: "Byte Me" (Andrei Bostan (Y1, CS), Alex Iordachescu (Y1, CS), Dragos Marin (Y1, CS), 7 problems solved), "Make Manchester Great Again" (Mihail-Emanuel Ghinea (Y3, CSwIE), Vlad-Andrei Munteanu (Y3, CSwIE), Patrick Sava (Y3, CSwIE), 6 problems solved) and "Kibir Tele Vibir" (Pijus Bradulskis (Y2, CM), Daumantas Kojelis (Y2, CS), Simas Kuprelis (Y2, CS), 5 problems solved). And every one of the Manchester teams solved at least one problem! See the  final standings. For those interested in these competitive programming competitions (which are great fun), there are regular practice sessions in the Collabs on Wednesday afternoons. Contact Ian Pratt-Hartmann for details. All welcome!


UNICS NEWS.

  This from Horia Gabriel Radu (Y1, CS4wIE): Hello, everyone! We hope you had fun and learnt a lot at the HackBack2 CTF event last Saturday. Huge congratulations to team WorkWithJam for the hard work they put in, and of course, to team M4nch3st3r for being the team with the most points in Manchester. Also don't forget about the Bloomberg Pub Quiz, this Thursday 7 Nov 19:30 at Turing Tap (M13 9WG). Sign up with your team (max 6 members) and enjoy the free drinks and snacks alongside the quiz!


HACK THE MIDLANDS WIN!

  Congratulations to Mohammed Anees (Y2, CSE), Ali Awan (Y1, CS), Zain Jaffal (Y1, SE) and Roger Howell (Aston University) on winning the Capital One Challenge for best financial hack at Hack The Midlands last week in Birmingham. They created a web application called Budget-Time to calculate how much time you're spending on various activities during the week as well as suggesting any improvements you can make to your routine to improve your well-being or achieve any goals you've set for yourself.


GLOBAL AWARDS SUCCESS!

  Huge congratulations to four former Computer Science undergraduates who last week all won at the prestigious Global Undergraduate Summit in Dublin! Aayush Chadha (now PhD at UoM) was a Global Winner, Samanyou Garg (graduated 2018) was a Regional Winner, and Andrej Ivanov (now MSc at ETH Zurich) and Igor Wodiany (now PhD at UoM) were Highly Commended. This follows last year’s success when another of our UGs, Cristian Bodnar (now PhD at Cambridge), was a Global Winner. The Global Undergraduate Awards (aka the Junior Nobel Prizes) is the world's leading undergraduate awards programme which recognises top undergraduate work and shares this work with a global audience. Why not consider submitting your work next year? We’ll provide more details once submissions are open. If you have any questions feel free to contact Igor.


1ST YEAR PROJECTS.

  40 projects! 277 students! The First Year Project poster session in University Place last Tuesday was buzzing, with fantastic ideas on display – see all the posters in the Y1 Project Poster Gallery (and Instagram). Onto the prizes! Z8 (Matei-Alexandru Costin, Siyam Muhammad, Arun Ramasamy, Andrew Rusli, Sheikh Sabri, Bence Webber-Nagy, Renhua Zhou) won Application with Best Idea (tutor Mustafa Mustafa) with Inkker, a tool for collective writing; Y10 (Noah Bennett, Rashed Alshamsi, Olanrewaju Borishade, Claudiu Jechel, Mohsin Khan, George Tarleton) won Visually Most Appealing Poster (tutor Christoforos Moutafis) with Rogue Star, an arcade game; and M4 (Wiktor Duch, Maksymilian Gotkowicz, Matthew Horrocks, Wenda Lu, Hristo Mihaylov, Adan Raheel, Omar Taha) won Best Thought Through Application (tutor Konstantin Korovin) with Hyperboli.co, a collaboration tool for working on Math.


GSK HACKATHON WIN.

  Congratulations to Ibrahim Sowunmi (HCIwIE, out on IE) who together with Artem Butbaev (University of Bath) won first place in a GlaxoSmithKline Hackathon! Competing teams were given a large set of unstructured commercial data to work with, and tasked to come up with an innovative solution for how to increase business value using this data by driving new product development and package design. Ibraham and Artem came up with an idea for a bespoke machine learning scoring model which categorises reviews, complaints and other unstructured data into "buckets" in line with a lexicon of flagged terms, such as "smell" and "packaging", along with a sentiment score for each response ranging from very negative to very positive. Well done to them both!


AWARD WINS.

  Congratulations to Pranav Aggarwal (Y1, CS), Manya Girdhar (Y1, AIwIE) and Kashish Raimalani (Y1, CMwIE) who in December received Indian Excellence Scholarship Awards. And congratulations to Ziyang Yu (Y1, CS4) who received the International Excellence Award. Well done all!


FOXDOG STUDIOS.

  First years, we have an exciting guest lecture for COMP10120 today Monday 3 Feb at 12:00 in 1.1. We welcome back our alumni Lloyd Henning and Peter Sutton, aka Foxdog Studios. They combine comedy, computer programming and rock music to produce an innovative, interactive show. They’ve played at festivals all around the UK, including the Edinburgh Fringe and have won numerous awards. Sit back and enjoy the show, but be prepared to get involved! Bring your phones!


HACK WIN.

  Congratulations to Mohammed Anees (Y2, CSE), Ali Awan (Y1, CS) and Manav Gupta (Y1, CS) on winning Best Automation Hack last week at ManMetHacks 2.0 with their app UiPath. They created a machine learning web data scraper which was used to develop an automated search tool for searching through a range of top eCommerce websites, and producing the best collective results from every website based on user input using UI Path Studio. Well done!


MALAWI TEAM WIN.

  And congratulations to Ben Possible and the Malawi team for winning Highly Commended in the University's Better World Showcase Awards last week!


WINS!

  Congratulations to Ioana Lazar (Y2, AI) and Alex Dumitru (Y3, CM) who as part of the Avenger Initiative team won 1st place within Manchester in the Google Hash Code competition, ranking #4 in the UK and #141 worldwide. They found a maximal solution to an NP-hard problem. Additionally, Călin Ilie (Y3, CSwIE) and Alex also won 2nd place at the Bet365 coding challenge held last week in Collab. They used WebSockets to communicate with a server and solve an increasingly harder sequence of problems, culminating in playing Tetris through the command line. Well done all!


HACKATHON SUCCESS 1.

  Last weekend was HackTheBurgh in Edinburgh. Two teams attended from the Department: Gurneet Bhatia (Y1, AIwIE), Greta Urkyte (Y1, CSwIE) and Angela Popovska (Y1, CSwIE), and Jang Belche (Y1, HCI), Finlay Hudson (Y1, HCI) and Matei Stan (Y1, HCI4wIE). The first team built a platform (using Big Query and Sentiment Analysis) that compared a user’s code against all the code on StackOverflow produced using the same language, and reported to the user how good or bad their code was, along with if they’d used any unacceptable coding practices. The team were one of the five finalists and ended up winning the award for ‘Best use of the Google Cloud Platform’. The second team produced a chatbot over Facebook Messenger that connected the user to banking services. The team was also successful, winning the Barclays Challenge. Congratulations to all involved!


HACKATHON SUCCESS 2.

  Also at HackTheBurgh, congratulations to Oliver Ursell (Y1, CSwIE) and George Tarleton (Y1, CSwIE) along with teammates Euan Macqueen (Glasgow University, graduated 2019) and Mehdi Varandi (Y3 placement, Newcastle University) on reaching the final with their app EatDrinkSee, a webapp designed using the Google Maps API to recommend and display a route for a day out in a city. Well done!


1ST YEAR PROJECT SHOWCASE.

  Last Monday, the 1st Year Project Showcase was held online via Blackboard Collaborate. The turnout was great, and we were very impressed by all the applications showcased. Staff found it great to visit breakout groups and see the different applications groups developed. Well done to all 1st year students, and congratulations to the winners, which were voted for by you! The winners of the Best Application prizes were … drum roll please … M4 for Hyperboli.co, X7 for munch, X4 for Speak Easy and Y7 for FlickFinder. Well done to all the winners and thank you for making the event so successful.


Exams Week 3 • Monday 25 May 2020 • #19.31          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 25 May and Week 3 of the examination period, which finishes next week. This will be the last Monday Mail of this academic year, and next week we will have a review of what’s happened over the year. If you are graduating this year, then I wish you the very best in your new careers and for the future, please do keep in touch. If you are going on placement, then enjoy the experience, we look forward to seeing you again in 2021/22. If you are returning in September, then enjoy the summer break and make sure you take some time to relax – hopefully things will start to improve – I very much look forward to seeing you again in September. Please continue to keep safe. 
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


COVID-19.

  Please keep an eye on any developments through the University guidance and FAQ, but if you do have any immediate concerns please contact SSO. To help answer your questions, we have compiled a FAQ about Department arrangements which we hope you will find useful - this has recently been updated. The University has also produced some guidance on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you think you may have the virus, call the 111 NHS helpline, do not go to a GP/hospital/pharmacy. Please email SSO to let us know. Meanwhile we hope you all continue to stay safe and well.


STUDENT SUPPORT OFFICE.

  The members of SSO are still working hard to support you, albeit remotely and from home (as you can see in the photo of them having a team meeting by Zoom). Please contact them if you have any queries or questions.


THE UG TEAM.

  And the UG academic team are all still here too, and we wish you well for the Summer!


EXAMINATIONS.

  The formative exams continue to be released this week and next. Please make sure you have a go so that you can receive feedback on your answers. Remember, if you are taking external course units, then some of these will be running alternative summative examinations, which you must complete. See the COVID-19 FAQ for further information, including the exam timetables.


UNICS NEWS.

  This from Horia Gabriel Radu (Y1, CS4wIE): Hello, I'm glad to present to you the next year UniCS committee that was chosen following the recent elections. We wish you luck with your exams, formative or non-formative as they may be, and stay safe!


COURSEWORK DEADLINE.

  If you have submitted mitigating circumstances to cover the late submission of any coursework work then you must submit any outstanding coursework by the deadline of 18:00 Friday 5 June. No work will be accepted after this date. Any coursework submitted after the published coursework deadlines, for which no mitigating circumstances form has been received and accepted, will be treated as late and the usual University late penalties will be applied. The deadline for submitting a mitigating circumstances form has now passed.


HAPPINESS.

  The charity Action For Happiness have released a free online coaching program for these challenging times.


LIBRARY SERVICES.

  All University of Manchester Library sites, including The John Rylands Library, are closed until further notice. In the meantime you can access: extensive e-resources, including ebooks and ejournals (see Library Search); Browser extensions for easy access to our online resources; online study support resources, My Learning Essentials, Specialist Library Support and My Research Essentials; Help and support online via Library Help. Further information regarding our resources, services and support plus FAQ’s on the status of our current provision can be found via the Library website.


Exams Week 2 • Monday 18 May 2020 • #19.30          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 18 May and we are into the second week of the Semester 2 examination period. Formative examinations continue to be released for course units according to the published examinations timetable, so please make every effort to complete these. It’s great to hear from one of our alumni, Tom Macpherson-Pope, (who just happens to be a past project student of mine) doing his bit to help in the fight against COVID-19 by 3D printing visors for the NHS - great work Tom! On with the rest of today’s news … make sure you continue to stay safe and well!
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


COVID-19.

  Please keep an eye on any developments through the University guidance and FAQ, but if you do have any immediate concerns please contact SSO. To help answer your questions, we have compiled a FAQ about Department arrangements which we hope you will find useful - this has recently been updated. The University has also produced some guidance on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you think you may have the virus, call the 111 NHS helpline, do not go to a GP/hospital/pharmacy. Please email SSO to let us know. Meanwhile we hope you all continue to stay safe and well.


MARKS & PROGRESSION INFORMATION.

  We have updated the COVID-19 FAQ to explain how the end of year marks will be calculated for 1st and 2nd year students, and how progression will be determined for 2nd year students. 


EXAMINATIONS.

  As the summer examinations are not running then we are providing alternative formative exams for all COMP units. These will be released on what would have been the date of the exam for each course unit, and will be available for 7 days. Please make sure you have a go at your formative exam papers so that you can receive feedback on your answers. Remember, if you are taking external course units, then some of these will be running alternative summative examinations, which you must complete. See the COVID-19 FAQ for further information, including the exam timetables.


CS ALUMNUS NEWS.

  Tom Macpherson-Pope, an alumnus of the Department (BSc in Computer Science, 2013), has been 3D printing visors for the NHS staff working on the frontline of the COVID-19 battle as part of a collaborative group of makers across Europe. Tom is now the lab manager at the Making Rooms, a creative and technical hub in Blackburn, as well as running a small electronics development company, The Invent Hive, with a fellow UoM graduate James Fletcher. Tom’s final year project involved the design of an interactive LED games table, so it’s great to see he has continued to explore his creativity in his working life. Read more about what Tom has been up to in the Department of Computer Science blog.


COUNSELLING & MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES.

  The Counselling and Mental Health Service are delivering a series of workshops now and over the Summer. These have been tailored in response to the particular challenges COVID-19 poses in looking after and supporting mental health and wellbeing. Sessions will include live Zoom versions of the familiar Mindfulness, Calm Your Brain, Managing Anxiety and Busting Low Mood workshops alongside a new online programme to tackle ‘Unhelpful Thinking Habits’ which is accessible 24/7.


WELLBEING RESOURCES.

  Sleep is one of the most important things in order for us to be healthy and support our overall wellbeing. Our quality of sleep affects many things including the way we feel, our appetite and how quickly we can recover for injuries and illnesses. Getting enough sleep also boosts our ability to remember and recall information, which is crucial whilst you’re studying! Take a look at these resources to support you in getting the best sleep possible.


COURSE UNIT SURVEYS.

  Semester 2 course units surveys are now live and will close at the end of today Monday 18 May. The survey has been changed from Semester 1 so you can provide feedback on the changes introduced by remote working and the impact on your teaching and learning. See more information.


MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES DEADLINES.

  If you want to let us know of any mitigating circumstances for Semester 2, then the deadline to report these is 18:00 tomorrow Tuesday 19 May. If you would like to discuss any issues, or would advice as to whether they would count as mitigating circumstances then please talk to the relevant Year Tutor (Y1: Gareth Henshall; Y2: Duncan Hull; Y3/Y4: Tim Morris; CM: Andrea Schalk. If your issue has resulted in you submitting work late, then you will need to submit a late flag removal form, as described in the above link.


TECHNOLOGY SURVEY.

  We would like to build a picture of the general level of computer equipment and internet connectivity available to students working from home, as well as identify any issues they have encountered engaging with online teaching since we moved online in March 2020. To do so, we would be grateful if you could complete this survey. The survey should only take a few minutes to complete. 


VOLUNTEERING.

  This from Ben Possible (Volunteering, Outreach and Engagement Assistant): The deadline for getting your volunteering hours recorded on Volunteer Hub is 31 May 2020! If you have done any volunteering in the wider community please get it added to the system, especially if you are a final year student graduating this year as it counts towards the Stellify Award. If you found the volunteering yourself use the “Additional Hours” function and add the hours onto your account yourself and we will verify it with them. If you have any questions about volunteering, whether your activity counts towards Stellify or questions about changes to Stellify this year please get in touch.


SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE.

  United Kingdom Naval Engineering Science & Technology (UKNEST) is offering 12 Undergraduate Scholarships to students studying at UK universities & colleges.  The Scholarship is open to students registered on any STEM subject degree and is for one year. Further information on the opportunity and competition is available. The closing date for applications is 20 Sept 2020.


STUDENT-STAFF COMMITTEE NOMINATIONS.

  Do you want to be a student representative next year? The Students’ Union is changing the way that Student Reps are elected, this is so that representatives for all years (except Year 1) can be in place for the start of term in September. If you'd like to be a Rep next academic year then please complete this form, which we remain open over the summer break. We will be looking at appointing 10 Reps in each year group (1 rep for Year 4 MEng). You can find out more about the role of student rep here.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 14:00 every Friday.

[End of The Monday Mail - Exams Week 2 - Semester 2 AY19 - #19.30


Exams Week 1 • Monday 11 May 2020 • #19.29          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 11 May and the first week of the Semester 2 examination period. Don’t forget we are running alternative assessments to replace the summer examinations. Please complete these as they will benefit your learning and will help you identify any gaps in your understanding of the material you’ve been taught. Overall, I felt the move to online teaching went well, I hope you feel the same. I’d be really interested to hear what you think, so please send me an email telling me how it has gone for you, where the move has been successful and where it could have been better. On with the rest of today’s news … please continue to keep safe.

Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


COVID-19.

  Please keep an eye on any developments through the University guidance and FAQ, but if you do have any immediate concerns please contact SSO. To help answer your questions, we have compiled a FAQ about Department arrangements which we hope you will find useful - this has recently been updated. The University has also produced some guidance on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you think you may have the virus, call the 111 NHS helpline, do not go to a GP/hospital/pharmacy. Please email SSO to let us know. Meanwhile we hope you all continue to stay safe and well.


MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES DEADLINES.

  If you want to let us know of any mitigating circumstances for Semester 2, then the deadline to report these is 18:00 Tuesday 19 May 2020. If you would like to discuss any issues, or would advice as to whether they would count as mitigating circumstances then please talk to the relevant Year Tutor (Y1: Gareth Henshall; Y2: Duncan Hull; Y3/Y4: Tim Morris; CM: Andrea Schalk). If your issue has resulted in you submitting work late, then you will need to submit a late flag removal form, as described in the above link.


STUDENT-STAFF COMMITTEE NOMINATIONS.

  Do you want to be a student representative next year? The Students’ Union is changing the way that Student Reps are elected, this is so that representatives for all years (except Year 1) can be in place for the start of term in September. If you'd like to be a Rep next academic year then please complete this form, which we remain open over the summer break. We will be looking at appointing 10 Reps in each year group (1 rep for Year 4 MEng). You can find out more about the role of student rep here.


EXAMINATIONS.

  As the summer examinations are not running then we are providing alternative formative exams for all COMP units. These will be released on what would have been the date of the exam for each course unit, and will be available for 7 days. Please make sure you have a go at your formative exam papers so that you can receive feedback on your answers. Remember, if you are taking external course units, then some of these will be running alternative summative examinations, which you must complete. See the COVID-19 FAQ for further information, including the exam timetables.


WELLBEING RESOURCES.

  Motivation, focus and stress is something many of us can struggle with and these can be exacerbated greatly during difficult times. The student support website has a wealth of resources and helpful tips to help you look after yourselves which range from helping you find a routine and structure in your day to adapting to change and a “new normal”.


VIRTUAL ENTERPRISE SCHOOL.

  Are you curious about enterprise and entrepreneurship but never really had the chance to get involved? Would you like to grow your understanding of Social Enterprise? Register your interest now to participate in this year’s Masood Enterprise Centre's Virtual Enterprise School taking place in July 2020. This unique opportunity is open for current students at The University of Manchester who have little to no experience with enterprise and entrepreneurship, but have an interest and desire to learn more and develop a set of skills that can be applied in many situations. There will be a strong focus on social enterprise, enabling you to work on real-life problems facing the community in Manchester. See here for more info. Any questions, please do get in touch.


STELLIFY AWARD.

  The Stellify Award requirements have been changed for students due to graduate in 2020 in light of the current circumstances. If you were working towards an award or want to see how the changes impact you, see the information on the website here. If you’re not graduating this year you can find out more about how to achieve the Stellify Award on their website.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 14:00 every Friday.


Week 12 (B) • Monday 4 May 2020 • #19.28          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning! It’s Monday 4 May and it’s Week 12 (a B week). We are in the final week of teaching and the time has just flown by, particularly the last 7 weeks of working remotely. It’s important that you get any coursework submitted and marked (where required) before the end of the week. The Semester 2 exams were due to start next week, however these will no longer be taking place, and details of alternative assessments are given below. Please continue to stay safe. On with today’s news ...

Paul

Director of Undergraduate Studies


COVID-19.

  Please keep an eye on any developments through the University guidance and FAQ, but if you do have any immediate concerns please contact SSO. To help answer your questions, we have compiled a FAQ about Department arrangements which we hope you will find useful - this has recently been updated. The University has also produced some guidance on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you think you may have the virus, call the 111 NHS helpline, do not go to a GP/hospital/pharmacy. Please email SSO to let us know. Meanwhile we hope you all continue to stay safe and well.


1ST YEAR PROJECT SHOWCASE.

  Last Monday, the 1st Year Project Showcase was held online via Blackboard Collaborate. The turnout was great, and we were very impressed by all the applications showcased. Staff found it great to visit breakout groups and see the different applications groups developed. Well done to all 1st year students, and congratulations to the winners, which were voted for by you! The winners of the Best Application prizes were … drum roll please … M4 for Hyperboli.co, X7 for munch, X4 for Speak Easy and Y7 for FlickFinder. Well done to all the winners and thank you for making the event so successful.


EXAMINATIONS.

  As you are aware summative examinations for Semester 2 and year long course units will not be taking place. These will be replaced by formative assessments which will provide you with an opportunity to test your knowledge, but will not be used for providing grades. For some external course units alternative summative assessments will be made available which will count towards course unit grades. These will come under the University “no-disadvantage” policy. See the Department COVID-9 FAQ for further details.


PLACEMENTS.

  Are you going on placement? There will be a presentation this Weds 6 May at 14:00: So, you're going on Placement? Covering essentials for the next year. This will be on Zoom at zoom.us/j/91313491092 (meeting id 913-1349-1092) and you will be emailed the password. Please come along, if you can't make it, let Duncan Hull know and he will make a recording available to you.


MOTIVATION.

  The University’s Wellbeing team has put together a short video for students who are struggling with motivation. They have also produced some tips to aid motivation. 


CONTACTING SSO.

  Staff in the Student Support Office are now working remotely. You can contact them by email and a member of the team will aim to respond to you within 2 working days. Unfortunately they won’t be able to respond to phone calls as they are away from the office, but can offer skype/zoom meetings/phone calls as required. SSO can offer advice on the changes to assessment and progression due to COVID-19, referral to support services, advice on Mitigating Circumstances amongst other things. SSO can still produce electronic letters and transcripts if you require these.


MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES DEADLINES.

  If you want to let us know of any mitigating circumstances for Semester 2, then the deadline to report these is 18:00 Tuesday 19 May 2020. If you would like to discuss any issues, or would advice as to whether they would count as mitigating circumstances then please talk to the relevant Year Tutor (Y1: Gareth Henshall; Y2: Duncan Hull; Y3/Y4: Tim Morris; CM: Andrea Schalk). If your issue has resulted in you submitting work late, then you will need to submit a late flag removal form, as described in the above link.


VIRTUAL GUEST LECTURE.

   Joseph Allen (BSc Computer Science and Maths in 2017) has recorded a guest lecture for COMP101. Called Mastery Is For You, it's a sad story with a happy ending which describes Joseph's journey from placement student to data scientist. He's happy for students to contact him directly.


STUDENT-STAFF COMMITTEE NOMINATIONS.

  Do you want to be a student representative next year? The Students Union is changing the way that Student Reps are elected, this is so that representatives for all years (except Year 1) can be in place for the start of term in September. If you'd like to be a Rep next academic year then please complete this form. We will be looking at appointing 10 Reps in each year group (1 rep for Year 4 MEng). If we have enough volunteers then they will automatically be appointed Reps once the Student Union training has been completed. If there are too many applicants then an election will be held as in previous years.


LANGUAGE LEARNING.

  Is learning programming languages like learning natural languages? This is what we’ll be discussing at ACM Journal Club today (Monday 4 May at 11:00 on zoom). A journal club is like a book club, but instead of discussing books, we discuss papers. This month we’re discussing a paper recently published which (controversially) claims to provide evidence that the importance of numeracy may be overestimated in modern programming education environments. All welcome, signup here for password details.


COURSE UNIT SURVEYS.

  Semester 2 course units surveys are now live and will close on Monday 18 May. The survey has been changed from Semester 1 so you can provide feedback on the changes introduced by remote working and the impact on your teaching and learning. See more information.


UNICS.

  This from Horia Gabriel Radu (Y1, CS4wIE): Hello! We would like to tell you that the nominations for the UniCS committee positions will start today, and go on until Sunday 10th. You can apply here. Don't forget that you can nominate yourself for multiple positions, them being the following: 2 x Co-chairs, 2 x GameDev officers, and 1 officer for all the other departments: Dev, Graphics, MayBall, Events, PR, Secretary, Treasurer and Procurement. This application forms need to include a short summary (maximum 500 words) about you and why you want to apply for the specific role, with the option to additionally film yourself for 1 minute talking about your motives and visions. And, starting Monday 11 May, remember that the voting starts for the elections. Good luck and stay safe.


VIRTUAL HACKATHON.

  NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) have launched a Virtual Hackathon to Develop COVID-19 Solutions. Coders, entrepreneurs, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, artists, and technologists are invited to participate in a virtual hackathon May 30-31 dedicated to putting open data to work in developing solutions to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the global Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge, participants from around the world will create virtual teams that – during a 48-hour period – will use Earth observation data to propose solutions to COVID-19-related challenges ranging from studying the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and its spread to the impact the disease is having on the Earth system. Registration for this challenge opens in mid-May.


THIS WEEK’S FEATURED PHD.

  A full-time PhD research studentship is available as part of the EPSRC Industrial CASE Award funded project “Tuning Bayesian Optimization for Problems with Dynamic Resource Constraints”, linked with IBM and based in AMBS. EPSRC Industrial CASE Awards are flagship collaboration projects between industry and academia, aiming to create the research scientists of tomorrow and deliver real value to all stakeholders. More information and a link to the application form can be found here. Applications close on 15 May 2020.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 14:00 every Friday.


Week 11 (A) • Monday 27 April 2020 • #19.27          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning! It’s Monday 27 April and it’s Week 11 (an A week). We are now in the penultimate week of the term, which seems to have flown by, even in lockdown! Well done to all first years for some excellent project presentations last week, hosting them online was a great success! Don’t forget to attend the online showcase today Monday at 12:00-14:00. As we are nearing the end of the term it is important that you complete any outstanding coursework. Check the deadlines for your courses, and get any outstanding marking done ASAP. All graduating students will have received an email from Sean Bechhofer explaining how your degree classification will be determined, further information can be found in the Department’s COVID-19 FAQ. On with today’s news ...
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


COVID-19.

  Please keep an eye on any developments through the University guidance and FAQ, but if you do have any immediate concerns please contact SSO. To help answer your questions, we have compiled a FAQ about Department arrangements which we hope you will find useful - this has recently been updated. The University has also produced some guidance on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you think you may have the virus, call the 111 NHS helpline, do not go to a GP/hospital/pharmacy. Please email SSO to let us know. Meanwhile we hope you all continue to stay safe and well.


FIRST YEAR PROJECTS.

  Last week we held the first project presentations online through Blackboard Collaborate. This was a great success, with some excellent presentations. A big thank you to the COMP10120 team for doing such a good job of organising the event online. Today Monday 12:00-14:00 is the project showcase, which again will run online through Blackboard Collaborate. Please show your support by popping in and having a look at the excellent projects the first years have produced this year. There are two sessions running: Teams M1 - X10 and Teams Y1 - Z10


WELLBEING TIPS.

  During these strange times it is vital that you look after your wellbeing whilst isolating at home. The University Student Support Services team have produced a short video with 6 wellbeing tips to look after yourself.


MONITORING ENGAGEMENT.

  The University has been looking at ways it can support you following the transition to online teaching and encourage your continued engagement with teaching activities. Prior to moving online engagement was monitored via attendance at scheduled teaching activities and through monitoring the submission of work. We will also monitor engagement by checking how often you engage with Blackboard. If we find that you’ve not been using Blackboard recently, then we may get in touch to check that everything is fine and offer any support. If you are experiencing problems with IT access, which is preventing you from engaging with online teaching and learning activities then there is a support email contact.


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT - LIBRARY SERVICES.

  All University library sites are still closed. However, the Library is working hard to support you online and to ensure our key services and support are still available, such as the Library Search facilities, and study support resources: My Learning Essentials, Specialist Library Support and My Research Essentials offer. Help and support online via Library Help (including a Library Chat facility) or visit the Library website.

*CRACKCHESTER. This from Mark Paveszka (Y3, SE4wIE): Hello Hackers. We at Crackchester will be holding our elections online this year and are very excited for you to apply. The positions opened are President, General Secretary. Treasurer, Dev officer and Events Officer. If you are interested engaging in Cyber Security don't hesitate to apply here. If you have any questions regarding what each position involves then please contact me


UNICS NEWS.

  Horia Gabriel Radu (Y1, CS4wIE) writes: Hello! We hope everything is going alright with the online transition of the studies and that you are all safe and well. We want to announce that the UniCS committee elections will take place between 27 April and 3 May. The available committee positions are the following ones: 2 x Co-chairs, 2  x GameDev officers, and 1 officer for all the other departments: Dev, Graphics, MayBall, Events, PR, Secretary, Treasurer and Procurement. Any Computer Science student can apply and vote for any position. We have details and updates on each position on Facebook page, Facebook group & stories, Instagram page & stories and Twitter. Also, we are doing our best regarding May Ball refunds, they have been going on from Tuesday and if you haven't gotten yours, please reach out to us and we will get it sorted. Have a nice week and stay safe!


THIS WEEK’S FEATURED PHD.

  There is a growing interest in the use of technology to extend the capabilities of the human mind. Understanding the success of developed technologies at meeting their goal is a core part of the design process but there are currently no commonly used evaluation measures for human augmentation systems. This project would explore means of evaluating current and future cognitive technologies, with a particular focus on developing techniques and tools that scale to large volumes of users in real-world settings. More information is available on the Department webpages. If you are interested in then please contact Dr Sarah Clinch.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 14:00 every Friday.


Week 10 (B) • Monday 20 April 2020 • #19.26          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Hello! It’s Monday 20 April and it’s Week 10 (a B week). I hope you managed to find some time to take a break and relax over the Easter vacation. We are in the final stretch of the semester, with only three weeks to go until teaching is completed, so please make sure you complete and submit any outstanding assessments by the published deadlines. Don’t forget that help and support is available if you need it. Good luck to the first years who will be presenting their projects this week, online via Blackboard Collaborate, I hope everything goes well. Please keep safe! On with the rest of today’s news…
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


CORONAVIRUS.

  Please keep an eye on any developments through the University guidance and FAQ, but if you do have any immediate concerns please contact SSO. The University has also produced some guidance on how to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. If you think you may have the virus, call the 111 NHS helpline, do not go to a GP/hospital/pharmacy. Please email SSO to let us know. Meanwhile we hope you all continue to stay safe and well.


FIRST YEAR PROJECTS.

  The first year project presentations will take place this week, albeit remotely via Blackboard collaborate, see the schedule for the presentations. A reminder email will be sent out one working day before your presentation. In Week 11, we will be holding the project showcase, again online via Blackboard.


UNICS NEWS.

  Nora Tuta (Y2, HCIwIE) writes: Hello, everyone! Hope you are all safe and you enjoyed the Spring break! Usually UniCS committee elections were taking place in Collab, but this time we will use a platform provided by the Students' Union (we are still waiting for more details from them regarding the application process). The available committee positions are the following ones: 2 x Co-chairs, 2  x GameDev officers, and 1 officer for all the other departments: Dev, Graphics, MayBall, Events, PR, Secretary, Treasurer and Procurement. Any Computer Science student can apply and vote for any position. Nominations and voting for 2020/21 committee will take place between 27 April and 3 May. Keep an eye on our social media (Facebook page, Facebook group & stories, Instagram page & stories and Twitter) where everyday we are posting short descriptions of the roles. Regarding May Ball refunding, we are still working on it, but it is a slow process. If we have any news, we will post them on the facebook event.


STUDENTHACK UPDATE.

  This from Diana Irimia (Y1, CM): Hi everyone! Quick reminder that we've moved the event online, so we will still have tons of fun coding and socialising. Of course, we've got you covered for the merch - the first 300 to submit a hack will receive a GOODY BAG with T-Shirt and stickers! Prizes for winners of challenges are on us, so join now by signing up here! We are looking for final year students, PhD students and industry professionals to guide participants on their journey to hacking. We’ll make sure we still have fun and learn a lot, even remotely. Keep yourself updated by following us on Facebook (StudentHack), Instagram (@unics_uom) and Twitter (@studenthack). Stay safe!


COUNSELLING SERVICE.

  The Counselling & Mental Health service is now operating remotely. If you’d like to contact a counsellor, please email the Counselling Service and give your ID number. They will then be in touch by email or phone. Requests for support will be prioritised according to need and severity. To aid them with this, please complete the online questionnaire prior to emailing in. If you have an existing appointment booked with the counselling service, your counsellor will contact you to discuss your needs.For immediate help, check their webpage on Help in a crisis, try the Big White Wall or text SHOUT to 85258.


PAST EXAM PAPERS.

  Past exam papers, along with feedback provided by markers on each exam, can be found on the Department intranet. Use this as a resource to test your understanding of the material covered in lieu of the summer exams.


THIS WEEK’S FEATURED PHD.

  A PhD studentship is available for a project on Human-Robot Collaboration for Flexible Manufacturing under the supervision of Prof Angelo Cangelosi. This is an iCase industrial PhD in collaboration with BAE Systems. The PhD will be based in Angelo's Cognitive Robotics Lab, and will focus on the use of novel machine learning methods to train a robot to understand people's collaborative intentions and actions in joint manipulation tasks. More details and an application link can be found on the Department intranet.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 14:00 every Friday.


Easter Vacation • Monday 30 March 2020 • #19.25          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning! It’s Monday 30 March and we are officially in the Easter break. I hope you are all taking care and keeping safe and well while you self-isolate. The next Monday Mail will be when term starts again on Monday 20 April (Week 10). Keep safe.

Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


CORONAVIRUS.

  Please keep an eye on any developments through the University guidance and FAQ, but if you do have any immediate concerns please contact SSO. Keep an eye on the Department FAQ, which we will continue to update as and when there are developments. The University has also produced some guidance on how to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. If you think you may have the virus, call the 111 NHS helpline, do not go to a GP/hospital/pharmacy. Please email SSO to let us know. Meanwhile we hope you all continue to stay safe and well.


REMOTE WORKING.

  Are you having any IT issues working remotely? To help us understand common problems and work to resolve them, please complete this short survey if you are experiencing any IT issues due to working away from the campus.


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE)  writes: Hi! Hope you are doing well, staying inside and self-isolating. We won’t be running sessions in person due to the situation with the virus and the lockdown. But we have set up a discord server where you can ask us any questions or raise any concerns. Feel free to drop by and ask us questions or if you just want a chat.


MATLAB.

  The University has obtained a licence that allows students to install the full suite of MATLAB products on their own machine, which is valid until the end of June. To install, go to the download portal and create an account on using your @student.manchester.ac.uk email address, but please do not use your University Central Services password. The software is subject to export restrictions, so please ensure you read the Online Services Agreement and End User Licence Agreement and comply with these restrictions. Additional information is available here.


STUDENT SUPPORT OFFICE.

  The members of SSO are still working hard to support you, albeit remotely and from home (as you can see in the photo of them having a team meeting by Zoom). Please contact them if you have any queries or questions.


WELLBEING CALENDAR.

  The University's Wellbeing office has produced this calendar which you might find useful during these difficult and uncertain times.


BIG WHITE WALL.

  Big White Wall is a 24/7 anonymous online mental health and wellbeing resource for students, staff and researchers. You can access the service by going to www.bigwhitewall.com and signing up with your UoM email address. Whether you’re struggling to sleep, feeling low or finding it hard to cope, or just want to the chance to think more deeply about your wellbeing, Big White Wall can help you to explore your feelings and think things through. You will have access to a 24/7 online community, monitored by trained clinicians. Big White Wall is a safe space online to get things off your chest, have conversations, get creative and learn how to manage your mental health and wellbeing. Big White Wall is totally anonymous and confidential, so no one will know you’re using it unless you tell them! Most users report feeling better and more able to cope as a result of using the service and because it’s available 24/7, nearly 90% use Big White Wall outside of 9-5pm. Find out more here


THIS WEEK’S FEATURED PHD.

  In a connected world, (hardware) security is of paramount importance. Due to their good performance-per-Watt ratios, FPGAs are now offered by all major cloud service providers (e.g., through Amazon AWS F1 instances). In this project, we will investigate FPGA security by developing different attack scenarios for FPGAs that may compromise availability or that may leak information in FPGA-based systems. In addition to the attacks, we will develop corresponding countermeasures. Possible attacks include hardware Trojans, power analysis attacks and power hammering attacks (where an attacker creates an unusual huge dynamic power consumption). If you are interested then please contact Dirk Koch.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 14:00 every Friday.


Week 9 (A) • Monday 23 March 2020 • #19.24          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Hello! It’s Monday 23 March, it’s Week 9 and it’s an A Week. We are living in surreal, unprecedented times, and something that we will have to get used to, over the next few months being forced to work remotely from the University. I know you are anxious and concerned about your studies, we (all the staff) share your concerns and I can only reassure you that we are all working as hard as we can to update teaching material so that it can be delivered online. Please bear with us. Please keep an eye on our FAQ. Please keep safe and keep in touch with each other. 
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


CORONAVIRUS.

  Please keep an eye on any developments through the University guidance and FAQ, but if you do have any immediate concerns please contact SSO. Keep an eye on the Department FAQ, which we will continue to update as and when there are developments. The University has also produced some guidance on how to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. If you think you may have the virus, call the 111 NHS helpline, do not go to a GP/hospital/pharmacy. Please email SSO to let us know. Meanwhile we hope you all continue to stay safe and well.


UNICS NEWS.

  This from Horia Radu (Y1, CS4wIE): Hello! We are sorry to announce that, with the current Coronavirus outbreak, we have decided to cancel the Staff vs Student Quiz and the May Ball. Regarding the May Ball, we are working on refunding the tickets. Also, we want to thank you all for being with us in the year 2019-2020, and the elections for the new committee members will take place online. It has been a wonderful year for our team full of events, quizzes, challenges and especially Pub Crawls. Again, we are very sorry about those last events that had to be cancelled but thank you, because it is you all who made all of this possible. So, let’s all make sure we get through these final weeks safely, with good marks in the exams, and we promise we will come back strong next year!


STUDENT SUPPORT OFFICE.

  Staff in the Student Support Office are now working remotely away from the main office. You can contact them on email and a member of the team will aim to respond to you within 2 working days. Unfortunately they won’t be able to respond to phone calls as they are away from the office, but can offer Skype meetings/phone calls as required.


UNIVERSITY SUPPORT.

  University support is still available for students who need it. See the Department FAQ for full contact details and links to resources.


STUDENTHACK GOES ONLINE.

  This from Diana Irimia (Y1, CM): Hi everyone! We have important news. Due to the current situation we have decided to move StudentHackVIII ONLINE to have a safe weekend of coding. Join us for the event! Applications are still open as normal, so if you haven’t registered yet, do it HERE. We’ll make sure we still have fun and learn a lot, even remotely. Keep yourself updated by following us on Facebook (StudentHack), Instagram (@unics_uom) and Twitter (@studenthack). Stay safe!


LIBRARY UPDATE.

  All University of Manchester Library sites are closed until further notice. In the meantime you can access the extensive range of e-resources, including ebooks and ejournals (see Library Search), use the Browser extensions for easy access to our online resources, or use the online study support resources, My Learning Essentials, Specialist Library Support and My Research Essentials. Further information regarding our resources, services and support plus FAQ’s on the status of our current provision can be found via the Library website.


THIS WEEK’S FEATURED PHD.

  The goal of this project is to develop new FPGA architectures based on memristor technology that are able to provide more logic capacity at lower cost and with lower power consumption. These FPGAs will be tailored to the characteristics of memristors for storing configuration data which will be quite different to traditional SRAM-based FPGAs. The project will include developing a design space exploration framework which can evaluate the performance of different architectures based on a set of benchmark applications. It is planned to tape out a chip at least once per year throughout the project. If you are interested then please contact Dirk Koch


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 14:00 every Friday.


Week 8(B) • Monday 16 March 2020 • #19.23          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning! It’s Monday 16 March, it’s Week 8 and it’s a B Week.  As you will know, there have been changes to teaching arrangements from this week. To help answer your questions, we have compiled a FAQ about Department arrangements which we hope you will find useful. Please see below. It’s meant to be the start of Spring this week, so let’s hope we can finally see the end to the endless rain and the beginning of more sunny days! There are two key deadlines this week: 1st years have to freeze development of the team project, and 3rd years have to stop all practical work on the project. The deadline for both is 18:00 this Friday 20 March (see Blackboard for details of how to submit your code/work). This week is also the last week of third year project demos, so good luck if you are presenting your work this week. On with the rest of today's news...
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


COVID-19.

  The University has updated its advice and you will have received an email from the Department  about changes to teaching arrangements. To help answer your questions, we have compiled a FAQ about Department arrangements which we hope you will find useful. If you have any additional questions, then please email SSO. The University has also produced some guidance on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you think you may have the virus, call the 111 NHS helpline, do not go to a GP/hospital/pharmacy and do not come in to the University, and you must email SSO to let us know. Meanwhile we hope you all continue to stay safe and well.


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: Attention first years! Help us make PASS help you; fill out this feedback form so we can make sure PASS is worth your time. Also, if you are interested in being a pass leader please fill out this form.


FEEDBACK SESSIONS.

  A reminder that this week's exam feedback sessions have been postponed. We will update you on this as soon as possible.


STUDENTHACK VOLUNTEERING.

  This from Diana Irimia (Y1, CM): Hey all! As you already know, StudentHack is back again this year for the eight edition. Want to experience the hackathon but don’t want to hack? Then volunteering might be for you! Help us create a memorable experience for all the participants by preparing the event and get to see all the fun behind the scenes. Apply NOW! We are also looking for final year students, PhD students and industry professionals to guide participants on their journey to hacking. If you want to mentor the participants, sign up HERE! For the rest of the hackers who still haven’t signed up, applications are still OPEN! Keep yourself updated by following us on Facebook (StudentHack), Instagram (@unics_uom) and Twitter (@studenthack). Hope to see you there!


SCIENCE X.

  This from Lucas Cordeiro (Senior Lecturer, COMP26120) and Ben Possible (Volunteering, Outreach and Engagement Assistant): the Department of Computer Science will introduce its robots, drones and games to the public at the ScienceX festival, one of the most important events about Science and Engineering in Manchester. In particular, our volunteers will demonstrate games (magical forest, sorting pancakes), microcontroller programming with Arduino, path planning with drones, and cognitive learning for robots. We are currently looking for volunteers to join our existing team for the ScienceX event, which will take place on Saturday 18 April. Sign up here. Any questions, contact Lucas Cordeiro or Ben Possible.


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT.

  Are you starting to think about accommodation for next year? Need a place in Manchester over the summer? Manchester Student Homes is a free, University-run housing service for students who can offer independent housing advice. They can help you search for the perfect student home and put you in contact with accredited landlords. Alternatively if you’re thinking of staying in Halls next year, applications open on 16 December via the UoM Accommodation Office. Halls are also available for short term stay over the summer vacation period – see their website for more details.


MUSE MEDITATION.

  For lots of students, March is a key time for submission deadlines. If you're feeling overwhelmed or simply need some time out, join us for a meditation session using our brainwave-sensing headband. During this month, muse meditation sessions will take place on a drop-in basis and will be held in the pod in the large space at the back of the University's Main Library on the ground floor. If you're not sure where to go, the Main Library reception staff will be able to point you in the right direction. The session will be held this Weds 18 March 11:00-13:00. Please bring your own wired headphones along with you!


THIS WEEK’S FEATURED PHD.

  The two-variable fragment with one transitive relation. It has been known since the 1930s that the problem of determining  the satisfiability of a given formula of first-order logic (the so-called Entscheidungsproblem) is not algorithmically solvable. But it becomes so if we restrict attention to the fragment of first-order logic in which formulas contain at most two variables.  What is not known is whether this result continues to hold for two-variable logic with a single transitive relation. Partial results obtained so far indicate that this is a very knotty problem, with important implications for a range of logical formalisms. This project attempts to make progress towards, or even achieve, a solution. If you are interested then please contact Dr. Ian Pratt-Hartmann.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 14:00 every Friday.


Week 7 (A) • Monday 9 March 2020 • #19.22          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Hello! It’s Monday 9 March, it’s Week 7 and it’s an A week. We are into the final half of the semester now and only a few weeks left until the Easter break. I hope everything is going well. On with today’s news...
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


CORONAVIRUS.

  The University has updated its guidance and FAQ about the ongoing coronavirus situation. If you have any immediate concerns please see SSO. If you think you may have the virus, call the 111 NHS line. Don’t go to a GP/hospital/pharmacy. And please email SSO. Meanwhile we hope you all stay safe and well.


HACKATHON SUCCESS 1.

  Last weekend was HackTheBurgh in Edinburgh. Two teams attended from the Department: Gurneet Bhatia (Y1, AIwIE), Greta Urkyte (Y1, CSwIE) and Angela Popovska (Y1, CSwIE), and Jang Belche (Y1, HCI), Finlay Hudson (Y1, HCI) and Matei Stan (Y1, HCI4wIE). The first team built a platform (using Big Query and Sentiment Analysis) that compared a user’s code against all the code on StackOverflow produced using the same language, and reported to the user how good or bad their code was, along with if they’d used any unacceptable coding practices. The team were one of the five finalists and ended up winning the award for ‘Best use of the Google Cloud Platform’. The second team produced a chatbot over Facebook Messenger that connected the user to banking services. The team was also successful, winning the Barclays Challenge. Congratulations to all involved!


HACKATHON SUCCESS 2.

  Also at HackTheBurgh, congratulations to Oliver Ursell (Y1, CSwIE) and George Tarleton (Y1, CSwIE) along with teammates Euan Macqueen (Glasgow University, graduated 2019) and Mehdi Varandi (Y3 placement, Newcastle University) on reaching the final with their app EatDrinkSee, a webapp designed using the Google Maps API to recommend and display a route for a day out in a city. Well done!


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: Hello everyone! If you are interested in being a PASS Leader please fill out this form. Anyone can be a PASS Leader, not just first years! So if you are going into your third year or even above you can still be a PASS Leader! 


EXAM FEEDBACK.

  Course Unit leaders have provided feedback on their Semester 1 exam questions. You can read it here.


UNICS GOLF AND MOVIE.

  Horia Gabriel Radu (Y1, CS4wIE) writes: Hello! Tomorrow Tues 10 March from 20:00 join us in a night adventure, at a mini-golf course at TreeTop and then to Vue Cinema where we will watch the Oscar-winning South Korean movie Parasite, from 21:35. Get a ticket and also don't forget your Student ID!


GRADUATION.

  Final Year Students! The schedule for the summer graduation period can be found here. The ceremony for Computer Science students will take place at 16:00 on Weds 22 July. Please see the graduation website for more details about what you need to do before the day.


NSS.

  Calling all third years, you could be in with a chance of winning a graduation VIP package, including gown hire, photography package, Christies Bistro voucher, plus two additional tickets to the graduation ceremony. To enter, send your NSS survey invitation email with “Computer Science” as the subject heading to this address. One student in the Department is guaranteed to win!


LATEST CS PODCAST.

  From Singapore to Skyscanner, Episode 36 of our podcast features BSc Computer Science graduate Amelia Huang. Amelia talks about why she dislikes scruffy code, the behaviour of bees, why romanesco broccoli can be used to explain computer science and her job as a software engineer at skyscanner.net. Listen on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. 


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT.

  My Learning Essentials is the Library’s award-winning programme of skills support, including both online resources and face-to-face workshops which will aid you in your personal and professional development. The workshops offer a relaxed group environment where you can try out new strategies for yourself while learning from and with peers whilst the online resources help you develop skills and interests which are relevant to you, at times and using the methods that suit you best. My Learning Essentials is a great way to get the most out of your time at Manchester; helping you to make the best use of all of the specialist resources and support the University has to offer.


THOUGHT ABOUT A PHD?

  A PhD is a great opportunity to develop your understanding in a specific area of interest whilst pushing the boundaries of science! Many of the staff here at Manchester are on the look out for great students and you don’t necessarily need to have done an MSc first. Each week we’ll highlight one potential PhD project available in the Department, but do go and chat to any of the staff you think are working on a topic that you’d like to know more about.


PHD OPPORTUNITY.

  Type 1 Diabetes: Accurate Prediction of Glucose Absorption from Food. Help people with Type 1 Diabetes better manage their condition. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas to be destroyed, preventing the body from being able to produce enough insulin. Understanding of how to accurately predict glucose absorption from food is a wicked problem and there is, likely, no perfect solution. But by working with clinicians, nutritionists, and patients your data analysis techniques, algorithms, and code can be instrumental in saving lives by predicting  hypoglycaemia. If you are interested then please contact Prof Simon Harper.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 14:00 every Friday.


Week 6 (B) • Monday 2 March 2020 • #19.21          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning, it’s Monday 2 March, it’s Week 6 and a B Week. We’re half-way through the semester already! We had a useful meeting of SSC last week and details of the issues raised can be found on the forum. Remember to report any issues to one of your student reps. The 3rd year project presentations start this week, so good luck to all 3rd years, I hope it goes well. On with the rest of today’s news...

Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: This week PASS is on as usual! Come to PASS and learn something new, or just have a chat with your leaders, whatever you prefer. Just a reminder if you are interested in becoming a PASS leader please fill out this form.


PASS2.

  Raluca Lazarescu (Y3, CSwIE)  writes:  Hi all, we hope to see you at 12:00 in Collab today when we will be highlighting mental health in Computer Science. As always feel free to stop us in the halls or shoot us an email if you have any questions. If you would like access to slides from previous sessions or would like to give us feedback on our sessions, please do visit our website. Interested in becoming a PASS Coordinator? We're currently recruiting student volunteers to become PASS2 Coordinators for 2020/21. Please fill in this form if you want to be part of the team.


STUDENTHACK.

  Diana Irimia (Y1, CM) writes: We are very excited to announce that StudentHack is back for the 8th edition! The 24-hour annually run hackathon run by our own students challenges you again this year. Join us on Sat 25 April for an amazing experience! Applications will open THIS WEEK, on Weds 4 March, so make sure you sign up on our website. Don’t miss your chance and apply soon! Keep yourself updated by following us on Facebook (StudentHack), Instagram (@unics_uom) and Twitter (@studenthack). Hope to see you there!


STUDENTS’ UNION ELECTIONS 2020.

  From 27 Feb to 5 March, the SU is opening up the votes for your student leaders for 2020-2021! The Executive Officer team and Part-Time Officers are your voice to the University and the community around us, and they make real change for students right here at our University.  Whether you’re passionate about welfare and student rights, creating positive change, holding the University to account or just voting for the students who you want to represent you, this election is an opportunity to get your voice heard and make an impact on what matters to you at University. This will be the Union’s 159th elections and we want you to be part of it! For more information and to cast your vote, click here.


BLOCKCHAIN TALK.

  This from Andra Popa (Y3, CM): We are delighted to invite you to a talk by Andrew Darley, the head of IBM Blockchain in Europe. Andrew will be discussing the latest in Enterprise Blockchain, give us some examples and use cases and then have some time for a Q&A. The evening will continue with a short networking session at the end of the lecture Date and time: tomorrow Tues 3March at 17:30 in 2.007, Alliance Manchester Business School. Get your ticket. All welcome.


PHD FUNDING.

  Are you interested in applying for a PhD and looking for funding? The Department offers a range of funding opportunities as part of our commitment to developing academic talent and rewarding high achievement. We invest significantly in funding and offer a range of studentships, scholarships and awards that are available to UK, EU and international students. Our research tackles some of society's greatest challenges; from making sense of the data deluge to the security of communications and figuring out how to live alongside intelligent robotic systems. The application process is fast and simple! We will request your transcripts and chase academic references. Questions? Call in to see us in Kilburn 2.10 or email us.


GOOGLE SUMMER OF CODE.

  Mihai Bujanca (PhD student and GTA) writes: the Google Summer of Code is a global program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development. Students work with an open source organisation on a 3 month programming project during the summer break. They've just announced the organisations they've accepted this year and students are starting to look into potential projects they might work on during the summer. I participated in the programme in 2017 and I think this is a great opportunity for students to build something and be part of a larger community. I particularly recommend it for first year students who might be looking for a placement next year. I'm also hoping to mentor for one of the organisations this year. If you are interested in applying, I'd be happy to help with advice on the application and writing their proposals, just send me an email


WOMEN’S DAY WALK.

  This coming Saturday 7 March, Manchester City Council is hosting their third Walk for Women as part of their International Women’s Day celebrations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team would like to invite students to join the march through part of the city centre. Walkers will meet at 12:00 in Cathedral Gardens before the walk starts at 12:30. At the end of the walk there will be a range of activities and performances to enjoy as well as information about health, employment, education, services and opportunities for Manchester women and girls. Everyone is invited to take part – you don’t need to be a woman! Family and friends are very welcome, make sure you bring things to make lots of noise! If you would like to walk with colleagues from the University please sign up.


WOMEN’S DAY TALK.

  This Thurs 5 March at 13:00-15:00 in Lecture Theatre B, University Place, Anita Shervington, Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow and Director of Community Perspectives will talk about ‘GIRLS COUNT: Equity in STEM’. followed by afternoon tea in University Place foyer. Register. All welcome.

 


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT.

  If you live in University of Manchester Halls of Residence then check out your local ResLife team who live onsite and can help you get all the support and guidance you need during your stay. ResLife can offer support relating to your mental and physical wellbeing, your safety on campus and adjusting to life in a new place. They also organise lots of fun events and extracurricular activities to help you meet people, make friends and feel at home in Manchester.


UNIVERSITY MENTAL HEALTH DAY.

  We know that students experience their own unique struggles when it comes to mental health. To highlight this important issue, this Thurs 5 March is National University Mental Health Day. To mark this day, the University is running an event in the ground floor event space of the Main Library 10:00-12:00 and 14:00-16:00. Come along to chill out with mindful colouring and board games or contribute to our Wall of Kindness to help make campus a kinder place. We'll also have staff from the Student Support and Wellbeing team around to chat about any concerns you may have.


SEMINAR.

  This Weds 4 March at 14:00 in Room 2.19 Dr Jose Carvalho will talk about “Remote sensing systems applied to the Amazon rainforest: Challenges and Opportunities from the System Engineering Perspective”. Abstract: In this talk, we will present some ongoing initiatives of the application of engineering systems for environmental monitoring of the Amazon rainforest. Our work focuses on small to medium fixed, mobile and nomadic equipment for civil applications. We will present projects of wireless sensor networks, fixed and rotating wings UAVs, airships and tethered aerostats. 


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 15:00 every Friday.


Week 5 (A) • Monday 24 February 2020 • #19.20          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning, it’s Monday 24 Feb, it’s Week 5 and an A Week ... the weeks are going so fast! I hope everything is going well and that your 1st semester results are what you expected when they are released at the end of the week. We have a meeting of SSC scheduled for Wednesday so don’t forget to raise any issues with your student reps. You can see what has already been raised in the SSC forum. We need volunteers for student reps for next academic year, so if you’d like to be a student rep then please put yourself forward. A gentle reminder to final year students … please complete NSS if you haven’t already done so already, thank you if you have. On with the rest of today’s news ...

Paul
Director of Undergraduate Studies


WINS!

  Congratulations to Ioana Lazar (Y2, AI) and Alex Dumitru (Y3, CM) who as part of the Avenger Initiative team won 1st place within Manchester in the Google Hash Code competition, ranking #4 in the UK and #141 worldwide. They found a maximal solution to an NP-hard problem. Additionally, Călin Ilie (Y3, CSwIE) and Alex also won 2nd place at the Bet365 coding challenge held last week in Collab. They used WebSockets to communicate with a server and solve an increasingly harder sequence of problems, culminating in playing Tetris through the command line. Well done all!


UCU STRIKE ACTION.

  The UCU strikes continue this week, with three days being affected: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. You should continue to attend all scheduled teaching activities and submit any work by the published deadlines during the strike period. Where possible, we will try to inform you of any teaching activities that will be affected by the strike. 


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: don’t forget to come to PASS today and eat our free food! If you are interested in becoming a PASS leader please fill out this form. It is a great experience and an opportunity to improve your computer science knowledge, leadership and collaboration skills. 


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: This week in PASS2, we will talk about different roles within the tech industry. There are a lot of generalised roles (SWE, SRE...) and more specialised ones too (Data Scientist, Data Engineer...). If you would like to know more about what's out there in the industry, do come along to our session. We hope to see you all there at 12:00 in Colab today. If you would like access to slides from previous sessions or would like to give us feedback on our sessions, please do visit our website.


EXAM RESULTS.

  We are hoping to publish the 1st semester exam results by the end of this week. You will be able to find final marks for individual course units in My.Manchester, and for the breakdown of coursework marks please see your SPOT as usual.


SSC.

  We have a meeting of the student-staff committee (SSC) this Weds 26 Feb. If you would like to report any issues then please contact one of your student reps (below). Check out the issues forum if you are interested in seeing what has already been reported and what action has been taken.


DO YOU WANT TO BE A STUDENT REP NEXT YEAR?

  The Students Union is changing the way that Student Reps are elected, so that Reps for all years except Year 1 can already be in place for the start of term in September. If you'd like to be a Rep next year then please register by the deadline of 8 April. We will be looking at appointing 10 Reps in each year group (1 rep for Year 4 MEng). If we have enough volunteers then they will automatically be appointed Reps once the Student Union training has been completed. If there are too many applicants then an election will be held as in previous years.


THIRD YEAR PROJECT HELP.

  Luke Beamish (Y4, CS4) writes; This week a group of fourth year students will be running a help session for 3rd years in the style of PASS2. The session will cover advice on how to approach demos, reports, and screencasts, as well as providing an opportunity to put questions to former 3rd year students. The session will be at 11:00 this Thursday 27 Feb in Collab.


TIPS.

  This from Liam Panchaud (Y3, CSwIE): Tech Ideas Presented by Students (TIPS) is a new initiative for students to present talks about topics that impassion them! Every week, we will be hosting 2 talks given by students, for others to come and listen to and ask questions about. We have topics lined up ranging from malware capture and industrial security to biological computation and how VR interacts with your brain. The first session will feature an introductory talk to lay out some more information about the sessions, and a pilot talk "VR and the Brain" from David Petrescu (Y3, HCI).  Come along to Collab this Weds 26 Feb at 13:30 find out more (and get some free snacks/coffee)!


UNICS NEWS.

  This from Horia Radu (Y1, CS4wIE): Hello! Don't forget that the theme for this year's May Ball will be a masquerade, and if you haven't got your ticket yet, hurry up because there are only a few left! Furthermore, we are inviting you to the biggest all-women hackathon in the UK, Athena Hack 2020, 18-19 April in London. Sign up.


GAME DEV.

  This from Miranda Watkins (Y1, AI4wIE): UniCS Game Dev are excited to announce we are developing our first game! By conducting ourselves like a game company, we hope to learn just what it takes to develop and publish a video game, furthering our aim of bridging the gap between students and the games industry. Whether you have plans for a game development career or are just interested in how games are made, we want to share the process with all of you. Please take this survey to let us know how best we can do this, and even get involved with development.


STUDENTHACK.

  Diana Irimia (Y1, CM) writes: Hey there! StudentHackVIII (25-26 April) is looking for volunteers to be part of the entertainment team. You’d be involved in running side challenges during the hackathon, setting up a relaxation area with a ball pit, films, mini games and especially keeping everyone awake and upbeat! For more details message me or Tejas Chandrasekar  (Y3, CS4) on Facebook! See you there!


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT.

  The Student Wellbeing Desk (Main Library) offers information, advice and guidance about support available at the University and can signpost you to where you can find the right support. So if you’re in the library and need to ask any questions about support and wellbeing, head over to the wellbeing desk between 10:00-16:00 for information. Remember you can always contact the Student Support Office in Computer Science for any advice or help at any time. And later this week, if your exam results are not as you expected, this video might be helpful.


NSS.

  If you are a final year student then please don’t forget to complete NSS. There’s still time to be entered into the University draw for 10 prizes of £400 worth of Amazon vouchers, which closes on 29 Feb. Also, there are still plenty of £5 FoodInAdvance top-up vouchers available if you let SSO know you have completed the survey. 


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 15:00 every Friday.


Week 4 (B) • Monday 17 February 2020 • #19.19          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning, it’s Monday 17 Feb, it’s Week 4, and a B week. Now that labs have started, I hope everything is going well. We have a meeting of SSC on Weds 26 Feb, so let your reps know of any issues (see below). Calling all 3rd year students, don’t forget to complete NSS, prizes for completing it are available. Remember, we very much value your feedback! On with the rest of today’s news …
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


STUDENT-STAFF COMMITTEE.

  We have a meeting of the student-staff committee (SSC) next Weds 26 Feb. If you would like to report any issues then please contact one of your student reps (below). Check out the issues forum if you are interested in seeing what has already been reported and what action has been taken.


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: Attention first years! Some of our leaders are begging for your attendance, please don’t let them sit alone during PASS; they miss you. To everyone who is attending: thank you, we hope that your leaders have encouraged and helped you this year so far. PASS is on this week as usual! We hope to see you there. 


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: This Monday in PASS2 we will host a Spring Framework workshop, where we will present an overview of the framework and build a small application that should help you with this semester’s Software Engineering team project. We will cover concepts such as dependency injection, unit and integration testing as well as explain how to follow the MVC architecture when building such applications. So bring your laptops and have some fun coding! Hope to see you all at 12:00 in Collab today.


DISNEY TODAY.

   Disney brings beloved characters, timeless stories, and epic sporting events to a global audience through world-class direct-to-consumer video services. The Manchester team is in charge of some of the core services of the entire Disney Streaming Services world, and are always on the lookout for great people to join their team. Come to their COMP101 talk by Jan Macháček today at 12:00 in LT1.1 Monday 17 Feb or stop by at their stand anytime today to learn more.


JAGUAR TOMORROW.

  Jaguar Land Rover Manchester are located in the city centre and have a small-company culture, but operating within a global, blue-chip automotive company. This year they've decided it's time to expand and bring in 10 brilliant graduates to join their team. If you want to find out more, come have a chat with them in Kilburn tomorrow Tues 18 Feb, 12:00-14:00.


UNICS NEWS.

  This from Horia Gabriel Radu (Y1, CS4wIE): Hello! Today, 12:00! Rush to get your May Ball tickets (£35) before they run out, and they run out pretty fast. Also, don't forget about bet365 coming to Kilburn with a new coding challenge this Weds 19 Feb starting at 14:00 in Collab! Pizza and prizes provided! Sign up!


NSS.

  Final year students: there are 10 prizes of £400 Amazon vouchers, closing at midnight on Sat 29 Feb. The winners will all be chosen at random by Ipsos-Mori. Enter the prize draw by ticking a box on the opening screen of the survey. For each response submitted the University will also make a £1 donation to charity, split between LGBT Foundation, IntoUniversity, Mustard Tree, and Partisan.


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT.

  The Student Union’s Advice Centre offers advice and support with any wellbeing problems you’re facing in a safe and confidential space away from the University. They give free, impartial and confidential advice or simply offer a place to talk; provide free contraception and sexual health tests; help you report a hate crime, and give you advice and support if you have been the victim of a hate crime; provide confidential advice and support if you have been a victim of sexual assault; help you understand University procedures around bullying, harassment and discrimination. Find more information on their website. Remember you can always contact the Student Support Office in Computer Science for any advice or help at any time. 


VOLUNTEERING.

  Ben Possible writes: A massive thank you to all the volunteers who came to the thank you event last week! If you are one of the few students who did not manage to pick up your card and badge pop down to SSO to collect it! This is for all Student Reps, Mentors, students registered for MLP or the Volunteer Hub, PASS leaders, Schools outreach ambassadors, CSSoc/HackSoc committee members and/or Wellbeing Champions.


BERT.

  Armins Stepanjans (Y3, AI) writes: Hello to everyone from the AI/ML Soc! This Wednesday 19 Feb I will be leading a hands-on introduction to contextualized word vectors by teaching you how to apply BERT on fundamental NLP tasks. Last year BERT achieved state of the art performance on 11 language tasks and the current SOTA builds on top of it. Now you can learn how to use it! I hope to see you at 14:00 this Weds 19 Feb in Alan Turing Building room G108 (because ML is mostly just math anyways).


SEMINAR.

  This Weds 19 Feb at 13:00-14:00 in LT1.4 Professor Wendy Moncur (University of Dundee) will speak about “Keeping Secrets Online”. Abstract: What strategies do people deploy in keeping secrets online? And how can these strategies be repurposed to (i) enhance the capacity of UK security agencies to detect & mitigate threats generated via online channels, and (ii) support those who keep secrets as parts of their jobs in countering UK & International security threats. All welcome.


TURING LECTURE.

  This Weds 19 Feb from 18:00 in Uni Place Theatre B, Professor Mark Girolami (University of Cambridge) will talk about “Digital Twins: The Next Phase of the AI Revolution?”. Abstract: The idea of an Intelligent Digital Avatar conjures up many images from a complete virtual world that one can safely define, develop and play in to rogue robots running amok and destroying mankind. The reality is much less dramatic but no less far reaching and exciting. This talk will discuss Digital Twins and chart their history to present day technological capability and present some of the advances being made and the opportunities along with the open challenges faced to realise the potential of Digital Twins. Register. All welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 15:00 every Friday.


Week 3 (A) • Monday 10 February 2020 • #19.18          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning everyone! It’s Monday 10 Feb and the start of Week 3 (an A Week). It was great to see two former students, Lloyd Henning and Peter Sutton, aka Foxdog Studios, present their award-winning comedy show last Monday in the COMP101 guest lecture slot. I hope everyone who attended enjoyed themselves, I certainly did! I hope you have settled in to your new course units and are enjoying them. Don’t forget to report any general issues to one of your student reps. If you’d like to become a student rep next year then register your interest. Now on with today’s news...
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


NEW COMPUTERS.

  Over the past couple of weeks you may have noticed a significant improvement in the performance of the computers in the Tootill labs and 1.8. This is because we invested in new high spec models (Intel i7, 32GB memory, 1TB SSDs) for these labs, which were installed over the exam period. The plan is to replace the remaining machines in the other labs over the summer break. 


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: I hope everyone enjoyed last week’s pass session! Just a reminder that if you are interested in becoming a PASS leader don’t hesitate to ask us or your leaders questions. It is a great opportunity to improve communication, collaboration and leadership skills. See you all next week! 


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Hello from the PASS2 team! This week, we will be covering Git. We will look at some common problems with Git and the commands we can use to fix them. This session will be particularly useful for the Software Engineering module this semester. We hope to see you all at PASS2 in Collab at 12:00 today Monday 10 Feb.


MAY BALL!

  Horia Gabriel Radu (Y1, CS4wIE) writes: Hello! Today, at 12:00, hurry up to get your Early Bird May Ball tickets! The May Ball will take place on Sat 2 May from 19:00 at the Principal Hotel. 


BET365.

  Also from Horia: bet365 is coming to Kilburn with a new individual coding challenge next Weds 19 Feb at 14:00! Pizza and prizes provided! Sign up.


SEM1 EXAM FEEDBACK.

  There is a feedback session scheduled to look at Semester 1 exam answerbooks for COMP course units at 14:00 on Weds 18 March.  Please note that no MCQ sections are available for the feedback session.  Other feedback for online exams will be provided where possible. If you wish to view scripts from other departments, please contact them separately.  Please contact SSO with the following information: your full name, student ID number, programme of study, list of COMP course unit codes you wish to view. Deadline for all requests is 12:00 Weds 26 Feb.


SPINNAKER TALK.

  Today's COMP101 Guest lecture will feature Dave Lester talking about SpiNNaker and the Human Brain Project. Come and find out more about how researchers at The University of Manchester have built a million core machine to investigate neuromorphic computing.


VOLUNTEER THANK YOU.

  Ben Possible writes. This week 10-16 February is Student Volunteering Week, with a wide range of talks and events on offer. We would like to thank all volunteers who have given up their valuable time! Pop down anytime to Collab 2 this Thursday 13 Feb from 12:00 to collect a badge and a cookie! So if you’re a Student Rep, Mentor, registered for MLP or the Volunteer Hub, PASS leader, Schools outreach ambassador, CSSoc/HackSoc committee member or Wellbeing Champion please do come along! 


MALAWI TEAM WIN.

  And congratulations to Ben Possible and the Malawi team for winning Highly Commended in the University's Better World Showcase Awards last week!


NSS.

  Lunch on us! We’re offering the first 50 students who complete their NSS a £5 FoodInAdvance top-up voucher which can be used in all Food on Campus outlets at the University. So please complete your NSS and take your ack to SSO.


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT.

  Greater Manchester Nightline is a confidential listening and information service run for students by students. They offer anonymous, non-judgemental and non-directive support for all callers, regardless of the situation. You can talk about anything you like. As well as the listening service, Nightline can also provide information, such as contact numbers for a wide range of places. Just give Nightline a ring and ask – it’s as easy as that. 

 


CTF.

  This from Shaurya Gautam (Y2, AI): Hey guys, Novacoast are coming on Sat 15 Feb to host their annual CTF. You can participate in teams of 3-5. Every member needs a ticket (free). This is a great opportunity to communicate with one of the leading organizations in cyber security. Furthermore, PIZZA is provided!


BE AN AMBASSADOR.

  The University is looking to employ around 100 students to give September’s new students the type of welcome celebration they deserve. Lots of jobs on offer from early Sept, £9.30 per hour. So if you think you could be the smile on arrival at Manchester Airport, the calm, reassuring presence on a halls help desk, the friendly face delivering an engaging campus tour, or if you’d just like to give students like you the best possible start, just fill out this application form, deadline 1 March.

 


GLOBAL LEGAL HACKATHON.

  The University is co-hosting a Manchester event for the Global Legal Hackathon competition. Teams will participate in cities across the globe with winners from each venue going forward to the international second and then final rounds. Teams of 5-10 will work to develop solutions that fit into either of two streams, Private Benefit: The Business & Practice of Law, and  Public Benefit: Good government, Legal Systems & Access to Justice. The event will open 16:00 on Friday 6 March, hacking takes place Sat-Sun, and pitching is from 16:00 Sunday. Entries now open via Eventbrite for teams and individuals.


EXAM SUPPORT.

  Do you need support for a disability/dyslexia for your Exams? If you need extra time, rest breaks etc. because of a disability, please contact the Disability Advisory and Support Service ASAP to register. Or phone on 0161 275 7512. Please note that you must have fully registered with the DASS and have met with a Disability Adviser to discuss and agree any exam adjustments by Thursday 19 March 2020 at 16:00 in order to receive support in the May/June 2020 examinations.


BBC USER STUDY.

  This from PhD student Pejman Saeghe: we’re recruiting participants for a study to look at viewer engagement. The study (about 1 hour) will be at the BBC in Salford and you’ll receive an Amazon voucher for your time. Contact Pejman to find out more.


BIG DATA LECTURE.

  Next Weds 19 Feb at 18:00 in the Samuel Alexander Building, Dr Marga Gual Soler will talk about the role that scientists have to play in international relations and policy, her own career path and her vision for how the global science community can most effectively engage with policy makers. All welcome. Sign up.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 15:00 every Friday.


Week 2 (B) • Monday 3 February 2020 • #19.17          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

It’s Monday 3 February, the start of Week 2 (a B week) ... a very good morning to you! I hope you have now recovered after the exams and are settling into your new routine this semester. If you are interested in being a student Rep for the next academic year, then the nomination process is changing and we are asking students to nominate themselves early (see below). Make sure you finalise your course unit choices by this Friday. Third years, thanks for attending the meeting last Wednesday. Please don’t forget to complete the NSS! Have a good week, on with the rest of today’s news. 
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


HACK WIN.

  Congratulations to Mohammed Anees (Y2, CSE), Ali Awan (Y1, CS) and Manav Gupta (Y1, CS) on winning Best Automation Hack last week at ManMetHacks 2.0 with their app UiPath. They created a machine learning web data scraper which was used to develop an automated search tool for searching through a range of top eCommerce websites, and producing the best collective results from every website based on user input using UI Path Studio. Well done!


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: I hope everyone enjoyed their first session back, catching up with friends and your PASS leaders! This week PASS will be on at the same place and same time. If any first years are considering becoming PASS leaders, contact your leaders. It is a fun and impressive on your CV, we promise you won't regret it! 


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Hope you found the session on module selection for second semester useful! Today Monday 3 Feb we will be talking about what to do if you haven't found a placement or summer internship yet. It's not too late at all to find an opportunity so do come along to this PASS2 session where we will share our experience and advice. We hope to see you all there!


FOXDOG STUDIOS.

  First years, we have an exciting guest lecture for COMP10120 today Monday 3 Feb at 12:00 in 1.1. We welcome back our alumni Lloyd Henning and Peter Sutton, aka Foxdog Studios. They combine comedy, computer programming and rock music to produce an innovative, interactive show. They’ve played at festivals all around the UK, including the Edinburgh Fringe and have won numerous awards. Sit back and enjoy the show, but be prepared to get involved! Bring your phones!


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  The deadline for finalising your Semester 2 course units is this Friday 7 Feb at 15:00. Please make sure you finalise your choices by the deadline. See full details and instructions.


UNITY DEV.

  This from Miranda Watkins (Y1, AI4wIE): Our Unity game development workshops are continuing for Semester 2, every Wednesday at 17:00-19:00. This semester we’ll be working on bigger projects, starting with a 2D platformer!


STUDENTS UNION CONSULTATION.

  Do you have ideas on how to establish a partnership between the University, the Students' Union and students? We're all ears. By coming along and taking part, you'll receive a £10 gift voucher and we'll also provide free pizza! Check the links for more info and to register your interest: http://bit.ly/2t1J8BD and http://bit.ly/2RwoB1o.


INTERNATIONAL NIGHT.

  This from Horia Radu (Y1, CS4wIE): Hello everyone! Now with the exams done, we think it is time for a party. Join us tomorrow Tues 4 Feb at the UniCS International Night, at Playground Club, starting from 23:00. Get your tickets here.


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT.

  The University counselling service is free to students and can offer help and support with a range of personal issues. Support is provided through a range of activities including confidential one to one appointments, group workshops, online support materials and self-help tools. You can refer yourself to the counselling service by booking an appointment online. Remember you can always contact the Student Support Office in Computer Science for any advice or help at any time.


BE A STUDENT REP NEXT YEAR.

  The Students Union is changing the way that Student Reps are elected, so that Reps for all years except Year 1 can already be in place for the start of term in September. If you'd like to be a Rep next year then please register by the deadline of 8 April. We will be looking at appointing 10 Reps in each year group (1 rep for Year 4 MEng). If we have enough volunteers then they will automatically be appointed Reps once the Student Union  training has been completed. If there are too many applicants then an election will be held as in previous years.


CS FOOTBALL.

  Adam Brock (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Now that exams are out of the way it is time to focus on what is really important in life, football. Please join me and your fellow Computer Science students at the Armitage Centre for training sessions and kick arounds every Monday evening! Our next session is today Monday 3 Feb at 18:00 and it's only £2 to play. Get in touch with me at if you have any queries. See you on the pitch!


MARS ROVER PROJECT.

  The Mars Rover Project is a team of STEM students building a 60kg semi-autonomous mars rover for the European Rover Challenge 2020. The rover has been designed and is in the process of being built. They’re seeking Computer Science students with experience in Python/C++ required, and experience in hardware, Linux and ROS (Robot Operating System) desirable. Task description: Implementing machine vision, manipulators and path planning algorithms onto real systems, as well as mapping and autonomous navigation. Interested? Contact Julien Stone.


MEMORY RESEARCH.

  Would you like to participate in an experiment about how current understanding of memory applies to contemporary content seen on the web? The experiment will focus on video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. It takes about 50 minutes and you will be compensated for your time. If you’re interested, please contact Research Associate Xuefeng Huang.


SEMINAR:

  DISINFORMATION. This Fri 7 Feb at 13:30-14:15 in University Place 2.18, Dr Vladimir Barash (Graphika) will speak on “The ABCs of Disinformation”. Abstract: Online disinformation imposes a social cost on human interactions at a large scale. We propose an ABC framework to tease out these three key vectors characteristic of viral deception campaigns and guide thinking regarding detection strategies and enforcement responses. All welcome. Please email the Digital Futures team to confirm your attendance by Weds 5 Feb and advise if you have any access requirements.


SEMINAR:

  PETRI NETS. At the next Computer Science Atlas Talk this Weds 5 Feb in Kilburn L.T 1.5 at 13:00, Ranko Lazic (University of Warwick) will speak about “The Reachability Problem for Petri Nets is Not Elementary”. All welcome. Abstract: Petri nets, also known as vector addition systems, are a long established model of concurrency with extensive applications in modelling and analysis of hardware, software and database systems. The central algorithmic problem for Petri nets is reachability: whether from the given initial configuration there exists a sequence of valid execution steps that reaches the given final configuration. We establish a new non-elementary lower bound.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 15:00 every Friday.


Week 1 (A) • Monday 27 January 2020 • #19.16          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good Morning, it’s Monday 27 January and welcome to Week 1 (an A Week) of Semester 2. Remember that your timetable will have changed. I hope your exams went well and you are ready to get back into the swing of labs and lectures! If you are a third year student, there will be a meeting this Weds 29 Jan at 09:00 in Lecture Theatre 1.1 to discuss what’s happening between now and the end of the semester (more below). Please make sure you attend. I hope you enjoy this semester … on with today’s news.

Paul
Director of Undergraduate Studies


SAFETY.

  There have been reports of two incidents where students have been attacked outside University buildings on North Campus last week. As a result extra security will be patrolling around North Campus. There have been no incidents in or around the Kilburn building. If at any time you feel unsafe whilst on campus then you can phone the security team on 0161 306 9966. To support student safety on campus an app is available – SafeZone – that will connect you to the security team at the touch of a button, and will inform them of your GPS location so security can be dispatched immediately. SafeZone can be used for urgent help, first aid or if you have an emergency while on campus; it also allows high-speed pushing of messaging to allow the University to send you important notifications in the case of an emergency or critical incident on campus. 


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: PASS is back this week! Come along to our PASS session on Wednesday at 12:00 for a great start of the semester!


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Hello from the PASS2 team! We hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and that the exams went well. PASS2 sessions are back starting today Monday 27 Jan at 12:00 in Collab. This week, we will be talking about module choices for the second semester in your second year. We will have a panel of former students who can answer your questions and talk about their experiences with those modules. We hope to see you all there!

* BINGO! This from Khesim Reid (Y3, CS): UBS will be hosting a comedy bingo night for final year students, on Thurs 6 February, loosely themed around sustainability. All you have to do is form a team of 3-6 people and sign up. There will be lots of prizes and FREE DRINKS so you don’t want to miss out on what’s bound to be a great night!


VOLUNTEER THANK YOU.

  Ben Possible (graduated 2019), the School's Volunteering, Outreach and Engagement Assistant, writes: the Department is holding a Thank You event on Thurs 16 Feb in Collab 2 from 12:00 for all the Student Volunteers we know about (and don't know about). This is part of the University’s Student Volunteering Week 2020, 10-16 February. So if you’re a Student rep, Mentor, registered for MLP or the Volunteer Hub, PASS leader, Schools outreach ambassador, CSSoc/HackSoc committee member or Wellbeing Champion please do come along!


COME AND VOLUNTEER!

  Also from Ben: Share your Computer Science knowledge with the community and young people by coming along and helping out at some of our events. We have a number of opportunities now available in the next few months if you want to volunteer. These hours will count towards STELLIFY, the University’s extra-curricular award that will be recorded on your HEAR, when you graduate. Sign up to find out more here! There is no commitment to just signing up! You can do as little or as much as you want. Any questions about STELLIFY or volunteering please let me know!


NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.

  If you are in your final year you will be asked to complete the National Student Survey for the UK government. The survey gives you the opportunity to say what you think about your degree programme and experience of studying at Manchester. The survey is run by Ipsos MORI, who will contact you by email and phone. More information will be provided at the 3rd Year presentation this Weds 29 Jan at 09:00 in LT1.1.


GOOGLE COMES TO MANCHESTER.

  Hyperloop Manchester are very excited to be hosting Jack Hidary and his team from Google in LT 1.1, Kilburn Building this Wednesday 29 Jan at 15:00. If you’d like to come, please sign up, or see the Facebook event. Jack Hidary is a research scientist focusing on AI and on quantum computing at Alphabet X, formerly Google X. He and his group develop and research algorithms for NISQ-regime quantum processors as well as create new software libraries for quantum computing. In the AI field, Jack and his group focus on fundamental research such as the generalization of deep networks as well as applied AI technologies. He is the author of the book Quantum Computing: An Applied Approach. If you’re curious about the future of quantum technologies and AI, then this talk is a great opportunity to discuss what is currently going on in the industry with an expert, as well as career opportunities at Alphabet X. 


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  The deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units on the University system is 15:00 Friday 7 Feb. Please do this urgently, because course sizes have implications for room bookings and we need to finalise things ASAP. 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.


ATTENDANCE MONITORING SURVEY.

  Those of you in the first year will know that along with the Department of Mathematics we’ve been piloting a system called Presto for taking attendance in lectures. We’d like to know what you think of it so far, and how you feel about attendance recording generally. We’d be really grateful if you could fill out this short survey. Note the same survey is being used across the University, including students who have used other systems or none at all, so don’t be surprised that the first couple of questions are pretty general!


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 15:00 every Friday.


Exams Week 2 • Monday 20 January 2020 • #19.15          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good Morning, it’s Monday 20 January and it’s the second week of the exams (see full timetable). I hope they are going well. Don’t forget, if you have any problems attending an exam, you are late etc. then let SSO know immediately (by email or call them on 0161 306 8155). Next week is the start of Semester 2, so you will have a new teaching timetable. Hope you have a good week!
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


AWARD WINS.

  Congratulations to Pranav Aggarwal (Y1, CS), Manya Girdhar (Y1, AIwIE) and Kashish Raimalani (Y1, CMwIE) who in December received Indian Excellence Scholarship Awards. And congratulations to Ziyang Yu (Y1, CS4) who received the International Excellence Award. Well done all!


MIT CIRCS.

  If you want to tell us about any mitigating circumstances (please use only this electronic form, not paper, or the University’s form) for the Semester 1 exam period, the deadline is Mon 27 Jan 2020. If you have any queries, please talk to your relevant Year Tutor (Y1: Gareth Henshall; Y2: Duncan Hull; Y3 & Y4: Toby Howard; CM: Andrea Schalk.


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  The deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units on the University system is 15:00 Friday 7 Feb. Please do this urgently, because course sizes have implications for room bookings and we need to finalise things ASAP. See full details and instructions. Details of common enrolment issues and what action to take to resolve them are here. 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.


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT:

  Big White Wall is a 24/7 anonymous online mental health and wellbeing resource for students, staff and researchers. To access the service sign up with your UoM email address. Whether you’re struggling to sleep, feeling low or finding it hard to cope, or just want to the chance to think more deeply about your wellbeing, Big White Wall can help you to explore your feelings and think things through. You will have access to a 24/7 online community, monitored by trained clinicians. Big White Wall is a safe space online to get things off your chest, have conversations, get creative and learn how to manage your mental health and wellbeing. Big White Wall is totally anonymous and confidential, so no one will know you’re using it unless you tell them! Most users report feeling better and more able to cope as a result of using the service and because it’s available 24/7, nearly 90% use Big White Wall outside of 09:00-17:00. Find out more.


UG AWARDS.

  Win summer placements, internships, and trips abroad, in the Target Jobs Undergraduate of the Year awards. The awards are a fantastic way for you to win valuable career experience as well as gaining insight into the graduate job application process. Each award is partnered with a prominent graduate recruiter who provides a fantastic prize for the winner, including paid internships, trips abroad, and other exclusive opportunities. Deadline: 31 January 2020.


PYTHON SEMINAR.

  This Weds 22 Jan at 14:00 in LT1.3, Jeremy Singer (University of Glasgow) will talk about “Python programmers have GPUs too”. Abstract: Python is a popular language in many application domains. End-users want to harness parallel compute resources effectively, by exploiting commodity manycore technology including GPUs. However, existing approaches to parallelism in Python are esoteric, and generally seem too complex for the typical end-user developer. We argue that implicit, or automatic, parallelization is the best way to deliver the benefits of manycore to end-users (paper).


MEET THE PRESIDENT.

  The President and Vice Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, will be visiting the School of Engineering on Weds 5 Feb. There will be an open meeting for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students at 13:30-15:00 in Renold Building C9. All students are invited. Please confirm your attendance via Eventbrite to ensure we can accommodate numbers.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 15:00 every Friday.


Exams Week 1 • Monday 13 January 2020 • #19.14          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good Morning, it's Monday 13 January 2020, Happy New Year! I hope you had a good break over the Christmas period and managed to find some time to relax and recharge your batteries. The Semester 1 examinations start this week, and finish on Friday 24 January. Please make sure that you are familiar with your exam timetable and the location of your scheduled exams (see full timetable).  If you have any issues on the day of an exam then please report this to SSO immediately. Good luck in your exams! 

Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: Good luck with your exams! Don’t hesitate to ask your PASS leaders for any last minute tips!


LAB CLOSURES.

  Due to the large number of online exams that the Exams Office has scheduled in the Department labs this year, along with a planned upgrade of the computers in some labs, Tootill 0 & 1, LF31, 1.8,  G23, and 2.25A & B will not be available for use during the exam period (until Monday 27 January). Collab 0 & 1, LF5, LF6 and the Quiet Lab (LF8) will be available during this period, including out of hours.


GSK HACKATHON WIN.

  Congratulations to Ibrahim Sowunmi (HCIwIE, out on IE)  who together with Artem Butbaev (University of Bath) won first place in a GlaxoSmithKline Hackathon! Competing teams were given a large set of unstructured commercial data to work with, and tasked to come up with an innovative solution for how to increase business value using this data by driving new product development and package design. Ibraham and Artem came up with an idea for a bespoke machine learning scoring model which categorises reviews, complaints and other unstructured data into "buckets" in line with a lexicon of flagged terms, such as "smell" and "packaging", along with a sentiment score for each response ranging from very negative to very positive. Well done to them both!


COURSE UNIT CHOICES.

  The deadline for choosing/changing your Semester 2 course units on the University system is 15:00 Friday 7 Feb. Please do this urgently, because course sizes have implications for room bookings and we need to finalise things ASAP. See full details and instructions. Details of common enrolment issues and what action to take to resolve them are here. 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 SUCCESS.

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


MEET WOMEN IN CS.

  We've launched four new videos about women Computer Scientists here in the Department! Meet students Anna McCartain (Y2, CS) and Crystal Wu (PhD), and lecturers/researchers Sarah Clinch and Riza Batista-Navarro.


GOOGLE HASH CODE.

  This from Nora Tuta (Y2, HCIwIE): Hello everyone! Don't miss the Google Hash Code event that will take place this year on Thursday 20 February, 17:30-21:30! We’ll be hosting a hub at Kilburn Building for the Online Qualification Round of Hash Code in Collab. If you’re interested in joining our hub, find a team (2 to 4 people) and be sure you all register and select "University of Manchester Hub" from the list of hubs in the Judge System. You will need a valid out of hours pass.


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT:

  DASS. The Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS) at the University is a specialist service supporting students with any condition that has a significant, adverse and long term effect on normal day to day activities. DASS helps students with a range of conditions which includes but is not limited to dyslexia and other learning difficulties, autism spectrum condition, mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression, mobility and sensory impairments, unseen disabilities like epilepsy, HIV, AIDS, chronic fatigue, IBS and Crohns. DASS can help students access exam, study and specialist support but only if you register with them. You can make an appointment with DASS at any time, but in order to have Semester 2 exam support in place (should you need it) you must register by Thurs 19 March 2020. Make an appointment and register here. For advice talk to the Department’s DASS coordinator Hannah Cousins. If you decide you don’t wish to register with DASS, this may affect the level of support that you can receive from the University.


PART-TIME INTERNSHIP.

  Interested in a chance to work with the Manchester Climate Change Agency and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at Manchester? Riza Batista-Navarro (Lecturer, Text Mining Research Group) is recruiting a student for a paid part-time internship involving outreach activities for raising awareness on climate change impacts, and collecting data on people's climate impact experiences. For more details please email Riza.


MEET THE PRESIDENT.

  The President and Vice Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, will be visiting the School of Engineering on Weds 5 Feb. There will be an open meeting for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students at 13:30-15:00 in Renold Building C9. All students are invited. Please confirm your attendance via Eventbrite to ensure we can accommodate numbers.


SOFTWARE SEMINAR.

  This Weds 15 Jan at 13:00 in LT1.5, Barry Porter (Lancaster University) will  talk about “Automating software development: When will we stop programming?” Abstract: Despite extensive automation in many industries, software systems remain entirely hand-crafted. While this has served us well so far, this approach is now starting to change, driven both by extreme complexity and a desire to support non-expert coding for users. Motivated by these challenges, this talk will introduce some of our recent advances in automating software development.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 15:00 every Friday.


Week 12 • Monday 9 December 2019 • #19.13          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

It’s Monday 9 December, Week 12 and the last week of teaching. The past 12 weeks have flown by, I hope you have enjoyed them! As this is the last week, make sure you get all your work submitted and marked by the end of the week. It was good to see so many students at the 1st Year poster session on Tuesday, thank you for supporting the event and congratulations to the winning teams. The Monday Mail will be back on 13 January 2020, just in time for the start of the Semester 1 exams. Enjoy your Christmas break, and have a happy New Year. Make sure you take some time off to relax over the break before you start to prepare for the exams in January. I look forward to seeing you all in 2020!

Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


1ST YEAR PROJECTS.

  40 projects! 277 students! The First Year Project poster session in University Place last Tuesday was buzzing, with fantastic ideas on display – see all the posters in the Y1 Project Poster Gallery (and Instagram). Onto the prizes! Z8 (Matei-Alexandru Costin, Siyam Muhammad, Arun Ramasamy, Andrew Rusli, Sheikh Sabri, Bence Webber-Nagy, Renhua Zhou) won Application with Best Idea (tutor Mustafa Mustafa) with Inkker, a tool for collective writing; Y10 (Noah Bennett, Rashed Alshamsi, Olanrewaju Borishade, Claudiu Jechel, Mohsin Khan, George Tarleton) won Visually Most Appealing Poster (tutor Christoforos Moutafis) with Rogue Star, an arcade game; and M4 (Wiktor Duch, Maksymilian Gotkowicz, Matthew Horrocks, Wenda Lu, Hristo Mihaylov, Adan Raheel, Omar Taha) won Best Thought Through Application (tutor Konstantin Korovin) with Hyperboli.co, a collaboration tool for working on Math.


RISC WINNER.

  Congratulations to Florin Blanaru (graduated June 2019) who has won the RISC-V Student of the Year award for his work on porting the MaxineVM on RISC-V during his 3rd project last year supervised by Christos Kotselidis and Foivos Zakkak. This prestigious award is awarded by the RISC-V foundation led by UC Berkeley and Alan Turing award winner Professor David Patterson. With his work, Florin managed to achieve the first and fastest Java Virtual Machine that can run on the novel RISC-V architecture using dynamic compilation. In addition since both MaxineVM and RISC-V are fully open source, Florin’s excellent work has resulted in complete free hardware/software stack for research purposes.


KNEEBONE BURSARY.

  Deadline extended to 17:00 this Friday 13 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 Department are eligible. See full details and how to apply.


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: Thank you for coming to PASS last week! We hope you found the revision session useful! There is no session this week. Happy holidays! Don't forget to relax, but also start revising during the break! PASS will resume next semester, same time and place.


PASS2.

  Raluca Lazarescu (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Hello second years! Like we mentioned in the last session, this week is going to be about revision. We have brought some board games as well if you need a break from all the studying. Please send any doubts, questions and requests or tips through the forms on our website. Hope to see you there today at 12:00 in Collab!


XMAS OPENING.

  Kilburn opening times: from Sat 14 Dec-Mon 23 Dec inclusive 10:00-20:00 for UG students with a valid out of hours pass. Tues 24 Dec-Weds 1 Jan inclusive, closed. Thurs 2 Jan-Sun 12 Jan inclusive, 10:00-20:00 with valid out of hours pass. The Learning Commons and George Kenyon IT Cluster are open throughout this period except for 25 and 26 Dec.


UNICS PUB CRAWL.

  This from Horia Gabriel Radu (Y1, CS4wIE): Hello everyone! A very special event is taking place this week! On Thursday 12 Dec we will be hosting a Christmas Pub Crawl, the theme being the ugliest sweater, so choose wisely. It starts at 19:00 at the Turning Tap, the other pubs are: Garratt, Brewdog and Footage. Also don't forget to get your UniCS hoodie, available until 20 Dec! This week the last competitive programming session will take place. See you in Collab 2 on Wednesday at 15:00. Last but not least, the whole UniCS team would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, but also good luck with your exams. See you in the next semester!


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT:

  The Student Services Centre (SSC) is a central point for information for all students and can provide specific advice to international students. They provide a wide range of services including those related to: immigration and visas, exams, certificates and transcripts, registration, fee payments and sources of funding. If you need help with any practical matters of University life, the SSC will always be happy to help you.


CONTACT DETAILS UP TO DATE?

  Remember to keep your contact details up to date on the Student System! It’s important we’re able to contact you by email, phone or post so please double check your current details are correct by navigating to My Manchester and selecting “student system” in the tools area.


MEET THE CYBER MAN.

  This Weds 11 Dec at 17:15 in Kilburn LT 1.1, followed by drinks/nibbles reception (register). Prof Danny Dresner will speak about “The Attack on a Cyber Man: Finding the threads that bind information together and mending them when they break…” Abstract: Cyber security has become a passion for me over the last 25 years: from editing the first national information security breaches survey in 1994, through to teaching international delegates at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. In this lecture, I shall map a path from the analogies, and inspiration of, science fiction to a multidisciplinary approach to computer science. All welcome and no security clearance required!

 


REPRESENT THE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING.

  We are looking for a diverse group of students from across the School of Engineering to join a select group of students who would be willing to represent the School at key University events and meetings. Why should put yourself forward? It will be an ideal opportunity for you to influence key School of Engineering decisions and gain an insight into the workings of a university. It will be great for your own personal development and will boost your employability. You can talk about it in your CV and future interviews. You will get to work with academics, including Department Heads of Education, and key Professional Services staff. If you are interested in getting involved, please email Hannah Cousins in SSO as soon as possible and more details will follow.


ML SEMINAR.

  This Weds 11 Dec at 14:00 in Kilburn L.T 1.5, Asim Alwabel will talk about Data-Driven Modelling of Technology Acceptance: A Machine Learning Perspective. Abstract: Forecasting and understanding technology adoption have dominated research of Information Systems for more than two decades. My research demonstrates a unique data driven approach utilising linear and non-linear machine learning techniques, predictive analytics-based modelling, to advance technology adoption modelling, assess its predictability, evaluate relevance of its current determinants, and introduce new ones. All welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 15:00 every Friday.

[ End of The Monday Mail - Week 12 - Semester 1 AY19 - #19.13 


Week 11 (B) • Monday 2 December 2019 • #19.12          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning. It’s Monday 2 December, it’s week 11 (a B Week) and not long to go until the end of the semester. I hope you are getting all your work submitted and marked, and making use of SPOT to check your coursework marks! Good luck to all First Year students who have their project presentations this week, along with the poster session on Tuesday, do pop in and have a look. Course Unit surveys start today (see below) so please provide us with feedback on our teaching. Hope you have a good week and on with the latest news...
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


BCS CYBER CRIME.

  Last week team Kibir Tele Vibir (Pijus Bradulskis (Y2, CM), Daumantas Kojelis (Y2, CS), Simas Kuprelis (Y2, CS), Laurynas Raudonius (Y2, CS), Tomas Savickas (Y2, CS)) competed in the final round of the BCS Cyber Crime Cup in Etihad Stadium, and they came out in 2nd place! This was a CTF (capture the flag) competition, where participants had to apply cybersecurity knowledge in ethical hacking challenges. This involved exploiting vulnerable systems, reverse engineering, decoding ciphers and more. Well done all!


UCU DISPUTE.

  The UCU dispute continues this week and is expected to finish this Wed 4 Dec, with all staff back at work on Thurs 5 Dec. You should continue to attend all scheduled teaching activities and submit any work by the published deadlines during the strike period. Last week, the strike action was covered by national media including the BBC and The Guardian.


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: Thanks for everyone who attended PASS last week! Just a reminder that this week the leaders will be running exam specific help for these four courses: Programming 1, Fundamentals of Computer Architecture, Fundamentals of Computer Engineering and Mathematical Techniques for Computer Science. Bring your questions and leaders will help with what they can! 


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Today we will try to point you in the right direction for the algorithms coursework, discuss complexity implications, and help with any issues regarding the algorithms lab. We will be happy to answer any other questions you have too. Hope to see you there today at 12:00 in Collab!


SECOND MEETING OF SSC.

  The second meeting this semester of the student-staff committee will be this Weds 4 Dec in Atlas at 14:00. If you'd like to raise an issue then please speak to one of your reps (below) before the meeting (or even better, at any time when issues arise). A list of your reps is on the SSC noticeboard on LF, and contact details on the SSC pages on Blackboard (under CS UG Community).


COMP10120 POSTER SESSION.

  The COMP10120 poster session takes place tomorrow Tues 3 Dec 12:00-14:00 in the foyer of University Place. Please pop in and see some of the projects that our first year students are planning on doing in the second semester.


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 6 January 2020. Please note that the School can only consider your circumstances if you have submitted a Mit Circs form by the deadline.


WACKY TEACHING.

  The future is likely to see significant changes in Higher Education with increased student numbers used to different modes of information consumption, and we're also still largely using teaching methods that have remained unchanged for at least a generation. How will our teaching change over the next ten years? How does it need to change? How should it change? Come to an informal brainstorming meeting 10:00-11:30 next Thurs 12 Dec in Kilburn 2.15 with your ideas about how we should teach! The session has only one rule: no-one is allowed to say that a particular idea isn't possible! No idea is too wacky! All welcome, please use this link to sign up


BP ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS.

  Aimed at Year 1 and Year 2 students in core Science, Engineering and Business disciplines the BP Achievement Awards aim to recognize, reward and support academic excellence amongst students who have the potential to excel in their discipline. The value of each award is £1,000. Winners will also have the opportunity to be considered for an 8 week paid intern project based in Manchester during the Summer 2020 break. Interested? Email Mabel Yau for details (deadline Friday 21 Feb 2020).


COURSE UNIT SURVEYS.

  Every semester the University surveys students to ask for feedback on the course units we teach. The course unit surveys open today and close on 3 January. We take your (anonymous) feedback seriously and we make changes to our teaching as a result of the feedback we receive. Staff are also required to provide a response to any issues raised in the feedback. You can find out more information on the University Your Say webpages


PAST EXAM PAPERS.

  Past exam papers and feedback from staff on the exam papers can be found on the Department intranet.


GAME DEV.

  Miranda Watkins (Y1, AI4wIE) writes: Hi everyone, thank you for coming to the workshop last week! Just a reminder that there will be no workshops for the rest of this semester. We will be starting again after the January exams, probably in the first week of February. Now that we’ve covered the basics of Unity, we want to move on to more advanced and fun projects. We’ll base these on your interests, so please visit our Facebook page for the workshops and use the poll to vote for your favourite projects or suggest your own ideas. Have a great Christmas and see you all soon! From UniCS Game Dev.


CRACKCHESTER.

  This from Aakash Kalantre (Y2, AI4): Hello Hackers! We are hosting our last workshop of the year this Weds 4 Dec. The topic is “Password Cracking and how to code against it”.  Location will be posted on our Facebook Page, Crackchester. Hope to see you all there!


UNICS NEWS.

  This from Horia Gabriel Radu (Y1, CS4wIE): Hello everyone! This Thurs 5 Dec from 17.30, Bloomberg is coming to Kilburn (Atlas rooms) with the BPUZZLED challenge! In this contest you will form teams of max 4 members and solve a series of virtual logic puzzles. One team can also have the chance to get to the next stage of the competition, the global final, in London. Register and don't forget to bring your laptop! Also, this week we will have a special competitive programming session! Join us for a presentation by the students who recently participated in the North Western Europe Regional Competition in Eindhoven. They will be going over the problems they solved there and they will give you some useful tips on how to approach problem solving! See you in Collab 2 on Wednesday at 15:00. Last but not least, customizable hoodies for the Computer Science Society (UniCS) are now on sale (£16 per hoodie). Grab yours here until 20 Dec, and note that in the photo below the white spots are Javascript snowflakes, not dots on the hoodies!


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT.

  Are you starting to think about accommodation for next year? Need a place in Manchester over the summer? Manchester Student Homes is a free, University-run housing service for students who can offer independent housing advice. They can help you search for the perfect student home and put you in contact with accredited landlords. Alternatively if you’re thinking of staying in Halls next year, applications open on 16 December via the UoM Accommodation Office. Halls are also available for short term stay over the summer vacation period – see their website for more details.


MEET THE CYBER MAN.

  Next Weds 11 Dec at 17:15 in Kilburn LT 1.1, followed by drinks/nibbles reception (register). Prof Danny Dresner will speak about “The Attack on a Cyber Man: Finding the threads that bind information together and mending them when they break…” Abstract: Cyber security has become a passion for me over the last 25 years: from editing the first national information security breaches survey in 1994, through to teaching international delegates at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. In this lecture, I shall map a path from the analogies, and inspiration of, science fiction to a multidisciplinary approach to computer science. All welcome and no security clearance required!


GAME COMPS.

  Interested in game dev? Aardvark Swift is running two competitions for students to showcase their skills: Search For A Star, and Rising Star. Find out more.


GEEP.

  STEM students of all year groups keen on exploring engineering as a career path are invited to join the final GEEP event in Manchester on 4-5 December. Sign up ASAP. You will learn employability skills and meet reps from top firms including AECOM, Amey, Atkins, BAE Systems, BuroHappold Engineering, KBR, Inc., Network Rail, Rolls-Royce, Royal Fleet Auxiliary. GEEP is led by the Royal Academy of Engineering in partnership with SEO London and 15 engineering companies. The event is free and can support reasonable travel and care costs.


SEMINAR:

  BROADCASTING. Tomorrow Tues 3 Dec 12:00-13:00 in Kilburn LT1.1, Ian Forrester from BBC R&D will talk about “A radical vision for the future of public service broadcasting?” Ian will run through a number of the BBC R&D projects and how they merge together into a possible future of the living room. In his talk Ian is going to share the latest research at BBC R&D and engage in a conversation about the future and importance of storytelling & public service. All welcome.


SEMINAR:

  BUGS. This Weds 4 Dec 13:00-14:00 in Kilburn LT1.3, Prof Cristian Cadar (Imperial College) will talk about “Finding Bugs and Security Vulnerabilities with Dynamic Symbolic Execution”. Abstract: Software systems are affected on a regular basis by bugs and security vulnerabilities. This talk presents dynamic symbolic execution, a technique that can help detect many of these problems before they make it into production. Register. All welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 15:00 every Friday.

[ End of The Monday Mail - Week 11 (B) - Semester 1 AY19 - #19.12 


Week 10 (A) • Monday 25 November 2019 • #19.11          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning UG. It’s Monday 25 November, and it’s Week 10, an A week. The UCU strike action starts today and continues throughout the week, but you should continue to work as normal – see item 1 below. The end of the semester is fast approaching, so it’s important you get your work submitted and marked. Remember, if you have any issues, then please speak to someone! Have a good week, and on with today’s news.

Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


UCU STRIKE ACTION.

  The UCU strikes starts today and will last for 8 days, finishing on Weds 4 December. You should continue to attend all scheduled teaching activities and submit any work by the published deadlines during the strike period. Where possible, we will try to inform you of any teaching activities that will be affected by the strike. The University of Manchester Students’ Union have provided some useful information to explain why the strike action is taking place. The University has also published two articles, one from Nancy Rothwell (President & Vice Chancellor), and one from April McMahon (Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students).


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: Come along to PASS this Wednesday at 12:00 with any questions! In week 11 we will be hosting an exam revision session. We will be back with more details next week!


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: This week, we will be looking at Git. If you are struggling with version control in your software engineering course or you want to just learn about Git and how it is used in the industry, this session will be beneficial for you. We will be looking at how to solve merge conflicts, how rebase works, what a fast forward merge is and other topics. What we cover will also apply to second semester’s software engineering course. We hope to see you all today in Collab at 12:00!


GAME DEV.

  Miranda Watkins (Y1, AI4wIE) writes: UniCS Game Dev are now running Unity Workshops every Wednesday 17:00-19:00 in Collab 1. These workshops aim to teach the fundamentals of Unity by using 2 week projects chosen to highlight different aspects of the editor. We hope that by the end, you’ll be able to create your own game or project from scratch! Remember to bring a laptop and have both Unity and Visual Studio Code downloaded.


FUJITSU VISIT.

  Fujitsu are visiting Kilburn tomorrow Tues 26 Nov 12:00-14:00. They have a range of graduate opportunities currently open to start in September 2020 so if you’re talented, enthusiastic, and keen to make a difference visit their pop-up stand to find out more.


CHARITY UPDATE.

  Thanks to everyone who took part in the Children In Need events last week! The bake sale made £187 and the auction £318, a splendid total of £505!


LEVY MARKET.

  Don’t forget that Levenshulme Market is on campus every Tuesday for food and drink 11:30-14:30 in Bridgeford Street, just opposite Kilburn.


NWERC.

  The Northwest Europe Regional Competitive Programming Contest was held in Eindhoven on 16 Nov. Three teams from Manchester competed out of 123 in total. The results were: in 32nd place: "Make Manchester Great Again" (Mihail-Emanuel Ghinea (Y3, CSwIE), Vlad-Andrei Munteanu (Y3, CSwIE), Patrick Sava (Y3, CSwIE)); 38th place: Byte Me (Dragos Marin (Y1, CS), Andrei Gabriel Bostan (Y1, CS), Alex Iordachescu (Y1, CS)); 55th place: "Kibir Tele Vibir" (Pijus Bradulskis (Y2, CM), Daumantas Kojelis (Y2, CS), Simas Kuprelis (Y2, CS)) all with five problems solved. Of the UK teams, the top three were from Cambridge, then one from Edinburgh; "Make Manchester Great Again" and "Byte Me" in fifth and sixth places, respectively. We hope to devote a forthcoming Wednesday afternoon competitive programming session to the problems in this competition. Those interested are welcome to contact Ian Pratt-Hartmann.


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT.

  My Learning Essentials is the Library’s award-winning programme of skills support, including both online resources and face-to-face workshops which will aid you in your personal and professional development. The workshops offer a relaxed group environment where you can try out new strategies for yourself while learning from and with peers whilst the online resources help you develop skills and interests which are relevant to you, at times and using the methods that suit you best. My Learning Essentials is a great way to get the most out of your time at Manchester; helping you to make the best use of all of the specialist resources and support the University has to offer.


BPUZZLED.

  This from Nora Tuta (Y2, HCIwIE): Hello, everyone! On Thu 5 December, from 17.30, Bloomberg is coming to Kilburn (Atlas 1&2) with a new challenge! BPUZZLED is a contest in which your team (maximum 4 members) will solve a series of virtual logic puzzles. One team can also have the chance to get to the next stage of the competition: the global final, in London! Register now, bring your laptop and be on time! Last but not least, come and join us at the Competitive Programming Training Sessions. More details on facebook.

 


POSTER CONTEST.

  Women Comp Sci students are invited to enter one of the poster contests at the BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium on 8 April 2020 at the University of Stirling. To enter, write a 250 word abstract on the topic of your poster. Last year there were over 100 posters, some great keynotes, industry representatives, and lots of cake. Lovelace is a wonderful opportunity for our women students to connect with each other. (Men are welcome to attend, but are not eligible for the poster competition.)


ENGINEERING SCHOLARSHIPS.

  The Royal Academy of Engineering has scholarships for UGs available, deadline 13 Jan 2020.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 15:00 every Friday.


Week 9 (B) • Monday 18 November 2019 • #19.10          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

It’s Monday 18 November, a very good morning to you! We are into week 9, which is a B week. I hope everything’s going well and you are keeping up with your work. If anything is affecting your studies, then it is important that you speak to someone, your personal tutor (for 3rd years your project supervisor is also your personal tutor), or pop in to SSO. Don’t forget that you can view your coursework marks via SPOT. This tool is new, so please send me any feedback. I hope you have a good week, on to today’s news...
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


GLOBAL AWARDS SUCCESS!

  Huge congratulations to four former Computer Science undergraduates who last week all won at the prestigious Global Undergraduate Summit in Dublin! Aayush Chadha (now PhD at UoM) was a Global Winner, Samanyou Garg (graduated 2018) was a Regional Winner, and Andrej Ivanov (now MSc at ETH Zurich) and Igor Wodiany (now PhD at UoM) were Highly Commended. This follows last year’s success when another of our UGs, Cristian Bodnar (now PhD at Cambridge), was a Global Winner. The Global Undergraduate Awards (aka the Junior Nobel Prizes) is the world's leading undergraduate awards programme which recognises top undergraduate work and shares this work with a global audience. Why not consider submitting your work next year? We’ll provide more details once submissions are open. If you have any questions feel free to contact Igor.


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: I hope you all enjoyed Duncan's CV workshop last week. Thank you Duncan for coming and leading! The PASS leaders have the slides he used during his presentation if you want to access them. Also thank you to all the PASS leaders who came for pizza night! Looking forward to seeing you all this week.


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: This week we will be covering recursion. We will also run through some recursion based interview questions. As always if you have any suggestions, feedback or questions, please submit them on our website. We've already received some questions and will answer them in the session. We hope to see you there today in Collab at 12:00.


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 Department are eligible. See full details and how to apply. Deadline Friday 29 Nov, 17:00.


UNICS.

  This from Horia Radu (Y1, CS4wIE): Hello! We would like to announce that the Competitive Programming Sessions will take place every Wednesday, until the end of this semester, 15:00-17:00 in Collab2. Can’t wait to see you there and let’s do some programming!


FACULTY STUDENT FORUM.

  Our Department is part of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. The latest Faculty Forum next Weds 27 Nov 13:00-15:30 is a chance for students and staff to share their opinions on the way the Faculty runs. Come and make your voice heard! There’s free food! Sign up! Venue: Simon Building Room 3.44A.


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT.

  If you live in UoM Halls of Residence then check out your local ResLife team who live onsite and can help you get all the support and guidance you need during your stay. ResLife can offer support relating to your mental and physical wellbeing, your safety on campus and adjusting to life in a new place. They also organise lots of fun events and extracurricular activities to help you meet people, make friends and feel at home in Manchester. 


ROBOT STUDY.

  Martina Ruocco (researcher in our Cognitive Robotics Lab) writes: take part in a research study – play a game with Pepper! The aim of our research is to investigate the interaction between humans and robots. Participants will be asked to play a price judgement game with Pepper (for example, to estimate the price of books and toys). We are looking for people that don’t have much experience with robots. The study will take approximately 40 minutes and your participation will be rewarded. Use this Doodle (please make sure to write your email alongside your name in the Name box, and please don’t fill the Doodle if you joined our previous pilot study). 


MTHREE VISIT.

  Mthree are visiting Kilburn tomorrow Tues 19 Nov 11:00-15:00. They’re looking for graduates who are interested in software development, production/application support, data analytics and business analyst roles.


HARDWARE LIBRARY.

  Don’t forgot the Department has a hardware library that offers a range of hardware items for you to borrow, all free of charge. Check out the online catalogue to see a list of the items available. 


ML SEMINAR.

  This Weds 20 Nov in Kilburn LT 1.5 at 14:00, Manal Binkhonain (PhD student) will talk about “Applying Machine Learning to the Identification and Classification of Usability Requirements”. Abstract: In the last few years, supervised machine learning algorithms have been widely applied to detect and classify non-functional requirements, focusing on providing more automatic analysis for a specific non-functional category (e.g., security). Few attempts have been made to analyze and classify usability requirements (URs). In this talk, we will present our ongoing experiments toward using machine learning algorithms to fully automate the process of classifying and analyzing URs written in natural documents. All welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 15:00 every Friday.


Week 8 (A) • Monday 11 November 2019 • #19.09          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning! It’s Monday 11 November and it’s Week 8 (an A week). I hope everything is going well, particularly for the 3rd year students who are doing their Lightning Talks at the moment. We are nearly two-thirds of the way through the semester… how time flies when you are having fun! Hope you have a great week, now for today’s news.
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: Thanks for attending last week's PASS session! Don't forget this week Duncan Hull is coming in to run a debugging session for your CVs in Collab 1 at 12.00-13.00! Remember to read the file your PASS leaders sent you and to print your CV for the session. Think of any questions you have in advance so you can ask Duncan everything. 


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Hope you all found last week's session on common data structures useful. As always if you have any feedback or suggestions for us, please submit it through our website. This week, we will be covering trees and graphs. Interview questions involving these data structures are quite common. We hope to see you all today Mon 11 Nov in Collab at 12:00.


SSC.

  The first meeting of the Student-Staff Committee took place last Wednesday, with our Head of Department Prof Robert Stevens in attendance for the whole meeting. There was an excellent turnout for the meeting and we had an active discussion of some of the issues that had been raised so far, for details see the issues forum in Blackboard. Reps also volunteered to sit on a number of committees including the Department Health & Safety committee, Department Leadership Team meeting, Department Forum and the Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee. Don't forget, if you’d like to raise an issue, then please speak to one of your reps, whose contact details are on the SSC Blackboard page.


LIFE AT CERN.

  Josh Dawes (CMwIE, graduated 2017) is now doing his PhD here with Giles Reger (COMP26120, COMP24412) but he’s based full-time at CERN in Switzerland. Check out his story!


IHS MARKIT.

  Tomorrow Tues 12 Nov, 12:00-14:00, IHS Markit will be visiting Kilburn on LF. They’re hiring interns and graduates.


CHILDREN IN NEED.

  We're doing two fab things for Children in Need this week! All proceeds donated to charity. Join us on Friday for a special Children in Need bake sale on Kilburn LF (just outside the Student Support Office) 12:00-14:00 (or until all the cakes run out!) – all are welcome to come and enjoy some treats whilst raising money for a fantastic charity. You're very welcome to contribute your bakes (or purchases!) to the sale – please bring yummy things to SSO from Thursday or on the day. Second is our famous annual Children in Need Online Auction (a bit like eBay, only better). Clear out your cupboards and take any unwanted items (books, DVDs, computer bits, anything really!) to SSO anytime from today. The online auction will run from this Weds 13 Nov until 17:00 Fri 15 Nov. Last year we raised £400 – help us to beat that this year!


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT.

  The Students Union offers advice and support with any wellbeing problems you’re facing in a safe and confidential space away from the University. And remember you can always contact our own Student Support Office for any advice or help at any time.


BOWLING WITH UNICS.

  This from Nora Tuta (Y2, HCIwIE): Hi, everyone! Tomorrow Tues 12 Nov from 19:30 we are organizing our Bowling Social at DogBowl! The price is £4.50/student (don't forget your student ID!) and it includes one bowling game and 25% discount on food. If you wish to attend, please bring exact sum in cash to the Byte Cafe today between 12:00-14:00, and don't forget to register NOW as tickets are VERY limited. We hope you all enjoyed the Bloomberg Pub Quiz last week and had a lot a fun! Here is the winning team!


STUDENT ANGELS.

  The StudentsUnion's Student Angels project supports the Manchester community on nights out, helping students with everything from a sit down and a drink of water, to calling a taxi or providing some first aid. It's a great opportunity to use your time at uni to make friends, build up your confidence and your leadership skills, and make a positive impact! Sign up or email for more information. The project runs in partnership with the LGBT Foundation’s Village Angel Project, find out more in this video.


VOLUNTEER DAYS.

  Volunteer Days are a fantastic way to make a difference to a local charity, get out and about in Manchester and gain hours towards MLP and Stellify. Each event is a one-off, and provides an opportunity to meet people and learn new skills. Sign up using the links below or via the Volunteer Hub and either come along on your own or bring a group of friends. This Weds 13 Nov: Sprucing up the wildlife and orchard in Ladybarn; this Fri 14 Nov: Deeds not Words - A Bagpack with a Difference - raising funds for Emmeline's Pantry; next Thurs 21 Nov: Wright's Wood Spruce Up.


SEMINAR.

  Deema Alqathani (PhD student here in the Department) will talk about “The Effect of Moderating Physical Activity Goals based on Self-Trackers’ Self-Efficacy”, Kilburn LT 1.5 this Weds 13 Nov. Abstract: Many self-trackers lose interest in tracking, disengage and ultimately they even withdraw from tracking. Lack of motivation, difficulty in attaining everyday goals and unmet expectations are some of the reasons why this happens. To help bridge the gap between expectations and reality in self-tracking we developed FitReflect, an app that helps users moderate their daily goals by reporting their confidence in achieving them. All welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 16:00 every Friday.


Week 7 (B) • Monday 4 November 2019 • #19.08          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Welcome back after Reading Week, I hope you managed to take some time off and recharge your batteries for the rest of the semester (not long now to the Christmas break!). It’s Monday 4 November and Week 7 (a B Week). We celebrate Bonfire Night this week, so have fun and enjoy the fireworks. The Lightning Talks start this week for all 3rd year students, so good luck with your presentations. We also have the first meeting of the student-staff committee, so please raise any issues with your student reps (contact details in Blackboard) before the meeting on Wednesday. Enjoy the week … on with the rest of today’s news.
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write:  PASS1 is back this Wednesday at 12:00! We hope you had a great Reading Week and are ready to get back to your usual schedule! Come along to PASS with any questions!


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Hope you all had a relaxing Reading Week! Today Mon 4 Nov we will be covering important data structures that you will be asked about in technical interviews. We hope to see you all at 12:00 in Collab! If you have any feedback or would like to see certain topics covered, please let us know through our website.


HACK THE MIDLANDS WIN!

  Congratulations to Mohammed Anees (Y2, CSE), Ali Awan (Y1, CS), Zain Jaffal (Y1, SE) and Roger Howell (Aston University) on winning the Capital One Challenge for best financial hack at Hack The Midlands last week in Birmingham. They created a web application called Budget-Time to calculate how much time you're spending on various activities during the week as well as suggesting any improvements you can make to your routine to improve your well-being or achieve any goals you've set for yourself.


TAUGHT MASTERS.

  Interested in studying a Taught Master’s programme here at Manchester? Come to a subject talk providing an overview of Advanced Computer Science courses, presented by Dr Renate Schmidt this Weds 6 Nov at 14:15-15:00 in IT.407.


FIRST MEETING OF SSC.

  The first meeting this year of the student-staff committee will be this Weds 6 Nov in Atlas at 14:00. If you'd like to raise an issue then please speak to one of your reps (below) before the meeting (or even better, at any time when issues arise). A list of your reps is on the SSC noticeboard on LF, and contact details in the SSC pages on Blackboard (under CS UG Community). Our Head of Department Prof Robert Stevens will be at the Weds meeting to say hello.


COURSE UNIT HEALTH CHECKS.

  Thanks to everyone who participated in our course unit Healthcheck survey. We had 145 responses, the majority of which were positive with no issues raised or identified. Where possible, course unit leaders have taken immediate actions to address issues and will feed these back.


UNICS NEWS.

  This from Horia Gabriel Radu (Y1, CS4wIE): Hello, everyone! We hope you had fun and learnt a lot at the HackBack2 CTF event last Saturday. Huge congratulations to team WorkWithJam for the hard work they put in, and of course, to team M4nch3st3r for being the team with the most points in Manchester. Also don't forget about the Bloomberg Pub Quiz, this Thursday 7 Nov 19:30 at Turing Tap (M13 9WG). Sign up with your team (max 6 members) and enjoy the free drinks and snacks alongside the quiz!


DASS REGISTRATION.

  The Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS) at the University is a specialist service supporting students with any condition that has a significant, adverse and long term effect on normal day to day activities. You can make an appointment with DASS at any time, but in order to have Semester 1 exam support in place (should you need it) you must register by Thurs 21 Nov. Make an appointment and register here. For advice talk to the Department’s DASS coordinator Hannah Cousins in SSO. If you decide you don’t wish to register with DASS, this may affect the level of support that you can receive from the University.


UKIEPC.

  On Saturday 19 Oct, the UK Ireland Programming Competition (UKIEPC) took place, in which teams of three attempted a series of thirteen fiendish programming challenges over a five hour period. Teams from universities across the British Isles competed at a number of sites, one of which was Manchester. Of the 17 Manchester teams, 3 did particularly well: "Byte Me" (Andrei Bostan (Y1, CS), Alex Iordachescu (Y1, CS), Dragos Marin (Y1, CS), 7 problems solved), "Make Manchester Great Again" (Mihail-Emanuel Ghinea (Y3, CSwIE), Vlad-Andrei Munteanu (Y3, CSwIE), Patrick Sava (Y3, CSwIE), 6 problems solved) and "Kibir Tele Vibir" (Pijus Bradulskis (Y2, CM), Daumantas Kojelis (Y2, CS), Simas Kuprelis (Y2, CS), 5 problems solved). And every one of the Manchester  teams solved at least one problem! See the final standings. For those interested in these competitive programming competitions (which are great fun), there are regular practice sessions in the Collabs on Wednesday afternoons. Contact Ian Pratt-Hartmann for details. All welcome!


COMPETITIVE PROGRAMMING.

  Simas Kuprelis (Y2, CS) writes:  This week UniCS is trialling a new type of event, a Competitive Programming Session! This is the perfect opportunity if you want to improve your skills for coding interviews, competitions, or if you enjoyed UKIEPC and want more. There will be tasks for most skill levels, so come along even if you are a beginner. See you in Collab 1 at 15:00 this Weds 6 Nov.


GREAT UNI HACK.

  This from Smitha Kariapuram (Y2, CS): Hi, although the applications for the GreatUniHack have closed you still have an opportunity to be a part of the hackathon by being volunteers! As a volunteer you can experience the behind the scenes of a hackathon. You will also have the opportunity to log in these hours in the volunteering hub and a great chance to be a future hackathon organiser. Apply! See you at the hackathon!


CYBER SECURITY.

  Aakash Kalantre (Y2, AI4) writes: Hello Hackers. We have an exciting Intro To CTF workshop which will cover interesting topics like Cryptography, Web, Pwning, Stenography and Code & SQL Injection. It will be in Atlas 1 15:00-17:00 this Weds 6 Nov. Follow the Facebook link for more information.


EMPLOYER EVENTS.

  On campus is week are Bank of England, PwC, Tata, PoliceNow, and more. And meet Marillion tomorrow Tues 5 Nov at 12:00-14:00 on Kilburn LF.


GOOGLE COMMS.

  A technical writer from Google is coming this Weds 6 Nov to run some workshops on improving written communication skills. Be there!


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 Department are eligible. See full details and how to apply. Deadline Friday 29 Nov, 17:00.


FOOTBALL NEWS.

  This from Adam Brock (Y3, CSwIE): After a slow and methodical start in the university league, Computer Science FC have come roaring back to life with back to back wins! First a 3-0 clean sheet against International Society followed by a high-scoring 7-4 classic against JSOC. Big shout out to Robert Gheorghe (Y2, CS) and Bogdan Branisteanu (Y1, CSwIE) for that extra bit of magic to get us over the line. Training sessions now commencing Mondays 18:00 at Armitage, email me if you would like to get involved!


SWISS MASTERS.

  ETH Zurich in Switzerland is awarding international scholarships for Master's degree students in 2020/2021. Deadline 15 December.


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT.

  The new student wellbeing desk in the main library launches today Monday 4 Nov! The wellbeing desk will offer information, advice and guidance about support available at the University and signpost you to where you can find the right support for you. So if you’re in the library and need to ask any questions about support and wellbeing, head over to the wellbeing desk between 10:00-16:00 for information. Remember you can always contact the SSO for any advice or help at any time.


SEMINAR.

  This Weds 6 Nov at 14:00 in Kilburn 1.5 Professor Leonel Sousa (Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal) will talk about The Cache-Aware Roofline Model and Application Characterization. Abstract: Simple models and analysis methods, such as Cache-Aware Roofline Model, were proposed in order to provide first-order insights regarding application execution, allowing software developers and hardware engineers to derive the most suitable optimization techniques to extract the maximum potential of multi-core architectures. In this talk, a set of Cache-Aware Roofline Models are presented, aiming at providing a more accurate characterization of real-world applications in computer systems.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 16:00 every Friday.


Week 6 (Reading Week) • Monday 28 October 2019 • #19.07          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning! It’s Monday 28 October and it’s Reading Week! There are no scheduled teaching activities this week – it's a chance for you to have a break and recharge your batteries, or maybe do some catchup or get ahead with your coursework. We are back to normal on Monday 4 November (Week 7 - B week), when the usual timetabled activities resume. Enjoy the break and have fun on Halloween!

best wishes
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


GOOGLE TALK.

  Last week's Google talk was a great success, with our alumni Teo Stoleru (graduated last summer) and Todd Davies (graduated 2016). Thanks to them both for coming! You can see more pix here.


HACKUPC REPORT.

  This from Kamil Synak (Y2, CS4), following on from last week's mention of HackUPC: From 11-13 Oct plenty of Kilburnians attended the famous HackUPC taking place in Barcelona, supported by the Department's Student Activities Fund. The venue was filled to the brim with passionate people radiating energy at every corner. Unfortunately, this came with huge queues for food! Myself, Radu Andra (Y2, CS4), Brian Yim Tam (Y2, BMwIE), Robert Matyas Gyorfi (Y2, CSwIE) made an android app called Discuz, which attempts the Facebook challenge to bring people together. Once the conversation with your friend stalls, you launch the app, it matches your common topics and there you are talking again! Aakash Kalantre (Y2, AI4) made HouseHub which was a web app that scheduled things for students to do in their houses like laundry, cleaning, showers, etc. which optimizes saving electricity and energy. Mohammed Anees (Y2, CSE) made a Firefox Web Extension called ClimateUPC which gives suggestions on how you could save the Earth with your day-to-day tasks and it also raises awareness for the Climate Crisis problems. Mudassir Ahmed (Y2, CMwIE), Chen Bo Calvin Zhang (Y2, CM), Ivan Dewerpe (Y2, CM) and Mohamed Ben Al-Fakih (Y2, CMwIE) made a web-based multiplayer game called Jurassic Journey (seen below). Using the Skyscanner API, JavaScript, Node.js, Vue.js, Express.js and web sockets we populated the game with real-time data such as locations and travel costs.


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: Thanks for attending PASS1 last week! Good luck on your Reading Week reports, we hope the PASS leaders have helped you with LaTeX and writing your first university essay! No PASS this week because of Reading Week. Have a great break and enjoy your time off! 


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Hi from the PASS2 team. We won’t have any session running this week because it is Reading Week. Hope you all enjoy the break! We will see you the week after where we will start covering important algorithms and data structures that you should know before going for interviews.


UG FACEBOOK PAGE.

  Did you know we have an undergraduate community page on Facebook? If you are a Facebook user then please join the group. Here you will find the latest information from the Department as well as the Careers Service.


COURSEWORK.

  Did you know you can see all your coursework deadlines on your Blackboard calendar? You can also export that as an ics for including in your own cal. We’ve added a link to your Bb cal to SPOT.


MIT CIRCS.

  If you have any issues affecting your work then it is important that you let us know as soon as they occur. If you’d like to discuss any problems, then please contact one of the years tutors: Y1: Gareth Henshall, Y2: Duncan Hull, Y3 & Y4: Tim Morris. Any issues will be discussed in the strictest of confidence. Please note that the Department can only consider any mitigating circumstances if you submit a completed form before the deadline, which is 6 January 2020 for Semester 1.


NUS SURVEY.

  Have your chance to win £500 cash by completing a UoM online confidential survey about your time at university and the skills you develop for getting a job. The short survey, which is being run in conjunction with the National Union of Students, will take about 15 minutes to complete. Closing date is 10 Nov and you will be entered into a draw to win £500 or one of 10 £50 runner-up prizes. Take part!


FEEDBACK SESSION.

  Year 2/3/4 students, there’ll be a feedback session to look at AY18 Sem2 COMP exam answer books at 14:00 on Weds 13 Nov in Atlas. Advance registration required, deadline 12:00 Weds 30 Oct. Email SSO with your name, student ID number, programme of study, and the list of COMP scripts you wish to view. Returning IE students: to view AY17 scripts please give details in your request. If you wish to view scripts from other Schools please contact them separately.


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT:

  NIGHTLINE. Greater Manchester Nightline is a confidential listening and information service run for students by students.They offer anonymous, non-judgemental and non-directive support for all callers, regardless of the situation. You can talk about anything you like. As well as the listening service, Nightline can also provide information, such as contact numbers for a wide range of places. Just give Nightline a ring and ask – it’s as easy as that! You can contact Nightline by phone or message.


STEM WOMEN.

  STEM Women run free careers and networking events aimed at STEM students who identify as women. They’re running a Manchester Community Event this Weds 30 Oct at the Bridgewater Hall 11:45-15:30, aiming to help female STEM students develop their networks, hear from inspirational women and meet with leading graduate employers. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Register your interest.


READING WEEK.

  If you are on campus during Reading Week, then we highly recommend attending some of the My Learning Essentials workshops and drop-in sessions to help with assessments especially. Reading Week is also an opportunity for some rest, and this Weds 30 Oct, ‘Cuppa Conversation’ breakout sessions will be held on the ground floor of the Main Library and in Barnes Wallis Hub between 11:00-12:00. This is a chance for you to take a break from your studies and connect with the wellbeing team, and with other students, over a free hot drink. You will also be able to learn more about how the Six Ways to Wellbeing can support you throughout your degree. More information


CYBERCRIME.

  Cyber Crime 2019, 25 Nov at Etihad Stadium, Manchester, is the first combined cyber security conference with an e-sport-like hack competition. The cyber security competition will be played on stage in front of a live audience! With 25+ teams already registered, don’t miss out. To register your university team, complete this form.


APPLICANT EXPERIENCE SURVEY.

  New first year students, you are invited to take the Applicant Experience survey. This survey should take 5 minutes to complete and will help improve the experience of future applicants to the University. You can leave your email address to be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win one of three £25 Amazon vouchers! Deadline 31 October.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 16:00 every Friday.


Week 5 (A) • Monday 21 October 2019 • #19.06          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

It’s Monday 21 October, and we are in Week 5 (an A week) which means we’ve done a third of the semester already! Hope things are going well and you are managing to keep up with the workload. Just a reminder that next week (Week 6) is Reading Week, which means there are no scheduled teaching activities. So make use of the time to relax and take a break, or catch up on any work you need to finish. Still a busy week this week though, so on to today’s news. Have a good week!
best wishes
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


HACKUPC.

  This from Gurneet Bhatia (Y1, AIwIE): Last weekend a few of us had the opportunity to attend HackUPC in Barcelona. I had Jang Belche (Y1, HCI) on my team and we worked on an Android mobile game that calculated your stress level by monitoring your heartbeat through a fitness tracker and decided on a difficulty level based on that. While we did not win the hackathon, we had a really good time working on it and learned a lot since we had never worked on hardware before. It was especially difficult since the fitness tracker didn't have its own API for transmitting the data and we had to write our own. Here is a Devpost link to our project.


SSC STUDENT REPS.

  If you have any issues you’d like to report, then please speak to one of your student reps. Details can be found in the Undergraduate Student Staff Committee area in Blackboard (in the CS UG Community space), or on the noticeboard in the Lower First area. We would like to know what we are doing right, not just what’s going wrong, so please tell us! Any day-to-day infrastructure issues can be reported via the Department support portal.


FACULTY STUDENT FORUM.

  This Department is part of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. The Faculty Forum this Weds 23 Oct 13:00-15:30 is a chance for students and staff to share their opinions on the way the Faculty runs. Come and make your voice heard! There’s free food! Sign up! Venue: 2nd floor theatre space in the Students Union.


AMEX QUIZ.

  This from Simas Kuprelis (Y2,  CS): Thanks to everyone who attended our pub quiz with American Express last week! We had a massive turnout of 28 teams! Congratulations to the winning team, who will be treated to a VIP experience in Brighton & London. They will also represent our university in the grand final next month. If you enjoyed the American Express culture, check out their student careers opportunities. To stay up to date with upcoming great UniCS events, like our Facebook page or subscribe to our events calendar.


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: Thanks for attending PASS1 last week! We know you guys have your Reading Week report coming up, so if you have any questions about that please don't be afraid to ask your PASS leaders, or any question for that matter! PASS leaders can organize specific sessions for a topic you need help with, for example CV debugging, so communicate with your leaders and they will provide! Remember PASS1 is this week on Wednesday from 12:00-13:00 as usual (unless your group has stated you are doing another time)


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Hi from the PASS2 team! This week, we will be running a technical interview workshop. Andrei Muntean, a former student of the University and currently working at a big tech company in London, will be conducting a technical interview and he will be interviewing Stefan (one of the PASS Coordinators). This is your chance to see exactly how such interviews are conducted and you can ask questions about the process to Andrei who has conducted loads of interviews just like this. We will also give you few tips on what to do and what not to do. We hope to see you all today Mon 21 Oct at 12:00 in Collab! Also, if any of you are interested in applying for internships in the US, I found this video really helpful. It provides some useful advice on how to secure an internship in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley or wherever you fancy!


GOOGLE TALK.

  This from Horia Gabriel Radu (Year 1, CS4wIE):  Hello! This Weds 23 Oct the Google Talk (interview prep workshop) will take place in LT1.1, 13:00-15:00. Register!  Also, the deadline for signing up to HackBack2 Cybersecurity Capture The Flag contest is closing in, check out the Facebook event page for more details. The contest will take place here on Sat 26 Oct at 10:00-15:00.


HARDWARE LIBRARY.

  Looking for something to do over Reading Week? Why not borrow something from the hardware library and have a play. See the online catalogue for the range of items available for you to borrow … and all free of charge!


STUDENT EXPERIENCE ACTION PLAN.

  The Department is required by the University to review teaching and learning, and monitor the student experience to produce an annual Student Experience Action Plan (SEAP), which identifies areas for improvement. Student voice is vital in this process and we would like your feedback on the SEAP document for 2019/20, which can be found in the Undergraduate Student Staff Committee area in Blackboard (in the CS UG Community space). Please send me any feedback by email by 18:00 this Friday 25 Oct.


GREAT UNI HACK.

  This from Caitlin Fotheringham (CSwIE, out on IE): GreatUniHack is back again this year and applications are now open! Note down the date 16-17 November and get ready for 24 hours of coding in Manchester! Apply now! First time you’ve heard of GreatUniHack? It's a beginner-friendly 24-hour Hackathon in Manchester led by students. Since 2014, it has brought students from more than 80 countries in Europe together to exchange ideas, build cool projects, and improve their coding skills. Apply now and join us! Make sure you like GUH on Facebook for important updates! Want to experience the hackathon atmosphere but don't want to hack? Then volunteering might just be for you! Help us create a memorable experience for more than 200 students by preparing the event and all of the fun behind the scenes. Volunteer!


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT:

  COUNSELLING. The University Counselling Service is free to students and can offer help and support with a range of personal issues. Support is provided through a range of activities including confidential one to one appointments, group workshops, online support materials and self-help tools. You can refer yourself to the counselling service by booking an appointment online. Remember you can always contact the Student Support Office here in Computer Science for any advice or help at any time.


LIBRARY SUPPORT.

  The Library has launched Specialist Library Support, which provides expert support to staff, students and researchers in the areas of advanced searching and systematic reviews, business data, copyright and referencing, and maths and statistics. Use their online resources and guidesbook onto a training session or contact us via our enquiry channels to discuss a particular problem or task and receive one-to-one advice. All our resources and communication channels can be accessed through Specialist Library Support webpages.


DATA TALK.

  This Weds 23 Oct at 14:00 in Kilburn LT1.5 Dionisios Pnevmatikatos (Technical University of Crete) will talk about “Accelerating streaming applications with reconfigurable accelerators: two examples from the bioinformatics and data summarization domains”. All welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 16:00 every Friday.


Week 4 (B) • Monday 14 October 2019 • #19.05          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Well we are into Week 4, which is a B week in the timetable, and a month into the semester – where’s the time going! I hope all the first years have settled into the Department and are enjoying life as a student in Manchester. We now have our student representatives (see below). If you have any issues with teaching, the environment or anything about the Department in general, then please speak to one of your reps. Any issues raised will be recorded in the Issues Forum in the Student Staff Committee space in Blackboard. Thank you to all the students who put themselves forward as a student representative. It was sad to say goodbye to two colleagues on Friday, Jim Miles and John Latham, who have had such an influence on undergraduate teaching in the Department over the years, they will be sorely missed.

Now, on with the news... 

Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


MEET YOUR STUDENT REPS.

  Voting is over and your student reps are now elected, so congratulations to them all: Sana Aftab (Y2, CS4), Andrei Aleksanian (Y1, CS4), Gurneet Bhatia (Y1, AIwIE), Shu-Ting Chang (Y2, CSwIE), Yash Chopda (Y2, AI4wIE), Jacopo Matteo (Y3, AIwIE), Alex Dumitru (Y3, CM), Leo Elmecker-Plakolm (Y1, CS) (not pictured), Maria Praxedes (Y2, SEwIE), Vlad-George Ionescu (Y2, CS4wIE), Diana-Cristina Irimia (Y1, CM), Zain Jaffal (Y1, SE), Edoardo Lunati (Y3, CM), Cristina-Malina Mircescu (Y2, CSwIE), Kashish Raimalani (Y1, CMwIE) (not pictured), Sai Sambaraju (Y1, CSEwIE), Stuti Sethi (Y4, CS4), Alexandru-Mihai Suciu (Y1, CS4wIE), Nora Tuta (Y2, HCI4wIE), Brian Tam (Y2, BM). You can find their 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 6 Nov.


HEALTH CHECK.

  We're running an early-Semester Course Unit health check – please take a moment to give us your feedback on your courses so far this Semester, so we can make sure everything is ok. Deadline 17:00 this Thurs 17 Oct.


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: Hello everyone! PASS will take place this week on Wednesday at 12:00, as always. Please come along with questions related to any courses, CV building and life as a Computer Science student in general! See you there!


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Hi from the PASS2 team! Hope you all found the CV workshop we held last week useful. If you have any feedback, do go on to our website and submit your suggestions. Today Monday14 Oct at 12:00 in Collab, we will be talking about interviews. We will be covering the various types of interviews you will encounter during the application process like the technical interview, online coding interview and assessment centre. We will also talk about how you can prepare for them. We hope to see you all there!


RETIREMENTS.

  Last week we said farewell to John Latham and Jim Miles, who have both now retired from the University. John Latham joined us in 1985 and as well as being the architect of ARCADE taught 1st Year Java programming for 14 years and made a huge impact on UG life throughout his career. Jim Miles joined the Department in 1999 after moving from the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, and went on to become Associate Dean for Graduate Education from 2008-2011, and then our Head of Department from 2011 to 2016. I’m sure you will join me in thanking John and Jim for all their fantastic contributions over the years, and wishing them a happy retirement. We will miss them both.


FEEDBACK SESSION.

  Year 2/3/4 students, there’ll be a feedback session to look at AY18 Sem2 COMP exam answerbooks at 14:00 on Weds 13 Nov in Atlas. Advance registration required, deadline 12:00 Weds 30 Oct. Email SSO with your name, student ID number, programme of study, and the list of COMP scripts you wish to view. Returning IE students: to view AY17 scripts please give details in your request. If you wish to view scripts from other Schools please contact them separately.


UNICS NEWS.

  Nora Tuta (Y2, HCI4wI) writes: Hi! Don't miss the Morgan Stanley coding challenge that will take place this Weds 16 Oct, in the Kilburn Atlas rooms, from 12:30 to 18:00, with coding between 13:00-17:00. Sign up. Free pizza and soft drinks at the end!  More news: Next Weds 23 Oct the Google Talk (interview prep workshop) will be held in LT1.1, 13:00-15:00. Complete this form to let them know you are coming. Last but not least, the deadline for signing up to HackBack2 Cybersecurity Capture The Flag contest (Sat 26 Oct 10:00-15:00) is approaching. Register before 19 Oct.


SUPPORT SPOTLIGHT:

  BIG WHITE WALL. Big White Wall is a 24/7 anonymous online mental health and wellbeing resource for students, staff and researchers. Whether you’re struggling to sleep, feeling low or finding it hard to cope, or just want to the chance to think more deeply about your wellbeing, Big White Wall can help you to explore your feelings and think things through. Most users report feeling better and more able to cope as a result of using the service and because it’s available 24/7, nearly 90% use Big White Wall outside of 9-5pm. Find out more here.

 


FOOTBALL NEWS.

  This from Adam Brock (Year 3, CSwIE): Weds 2 Oct marked the beginning of Computer Science Football Club's campaign to take over the University Football League. After storming into a 2-0 lead thanks to some swift counter attacking play, the hours and hours spent in front of computers took its toll and tiredness set in. After conceding one before half time and two just after, the team roused themselves from fatigue and pushed until the very end. Final score a heartbreaking but very encouraging 3-2 loss, though it will only make the first victory that much sweeter!


WIKI DAY.

  To celebrate the work of the world's first software engineer, Ada Lovelace, we're holding a Wikipedia edit-a-thon this Thurs 17 October where you can learn how to edit Wikipedia. This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to improve their digital skills and written communication skills. Held in association with the Physiological Society, we'll be focusing on creating and improving biographies of Women in Physiology. Confirmed speakers for the morning include: Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Physiologist and Vice Chancellor of The University of Manchester, Professor Susan Wray, Physiologist, University of Liverpool, Dr Jessica Wade, Physicist, Imperial College London, and Dr Duncan Hull, Computer Scientist, University of Manchester. Full details.


SAVE THE WORLD!

  If your computer screen morphed into a demand for ransomware from criminals shortly before a nation state took down the power supply to half the country, could you imagine what to do? The Atlantic Council's UK Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge presents such a scenario for students (in teams of 4) to tackle a plausible cyber-attack scenario. Put your application in now to join the University of Manchester team  by answering these three questions (no more than one A4 page in total) and emailing your answers by 12:00 Mon 28 Oct to Prof Danny Dresner: 1. Why should your team be at the Cyber 9/12 Challenge? 2. What are the current strategic cyber security challenges the UK faces? 3. What do you consider to be the most significant publically-known cyber incident to date and why? The comp will take place at London’s BT Tower Feb 17-18, 2020. Applications will be judged by the University's Digital Trust and Security Group and you’ll be notified by 29 Nov.


SUPPORT SPOTLIGHT:

  CAREERS. This from Ben Carter, the UoM Careers Service Careers Consultant who works with our Department: Careers. Carriers. Choreas. Car ears. These are all actual things that I have seen written down in actual job applications. Don’t let the idea of your career get so scary you can’t put it into (sensible) words. Document checks and PG study queries, interview jitters, career direction concerns, bring them our way if you’d like to lighten your load. But did you know we can also offer video interview practice, mock interviews with employers and free access to psychometric recruitment tests? Appointments will be open to book again in November, but until then, don’t be a stranger, and let some of our graduates ease your mind with their own careers experiences. Drop-in sessions: 10:00-15:00, Tue 15 Oct Barnes Wallis G.070, Thur 17 Oct Alan Turing G.101, Tue 22 Oct Barnes Wallis G.070, Thur 24 Oct Schuster Conference Room A, Tue 29 Oc Barnes Wallis G.070, Thur 31 Oct Alan Turing G.101.


UKIEPC COMP.

  Ian Pratt-Hartmann writes: places are still available (and volunteers wanted) for teams to register for the UKIEPC Programming Contest! Registration closes this Weds 16 Oct, so hurry.  This is an annual event in which teams of three try to crack a series of programming challenges. As well as being excellent practice for your programming courses here, it is also amazing fun. Full details. Register using the Competition website and select "University of Manchester" as your preferred site. The best eligible teams will be able to go on to compete in the North WestEurope Regional Programming Competition (NWERC) in Eindhoven from 15-17 Nov 2019, and the Department will cover expenses. If you don't want to compete, but want to find out what these events are like, why not volunteer as a student helper? Please contact me if interested.


VOLUNTEER!

  Come to the Volunteering and Social Justice Fair 11:00-15:00 this Tues 15 Oct in Academy 1, with 100 organisations offering volunteering opportunities. It's a great chance to meet organisations in person to find out more about what they do and how you can get involved. Sign up to the Facebook event to receive reminders and more information.


ML TALK.

  Today Monday 14 Oct at 14:00 in the Kilburn Atlas Suite,  Paco Nathan will talk about “ML to Augment Scholarly Infrastructure”. This talk is about Rich Context and the associated new features for data governance and collaboration which are going into JupyterLab. Rich Context is a research effort within the Coleridge Initiative at NYU Wagner, developing a knowledge graph built from metadata about the use of curated datasets and related research. All welcome.


VR TALK.

  This Weds 16 Oct at 14:00 in the Kilburn Mercury room, Mario Sandoval will talk about “Multiple Degrees-Of-Freedom Input Devices for Interactive Command and Control within Virtual Reality”. The aim of this research is to present a new multimodal interaction mapping framework for 3D object manipulation within the virtual reality realm, by leveraging the advantages of having multiple Degrees of Freedom. All welcome.


TURING TALKS.

  At 14:00 this Weds 16 Oct in Alan Turing G.209 Dr Jonathan Swinton who will give two talks: the first about Phyllotaxis and Fibonacci's numbers, and the second about Alan Turing and Manchester. All welcome.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 16:00 every Friday.


Week 3 (A) • Monday 7 October 2019 • #19.04          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

It’s Monday 7 October and we’re in Week 3 (which is an A week in the timetable). It was great to see a busy careers fair last Thursday & Friday, and pleasing to see some graduates manning the employer stands. I hope everything is going well? If not, speak to someone. Every week we will highlight some of the support services available through the University, today it’s DASS. If you are a 1st or 2nd year then please don’t forget to vote for your student representatives in Blackboard. The ballot closes at 17:00 this Friday 11 Oct.

Enjoy the week,
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


CAREERS FAIR.

  I hope you enjoyed the Careers Fair last week. Please join me in saying a special thank you to Mabel Yau for her amazing efforts in making it all work!


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write:  Thanks everyone who showed up to PASS1 last Wednesday! Don’t forget to stay in touch with your PASS leaders so you know where you are meeting. If you have any questions for your PASS leaders about ANYTHING, don’t be afraid to ask; they want you to ask questions!


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Hi from the PASS2 team! We were very thrilled to see the turnout for our first session of PASS2 (pictured below). We hope you found it beneficial. If you have any feedback for us on how we can improve our sessions going forward, please do visit our website and submit your suggestions. PASS2 continues this week, today Monday 7 Oct at 12:00 in Collab. We will be talking about CVs and LinkedIn and all the Dos and Don’ts in making killer job applications. We hope to see you there. Do bring your CV too, we will be happy to take a look.


SUPPORT SERVICE SPOTLIGHT:

  DASS. The Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS) at the University is a specialist service supporting students with any condition that has a significant, adverse and long term effect on normal day to day activities. DASS helps students with a range of conditions which includes but is not limited to dyslexia and other learning difficulties, autism spectrum condition, mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression, mobility and sensory impairments, unseen disabilities like epilepsy, HIV, AIDS, chronic fatigue, IBS and Crohns. DASS can help students access exam, study and specialist support but only if you register with them. You can make an appointment with DASS at any time, but in order to have Semester 1 exam support in place (should you need it) you must register by Thurs 21 Nov. Make an appointment and register here. For advice talk to the Department’s DASS coordinator Hannah Cousins. If you decide you don’t wish to register with DASS, this may affect the level of support that you can receive from the University.


UNICS NEWS.

  Nora Tuta (Y2, HCI4wIE) writes: Hello, everyone! This week will be a busy one: Don't miss the AMEX Pub Quiz this Weds 9 Oct at 19:00 at Turing Tap (this is the InterUniversity Challenge). Register ASAP (the deadline is today 7 Oct, but depending on the number of applications, you may try to sign up later too) by sending an email to Scott Hardie for a great night full of fun, free snacks and drinks from AMEX! On Thursday, AMEX is going to hold a CV drop-in session. Come from 13:00 for a free coffee and a short discussion based on your CV! Sign up. Last but not least, keep in mind that HackBack2 will take place on 26 Oct! Register before 19 Oct with a team of up to 4 people. Check our instagram and facebook for more details!


CRACKCHESTER.

  This from Andras Geiszl (Y3, CSwIE): Hey everyone, Crackchester here! We are hosting our intro workshop this Wednesday 9 Oct at 14:00 in Atlas. Come if you want to learn about us and improvements you can do to level up your personal security. Topics will include VPNs, Antiviruses and a lot more! We are also looking for new people in our Committee. The open positions will be announced after the workshop. See you there!


MORGAN STANLEY CODING CHALLENGE.

  Join graduates from Morgan Stanley’s Technology Division for an afternoon of programming, next Weds 16 Oct 14:00-16:00 in Atlas. Build an Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe algorithm, compete against your fellow students’ bots and win great prizes. Winners to be decided at the end of the event during an interactive competition. Pizza and soft drinks will be provided. Apply.


APPLICANT EXPERIENCE SURVEY.

  New first year students, you are invited to take the Applicant Experience survey for 2019. This survey should take 5 minutes to complete and will help improve the experience of future applicants to the University. Plus you can leave your email address to be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win 1 of 3 £25 Amazon vouchers! Deadline 31 October.


VENTURE OUT.

  Venture Out is the University’s annual student ideas competition for undergraduates and postgraduates to put forward an idea that they believe would make a great business opportunity. 15 cash prizes are up for grabs across 5 categories (business, creative, environmental, social, and technology) as well as 20 x £20 Amazon Vouchers. Ideas could involve a new technology, solving a problem, or simply something to help make the lives of others easier. Deadline: 8 Nov 2019.


GRAND CHALLENGES.

  Year 1 Sustainability Challenge: If you missed the challenge on the Tuesday of Welcome Week, check your email for information on how to attend a catch up! Year 2 Social Justice Challenge: Second year students can now complete the Social Justice Challenge on Blackboard through the “My Communities” page. Year 3 Workplace Ethics Challenge: Third year students can now complete the Workplace Ethics Challenge online or attend related workshops. Find out more about the Ethical Grand Challenges and how to complete them here. Students who complete all three challenges, 40 hours of volunteering and hold two leadership roles are awarded the prestigious Stellify Award.


PROGRAMME SURVEY.

  Second years: give your feedback about your programme in the University’s 2nd Year programme survey, open until 20 Oct via your MyManchester.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 16:00 every Friday.


Week 2 (B) • Monday 30 September 2019 • #19.03          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Well it’s Monday 30 September and we are now into Week 2 (a B week in the timetable). I hope you have settled into a routine and know what you should be doing this week. If not, then check out your personal timetable. Remember, if you need any help then speak to your tutor/project supervisor, year tutor or one of the friendly faces in SSO. Again there’s lots happening in the Department and it’s time to congratulate some of our students on their successes as you'll see below. Don’t forget, today is the deadline for Student Rep nominations, so if you are interested then please send me an email before the deadline of 17:00.
Best wishes,
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


INTERNATIONAL UG AWARDS SUCCESS.

  Congratulations to no less than FOUR of our recent UG students, all of whom graduated last summer, who have won prizes in the prestigious annual Global Undergraduate Awards! Andrej Ivanov (now at ETH Zurich) and Igor Wodiany (now doing a PhD with our APT group) received Highly Commended in the Computer Science category; Samanyou Garg won Regional Winner for Europe in the same category, making his entry the best Computer Science work amongst all submissions from Europe; and Aayush Chadha (now doing a PhD with the Graphene NOWNANO project) won Global Winner in the Engineering category for his 3rd year project BL!NK: Detecting, Analysing and Storing Eye Blinks, supervised by Professor Tom Thomson. Well done all for these outstanding achievements. I’m sure your success will enthuse others to submit their projects to the 2020 awards, which we’ll tell you about when they open.


PRIZEWINNERS.

  Every year the Department awards prizes to UG students who have excelled academically or made significant contributions to life in the Department. Last week our Head of Department Professor Robert Stevens awarded the prizes. Below, L to R: Alex Bowker-Lonnecker (Y2, CSwIE), winner of the Michael Jealous Memorial Prize for best first year student. Golden Anniversary Prizewinners, for excellence in first year studies: Nathan Mannall (Y2, CS4wIE), David Baxter (Y2, CS4wIE), Vlad-Mihai Ene (Y2, CS4), Chen Bo Calvin Zhang (Y2, CM), Simas Kuprelis (Y2, CS) and (not pictured) Kalina Stefanova (Y2, CS). Well done everyone!


INNOVATION TALK.

  This Weds 2 Oct at 14:00 in LT1.1 Andy Stanford-Clark, Chief Technology Officer for IBM in the UK and Ireland, and a master inventor with experience of innovating in both his personal and professional life will talk about “Innovation Begins at Home”. A self-confessed electronics hobbyist, specialising in technologies which help to make the planet smarter, Andy is a software engineer with a difference. As a TEDx speaker and with appearances on the BBC, Andy is well versed in sharing his amazing career highlights. If you want to hear about how to rapidly innovate technology products in the areas of IoT, AI and Quantum Computing then this event is for you. Register now. Everyone welcome!


PASS SCAVENGER HUNT.

  This from Erika Angell (Y3, CM): Thank you everyone who attended the scavenger hunt last week. I hope you all had a good time, got to know some second years and your campus a little better! Congratulations to the winning team Köfte! Look out for future events for PASS!


PASS1.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: Hi everyone! Peer-Assisted Study Sessions, aka PASS, is a scheme where students mentor students, helping you build a network and making your university life easier. This first session at 12:00 this Weds 2 Oct in Collab will introduce you to your PASS leaders and help you get to know your group members even better! The leaders will bring you useful tools to set you up for success. Contact Erika or Andra with any questions.


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Hello from the PASS2 team! We hope you have enjoyed the first week of the Second Year and are well settled in. PASS2 starts today Monday 30 Sept (for sure this time… I triple checked!) at 12:00 in Collab. We will talk about PASS2 and second year modules. In subsequent weeks we will cover some important topics that will help you land an internship or placement (CV and interview workshops, coding interview sessions, etc.). So please do come along and we hope to see you all today.


CAREERS FAIR.

  This Thurs/Fri 3/4 Oct we have a huge Careers Fair here in the Department, with over 30 companies coming, including Airbus, Amazon, the BBC, Bloomberg, KPMG, Morgan Stanley, and loads more.


IKIEPC.

  This from Ian Pratt-Hartmann: I hope lots of you are considering registering for the UK and Ireland Programming Contest (UKIEPC), which will be held here on Sat 19 Oct. The Department will be one of the host sites, for Manchester CS students only. There will be a short orientation meeting for those interested this Weds 2 Oct 14:00-15:00 in Kilburn 1.3. Everyone welcome.


BE A STUDENT REP.

  Represent your fellow students and make a difference. The UG Student-Staff Committee (SSC) meets twice each semester to discuss students’ concerns. It’s a friendly and open forum for student reps to discuss things with the Director of UG Studies and other key staff. Nominations for student reps are now open. If you’d like to nominate yourself as a student rep then please contact me by email providing a statement (maximum of 250 words) TODAY Monday 30 September by 17:00. A ballot will open for students to vote for reps shortly after. Please get involved!


COURSE UNIT SELECTION.

  You have until 15:30 this Friday 4 Oct to finalise your Semester 1 course unit choices. After that deadline, your course selections freeze, and changes won’t be possible.


PROJECT MALAWI.

  Tim Morris writes: Project Malawi is looking for volunteers. Last summer, two undergraduates went to Malawi with a team of staff from the Department, plus newly qualified teachers from nearby universities. We spent time teaching computing and IT skills to primary and secondary children, and adults. We’re beginning to plan next year’s trip. So contact me to find out more. Absolutely no previous experience is required!


BE AN AMBASSADOR.

  A great opportunity for you to work with applicants and secondary school pupils interested in studying Computer Science. Learn new skills, great for your CV. Make new friends and earn some money talking about the thing you’re passionate about. If you want to be considered for the Ambassador Programme please fill out the online application, deadline Weds 9 Oct.


LIBRARY NEWS.

  A very warm welcome back to all returning students! At the Library we’re here to support you with your studies, and make sure you get the best possible learning experience while at the University so you can reach your full potential. The best place to start is online on the Library webpages: whether you need to find a resource from your reading list; order a book or article for a research project, or access the Library’s programme of skills support, the Library website is the place to go. You can also use the Library website to chat to our staff online. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have, no matter how big or small!


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 16:00 every Friday.


Week 1 (A) • Monday 23 September 2019 • #19.02          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning UG! It’s Monday 23 September, and it’s Week 1A of Semester 1 and you will, I’m sure, all be ready and raring to get started! Throughout the semester we alternate between Week A's and Week B's, with different timetabled activities according to whether it is Week A or Week B. The Monday Mail will always remind you which week it is – and this is a Week A You can check what’s happening via the full UG timetable or via your personalised timetable. OK, on with today’s news, and as usual there is a lot to tell you about! Get involved! And have a great week!

best wishes
Paul Nutter
Director of Undergraduate Studies


FIRST YEAR STUDENTS.

  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, and see next item!), contact your Personal Tutor, or Gareth Henshall (all programmes except CM and HCI), Andrea Schalk for CM, or Simon Harper for HCI – they’ll all be very happy to help.


MEET SSO!

  Meet your Student Support Office team! They’re in Kilburn LF21, 0161 306 8155, email, ready to help you with any query. Left to right: Gavin Donald, Undergraduate Assistant; Mabel Yau, Careers and Employability Officer; Hannah Cousins, Teaching and Learning Manager; Cameron Macdonald, Undergraduate Assistant; Lisa Wright, Undergraduate Administrator; Amelia Graham, Student Support Office Assistant; Susie Hymas, Postgraduate Administrator; Jennie Ball-Foster, Exams & Quality Assurance Administrator; Chris Calland, Postgraduate Assistant.


PASS SCAVENGER HUNT.

  Erika Angell (Y3, CM) and Andra Popa (Y3, CM) write: Hi new First Year students! We are the PASS1 Coordinators for this year. Peer-Assisted Study Sessions, aka PASS, is a scheme where students mentor students, helping you build a network and making your university life easier. This Wednesday 25 Sept we are running a scavenger hunt around the campus! So come along and meet us in Collab 1 at 16:00 Weds to have a good time with your new coursemates. Contact Erika or Andra with any questions!


PASS2.

  Rifad Lafir (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Hello from the PASS2 team! We hope you are all well settled and ready for your second year at university. PASS2 (‘Peer Assisted Study Sessions’ for second years) starts today Monday 23 Sept at 12:00 in Collab. We will talk about PASS2 and second year modules. In subsequent weeks we will cover some important topics that will help you land an internship or placement (CV and interview workshops, coding interview sessions, etc.). So please do come along and we hope to see you all today.


PRIZE WINNERS.

  Every year the School awards prizes to UG students who have excelled academically or made significant contributions to the School. Last week our Head of Department Professor Robert Stevens awarded the prizes. Below, L to R, Joshua Cheung (Y3, CSwIE), winnner of the Kate Kneebone Bursary 2018; Nicky Chau (Y3, CS), Professor's Prize; Kanyinsola Sagoe (Y3, BM), Professor's Prize. Other Professors Prize winners were Jonathan Tang (Y3, CMwIE), Yuxuan Zhou (HCI, out on IE) and Ivan Pupovac (CM, out on IE). Well done everyone!


COURSE UNIT SELECTION.

  You have until 15:30 on Friday 4 Oct to finalise your Semester 1 course unit choices. After that deadline, your course selections freeze, and changes won’t be possible.


UNICS.

  This from Nora Tuta (Y2, HCI4wIE): Hello! UniCS is glad to announce that our recruitment session will take place this Wednesday 25 Sept from 14:00 in IT407. For one hour, all students are invited to come to this meeting where we are going to explain the roles of each department and at the end you will complete a form stating the departments you would like to join. Also, from this week on, the Python Coding Classes will start again in Collab, Kilburn Building, every week on Thursday from 17:00. If you have any friends from outside CS who would like to learn a coding language, this is their opportunity. Last but not least, you will find our stall on 26 Sept, from 18:00-21:00, at Manchester Entrepreneurs event!


BE A STUDENT REP.

  Represent your fellow students and make a difference. The UG Student-Staff Committee (SSC) meets twice each semester to discuss students’ concerns. It’s a friendly and open forum for student reps to discuss things with the Director of UG Studies and other key staff. Nominations for student reps are now open. If you’d like to nominate yourself as a student rep then please contact me by email providing a statement (maximum of 250 words) outlining why you should be a representative. The deadline for nominations is 17:00 next Monday 30 September. A ballot will open for students to vote for reps shortly after. Please get involved!


DEPARTMENT FOOTBALL TEAM.

  Adam Brock (Y3, CSwIE) writes: Are you ready to represent your Department on the grandest stage of them all? Then head on down to Collab tomorrow Tues 24 Sept from 11:00 to sign up for Computer Science Football Club! We are talking on all years and all abilities so no need to be shy, just come and have a chat with us. Details of first training session will follow. If you can't make it just email me or Luke Beamish. See you on Tuesday!


VOLUNTEER!

  This from Ben Possible (Outreach and Engagement Assistant): Interested in becoming a volunteer for our school and outreach activities? Whether you want to just develop activities or to just help run them come along to our intro meeting this Weds 25 Sept at 13:00 in IT407. There is a wide range of opportunities to get involved in and it's great fun, hugely worthwhile, excellent for your CV, and recognised by the School and University! Register to hear about our first meeting and any questions, contact Ben.


QUIET ROOM.

  We’ve moved the Quiet Room from 1.8 to LF8 (opposite the Byte Cafe). We’ve done this to try and have a better chance at a room that stays quiet. You’ve asked us for a quiet working lab, but we can’t keep it quiet, only you can! Please note the quiet study room with no PCs is still there, at the back of 1.8.


WOMEN IN CS.

  Funds are available to support female undergraduate students in the Department of Computer Science for a variety of Women in CS activities. The maximum grant per student, per event, is  £500, which can be used for travel, accommodation, registration, substance, and venue hiring. See our wiki for how to apply.


ROBOT RESEARCH,

  Take part in a research study – play a game with Pepper the robot! The aim of our research is to investigate the interaction between Humans and Robots. Participants will be asked to play a price judgement game with Pepper (for example, to estimate the price of books and toys). We are looking for people that don’t have much experience with Robots. The study will take approximately 30 minutes, and there will be a reward for participating. If you would like to participate, please express your time slot preference here, or contact Martina Ruocco or Wenxuan Mou.


UKIEPC PROGRAMMING COMP.

  On Sat 19 Oct, the Department of Computer Science will be one of the host sites for the UK and Ireland Programming Contest (UKIEPC). This is an annual event in which teams of three try to crack a series of programming challenges. As well as being excellent practice for your programming courses here, it is also amazing fun. Full details. Register (deadline 16 Oct) using the Competition website and select "University of Manchester" as your preferred site. Form a team with your friends, or email Ian Pratt-Hartmann with your Name, preferred language (Gnu C 11, Gnu C++ 14, OpenJDK Java 8, Python 2, Python3, or Kotlin 1.1.4) and year of study and Ian will help to form groups. The best eligible teams will be able to go on to compete in the North WestEurope Regional Programming Competition (NWERC) in Eindhoven from 15-17 Nov 2019, and the Department will cover expenses.


HARDWARE LIBRARY.

  Did you know we have a student hardware library in the Department containing hardware components that are free for you to borrow? There are all sorts of items available, from Raspberry Pi components to Parrot Drones, Arduinos to Microsoft Kinects, basic electronic components to robots … we even have Oculus VR headsets. To see what is available for you to borrow (for free!) have a look at the library catalogue. If you want to borrow an item then all you have to do is reserve it online, and then collect from Steve Rhodes (corner office in Tootill 0) when you get the notification that it is available.


SOMETHING TO SHARE?

  Deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 16:00 every Friday.


Welcome Week • Monday 16 September 2019 • #19.01          The Monday Mail

Paul pic

Good morning undergraduates! It’s Monday 16 September 2019 and it's the start of a new academic year and of course Welcome Week for our new students. I’d like to extend a very warm welcome to you all, to those joining us for the first time, and those who are returning for another year. I'm Paul Nutter and I’m the Director of Undergraduate Studies, which means I’m responsible for the day-to-day running of the undergraduate degree programmes in the Department. You are reading the Monday Mail, which is sent to all undergraduate students every Monday during term-time, the aim of which is  to keep you up-to-date with the latest news as well as publicising all the great things that are happening in the Department … and there's always a lot happening! So have a great week, and on with today's news.
Paul Nutter
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 10:00-16:00 in Kilburn Room LF21, email them, or phone 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 3 students have Project activities; so please check your timetables and make sure you know what’s going on.


BP AWARD.

  Congratulations to Sam Joynson (Y2, CSwIE) who has won a BP Achievement Award. Well done, Sam!


UNICS PUB CRAWL.

  This from Nora Tuta (Y2, HCI4wIE): Hello everyone and welcome (back)! UniCS, the Computer Science society, has prepared some activities during Welcome Week for both first year and returning students. First, you are invited to UniCS Freshers' Pub Crawl this Weds 18 Sept from 19:00. And, you can find our stall at the Society Fair in Academy 1 (next to the Students Union) 10:00-16:00 this Weds/Thurs 18/19 Sept, so come and ask us any questions you might have! Check our Students' Union page where you can find all our social media and join our group. And here is a calendar with all the events that UniCS is going to organize this year. Have fun and good luck in the coming year! Below is this year's and last year's committee!


LOOKING FOR INFO ABOUT THE SCHOOL?

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


KILBURN OUT OF HOURS.

  Kilburn Building opening times are 18:00 to 23:30 on weekdays, and 10:00 to 20:00 at weekends. You will need an out-of-hours pass to be in the building after 18:00 and at weekends.


STUDENT HELPERS NEEDED.

   Fancy earning a bit of extra cash for the start of term? We need student demonstrators for our Open Days on Saturdays 28 Sept and 12 Oct. So if you have a project, returned from a year in Industry and would like to talk about you experience with our visitors, or just have something cool to demonstrate to prospective students, contact Jez Lloyd ASAP to get involved!


BE A PASS LEADER.

  Interested in becoming a PASS Leader? We're still recruiting student volunteers to become PASS Leaders for 2019/20. 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 whilst having a real impact on the university life of the first years they support. For more information about PASS and becoming a Leader, see the Peer Support website, and here’s the sign up.


STARTING UNI.

  First years: starting university can be an exciting experience, but it can also bring challenges, some of them unexpected. Settling in, building new relationships and adapting to new social and learning environments can be demanding. Here' a short module about starting university that you might find useful.


SOFTWARE FREEDOM DAY.

  Manchester Free Software (MFS) and Manchester Linux User Group are holding Software Freedom Day (SFD) in Manchester this coming Saturday 21 Sept, 13:30-16:30pm at Manchester Central Library. SFD is a global event with groups around the world holding events but the Manchester event is the only one in the UK.


DEPT LIBRARY.

  Did you know that the Department has its own library exclusively for use by Computer Science students and staff. It has multiple copies of every book on our course unit reading lists, and a collection of general-interest CS books, all of which can be borrowed for short periods.


CAN SAT.

  The Manchester CanSat Project focuses on the design and build of CanSats (“can-sized satellites”), with a multidisciplinary team of 10 students that competes in the annual AAS CanSat Competition held in Texas sponsored by NASA, Lockheed Martin, and Siemens. They also hold weekly workshops to teach students how to build their own CanSats, and as a regular workshop attendee you might be able to launch your CanSat in a rocket! Interested? Contact them.


FINANCE HELP.

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