Good morning UG! It’s Monday 13th March 2023 and it’s week 7. Only two more weeks to go until the much needed Easter break. However, we are also entering what is a very busy period in the semester, particularly for the 3rd year project!
The semester 1 exam results will be released at 12:00 (noon) on Thursday. If you have any concerns about your results then it’s important you speak to someone. In the first instance you can speak to your academic advisor, but you can also speak to your year tutor, or a member of the Department Wellbeing team (see below). You can also find information about what results mean, with respect to resits/progression in the undergraduate handbook (see below). What’s important is that if you have any concerns, or are worried about your results, then please speak to someone.
If you are returning into the 3rd year next year, then now is the time to start thinking about your final year project. Later in the semester, the project book will be opened for you, where you can select from the range of projects offered by staff. However, we strongly encourage you to consider putting forward your own project, and now is the time to start thinking about this (see below).
Strike action by members of the University and College Union resumes this week (see below), which may impact some scheduled teaching activities.
Have a good week. On with today’s news …
Undergraduate Programme Director
STUDENT SUPPORT SPOTLIGHT:
WELLBEING SUPPORT IN CS. Issues can impact students at any time, usually when you least expect it. If you are affected by any issues, and if they start to impact your studies, then it’s vitally important that you speak to someone and get the help and support you need. You can speak to your year tutor about anything that might be affecting you and your studies, or you can speak, in confidence, to a member of our Student Wellbeing Team, Ben Herbert
and Maria Sloan
, or drop into the student hub in Engineering Building A. Ben and Maria are also the Disability Coordinators for CS, so you can speak to them if you have any ongoing physical or mental health problems, or conditions such as ASD or ADHD, that affect your studies, even if you are not already registered with the DASS Team at the University. If you are registered with DASS and there are problems with your DASS plan you can speak with them about this too. You can contact Ben and Maria by email
SEMESTER 2 DASS DEADLINE. Maria Sloan
writes: The deadline for students to receive examination support for Semester 2, via the Disability Support and Advisory Service (DASS)
, is 4pm this Thursday, 16th March 2023. By this deadline students must have:
Please note: students who already have exam support in place do not need to take action. However, if you feel you need changes to your exam support, then the deadline above does apply to you. Please reach out to DASS directly if you wish to review your DASS plan. Appointments with Disability Advisers in the week leading up to the deadline become booked up very quickly, so please ensure that you contact them as early as possible.If you think you may be eligible for DASS support and would like to discuss your situation with a member of the wellbeing team first, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or drop into the Student Support Hub (1st Floor, Engineering Building A).
Your academic advisor provides pastoral and academic support if you are having any issues during your studies. Who is your academic advisor? If you are a 1st or 2nd year student, then your academic advisor is your tutor - you can remind yourself who that is for year 1
and year 2
. In the 3rd year, your academic advisor is your project supervisor. In the 4th year (MEng), you academic advisor is Tim Morris
YEAR TUTOR OPEN HOURS.
The year tutors are here to support you if you need any help and advice, so feel free to contact your year tutor by email. They also run a weekly open hour where you can pop in (in-person or virtually) for a chat:
- Year 1 (not CM): Gareth Henshall. Open hour: Tuesday 12:00 - 13:00, Kilburn 2.82
- Year 2 (not CM): Ahmed Saeed. Open hour: Wednesday 12:00 - 13:00, Kilburn 2.80
- Year 3/4 (not CM): Tim Morris. Open hour: Thursday 10:00 - 11:00, Kilburn 2.107
- CM (all years): Andrea Schalk. Open hour: Monday 13:00 - 14:00, Kilburn 2.103
- UG Director: Paul Nutter. Open hour: Tuesday 09:00 - 10:00, Online.
PASS2. Ingy Abdelhalim
(Y3, CS) and Nadine Abdelhalim
(Y3, CS) write: Hi from the PASS2 team! As the semester is getting busier, this week we will be running a mental health session! We will have special snacks and playing games! If you guys have any particular worries you want to talk to us about, or you just want to chill out for a bit, please drop by! As usual PASS2 will be on Wednesday 15 March 13:20-14:20 in Collab. For those thinking of applying for PASS2 student coordinator for the next academic year, remember to apply
before March 31st .
COST OF LIVING PAYMENT.
An additional cost of living payment of £230 will be made to eligible students to support them with the current cost of living crisis. If you are eligible, you should have already received an email confirming that you’ll be receiving the payment and asking you to update your bank details on the student system. You can find out more, along with details of who is eligible here
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT-STAFF LIAISON COMMITTEE. Tom Carroll
writes: On Wednesday 1st March, we had another meeting of our UG SSLC, in which we focused on Blended Learning within the Department. From this meeting, we gathered lots of information about what aspects of Blended Learning students like and don't like, as well as examples of when it is well delivered. It was clear that students have a preference for videos that are short and concise, to the point, with good visuals, and that use accessible examples. For Synchronous sessions, students demonstrated a clear desire for sessions that were of an interactive nature, such as with group tasks, Mentimeter quizzes, and Q&A sections - a strong desire for participation was expressed and students want a reason to attend in person. In a previous meeting, we focused on Assessment and Feedback, where key points were that feedback should be timely, consistent (ie: between markers) and detailed (ie: to give suggestions for improvements). Feedback on these issues have been fed back to the Department to improve our delivery of teaching and learning. Other issues that have arisen in the SSLC include:
- Access hours to Kilburn: This is not dictated by the Department, but by the University. The Kilburn building doesn't belong to the Department, but belongs to the University and we effectively rent the building off the University. The CS students in the Kilburn building already have an out of hours access package that is more generous than most others across the University. That said, it is not healthy to be working at all hours of the night - a work-life-sleep balance is very important, and allowing greater access to the Kilburn may make that more difficult to achieve for some students.
- WiFi Coverage in Kilburn: This is not in the control of the Department, but is actually handled by IT Services. If you have a problem with WiFi coverage in the building (or anywhere on campus), then please raise a ticket with IT services - the more tickets that get raised about this issue, the more likely it is to be rectified. You can raise a ticket online.
- Student Emails to CM Students: It was highlighted that, for students on the CM programme, not all emails from the Maths Department were reaching them. Andrea Schalk has been made aware of this and has discussed the issue with the Maths Department. We kindly ask that if you are aware of any messages not received by a CM student, that you approach Andrea Schalk with the details: email@example.com.
We are not only concerned with what can be fixed or done better, but also what has gone well - do you want to highlight any great teaching? Is there something that you want to see in the Department? Let us know! Our next SSLC meeting is after the Easter break - but you shouldn't wait until then to raise any issues. Please get in contact with one of your Student Reps, and the issue will be considered before the next meeting. Minutes of previous meetings and a list of Reps is available on the UG Community SSLC BB page.
FREE FOODS ON WAKE-UP WEDNESDAY.
In March you can start your day off with a free hot drink and a pastry or muffin from a campus cafe each Wednesday until the start of the Easter break. Check out this delicious giveaway at the following locations:
- Wednesday, 15 March: The Atrium, University Place – get your voucher from The Atrium, located on the first floor of University Place, and then head to the Potato Shack on the ground floor to enjoy your breakfast goodies.
- Wednesday, 22 March: Alan Gilbert Learning Commons – pop by the Alan Gilbert reception to grab your voucher from the Library Team, then head over to the Learning Commons Café to treat yourself to a warm drink and a pastry or muffin.
The giveaways start at 9am. Get your breakfast fix before stocks run out; check out our Cost of Living page for more activities.
MULTI-FAITH SPACE ENGINEERING BUILDING A.
For the remainder of the 22/23 academic year, space for prayer will remain available to students in the Engineering Building A Welfare Room (Room GA.051) found on the Ground Floor, This room can accommodate all types of worship and includes blinds and an exterior vacancy sign to ensure privacy during use, as well as a sink. If this space is in-use, information on alternative multi-faith spaces across campus is available here
. Plans for a permanent space in Engineering Building A are progressing and representatives from across the community will be involved in helping to shape the design of the space. We’ll share details of the new space soon. If you have any questions, please get in touch
THIRD YEAR PROJECTS.
This from Terence Morley
: If you are in your 2nd year, or currently on industrial placement, it will soon be time to choose your third year project. Even if you’re planning to go on placement next year, it’s worth thinking about a project, just in case, for some reason, you do not end up going on placement. Your project forms a major part of your degree and offers you the opportunity to showcase the skills you’ve developed over your time in Manchester. So, it’s worth making the right decision about it now! We strongly encourage you to consider creating and proposing your own project, i.e. your own idea for a project - is there an interesting problem you'd like to explore? or software you'd like to develop to fill a gap? - then you could think about proposing it as an own project. There will also be a wide range of project topics offered by staff that you can choose from. Either way, now is the time to think about what sort of project you would like to do: an in-depth investigation into a particular area? Implementing a substantial application? Investigating solutions to some interesting problem? Working on a specific platform? Working in a specific subject area? The opportunities are endless. To help you decide, we have a number of resources:
- https://supervisors.cs.man.ac.uk is a searchable graph showing supervisors and the topics they’re interested in supervising. Use this if you want to work in a specific area or want to find someone to supervise an own project you would like to propose.
- The list of projects currently being done by 3rd years will be made available here, so you can get a feel for the range of projects that have been offered by staff in the past (although there is no guarantee that some of these will run again next year).
- We also have a YouTube channel to showcase some of the best screencasts produced by past students. It’s still a new thing, so there aren’t many there at the moment.
You can find details on the project selection process in Blackboard, in the CS UG Community pages. We hope to have a list of staff projects for the next academic year available around the Easter vacation. You can email me if you have any queries.
NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY.
If you are graduating this year, then please don’t forget to complete the NSS, which offers you the opportunity to reflect on your time at Manchester. Your feedback is important to us and can help us improve what we do. NSS is anonymised, so you can give your open, honest feedback. We want your views! All students eligible to complete NSS will receive an email this week from Ipsos Mori (an external company appointed by the UK Government to run NSS) with a link to complete the survey. There’s no need to wait, you can complete NSS directly via the NSS website
. There are a range of prizes on offer to every student who takes part. Additionally, for each response submitted the University will also make a £2 charitable donation. The NSS is the only national survey of its kind and asks your views on a range of topics that have shaped your time at University – from teaching, feedback and support to resources and how you’ve been listened to. You can find further information here
SEMESTER ONE RESULTS.
The semester one exam results will be released at 12:00pm this Thursday, 16th March 2023. Marks will be released in My Manchester
: go to “Tools” and select “Student System”, then select “Self Service -> Enrolment -> View My Grades”. Please note: all marks are provisional and may be subject to change, they will be confirmed in the end of year exam boards that will take place in June/July. If you are struggling with your wellbeing, or concerned about your Semester 1 results or any other aspect of your studies, then we are here to support you. In the first instance, you can contact your year tutor (see above) or you can contact the Wellbeing team
. You can also visit the Student Support Hub located in Engineering Building A where a member of the team will be on hand to help with any queries you might have or can signpost you to the right person to offer help and support. The Support Hub is open 09:00 – 17:00, Monday to Friday.
THE UNDERGRADUATE HANDBOOK.
The Undergraduate Handbook
is your one-stop resource for all information related to your studies. It contains information about your degree programmes, details on progression, how to change programmes or interrupt your studies, information on student support etc. The handbook also has information related to how to apply for mitigating circumstances if your learning has been affected by issues out of your control, such as an illness. You can always find the link to the handbook (as well as other useful links) at the top of each Monday Mail in the 'Essential Links' banner.
UNICS PICNIC + BOARD GAME SOCIAL.
UniCS is holding another collaborative event with the Board Games Society after positive reception from our last collaborative social last semester. However, the twist now is that it will be held in a picnic setting. Unwind from all the stress-inducing uni work and play a variety of fun, challenging board games with your friends. It will be held in The Hive. For more details, stay tuned with our Instagram
posts. We can’t wait to meet you there and have fun with us. See you all there on Wednesday, 15th March 2023 from 2–5pm.
MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY DATA SCIENCE SOCIETY TUESDAYS WITH ALGOTRADING.
Join our upcoming workshop and learn how to use Twitter data to predict stock prices! Here's what you'll learn:
- Pulling Twitter and news data
- Building a Naive Bayes classifier
- Testing the accuracy of the model
More details of this workshop are below:
- Date: 14th March
- Location: Samuel Alexander Building, Room SG.16
- Time: 5 pm - 6 pm
WOMEN IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING WORKSHOP. Sarah Saad
(Year 2, AI4) writes: Hi! We know how many of you struggle with imposter syndrome, which is why we have organised this FREE workshop to help you combat it! It will be an interactive workshop lead by RECLAIM with lots of activities to help you find the cause of imposter syndrome and ways to tackle it. If you're interested then please follow this link to get your free tickets
MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY DATA SCIENCE SOCIETY WEEKLY WEDNESDAY WORKSHOP.
Come join us this Wednesday to learn more about the Design of Game Playing Agents! Contents of the workshop:
- Learn how to apply game-theoretic algorithms to design game playing agents
- Understand the underpinnings of minimax, alpha-beta pruning, and monte-carlo tree search
- Apply the methods learnt to design a functional chess engine
More details of this workshop are below:
- Date: 15th March
- Location: Alan Turing, room G.209
- Time: 3 pm - 4:30 pm
BCSWOMEN LOVELACE COLLOQUIUM.
Registration is now open for the BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium 2023, which will take place Wednesday 12th April, 09:30 - 17:30, at the University of Sheffield. The colloquium will include a host of guest speakers and poster presentations from women students, employer stalls, and a panel discussion on women and tech careers. Any women or non-binary students who'd like to attend can sign up here
, although men are welcome to come along, but the event is aimed specifically at women. The event is free - including lunch.
Here’s an update on some of the things you can get involved in over at the International Society. Day trips:
- Saturday, 18 March - East Lake District visiting Aira Force Waterfall, Glenridding and Ullswater
- Saturday, 25 March - Alton Towers theme park
- Sunday, 26 March – Anglesey, Wales
This week there’s a traditional Indian dance class on Wednesday, 15 March, 1pm. Try something new and learn to dance a traditional Indian dance, Bharatanatyam Dance with Sanya! No dancing skills required, just come and have fun and meet new friends. Visit the International Society website for more information and to book.
ATLAS SEMINAR. Prof. Alessandro Vinciarelli
(University of Glasgow) will present a talk “Social AI for Mental Health” on Wednesday 22nd March 2023, 14:00 - 15:30, in Kilburn Lecture Theatre 1.3. Abstract: This presentation shows how Social AI, the AI area aimed at making sense of human behaviour, can play a role in addressing mental health issues, especially when it comes to detecting people affected by psychiatric problems. As an example, the talk will consider two major issues, namely attachment in children and depression in adults. Besides introducing the main methodologies, approaches and results, the presentation will try to show how AI can integrate the work of psychiatrists and what are the main issues in such an interdisciplinary endeavour. Alessandro Vinciarelli
is a Professor in the School of Computing Science and Associate Academic at the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Glasgow. His main research interest is in Social Signal Processing, the domain aimed at modelling analysis and synthesis of nonverbal behaviour in social interactions. Overall, he has published more than 170 works, including one authored book and 45 journal papers. He has been General Chair of the IEEE International Conference on Social Computing in 2012 and of the ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction in 2017.
WEEKLY WELLBEING EVENTS.
You can find out more about wellbeing in the University here
, or view and book wellbeing events via the Student Support Wellbeing Calendar wepgage
*, as well as the University Residents website
**. There are a number of wellbeing events happening this week:
- Monday: Yoga for Beginners* - Explore foundational postures at a gentle pace and practice different breathing exercises. Ideal for those dipping their toes into yogic waters, or hoping to gain back-to-basics confidence.
- Tuesday: Shared silence at St Peter's House* - Many of us can feel lost in life. This is a silent, meditative space to ground our awareness around the simplicity of breathing.
- Wednesday: Student Social: Golden Night at the Museum - Come down to the Manchester Museum between 6-9pm to meet other students and explore the museum and the stunning Golden Mummies of Egypt exhibition. Book via their website.
- Thursday: Leading Ladies Careers Panel: Women's History Month** - The SU have organised an incredible careers panel in collaboration with the Women in Engineering, Women in Medicine, Women in Science and Engineering, and Future Women Lawyers student societies. Get inspired by the fascinating insights on offer into a range of industries and career pathways.
- Friday: Friday social with the International Society* - Come along and meet new friends or have a catch up over tea, coffee and biscuits!
PASS-F. Tom Carroll
writes: Calling all former Foundation Year students! Are you interested in helping our current CS Foundation Year students? We are currently running a trial PASS scheme for our CS Foundation Year students, taking place on Wednesdays 1pm-2pm during term time. The first session was run last week, and was very successful. PASS schemes are student-run sessions that give support, help, and advice to students who are at an earlier stage of their study; it not only helps the students who you support, but as a PASS leader, you develop invaluable skills that also look good to employers. If you are interested in getting involved, please email
For current year 2 students and those currently on placement if you would be interested in being PASS 2 COORDINATOR for next academic year (2023-2024) please apply through this link
. What is PASS2: PASS2 is a mentorship scheme in which year 3 students give advice to and support year 2 students in weekly 30min-1hr sessions. Whether it’s by giving them course unit advice or helping them prepare for interviews or everything in between. As PASS2 coordinator you would get first hand leadership experience working with a large and very diverse cohort. As a PASS2 coordinator you will lead your team to organise pass sessions such as: “common interview questions and how to prepare for them” or “how to find an internship or placement” or even “fun things to do in Manchester to take a break and rest in between deadlines”. You would get the opportunity to select you PASS2 team and lead the diverse group of year 3 students, some who have been on placement some who haven’t, with a diverse range of interests. You would have the ability to help 2nd year students avoid mistakes or learn tricks that helped you through your second year, and it also counts towards your Stellify award
. So, if this sounds like a role you would be interested in taking on please apply through this link
, and if you have any questions as always don’t hesitate to contact us. The deadline is the 31st of March!
ENGINEERING BUILDING FOCUS GROUP.
Join an Engineering Building Focus Group and get a £10 Food on Campus Voucher! Engineering Buildings A and B officially opened in September 2022, and since then your feedback has been key to helping us make improvements, including:
- Longer opening hours: We’re open from 8am – 6pm, Monday – Friday, and Faculty of Science and Engineering students have exclusive access from 6pm to 8pm.
- Bring and Ping: microwaves/kitchen facilities now on the ground floor.
- AV equipment issues: Additional training resources available to staff.
- Way finding: Updated paper and online maps, and a wayfinding app launched.
Sign up for a focus group and give us your views. Our work to improve the building, facilities and teaching and learning experience continues; join a focus group and give us your views. As a thank you you’ll get a £10 voucher to spend at Food on Campus:
- Tuesday, 25 April, 2pm – 3.30pm (Microsoft Teams)
- Wednesday, 26 April, 2pm – 3.30pm (Microsoft Teams)
- Thursday, 27 April, 2pm – 3.30pm (Microsoft Teams)
To sign-up email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NORTH CAMPUS FURNITURE REUSE OPEN DAY.
With the doors to the majority of North Campus buildings now closed and final clearance operations underway, we’ve identified a variety of items of furniture which are in good condition and in full working order. Come along to our furniture reuse open day on Wednesday, 15th March if you’re in need of storage, a desk, chairs and other items, which will be available for staff and students to take free of charge. Just remember you’ll need to organise your own transport if you choose a large or bulky item! The open day takes place on Wednesday 15th March, 9:30am - 4:30pm, The Great Hall in C Floor, Sackville Street Building.
POST PALS PEN PAL VOLUNTEERING SESSION.
Post Pals is a volunteer-run charity helping you to ‘Post a Smile on a Sick Child’s Face’ by the sending of cards, letters, emails, and little gifts to seriously ill children and their siblings in the UK. It couldn’t be easier for anyone of any age around the world to get involved and requires no commitment. The School Information, Governance and Advice (IAG) team makes it even easier for you to get involved as we will provide the necessary arts and crafts materials, envelopes and room for you to work in. Furthermore, we will be posting your letters and logging your volunteering hours ourselves so all you need to do is register and show up on the day! During the session, you will pick a child from the catalogue and write a letter to them. We will provide the basic materials but feel free to bring your own supplies if you wish. If you want, you can browse on the Post Pal website and pick a Pal to write to in advance
. Location and Time: Engineering Building A, 3A.069 (Social Room), 20th March, 2pm-4pm. This opportunity counts towards the Stellify award and is open to all School of Engineering Students. Keep an eye on our socials
for registration details next week!
UCU STRIKE ACTION.
Strike action by members of The University and College Union (UCU) will take place on the following dates:
- Week 7 – Wednesday 15th, Thursday 16th and Friday 17th March 2023
- Week 8 – Monday 20th, Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22th March 2023.
The University will remain open during the periods of the strike action, however, some teaching activities, such as lectures, may be affected. You can find out more information about why staff are striking on the UCU website.
SOMETHING TO SHARE?
The deadline for sending in Monday Mail items: 12:00 (noon) every Friday. Just contact Paul
Welcome to Gareth’s Puzzle Corner, this is your weekly fix of brain teasers and logic puzzles. You are given 4 different puzzles to tackle. One is an easier Sudoku, the second is a more challenging Sudoku, the third is a different form of logic puzzle and finally we have a chess puzzle for you. I hope you enjoy the puzzles and if you have any puzzles you wish to feature or ideas for Puzzle Corner then please get in touch.
Easier Sudoku - Classic Sudoku by sudoku.com
Normal sudoku rules apply.
Challenging Sudoku - Molly Hogan by DylanD
Normal sudoku rules apply. Grey lines must read the same in either direction. Digits along an arrow sum to the digit in the circle. Digits within a cage sum to the total shown at the top left of the cage. Grey and yellow cell groups are clones. The digits are the same and appear in identical order for each clone.
Bonus Puzzle - Akari by Mokuani
Place light bulbs in some of the white cells so that all white cells are lit and no light bulb is lit by another light bulb. A light bulb shines horizontally and vertically up to the next black cell or the edge of the grid. A number in a black cell indicates how many light bulbs must be placed in orthogonally adjacent cells.
Chess Puzzle - Aronian Vs. Radjabov, 2013
Drag and drop the White pieces to win the match.
Answers to the Previous Week
You can view the answers to last week’s puzzles here.