School of CS newsletterPublished: Tuesday, 12 September 2017
Weekly newsletter for the School of CS
[ top ]News from Head of School
A new academic year is nearly upon us; next week is Welcome Week and the School and Oxford Road will be a hive of activity. I do hope you have all managed to have some time away from the School over the summer and that all is ready for the start of the new term. From next Monday there will be lots of new students and the “Ask Me” process will be in place. I wish you all the best for the start of the University year.
Thank you all for your patience while the windows work progresses. I know it is particularly trying but we are now more than halfway through and the work is due to be finished by the end of October. We now have all our teaching labs back from the windows work, though other refurbishment work continues in some lab spaces. All the labs necessary for Welcome Week are in a fit state for habitation - thank-you to Mike Keeley, Ian Cottam, Steve Rhodes and the rest of the team who are working very hard to make sure all is in place for the start of term. We have a handful of academics without their own offices for the start of term and Tony McDonald is finding offices for these members of staff. There will be continued disruption for RA and PhD student offices and some PSS teams will be affected up until the end of the work.
As said previously, I know this is all very trying and I would like to thank Tony McDonald, James Fields and Liz Caine for coping with all the extra work that the windows project has entailed.
The observant among you will have noticed that the courtyard in the Kilburn building remains in a parlous state. There have been a lot of water leaks into a newly refurbished It Services room below; this is not due to the lightwell but the general state of the roof. The whole membrane is being replaced to prevent these leaks. The work is due to start at the end of September and the whole courtyard should be completed and returned to us before Christmas. I would particularly like to thank Jim Miles for his perseverance and patience in seeing this project through.
A few months ago I put an article into the School Newsletter about a stash of Alan Turing's letters unearthed by Jim Miles as he delves into the vaults of the School's archives. Jim has deposited the letters in the University Library where one of the University's archivists, James Peters, has curated the letters and made them available to interested parties. Jim believes that the folder is Turing's correspondence file maintained by a secretary in the Computing Machines Laboratory. It contains incoming correspondence and carbon copies of Turing's responses throughout Turing's time in Manchester. Jim thinks that Turing would dictate or write letters that would then be typed with carbon copies, the originals would have been signed and sent out and the carbon copies kept. It was all in date order as it would have been at the time and it's possible that it has been largely untouched since Turing's death. The archive is now available and the find has been all over the news. There's been a University story (http://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/lost-turing-letters-give-unique-insight-into-his-academic-life-prior-to-death) and a front page Guardian article (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/aug/27/collection-letters-codebreaker-alan-turing-found-filing-cabinet), an interview for Today on BBC Radio Four, a feature on Sky News (see https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/902161439095373825/video/1) and several other outlets. The find was also mentioned in Nature (https://www.nature.com/news/alan-turing-s-notes-runaway-salmon-and-illegal-gold-mining-1.22518). The contents of the archive can be seen at https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/search/archives/4f6c3f0c-9a70-33c5-bd03-df331fb06146 although the letters themselves can only be seen by appointment with James Peters. Once potential copyright issues have been resolved it is hoped that digital copies will be contributed to the Turing Digital Archive http://www.turingarchive.org/
[ top ]News and announcements
Many congratulations to Sarah Chatwin who was recently promoted to Research Support Services Operations Manager for the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health (FBMH) for a 12-month secondment. Sarah is currently working Tuesdays and Thursdays in her new role, and Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in her Computer Science role. We are in the process of advertising for her cover.
Liz Caine, Head of School Administration, will be seconded full-time to the Student Lifecycle Project (SLP) from 18th September to 10th November, as Product Owner for student mobility.Liz will continue to cover the HoSA role remotely. Gill Lester, SSO Manager, will also be working on SLP as a Subject Matter Expert for 2-3 days per week, for 4 weeks starting 25th September.
Farewell to Karen Corless, Academic Support Secretary, who will be leaving in early October. Many thanks to Karen for all her hard work for the School and in particular her significant contribution to Project Malawi. The role is currently being advertised.
A warm welcome to Rosie Wickers, our new Recruitment and Admissions Intern (who replaces Andriana Hambi) and to Nicole Langford, the new Apprentice who will be based in ACSO for the next few months.
We had planned to hold the School Bake-Off this Thursday 14th September. However since lots of people are away and everyone is very busy with Welcome Week preparations, we have decided to postpone this for now. A new date will be arranged in due course.
The staff induction guide has been updated and is available from: https://xorg.manchester.ac.uk/sites/computer_science/SitePages/Home.aspx
[ top ]PGR News
Safety Services have produced guidance for academic supervisors of PGR students entitled: ‘The health and safety supervision of PG students: a practical approach’.
It is strongly recommended that all supervisors of PGR student projects, irrespective of research discipline, look at this information.
The short narrated presentation (~6m45s) is available on Blackboard via the Training Catalogue and covers
- the supervisor’s responsibility for ensuring the health and safety of PGR students is adequately managed, and why,
- some practical ideas to achieve this,
- how to obtain help locally, and
- links to relevant information sources
Access to the material is available via https://app.manchester.ac.uk/training/default.aspx (Training Catalogue, search term TLCO200) and follow the instructions on the course homepage.
Records of completion are held within the Training Catalogue.