Informatics Newsletter May 2016
Issue 3 of our School newsletter for staff and students.
Highlights from the Principal's talk
The Principal, Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea, visited the Informatics Forum yesterday, 18 May, to outline the University's achievements and challenges, citing Informatics as a key asset given global trends in technology and suggesting growth in online Masters as an area of expansion.
The Principal also offered congratulations to a number of colleagues including:
- Dr James Cheney on his ERC Consolidator Grant
- Professor Peter Buneman on his 2016 SIGMOD Test of Time Award, for a paper co-authored with Dr Cheney and Mitre’s Dr Adriane Chapman
- Professor Mirella Lapata on her ERC Consolidator Grant
- Dr Sharon Goldwater on her BCS Roger Needham Award
- Professor Leonid Libkin on his EPSRC Established Career Fellowship
- Informatics Ventures on the success of EIE16.
The Principal also praised Informatics for attracting over 200,000 students to our Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), highlighted student Alexandru Gheorghiu's success in winning the College heat of the Three Minute Thesis competition, and welcomed the arrival of the Valkyrie (see recent press coverage).
During Q&A, he said that increasing the number of Edinburgh Global Research Scholarships was a priority but dependent on fundraising, that our shopping list of resources to support teaching could be sent to the Senior Vice Principal for consideration, and that attracting more online students would help to generate income necessary to recruit more staff.
Teaching excellence is an “unambiguous priority”
On the day the Westminster government published its White Paper on Higher Education reform for England, Senior Vice Principal Professor Charlie Jeffery told us that we need to “foster a proper understanding that teaching is an unambiguous priority,” as important as research.
Although the latest Enhancement-led Institutional Review (ELIR) by the Quality Assurance Agency Scotland gave the University its highest possible judgement of “effectiveness” for student learning, the news had little impact on the way we are perceived. Teaching provides as much of our income as research, if not more. We need to enhance the management processes which recruit, review, recognise and reward teaching excellence and develop the words and means to promote our reputation in this area.
- Read the White Paper, ‘Success as a Knowledge Economy: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice
- Find out more about the University’s latest ELIR
- Check out the Teaching Matters website
Missed the General Meeting?
As well as special guest Professor Jeffery, the speakers were Head of School, Professor Johanna Moore, Director of Professional Services, Martin Wright and newly appointed Deputy Head of School, Professor Jane Hillston, who will work alongside existing Deputy Professor Stuart Anderson. Here are the speakers’ slides (PDFs):
- New staff
- Staff recruitment
- Informatics Forum and Appleton Tower building works update
- Equality and Diversity / Athena Swan
Head of College Prizes
Do you or a colleague deserve special recognition? Nominations are open for Head of College Prizes for outreach, team work, inclusion and diversity, and lifetime achievement.
3DT and friends
Our three EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) will co-host a research presentation day, Thursday 26 May, to showcase the work of postgraduate research students and encourage communication and collaboration across the School.
- Register at 3DTandFriends.eventbrite.com.
Further dates for your diary
|23 May||Summer teaching vacation starts|
|8 June||UOE6-8 promotions workshop|
|9 June||UOE9-10 promotions workshop|
|17 June||Undergraduate open day|
|27 June||Informatics Graduation Ceremony|
|29 June||Online open day for Data Science, Technology & Innovation.|
|10 Sept||Start of Welcome Week|
|13 Sept||Academic Fair|
|19 Sept||Teaching block 1 starts|
|24 Sept||Undergraduate open day|
|8 Oct||Undergraduate open day|
|16 Nov||Postgraduate open day|
*Don’t forget to book your Jamboree ceilidh tickets.
No, not a new Facebook group but the imminent return of an old favourite: a hoodie with the University logo and School of Informatics on it. Further information on colour and cost to follow.
Think you know your colleagues? Guess who:
- Foiled a gang of bicycle thieves, earning a letter of thanks from the Chief Constable
- Distils rum, back in their home country
- Was in a made-for-tv film, pretending they were at the cinema, screaming when Elvis came on screen
- Prompted an armed police raid on our local Traffic Warden HQ
Click a link for the answer.
The newsletter is produced by Communications, Informatics Knowledge Management Team. If you have any questions or comments please get in touch! Email: email@example.com