Informatics Newsletter August 2017
Issue 7 of our School newsletter for staff and students.
Recent news stories from around the School
New support staff who started over the summer:
- Sarah N Taylor – Communications and Recruitment Officer
- Allison Taylor - Senior Secretary
- Julie Whitefield - Receptionist/Events Assistant
- Aleksandra Zawada - Receptionist/Events Assistant
- Samantha Stewart - Secretary (PGT)
Appleton Tower move
The works are nearing the end and the move is in progress.
Latest building updates
There are tours of the facilities available for the teaching staff.
Recent events in Informatics
City Deal and Secretary of State visit
Damian Green, First Secretary of State, enjoyed a demonstration of research at the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics - a joint venture involving the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University - following the announcement of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.
Blockchain Meet Up
Charles Hoskinson, CEO, IOHK & Co-Founder of Ethereum, Susan Ramonat, CEO, Spiritus Partners and Professor Aggelos Kiayias, Chair in Cyber Security and Privacy have been speaking at a highly popular Blockchain Meet Up held in the Informatics Forum on 27th July.
Dr Colin Adams, CBE
Dr Colin Adams, former Director of Commercialisation in the School of Informatics and Director of Informatics Ventures, has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
Skolem most influential paper for Alan Bundy
Alan Bundy’s paper “The Use of Explicit Plans to Guide Inductive Proofs” from CADE-9 won the Skolem award for most influential paper at this year’s CADE-26. The conference on Automated Deduction (CADE) is the major international forum at which research on all aspects of automated deduction is presented.
The first conference was held in 1974. Early CADEs were mostly biennial, and annual conferences started in 1996. The CADE conference series is managed by CADE Inc. which is a subcorporation of the Association for Automated Reasoning (AAR).
The Thoralf Skolem Award was established in 2014 to reward a CADE paper that has passed the test of time, by being a most influential paper in the field. Beginning with CADE-25 (2015), at every CADE the Skolem Award Committee selects a paper presented at the CADE held 10 years earlier to receive the Skolem award.
HiPEAC paper awards for teams from ICSA
Papers by two ICSA research teams have been selected to receive 2017 HiPEAC (International Conference on High Performance and Embedded Architecture and Compilation) paper awards.
The HiPEAC conference is the premier European forum for experts in computer architecture, programming models, compilers and operating systems for embedded and general-purpose systems.
Awarded papers: “ATOM: Atomic Durability in Non-volatile Memory through Hardware Logging" authored by Arpit Joshi, Vijay Nagarajan, Marcelo Cintra and Stratis Viglas and "Boomerang: A Metadata-Free Architecture for Control Flow Delivery" authored by Rakesh Kumar, Cheng-Chieh Huang, Boris Grot and Vijay Nagarajan.
In the media
Walid Magdy’s research has gathered a lot of interest from news outlets around the world. Walid has written two research papers on Twitter dynamics during elections (US 2016 and UK 2017), and another one about Detecting Fake Accounts in Social Media.
Informatics student comes second in C2C ethical hacking competition
Harvey Stocks, Computer Science student, was part of a team who came second in a prestigious ethical hacking competition, Cambridge2Cambridge 2017, with over 100 students from some of the best universities in the US and UK working together over three days.
Cambridge2Cambridge was founded jointly by MIT CSAIL (in Cambridge, Massachusetts) and the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory (in the original Cambridge) and was first run at MIT in 2016 as a competition involving only students from these two universities. This year it was hosted in Cambridge, UK.
Social media coverage
Informatics students win first prize at the Robots for Resilient Infrastructure Competition
Chris Mower, Wolfgang Merkt, and Theodoros Stouraitis, PhD students in Statistical Machine Learning and Motor Control Group won First Prize for Greatest Potential for Positive Impact at the Robots for Resilient Infrastructure Competition, an international robotics challenge held at the University of Leeds on June 27-28, 2017.
They presented their work on Robust Shared Autonomy for Mobile Manipulation in Extreme Environments which allows for shared autonomy operation via limited bandwidth wireless links. It empowers the human operator to use a blend of teleoperation, punctuated and full autonomy. This framework reduces operator fatigue by automatically verifying the validity of intended motions and continuously checking the environment for dynamic changes, altering the robot's behaviour along the way to ensure safety in shared workspaces while minimising dis- and interruptions.
This work has also been accepted to appear at the IEEE Conference for Automation Science and Engineering (CASE) in Xi'an, China in August: Wolfgang Merkt, Yiming Yang, Theodoros Stouraitis, Christopher Mower, Maurice Fallon and Sethu Vijayakumar, Robust Shared Autonomy for Mobile Manipulation with Continuous Scene Monitoring, Proc. 13th IEEE Conference on Automation Science and Engineering, Xian, China (2017).
Brendan Murphy prize for ICSA student
ICSA PhD student Xenofon Foukas, has been awarded the Brendan Murphy prize for 2017 at the 29th Multi-Service workshop (MSN), Coseners 2017, for his work “Towards Programmable and Virtualized Radio Access Networks".
Coseners is the annual UK academic meeting for systems and networks researchers, and has been going on for close to three decades. The prize is awarded in memory of Brendan Murphy, who was an outstanding researcher and mountaineer known to many in the communications and distributed systems research community, and a regular participant at MSN since its inception.
IPAB student wins travel award to 2017 RSS Women in Robotics Workshop
Simona Nobili, PhD candidate in the Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour, has won a travel award to the 2017 RSS Women in Robotics Workshop.
The workshop will be held as part of the Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) conference to be held at MIT in Cambridge, MA in July. It is a mixed-audience, women-only speakers workshop that aims to raise visibility of women in robotics, strengthen the community and foster mentorship of female researchers.
Simona will present her research paper "Heterogeneous Sensor Fusion for Accurate State Estimation of Dynamic Legged Robots" during the conference. This paper combines motion estimation for the HyQ Quadruped with Simona's algorithms for robust localisation using LIDAR. The approach was demonstrated on the robot showing that it could trot or walk around an industrial environment while staying accurately positioned relative to a 3D map.
This work is in collaboration with the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Genoa (Italy).
News from the CDTs
Visitors from China in Edinburgh Centre for Robotics
Representatives of the Guangdong Province in China visited Robotarium-East in June to explore potential areas of collaboration between the province and The University
Management changes in CDT in Data Science
Charles Sutton, previous CDT Director, is on sabbatical this year. As of August, Amos Storkey took on the post of the CDT Director and Adam Lopez stepped in as Co-Director.
In other news
Dean of Diversity and Inclusion
The College Office are looking to appoint a Dean to oversee the development of strategy and policy for promoting diversity and inclusion for academic and professional services staff and students within the College.
The Dean of Diversity and Inclusion will evangelise on the importance of diversity and inclusion within the College. They will chair the College’s Equality and Diversity Committee and represent the College on relevant University-level committees and working groups.
The appointment will be for 12 months in the first instance, but may be extended for a further two years on the basis of satisfactory performance. It is offered as a 10% secondment.
The Head of College and College Registrar are happy to discuss the post with interested parties.
Applications in the form of a CV, a statement on what the applicant believes they would bring to the role, and the names of two referees should reach the College Registrar by 29 September 2017.
Another year, another graduation.
Prize Winners 2017
- BSc Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science: Marek Strelec
- BSc Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science: Luca Scimeca
- BSc Cognitive Science: Christina Bremer
- BEng Computer Science: Mohammed Tahir
- BSc Computer Science: Split JP Morgan and Class Prize: Thomas Kerber, Martin Kristien
- BSc Computer Science and Electronics: Jingxi Xu
- BSc Computer Science and Mathematics: Dimitros Vamvourellis
- BSc Computer Science and Physics: Iskren Vankov
- BEng Computer Science with Management: Keith Donaldson
- MInf Informatics: Lena Reisinger
- BEng Software Engineering: Craig Walton
- Sidney Michaelson Prize for Most Deserving Student: Emma O’Neill & Bartek Malon
- Kevin Clarke Memorial Prize: Dimitros Vamvourellis
- Howe Undergraduate Prize: Luca Scimeca
- Microsoft Research Prize for Best Student Project: Iskren Vankov
- Best Final Year Performance by Female Student: Lena Reisinger
With the Edinburgh Fringe literally on the doorstep of Informatics Forum, and The Fringe Central’s head quarters being based in Appleton Tower once again, no wonder the Fringe fever spilled into the Informatics Forum as well.
The Edinburgh Fringe Meet the Media event took place in the Forum in the beginning of August and saw journalists meeting the Fringe performers
Personal Relationships and Conflict of Interest Guidance
Guidance produced by College HR on dealing with personal relationships and conflict of interest is available of InfWeb now.
Theo Andrew from Scholarly Communications Team on how to avoid predatory journals.
For your diary
Next General Meeting
19th September at 11am
|Copyright training||08th Sep 2017 (10:00-12:30)||G43 - Paterson Land (Moray House)|
|'Just Write' for Research and Academic Staff||11th Sep 2017 (13:15-16:30)||Room B.09, Institute for Academic Development, 1 Morgan Lane (Holyrood)|
|Adobe Workshop: Photoshop||13th Sep 2017 (14:00-16:00)||EW13, Argyle House, 3 Lady Lawson Stree (Central Area) [Now fully booked, but there will be other sessions available soon]|
|Unconscious Bias Workshop||07th Feb 2018 (09:30-13:30)||Cuillin Room, Charles Stewart House, 9-16 Chambers Street (Central Area)|
Apply for an Innovation Initiative Grant today and get up to £5000 to support your project, research, club or society.
Open for student and staff applications from 14th September until 26th October 2017.
Outreach and Public Engagement Opportunities
- Academics Unplugged: the organisers are seeking speakers who are able to talk about an area of their work which is of potential interest to all staff/students across the College, and ideally has an element of interdisciplinarity.
- Internal call is now open for event proposals for the University family programme at the National Museum of Scotland for Edinburgh International Science Festival 2018 (31st March to 14th April 2018).
Please send the proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by 13th September
- Open call for ideas is also open for Edinburgh International Science festival 2018. Deadline 15th September
It is with great sorrow that we’ve learnt of passing of Mike Gordon.
Mike was a professor at Cambridge who did his PhD in Edinburgh and was an academic collaborator to many in the School of Informatics. He died peacefully on 22nd August after a short illness. He is survived by his wife of 38 years Avra Cohn and by his sons Katriel and Reuben.
He'll be greatly missed by his family and friends, but equally by the academic community of which he was such a long-standing pillar. There will be a memorial service in Cambridge in due course to celebrate his life.
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Join the Communications Advisory Forum
Can you guess the identity of the mysterious inhabitant of the Comms Team Office?
- Enjoys playing football, dancing and wiggling, can sometimes get quite impatient and is very expressive.
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The newsletter is produced by Communications Team.
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