Informatics Newsletter February 2017
Issue 5 of our School newsletter for staff and students.
Updates from School General Meeting
A healthy representation of school staff gathered for the School meeting on 2nd February 2017. Stuart Anderson deputised for Johanna who was off sick; Martin Wright, Björn Franke, Bob Fisher (stepping in for Nigel Topham) and Kami Vaniea also presented.
On a positive note, all is well in Informatics with new recruitment plans including Director of Commercialisation in the pipeline, strong numbers of student uptake, increase in funding for PhDs and Appleton Tower refurbishments progressing. However, there is still a high level of uncertainty for HE around Brexit. It was announced that Professor Peter Mathieson, currently President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, has been appointed as the next Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh. Professor Mathieson’s background is in medical research and teaching, specialising in renal medicine, and before taking up the post in Hong Kong he was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Bristol for six years. He holds a First Class Honours degree in Medicine from the University of London and a PhD from the University of Cambridge, where he later went on to become Director of Studies for Clinical Medicine at Christ’s College.
We’ve had a number of new academic appointments (and some soon-to-start):
- Walid Magdy - Lecturer in Multimedia Information Retrieval - 28 Oct 16
- Pramod Bhatotia – Senior Lecturer in Computer Systems Architecture - 31 Oct 16
- Ivan Titov - Reader in Natural Language Processing - 1 Mar 17
- Benjamin Bach - Lecturer in Design Informatics and Visualisation - 10 Apr 17
- Dorota Glowacka - Lecturer in Machine Learning - 1 June 2017
…and in other areas:
- Robert Armitage – Teaching Organisation Secretary
- Alexandra Welsh – Teaching Support Administrator
- Vicky MacTaggart – Studentships and Teaching Support Manager
- Stacey Rudkin – Recruitment Administrator (IGS) 20 Feb
Administration and Research Services
- Nicola Drago-Ferrante – Institute Administrator
- Alistair Hill – Research Data Manager
- Julie Laidlaw – Finance Administrator
Facilities and Technical Services
- Carol Marini – Facilities Secretary
- Kasia Kokowska – Communications and Outreach Manager
- Ségolène Gallus – Web and Social Media Co-ordinator
Staff transferring from fixed term to open ended contracts
- Carrie McNamee – Portfolio Manager
- Khush Joshi – Finance Administrator
- Samantha Black – Senior Administrative Assistant (HR)
Our new School Plan recognises ‘People’ as a key enabler and puts greater emphasis on staff development. The main objectives for the forthcoming years are to promote Informatics as a coherent area of academic research, learning and innovation and enhance our international leadership role in Informatics, including retaining the leading position in the UK. The School Strategy & Plan is available for you to download.
Björn gave an update on the revised Teaching and Admin Workload Model. The model needed an update to address increased student numbers and changes to course credit point values, but in principle the model has not changed and all academic staff contribute to both teaching and admin.
We are expanding: a number of academic posts within the School are being advertised at the moment.
Appleton Tower update
It’s a very tight schedule! Internal works start in March 2017, phased handover (teaching floors will be a priority) will happen over the summer (August to September 2017). Level five refurbishment is planned for the summer 2018.
Graduate School update
There is a total of 273 postgraduate students int he School of Informatics and the forecast for 2017/18 looks bright, with more funding.
Equality and Diversity Committee update
School of Informatics has been successful in its re-submission for Athena SWAN Silver Award (there will be celebrations on 24th February, so watch this space!). All staff members who are involved in external E&D committees and projects, are requested to get in touch with Kami Vaniea (Kami.Vaniea@ed.ac.uk). E&D have a blog that you’re welcome to check, there’s also E&D library in MF1. An event to honour the International Women’s Day is planned for 8th March.
In other news
Two festivals are coming up and the School of Informatics staff are involved:
Paul Patras - BCS Sidney Michaelson Memorial Lecture "Wearables That Snitch on Us" - 3rd April in Summerhall
Museum Drop-in Sessions:
- Areti Manataki - Coding Workshop
-James Garforth (Robotics - Robot Lab / Marty Activate)
Service Excellence Programme – February 2017 Update
To support our strategic goals and to deliver world class teaching and research, the University has committed to a review of key professional service functions to ensure that we get the best from the sum of our efforts by building effective and efficient services. The Service Excellence Programme has been making good progress over the last couple of months. To help keep people updated about the progress check out the blog:
The University is taking part in a series of events to mark LGBT+ History Month 2017
The University’s Staff Pride Network committee has partnered with EUSA and student societies to organise the calendar of seminars and social events. Film screenings, discussions, an open mic night and a Valentine’s Day Ball feature in the programme for February. The rainbow flag will fly above Old College and Teviot for the month.
The University's Main Library is to open 24/7 from 20 March
The new opening times will provide students with a staffed, secure and accessible environment for individual study, or to host group study session.
Courses & Training
|First Steps into Leadership and Management Programme
|UHRS Learning & Development Workshops - available for booking
|Festival of Creative Learning
|20th – 24th February
|Application Deadline for the Principal's Teaching Award Scheme (PTAS)
|Post Application Visit Days
|29th March 2017 & 5th April 2017
|10th – 11th May
|Milner lecture 2017 (speaker Luca Cardelli)
|31st May 2017
Can you guess the identity of three members of staff, from these fun facts?
- Has a rare surname, in fact his family is the only one of that surname in his country of origin
- Never misses Thursday pub quiz in his local pub
- Played a milkmaid in an amateur staging of Ulysses on Bloomsday 2005 and a dead body in a short film based on E. A. Poe’s prose (photos and clips available on request)
Keep in touch
For all the latest news, keep an eye on our website, Facebook page, Twitter feed and check out Edinburgh Informatics Alumni on LinkedIn.
The newsletter is produced by the School of Informatics Communications Team.
If you have any questions or comments please get in touch!