Informatics Newsletter January 2016

Issue 2 of our School newsletter for staff and students.

Exciting times

Professor Johanna Moore

My thanks to everyone who attended our general meeting, 25 January 2016, not least Mirella Lapata, Alastair Scobie, Colin Adams, Martin Wright and Jon Oberlander who gave presentations.

It was good to hear that more of us feel encouraged to take up career development opportunities than we used to; that we’re part of the biggest tech cluster outside London, that student numbers are buoyant, we’re recruiting new staff and have ambitious plans both for Appleton Tower and the Data Technology Institute. 

See the slides.

Ambitious plans for DTI

Whether it stands for Data Technology Institute or Disruption/Talent/Ideas, DTI will be more than a just a shiny new building, conjoined to the Informatics Forum.

DTI will be a hothouse of multidisciplinary activity, housing CDT PhDs, Alan Turing Institute, labs for Robotics and Design Informatics, the Commercialisation team, colleagues from Mathematics, Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre, DataLab and companies with a research and development focus.

Work on the site starts in earnest at the end of February with planned completion by December 2017.

Advance warning: Wolfson Wing 2017

In the summer of 2017, all staff in the Wolfson Wing will be moved out temporarily, floor by floor, to allow the installation of an upgraded heating system.

Update on Appleton Tower

Recladding work is due to finish in June or July but we could take the opportunity to do some additional work, to provide extra accommodation for our students. In March, the Estates Committee will consider proposals to repurpose level 6 to provide a large computer lab and three smaller tutorial/teaching rooms, add two additional Robotics labs on level 7 and use the new level 9 for meeting space. If works go ahead, all functions should return to Appleton Tower by Summer 2017.

Dates for your diary

  • Innovative Learning Week, 15-19 February

  • Open days in Pervasive Parallelism and Data Science, 24 and 26 February

  • Undergraduate post application visit days, 30 March and 8 April

  • Athena Swan submission deadline, 29 April

  • Undergraduate open days 17 June, 24 September, 8 October

Details of our School Jamboree, Research Day and IT Security Clinic are still being confirmed.

Recognising great teaching

Only one person could win EUSA’s 2015 Van Heyningen Award for Teaching in Science and Engineering but it was great to see so many other Informatics staff nominated for various teaching awards last year, according to a recent report by EUSA.

Congratulations Allan Clark, Paul Anderson, Ilias Diakonikolas, Michael Fourman, Bjoern Franke, Bob Fisher, Sharon Goldwater, Boris Grot, Jane Hillston, Simon King, Alex Lascarides, Hugh Leather, John Lee, Areti Manataki, Jon Oberlander, Michael Rovatsos, Don Sannella, Alex Simpson, Ian Stark, Henry Thompson, Stratis Viglas and of course, the winner Iain Murray.

Nominations for the 2015/16 EUSA Teaching Awards are now open.

Ready for action

As reported in our last newsletter, we’ve been revising our School strategy. Our new Strategic Plan 2016-19 rests on three strategic priorities: even greater research excellence, demonstrable impact and enhanced student experience. The two key enablers: income growth and strategic engagement and collaboration.

So what happens next? Read the plan.

Industry club

The Commercialisation team is planning to launch a club for industry partners, who will receive invitations to exclusive events in return for a subscription which we will use to fund studentships. Good for students, companies, building relationships with industry, grant applications, impact...

IT security issues

Under College Security Policy introduced October 2015, we are all required to secure all devices, whether mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop, if we use them for work, or have work access credentials stored on them, whether they are owned by the University or ourselves. Protect yourself and your tech. Check out the guidance.

Share your news

If you or one of your students has achieved something to shout about, please tell us and we will do our best to celebrate with a story on the School website and social media.


And finally...

    Can you guess the identity of four familiar faces from around School, from these fun facts?  

Click a link for the answer.

That’s all folks!


The newsletter is issued by Communications, Informatics Knowledge Management Team. If you have any questions or comments please get in touch! Email: