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Informatics Newsletter January 2020

Issue 31 of our School newsletter for students and staff.

A Message from Head of School

Jane Hillston speaking at IT Futures
Jane speaking about AI for social good at IT Futures Conference

Last semester I launched a new initiative for the School called "AI for Social Good”. This is intended to be a programme of activities which emphasise the use of AI and related technologies in ways that have a positive impact on society.  In the media AI is often portrayed as threatening or even sinister. One of the aims of the initiative is to raise awareness of the opposite view of AI as something that can change many aspects of people’s lives for the better. It can contribute to many different areas ranging from healthcare to education, from sustainable energy to disaster response. We already have projects in many of these areas and will be doing more to make these visible within the School, to colleagues across the University and more broadly.  The first opportunity for this comes this Saturday, 1st February, when we will be hosting the University’s General Council meeting in the Forum. There will be a poster display highlighting a number of AI for Social Good projects from the School in the Atrium and we will leave this up until midday on Monday so everybody gets a chance to see them. Please do take the time to take a look. You will hear more about the initiative in the coming months.

Of course, the portrayal of AI in the media is not completely groundless and it would be naive to suggest that AI is without negative possibilities. Thus there is a responsibility for all of us, staff and students, to think about the implications of our work and the impact it might have, even unintentional impact. Next month Shannon Vallor will join the University as the Baillie Gifford Chair in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence. Shannon is a philosopher who has recently been working as a Visiting Researcher and consulting AI Ethicist for Google. Her appointment opens many possibilities for the School and we will be exploring ways to interact with her for both teaching and research. This semester Chris Williams and Kousha Etessami have launched a lecture series on “Ethical Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Algorithms”, encouraging all of us to think about the ethical dimension to our work and the systems we deliver. Shannon will be the speaker in that series on 23rd April. Save the date!

With best wishes,

Jane

New staff

Academic Staff

Jake Palmer started as a University Teacher on 1st January 

Michio Honda started as Lecturer in Networked Systems on 15th January

Research Staff

Irina Goryanin started as a research associate at the Artificial Intelligence and its Applications Institute on 1st December

Gideon Ogunniye started as a research associate at the Artificial Applications and its Applications Institute on 2nd December

Gabriella Pizzuto started as a research associate at the Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour on 2nd December

Sima Bahrani started as a research associate at the Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science on 9th December

Philip Ginsbach started as a research associate at the Institute for Computing Systems Architecture on 1st January

Theodoros Kapourniotis started as a senior researcher at the Laboratory for the Foundations of Computer Science on 6th January

Shuo Li started as a research associate at the Institute of Perception, Action and behaviour on 7th January

Josiah Hanna started as a research associate at the Artificial Applications and its Applications Institute on 22nd January

Technical and Scientific Services Staff

Anthony Shade, Workshop Technician was welcomed back on 9th December 2019

Professional Services Staff

Michele Bain started as a Teaching Organisation Administrator (Year 3) on 6th January

Announcements

Coronavirus outbreak

The University has been closely monitoring the situation and liaising with government and NHS agencies to get their latest advice. It is important to stress that, based on the latest advice, the risk to people in the UK is low.

However, anyone who has recently travelled to Wuhan or elsewhere in China and becomes unwell within 14 days of that visit, particularly with respiratory symptoms, should seek medical attention. In the UK, they should call their GP or NHS 111 and report their recent travel details.

University latest updates on coronavirus

Highlights

Ethical Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Algorithms #1

New Lecture Series: Ethical Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Algorithms

With the new year comes a new lecture series! Over recent years there has been increasing interest in issues such as fairness, accountability, transparency, and ethics in Informatics.  In response, the School of Informatics is hosting a monthly lecture series on "Ethical Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Algorithms" from January - June 2020.  The lecture series is co-funded by the School of Informatics, the UKRI CDT in Natural Language Processing, the UKRI CDT in Biomedical Artificial Intelligence and the EPSRC CDT in Data Science.  It has been organized by Kousha Etessami, Chris Williams and Michael Rovatsos, based on suggestions solicited from the School.

Book tickets here

We raised over £500 for the Turing Trust!

The School has raised £502 for the Turing Trust: £251 came from the school as a result of the completion of survey questionnaires by 251 people in Informatics and the rest came from a matching donation from The Big Give, a matching charity. Thank you to everyone who completed the survey!

Turing Trust

Former PhD Students Win Scottish Tech Startup of the Year

Two School of Informatics alumni have gone on to win Startup of the Year at the 2019 Scottish Tech Startup Awards for their company Speech Graphics.

Michael Berger and Dr Gregor Hofer, who studied at the University’s School of Informatics 2009 – 2012 and 2004 – 2011 respectively, founded their technology company Speech Graphics in 2010. Speech Graphics specialises in facial animation technology used in the entertainment industry, and works with many prestigious clients such as Warner Brothers and Def Jam Recordings. The Startup of the Year award is the company’s latest in a series of wins over the past few years, including the John Logie Baird Award for Innovation, an LT-Innovate Award, and two game industry awards in 2015: A Develop Award for Best Creative Outsourcer and a TIGA Award for Best Animation Supplier.

Informatics Staff Featured in University-wide Magazine

Three members of Informatics staff feature in the winter edition of Bulletin magazine,  aimed at staff across the University. Jonathan MacBride,  Siobhan Carroll and Allison Kruk are all part of the magazine's cover story, which celebrates the university community by showcasing the people behind staff support networks such as the Disabled Staff Network, Staff Pride Network and Racial Equality Network.  The School of Informatics was the most represented school in the feature, thanks to Jonathan, Siobhan and Allison.

The winter edition of Bulletin magazine

InfHR reminders and updates

‘Where do you draw the line?’

Last week staff members participated in ‘Where do you draw the line?’ workshop. This is a 2-hour workshop that offers departments the opportunity to learn about the factors that can create and sustain a work environment in which harassment and bullying occur and empower participants to work collaboratively to address concerns. We received lots of great feedback from participants and we really urge others to attend future workshops.

Siobhan Gilliland - “Draw the line training was really useful for me. I felt that it was great to discuss situations and examples of what is unacceptable in the workplace with other people and to hear other opinions from an academic perspective. I would recommend attending the course to all colleagues”

Bob Fisher – ‘I thought that it was informative. The last portion was particularly good as the scenarios are similar to some that I've encountered here. And it suggested some 'tweaks' to my own behaviour.’

Due to the positive feedback and impact from the previous session, the School has arranged for two further sessions to take place. The dates for these are Thursday 13th February (afternoon) and Tuesday 10th March (morning). These spaces are limited and we are looking to get staff from all departments taking place. Please register your interest to InfHR to ensure that you secure a place at the next session.

E-mail InfHR

A word from Research Services

Please continue to send details of recently accepted papers and open access questions to rdmpublications@inf.ed.ac.uk, and Victoria or Sam will respond to your query.

The first Open Access check of 2020 is currently underway. If you haven’t already done so, please complete the January Publications Check form by Friday, 7 February.

January OA check form

As always, questions and comments on PURE, open access and REF are all welcome at any time.

Email RDM Team

Updates about Health & Safety and Facilities

Keys and room allocations

When it comes to that time when you say farewell to Informatics, please make sure you hand your keys back to the appropriate office:

Students – IGS office 3.42

Staff – Facilities office 5.41

Please do not hand your key to a colleague/roommate or suggest they move into your desk as your desk may already be pre-allocated to someone else.

Etiquette when using meeting rooms

It would be greatly appreciated if users of meeting rooms would return the space to the way they found it.  There are specific layouts for rooms and bookers expect to find them that way.  It can be very time-consuming for users to have to move furniture around in order to accommodate their meeting.  By all means, move chairs and tables if you need to, but please allow time at the end of your meeting to put it all back.

On a related note, if catering is involved please ensure it is removed from the room at the end of a meeting.  Again, people are arriving for the next meeting to find old catering, flasks, dirty cups etc in rooms.  If you book a space it is your responsibility to make sure you leave it tidy for the next group, and often the caterers are not able to return when your meeting finishes.

Your adherence to this will make all our lives a little bit more pleasant!

Forthcoming H&S Training Courses

Events@Edinburgh have a course available for Fire Stewards who have not yet had relevant training: 19 February, 9.30-11.30.

There is also a Fire Coordinators Training for those who need to attend this, on 19 February, 11.30-12.30.

For those of our First Aiders who would like to brush up on their skills, there is a Defibrillator training course (open to all, not just First Aiders) on 16 March, 9.00-13.30, and a First Aid at Work Annual Refresher course on 18 March, 9.00 and 12.30

Fire Stewards & Extinguisher training

Fire Coordinators training

Defibrillator training

First Aid refresher

Forum windows cleaning

A programme to have the internal windows cleaned in the Forum is about to start.  This round, due to start on 3rd February, will mainly include the insides of external-facing windows and not the big corridor-facing glass panels.  This is partly down to the work involved in removing posters, writing, adhesive, etc, and they will be considered at a later date.

Greig Avinou are the contracted cleaners and will be accessing the building between 6.00am and 9.00am each morning.  In order to make things run as smoothly as possible, please ensure access to your window is clear.  Those offices, whose windows cannot be easily accessed, will not be cleaned.

If you have any questions, please drop Carol Marini an email.

E-mail Carol

Research news

Mirella Lapata named one of six new ACL Fellows 2019

Professor Mirella Lapata is one of six 2019 Fellows of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) elected in 2019 for her work in machine and human learning and natural language processing. The ACL Fellowship programme gives credit to members whose research provides an extraordinary contribution to the field of computational linguistics in terms of scientific and technical excellence, service to the community and/ or impactful educational or outreach activities.

Wenfei Fan

Wenfei Fan elected a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Wenfei was among four researchers elected in October and among 20 foreign members elected over the course of 2019. Wenfei’s research interests focus on database theory and systems including big data, data quality, distributed computing, query languages, recommender systems and precision marketing of social network. The Chinese Academy of Sciences is the world's largest research organisation, comprising around 60,000 researchers working in 114 institutes, and has been consistently ranked among the top research organisations around the world. It functions as the national scientific think tank and academic governing body.

Chris Heunen and Jamie Vicary's book ‘Categories for Quantum Theory’ published by Oxford University Press on 19th November

Monoidal category theory serves as a powerful framework for describing logical aspects of quantum theory, giving an abstract language for parallel and sequential composition, and a conceptual way to understand many high-level quantum phenomena. This text lays the foundation for categorical quantum mechanics, with an emphasis on the graphical calculus which makes computation intuitive. Biproducts and dual objects are introduced and used to model superposition and entanglement, with quantum teleportation studied abstractly using these structures. Monoids, Frobenius structures and Hopf algebras are described, and it is shown how they can be used to model classical information and complementary observables. The CP construction, a categorical tool to describe probabilistic quantum systems, is also investigated. The last chapter introduces higher categories, surface diagrams and 2-Hilbert spaces, and shows how the language of duality in monoidal 2-categories can be used to reason about quantum protocols, including quantum teleportation and dense coding.

James Cheney awarded £285,000 from National Physical Laboratory

James has gained funding from the National Physical Laboratory to work on a collaborative project: Programming Foundations for Trusted Data Science. Data quality is an increasing concern across both scientific and industry settings; data science, AI, and other advanced techniques cannot yield good results if the underlying data are incorrect, inaccurate, inconsistent or invalid. Curation, provenance, and traceability are needed in many settings to ensure that datasets are produced according to a systematic process, and that sufficient records are kept to ensure that others can inspect and audit the quality of the process, and gain insight into the quality of the data. This proposal for collaboration with NPL focuses on research topics that build on existing work funded by an ongoing ERC grant, but lie beyond the scope of what can be accomplished with current resources. The proposed work is structured into three broad themes:

  1. Broadening support for language-integrated query beyond traditional relational databases to encompass data models and database systems widely used for scientific data, such as RDF and SPARQL. 
  2. Deepening understanding of type-directed data curation, that is, the use of rich type systems, generic programming or metaprogramming techniques to ease common data curation tasks.
  3. Exploring case studies of language support for data curation, by evaluating Links language extensions or libraries on scientific or industry-relevant databases.

Paul Patras was awarded a £125,000 studentship from Arm Limited

The studentship is connected to the Connected Home Watch (CHOW) project, which aims to design a suite of defensive methods for threat detection, counteraction, and privacy preservation, advancing state-of-the-art techniques for cyber resilience and applying them in home IoT settings. While legal and human factors addressed by complementary projects remain important, CHOW focuses on cybersecurity from a fundamental, technical angle. The result will be a comprehensive toolbox deployable on future home routers or specialised security modules. The CHOW prototypes will be open-sourced and the research results fed into IoT standards, helping make homes of the future trustworthy.

Diego Oyarzun and colleagues get paper published in Nature Communications

Their paper discusses whether biocomputing might offer superior performance over traditional computers. The central question they posed was whether living computers can do better than silicon ones. They argue that living matter offers entirely new opportunities for digital and analogue computation. They term this 'cellular supremacy', akin to the concept of quantum supremacy recently popularised by the latest research at Google. Living cells provide a different computing substrate than silicon, which paves the way for exploring unconventional models of computation beyond combinatorial circuits and towards non-Turing models. In the paper they discuss domains in which biocomputing may offer superior performance over traditional computers. This is a result of a cross-institutional collaboration between computer scientists, physicists and computational biologists.

Grozinger, L., Amos, M., Gorochowski, T.E., Carbonell, P., Oyarzun, D.A. et al. Pathways to cellular supremacy in biocomputing. Nat Commun 10, 5250 (2019)

Student news

National Student Survey opens at the beginning of February

The National Student Survery 2020 will open to final-year undergraduate students on Monday 10th February, and remain open until the end of April. This feedback is invaluable to the School, so it is important that we do everything we can to encourage final-year undergraduate students to fill out the survey in as much detail as possible. Your support in this encourgaement would be greatly appreciated.

Informatics students earn recognition with their carbon footprint tracking app

Angus Shaw, Ashish Telang and Nick Carmont are currently developing NetZero, an app that securely connects to your bank accounts and tracks the carbon footprint of your purchases.  With their idea they won Fidelity International's "Fintech for Good", as well as SIE's "Fresh Ideas Competition" (November edition). They have also won 2nd place in Edinburgh University's "Business Ideas Competition for Social Enterprises". They were accepted into 2020 class of Clinton Global Initiative University.

Follow the team's progress 

Stefanie Speichert (PhD, Artificial Intelligence) awarded best student paper at the 2019 ILP conference

The best student paper in the long papers category at this year’s Inductive Logic Programming (ILP) conference was awarded to Stefanie Speichert and Vaishak Belle, for their paper “Learning Probabilistic Logic Programs over Continuous Data”. Their paper aims to expand the field of statistical relational learning by applying probabilistic logic programs to continuous and mixed discrete-continuous data, as opposed to the finite-domain discrete probability distributions that the field has thus far been limited to.

Read the winning paper here

Data Science CDT students to present 5 papers at a major conference

Six students from the Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Science have had five papers accepted to be presented at NeurIPS, the top conference in Machine Learning. The papers are as follows:  

Carl Allen - What the Vec? Towards Probabilistically Grounded Embeddings

Antreas Antoniou - Learning to Learn via Self-Critique

Ivana Balazevic - Multi-relational Poincare Graph Embeddings

Artur Bekasov and Conor Durkan - Neural Spline Flows

Paul Micaelli - Zero-shot Knowledge Transfer via Adversarial Belief Matching

Justin Glibert and Jay Yeung  secure Pioneer funding for their automated customer support model

Glibert and Yeung, along with partner Florien Muller, are amongst the winners of Pioneer’s technological tournament, securing funding for their AI platform that provides automated customer support to e-commerce companies out-with business hours. Their success sees them become Pioneers, giving them access to the private Pioneer online community as well as a variety of rewards including (but not limited to): $1,000 spending money, $6,000 in Stellar lumens, free return transport to Silicon Valley, $100,000 in Google Cloud credits and $100,000 in AWS credits.

SIGINT win Deloitte CTF tournament

At the beginning of December students from SIGINT (Cybersecurity Society) won Deloitte’s Capture the Flag event for the second year running, beating teams from all over the UK. Their triumph follows a previous win in November 2019, at the national Capture the Flag competition HackBack 2.

Informatics students win 4th place in Huawei UK student AI competition

Muhammad Arrasy Rahman, Georgios Papoudakis and Filippos Christianos, also known as team EdinDrive, placed 4th in Huawei's autonomous driving competition that took place in December.

Student Experience Grant banner

Informatics projects receive funding from Student Experience Grants

Four Informatics-based projects have been awarded funding from the Autumn 2019 round of Student Experience Grants. In order to receive this funding, a project must have clear aims and objectives that benefit students at the University, display innovative thought and be practical and feasible. The successful Informatics projects are as follows:

  1. HYPED

The University’s Hyperloop team will receive £5,000 to build a test track for their Pod prototypes, the first of its kind in the UK. The track will benefit the members of HYPED by enabling the entire Technology Team (165 people) to experience the testing of the Pod, as well as improving the society’s chance at ranking in the top three at the annual SpaceX Hyperloop Competition, which takes place in California.

  1. Energy Datathon

Informatics students will receive £1,600 in funding for their two-day, competition-style event focussing on climate and energy. The Datathon will challenge students to collaboratively work with climate and energy-related data, learn about relevant issues and find analyses and solutions together. Postgraduate student Kate McCurdy said of the grant: 'This grant will help us cover venue booking, security, and food for an anticipated 60 student participants from across the University, to dive deep into energy- and climate-related data and propose creative solutions, which will be reviewed by an expert panel of judges. We think collaboration and cross-disciplinary thinking will be crucial to address complex global problems of resource consumption, and letting students tackle these issues hands-on in a fun and open-ended "hackathon" environment could be a great starting point!'

  1. CreatEd 2020

The University’s Embedded and Robotics Society have been given £2,000 to help fund a 24-hour hardware hackathon which they have organised on 14 – 15 March. The event challenges participants to work collaboratively to produce an innovative project involving both hardware and software.

  1. UoE group chats

A group of Informatics students hope to use their £650 grant to create a messaging platform that will enable new students to ‘connect with [their] classmates before arriving at the University’. The service aims to improve the experience of new students and combat social isolation, facilitated by modern technology.

Autumn 2019 Student Experience Grants

Learn more about Student Experience Grants

Teaching News

Edinburgh Teaching Awards awarded to two members of staff

Research Associate Cristina Alexandru and teacher Aurora Constantin recently completed their Edinburgh Teaching Awards (ETA), Category 3 and Category 2 respectively. Because the scheme is accredited by Advance HE’s Higher Education Academy (HEA), in completing the ETA Alexandru has become a Senior Fellow and Constantin a Fellow of the HEA.

If you are interested in completing an Edinburgh Teaching Award and having your commitment to professional development recognised by the Higher Education Academy, you can find out more and apply through the University website.

Edinburgh Teaching Award website

Events

Distinguished Lecture delivered by Andrew Fitzgibbon, 28th January

The first Distinguished lecture of the year was delivered by Dr Andrew Fizgibbon on Tuesday 28th January. A former Informatics postgrad, Dr Fitzgibbon shared his personal experiences of developing real-world computer vision systems, from Emmy-award-winning camera tracker "boujou" and the human body tracking of Xbox 360's Kinect to Microsoft's AR headset the HoloLens. Thank you everyone who attended this popular event!

Senate Discussion on 'Student Support and Wellbeing', 5th February

The next Senate meeting will take place on Wednesday 5th February. The presentation and discussion sections of the meeting will focus on Student Support on Wellbeing, specifically personal tutoring and student support, and the University's Student Mental Health Strategy. There will also be updates on the Research Excellence Framework REF2021, and the Enhancement-led Institutional Review (ELIR). Book your place by Friday 31st January via MyEd.

Book place via MyEd

Two Informatics PhD students and Hoppers organise monthly coffee meetings for women and non-binary people

Informatics PhD students Amna Shahab and Larisa Stoltzfus supported by Hoppers are organizing a series of monthly coffee meetings which will serve as a forum for postgraduate women and non-binary persons in Informatics to get together, meet and network. The meetings aim to promote cohesion amongst a minority of students/research staff in the field of computing who might often be the only one in their group or office.

When: 29th January, 14:30

Where: Informatics Forum, MF1

Added bonus: Coffee/tea and cakes will be provided.

Outreach and Public Engagement

For latest opportunities please check CSE PE blog for more info.

CSE Public Engagement update

Three Minute Thesis Competition Training

The 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) competition involves doctoral researchers competing to deliver the best research presentation in just 3 minutes (and one slide). Are you up to the challenge?

Further details about the competition

Details about upcoming training

Call for activities - STEM week at Hermitage Park Primary School, 27th Apr - 1st May

Hermitage Park Primary School are organising a STEM week for pupils across all of their classes, so if you have any workshops (or talks) that are suitable for the primary-school age range, then they would be extremely happy to hear from you. Serving the Lochend/Restalrig area of the city, it would be great to support their efforts if at all possible.

If you are available sometime during the week of 27th Apr-1st May and are in a position to get involved, then please get in touch with Nicola directly.

Contact Nicola Binnie

Call for activities - Terrific Technology Week at Cockenzie Primary School, 27th Apr - 1st May

Cockenzie Primary in East Lothian are holding their first Terrific Technology week and are looking for technology-based workshops and talks that either challenge pupils to solve particular problems or highlight the role of STEM within their jobs. The aim of the week is to promote STEM careers and show how quickly technology is developing.

If you are available sometime during the week of 27th Apr-1st May and are in a position to get involved, then please get in touch with the school directly.

Contact Cockenzie Primary School

Call for applications - RSE Young Academy of Scotland (YAS), deadline: 17th Feb

Applications are sought from early to mid-career professionals (early 20s to early 40s) who have demonstrated a high level of excellence in their work along with a passion for working with others beyond their workplace.

YAS brings together entrepreneurs, academics, business leaders, teachers and other professionals (including those in public engagement) together on projects that benefit Scotland and the world. Applications (including references) need to be received by 17th Feb. 

YAS application website

Reminder / Update: Call for activities - Curiosity Live, March and June 2020

Taking place in the Glasgow Science Centre, Curiosity Live is a regular series of events seeking to bring science-based research to public audiences: Of particular interest are activities that combine arts and humanities with the sciences, as well as those that get visitors to be part of the scientific process in some way. Activities do not have to be table-top; all formats are considered.

The next event is currently being planned for 12th-15th March, with the following one 11th-14th June, so if you'd like to be involved, then contacting Sam is the first step to take.

Contact Sam Langford

Find out more about Curiosity Live

Training - Understanding outcomes and impacts, 2nd March

Aimed at those with a good understanding of evaluation already, Evaluation Support Scotland are delivering a free webinar on 2nd Mar called "Outcomes everywhere but which are mine?" With a vast variety of potential outcomes, this talk will provide advice on how to remain focused on illustrating meaningful contributions and change, rather than trying to report on everything that goes on.

Further details and registration

Advice - Engaging with policymakers internationally, Edinburgh Research Office

Following a recent learning lunch, the Edinburgh Research Office has drawn together advice from three researchers who have engaged with policymakers from across the globe. The reflections here may be of assistance for others who are considering (or needing) to undertake this type of engagement. Working with local communities and community organisations appears to be just as critical as seeking the perspectives of policymakers.

Engaging with policymakers internationally

Training

How Media Training can make you a better communicator

Communications and Marketing ran media training sessions for staff in order to equip them with the skills and confidence to communicate more effectively. They are recommended for anyone who would like to learn or improve their communication and interview skills.  The course includes preparation and realistic practice for TV, radio and print interviews.

The course dates for 2020 are:

Staff can book the course themselves by going onto MyEd and searching for Media Training. Media Training is charged at £100 per person, payable in advance. This is paid via internal transfer (e-IT).

List and feedback on the training courses page

We now have a page listing training courses attended by staff. You can submit your own feedback on a particular training you attended. 

List and feedback on training courses

Submit feedback

Mental health and well being

Informatics Staff and Students

If you feel that you are being mistreated at the University because of a factor such as gender, race, age, nationality, religion, sexuality, etc, you are welcome to confidentially contact the InfHR team (for staff members), Student Support Officers (for UG and MSc students), or contact the Graduate School (for PhD students). Details are all provided below:

  • InfHR, Informatics Forum 5.39

Email InfHR

  • Student Support Officers, Appleton Tower, Level 6

Email Student Support Officers

  • IGS contacts, Informatics Forum, 3.42

Contact IGS

  • Staff can also speak to Fiona McGuire in the College HR Office

Email Fiona

The University has a number of HR policies, including the Dignity and Respect policy, and staff are encouraged to review these.

A to Z of HR policies

You can find information about mental health and wellbeing on the Informatics external website.

Mental health and wellbeing

Informatics Social Events

Are you an organiser of a regular social event in Informatics and would like to add it to the list? Let Infcomms know!

Contact Infcomms

Informatics Déjà Brew

Informatics Déjà Brew is a drop-in coffee session. Staff are welcome to come and go as their workload permits. If you are unsure about cover for your office or how long you can come along for, then speak to your line manager. The meet-ups are primarily aimed at all Informatics professional services, technical and computing staff. Bring along your cuppa and see you there!

Informatics Déjà Brew

Informatics Football

Informatics Football is open to all Undergraduate, MSC, PHD and staff members from the School of Informatics.

Informatics Football

Board Game Nights

The Board Game Nights are for those wishing to play some games once a month, in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. There is a good variety of board games available, with regular additions to the collection.

Board Game Nights

Informatics Open Artspace

Informatics Open ArtSpace takes place on Tuesdays, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm in MF1. All materials for acrylic painting, linocut and origami are provided. If you have your own project to work on, you can bring it, too. Everyone is welcome, just come by, hang out, make some art.

Look out for inf-general e-mails from Sabine Weber confirming dates/times.

Inf.write()

Inf.write() are an informal Informatics writers group run by Dave Cochrane.  If you would like to come and get feedback on something you have written, please bring paper copies (six should be enough, but there are printers handy if more are needed). If you don’t have writing you’d like feedback on, but would like to come along and hear what people are working on, that’s great too. There are very few limitations on what you can bring. Fiction, poetry, scripts, screenplays and non-fiction are all encouraged. This group is not for getting feedback on the type of work for which there already are established mechanisms for getting feedback within the School. Remember that everyone who brings work needs to get their turn - so if you bring something long, be prepared for the possibility that you may have to spread it between more than one meeting.

Look out for inf-general e-mails from Dave Cochrane confirming dates/times.

Best of inf-general

Three pieces of information caught our eye recently:

1. Thanks to Juan Casanaova's girlfriend's forgetfulness we have learnt that you don't need your student card to sit an exam and that should you need one there certainly is someone in the Forum who will take your card over to Glasgow.

2. If you're on level 4, there are often free biscuits in the kitchen. Thanks, Maria!

3. It's worth keeping an eye on inf-general in case Alan Bundy is giving away free saucepans!

 

Inf-general is a mailing list used to carry informal discussions, postings, requests to and from staff within Informatics. Not for official purposes. Julian Bradfield is the guardian of inf-general who steps in to point out misuses and confirm when inf-general should most definitely be used. If you’re new to Informatics inf-general emails can be a great source of knowledge for you: ask and you will be informed, but do remember to share the information back with the mailing list users.

 

Keep in Touch

For all the latest news, keep an eye on our website and social media channels!

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