Computer Science @ University of St Andrews

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News and Events Archive (02/05/06 to 17/09/08)

Seeing ethnographically: an introductory workshop in field study for systems design

17-Sep-2008 at 14:00 to 17:00 Format: workshop/tutorial. Speaker: Dr David Martin (Xerox Research Centre, Grenoble).

The workshop/tutorial will provide a good introduction to the social scientific research method of ethnography. There will be a particular focus on how it has been and how it may be usefully employed to study activities involving computer technology use in the ''real world''. Studying computer use with ethnography in natural settings has provided a useful resource for computer science for several reasons: (1) It has lead to better understanding of use (2) It has helped in the design of systems that fit with the needs of users, and (3) It has lead to improvements in methods for the design of social-technical systems. In all, ethnography has provided new design sensibilities.

This workshop is aimed at researchers in social sciences, management, psychology and computer science who may be involved of field studies of work in a real user setting.

The workshop is supported by the EPSRC and the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA). There is no registration fee. Please let us know if you are coming so that we can order enough coffee (email gina,

David Martin is a research scientist working for Xerox Research Centre Europe (XRCE) in Grenoble, France. He works for the Work Practice Technology group, having previously been a research fellow in the Computing Department of Lancaster University. His work involves employing ethnographic techniques to study work and technology use from an ethnomethodological perspective. These studies are used to understand the impacts of technology in real world settings and to feed into the design of innovative new applications. His work has covered a diverse set of topics ranging from ambulance control, to banking, healthcare, eXtreme Programming and now is focused on high production colour printing and legal work.

SCONE (SCOttish Networking Event)

11-Sep-2008 at 13:30 to 17:00 in Cole Bldg Format: meeting.

SCONE is the SCOttish Networking Event - an informal gathering of networking and systems researchers in and around Scotland. The goal of these meetings is to foster interaction between researchers from our various institutions. Each meeting will take place over the course of an afternoon, and feature:

  • talks from PhD students and research staff
  • discussions of possible funding opportunities, job opportunities and other events relevant to Scottish networking and systems research
  • food and drink

Our first meeting will take place on 11 September 2008 in St Andrews. We plan to meet 3-4 times a year, with our next meeting in November in Glasgow. A mailing list has also been created, to keep interested parties in touch, and you are encouraged to subscribe.

Attendance is free, but if you would like to attend the St Andrews meeting, we would appreciate an RSVP to Tristan Henderson (tristan, by 1 September 2008 to help with planning. If you would like to give a talk at this or future events, please also get in touch by e-mail.

Please feel free to forward this announcement to any other interested parties.

Agent-Oriented Modelling for Complex, Socio-Technical Systems

09-Sep-2008 Format: Seminar. Speaker: Leon Sterling (University of Melbourne).

Abstract Developing software for modern environments and networks is a challenge. Today''s environments are vastly complex and dynamic with a great diversity of both platforms and communications technologies. Agents constitute a relatively recent computational abstraction proposed to help face the challenge of developing software that can adapt and deal rationally with change. To allow widespread adoption and deployment by engineers, new agent-based methods imbued with engineering discipline are needed. Over the past five years, we have been developing a range of models for the various stages of the software lifecycle, including high level goal models and role models, knowledge models, and agent and interaction models. The models have been prototyped in arrange of environments, including the intelligent home, B2B e-commerce, and airport optimisation. We describe the models using an example of Tamagotchis.

Science, Engineering and Technology Student of the Year Awards


Martin Conaghan of the University of St Andrews has been placed on a shortlist for the “Best IT Student” award as part of the 2008 Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) awards. The award is judged by the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology). Martin’s final year project at the School of Computer Science at St Andrews involved the design and implementation of Games Creation Tool for Children, targeted for use on the “One Laptop Per Child” computer being distributed in parts of Africa. Martin was motivated by his experience of voluntary work with children in Africa as a student during vacations. He was awarded obtained a 1st Class (Hons) BSc. at St Andrews in 2008 and subsequently returned to continue his voluntary work in Africa.

Algebraic semantics for knowledge acquisition

20-Aug-2008 at 11:15 in Honey 103 GFB Format: Seminar. Speaker: Dr Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh (Oxford University and Paris 7).

Abstract I aim to develop high level structures for reasoning about knowledge of agents in a multi-agent system where agents communicate and as a result update their information. All of us take part in such situations when communicating through the internet, surfing the web, bidding in auctions, or buying on financial markets. Reasoning about knowledge acquisition in these situations becomes more challenging when some agents are not honest and they cheat and lie in their actions and as a result other agents acquire wrong information. The current models of these situations are low level: they require specifying untidy details and hide the high level structure of information flow between the agents. This makes modeling a hard task and proving properties of the model an involved and complicated problem.

Richard D Jenks Prize for Excellence in Software Engineering

22-Jul-2008 in Linz, Austria

The GAP Group, based in part in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Computational Algebra at St Andrews was today awarded the ACM Richard D Jenks Prize for Excellence in Software Engineering applied to Computer Algebra. The prize consists of a plaque for each of the major GAP Centres (of which CIRCA is one) and US$1000. It was accepted on behalf of the GAP group by Steve Linton and Alexander Konovalov from CIRCA and Frank Luebeck from RWTH Aachen.

Computing in Sensitive Environments

03-Jul-2008 at 14:30 in Cole 1.33a Lab Format: Talk. Speaker: Ran Atkinson (Extreme Networks).

Abstract This talk discusses various aspects of computing in sensitive environments, including Multi-Level Secure Computing, Multiple Security Level Computing, and so forth. The conceptual parts are likely to be familiar to faculty already, while operational parts of the talk perhaps are not so widely known about.

PhD Studentship in Functional Programming

01-Jul-2008 A PhD studentship is available in the Functional Programming group at the University of St Andrews. We are looking for a well-qualified student to work on the recently-funded £1M Islay project (Adaptive Hardware Systems with Novel Algorithmic Design and Guaranteed Resource Bounds), which exploits new and advanced functional programming technology to overcome fundamental challenges in high-performance computing. The project is multi-site and interdisciplinary, and builds on world-leading work in signal and image processing methods, techniques to assess the performance and complexity of computer software, and complex processor design techniques. Students must have achieved or expect to achieve a First Class or Upper Second degree in Computer Science or a relevant discipline, and have a strong interest in Functional Programming.

ACP Summer School

30-Jun-2008 to 04-Jul-2008 in Cole 0.35 2nd Year Lab Format: Summer School.

The ACP Summer School 2008 will be held in St. Andrews, Scotland, from June 30th - July 4th 2008. The topic of this year''s school will be "Modelling with Constraints: Theory and Practice". As well as lecture series from world class researchers, participants will use the Minion constraint solver and the Essence modelling language in practical modelling exercises.

Sutton Trust Summer School

30-Jun-2008 to 04-Jul-2008 in Honey 105 IT Lab Format: Summer School.

The School of Computer Science is host to the Sutton Trust Summer School once again!

Update 2008-07-04: The annual Sutton Trust robocode battle was held on the 4th of July. Students spent a week coding robots to battle each other in a virtual arena for survival and glory. A fabulous prize was awarded, at the cake and coding ceremony, as brandished by the victor. (picture)

First chances

23-Jun-2008 at 14:00 in Cole 0.35 2nd Year Lab Format: Skills session

As part of the University''s First Chances programme, the School of Computer Science will be running a 2-hour IT skills session for up to 50 pupils from Viewforth High School, Waid Academy, Buckhaven High School and Auchmuty High School.

Open day - Postponed

19-Jun-2008 at 11:00 to 15:00 Format: Open day

This open day is for third year pupils upwards from all Scottish schools. Details to be announced: watch this space!

2008-06-12: The open day has been postponed until later in the year.

EmBounded Project Extension


The European Commission has confirmed a 6-month extension to the successful Framework VI EmBounded project (Automatic Analysis of Bounded Resources for Embedded Systems, IST-510255), which is coordinated by Kevin Hammond, and which involves industry and academia in Germany, France and the UK.

The project aims to identify, quantify and certify resource-bounded code targeting real-time embedded systems using the novel programming language Hume. In the three years that it has been running, project participants have produced time and space cost models for advanced language constructs including recursion, user-defined data structures, automatic memory management and exceptions, producing over 25 research papers and giving 50 presentations to industry and academia.

Mini-workshop on dependent types

13-May-2008 at 14:00 in Honey 103 GFB Format: Mini-workshop.

The meetings are open and interested participants are encouraged to attend.

Nick Atkinson


Congratulations to Nick Atkinson who won the Higher Education Academy ICS essay competition, with an essay entitled “What makes a good lecturer?” As a result he got invited to attend the Higher Education Academy 2008 Annual Conference in Harrogate on July 2008.

Technology and Trust

08-May-2008 at 14:00 in Cole 1.33a Lab Format: talk Speaker: Denise Anthony (Dartmouth College).

Abstract People and organizations increasingly rely on pervasively networked computer-based systems as the medium for accessing information, conducting transactions and exchanges, and communicating private information. Consumers, businesses, government officials and technologists demand "trusted" systems to ensure the safe, reliable and successful use of these systems, yet technology is evolving so quickly that it is unclear whether or how trust exists in networked systems such as the Internet.

Sociologists recognize that trust in computer systems, and the organizations using them, depends on more than simply technology. Interpersonally, trust is often based in mechanisms in which the trusting actor relies on information about the trusted actor''s history of reliable behavior, either through reputation, or from direct past experience. Alternatively, what is termed institutional trust (Zucker 1986) is based in social structures that either certify the trusted actor''s behavioral capabilities or provide third-party assurance of that behavior. Are successful transactions in new technological systems such as the Internet more likely to be based in interpersonal or institutional trust mechanisms?

This talk describes two projects that use experimental methods to examine how different sources of information influence user behavior in online interaction, communication and exchange. The first project examines how information about the transacting partner influences individuals'' purchasing behavior in online exchange. Specifically, we examine whether consumers are more likely to make a purchase when they receive one of two types of information about an online vendor/website: (a) the vendor''s technical security (capability for conducting secure online transactions) or (b) the vendor''s history of secure transactions. We also examine whether consumers are more likely to make a purchase when the source of that information is either: (1) an institutionalized third party or (2) ratings from other consumers.

The second project examines how information about members of a distributed work group influences individuals'' cooperation and privacy behavior in the group. Specifically, we examine whether people use others'' privacy policies as signals of trustworthiness, to either seek out or avoid particular types of actors (i.e., those with specific privacy policies or privacy settings). Understanding these tendencies and their impact on group dynamics has distinct implications for the negotiation of group privacy policies in pervasively networked environments. In addition, we examine how privacy preferences relate to trustworthiness, i.e., whether people cooperate or not in a group.

Senior Honours Project Presentations

28-Apr-2008 in Cole 1.33a Lab, Cole 1.33b MSc Lab, Honey 104 Hons Lab Format: Presentations. Senior Honours students present their projects in three parallel streams lasting until the afternoon.

Good University Guide

24-Apr-2008 St Andrews ranks 7th out of 113 institutions; Computer Science at St Andrews ranks even higher at 4th out of 101. It''s not a good idea to place a lot of importance on the precise scores, but the fact remains that we consistently do well in these surveys.

Ekaterina Komendantskaya


Congratulations to Dr Ekaterina Komendantskaya (INRIA, Sophia Antipolis), who has been awarded one of six highly competitive EPSRC Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships in Theoretical Computer Science for her proposal for research on Computational Logic in Artificial Neural Networks. She will join our Computational Logic research group, led by Dr Dyckhoff, in October.

Space School

19-Apr-2008 Format: School visit.

50 primary school pupils visit! Details being finalized by Bernie Tiddeman.

Graham Norton Show

17-Apr-2008 at 21:00 on BBC2 Format: TV programme

The Graham Norton show features the Face of the Future.

Call for papers

31-Mar-2008 Kevin Hammond and Paul Kelly (Imperial College) are editing a special issue of Science of Computer Programming, on Automatic Program Generation for Embedded Systems. All submissions should be through Elsevier. The deadline for submissions is 31st March 2008.

Open day for 2008 applicants

29-Mar-2008 at 11:00 Format: Open day

An open day for 2008 applicants will be held at the School on Saturday 29th March from 11am - 3pm. It will provide an opportunity for applicants to: tour our excellent laboratories and other facilities; find out more about the organisation of our courses; discover the cutting edge research that’s going on within the School; and talk on a one-to-one basis to staff and current students. Programme:

11:00Cole 0.35 2nd Year LabWelcome
11:05Cole 0.35 2nd Year LabTalk: Overview of Degree Programme
11:20Tour of Facilities
11:35Cole 0.35 2nd Year LabTalk: Research in the School
11:50Cole 0.35 2nd Year LabTalk: Summer Research Studentships
12:00Honey 110 1st Year LabRobocode: Taster of Object-Oriented Programming
1:00Cole Coffee AreaLunch
1:30Cole 0.35 2nd Year LabTalk: What to Expect When You Arrive
1:40Cole 0.35 2nd Year LabTalk: Honours Projects (Individual and Group)
2:00Cole 0.35 2nd Year LabDemos and Discussion Time
2.55Cole 0.35 2nd Year LabWrap Up
3:00Cole 0.35 2nd Year LabDepart

Anyone interested in attending, and who has not yet received an invitation, should contact admissions at

Face morph

25-Mar-2008 to 05-Apr-2008 in Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh Format:exhibition.

Abstract Bernie Tiddeman presents his face-morphing exhibit as part of Wonderama in the Edinburgh Science Festival. The software was developed as part of an EPSRC funded Partnership for Public Engagement project "Face of the Future" in collaboration with the School of Psychology.

Dynamic Syntax: Modelling Language without Syntactic Structure

20-Mar-2008 at 14:00 in Cole 1.33a Lab Format: talk. Speaker: David Tugwell (University of St Andrews).

Abstract Dynamic Syntax is an atypical approach to modelling natural language in that it avoids any static characterisation of a sentence''s structure, whether based on syntactic constituents or syntactic dependencies. Instead it sees syntax as a dynamic process in which the meaning of a sentence is constructed word-by-word through the course of a sentence. In this way a meaning representation is related to a string of words without the intermediary of a representation of syntactic structure and thus avoids many problems inherent in such representations. In this talk I introduce the dynamic approach to grammar, show how it is possible to use this as the base of a probabilistic language model and give a demonstration of a wide-coverage corpus-based system for the analysis of English that I have been working on over the past two years.

Introduction to game development with XNA

19-Mar-2008 at 19:00 in School 2 Format: WiredSoc public talk. Speaker: Adam Denheen (Microsoft Student Partner).

Snacks and refreshments will be available in the Whey Pat after the talk.

Funding for Students from India and China

14-Mar-2008 The Scottish International Scholarship provides funds for students to take MSc Courses, including our MSc in Advanced Computer Science. Awards are competitive, with a deadline of March 14. Not only does this provide fees and living expenses, but the possibility of permission to work in Scotland after graduation. This is open to students from China and India. Since you need to have an offer from us before applying, apply now! If you are interested, please contact pg.sec at as soon as possible, and apply online.

Amortised memory analysis using the depth of data structures

12-Mar-2008 at 14:00 in Cole 1.33a Lab Format: Guest Talk. Speaker: Brian Campbell (University of Edinburgh).

Abstract The heap space analysis presented by Hofmann and Jost in their 2003 POPL paper finds linear space bounds for many functional programs. It uses an amortized analysis: assigning hypothetical amounts of free space (called potential) to data structures in proportion to their sizes using type annotations. Constraints on these annotations in the type system ensure that the total potential assigned to the input is an upper bound on the total memory required to satisfy all allocations.

I will describe a related system for bounding the stack space requirements which uses the depth of data structures, by allowing us to express potential in terms of maxima as well as sums. This is achieved by adding extra structure to typing contexts (inspired by O''Hearn''s bunched typing) to describe the form of the bounds. I will also describe the extra steps that must be taken to construct a typing during the analysis.

ECSA 2008

06-Mar-2008 Although retired, Professor Ron Morrison continues to play an active research role, and is Program Committee Chair for ECSA 2008, the 2nd European Conference on Software Architecture. Dr Dharini Balasubramaniam is a Program Committee Member.

From pier to peer-to-peer

05-Mar-2008 at 17:15 in Phys Theatre A Format: Inaugural Lecture. Speaker: Al Dearle (School of Computer Science).

The lecture is open to the public and all are welcome.

Market-Based Systems

05-Mar-2008 at 10:00 to 15:30 in Cole 0.35 2nd Year Lab Format: Distinguished Lecture Series. Speaker: Dave Cliff (University of Bristol).

Abstract Over the last ten years, computer giants IBM and Hewlett-Packard have each invested significant research effort in developing algorithms that embody strategies for trading in "electronic marketplaces", and in algorithms that offer radical new types of electronic marketplace. This industrial research has been paralleled internationally by a number of academic research groups with similar ambitions. Some of this research is motivated by the desire to create autonomous agents for e-commerce applications, some of it is aimed at doing better resource allocation and control in large-scale distributed data-centers and grid systems, and some of it is aimed at creating predictive models of real financial systems. As it happens, in the last few years there has been an explosion of interest in using such techniques in the global financial markets.

These three lectures take a selective walk through the motivation, the background, the key results, the state of the art, and end with some wild hand-wavy speculations on where things will go next.

Absolutely no previous knowledge of economics is required.

First-order deduction in neural networks

03-Mar-2008 at 14:30 in Cole 1.33a Lab Format: Computational Logic Seminar. Speaker: Dr E. Komendantskaya (Marelle Project, INRIA Sophia Antipolis).

Abstract Connectionism is a movement in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology and philosophy of mind which hopes to explain human intellectual abilities using artificial neural networks---a simplified mathematical model of a human brain. One of its areas, Neuro-Symbolic Integration, investigates ways of integrating logic and formal languages with neural networks in order to better understand the essence of symbolic (deductive) and human (developing, spontaneous) reasoning, and to show interconnections between them. There were many neuro-symbolic systems proposed over the last two decades. However, we know little about their practical use in automated reasoning and computational logic. The main obstacle for the implementations of neuro-symbolic networks in computational logic lies in the fact that the majority of existing neuro-symbolic neural networks process truth values of formulae, and do not work directly with their syntax. Many of these networks use the semantic operator T_P, which requires infinite iterations in order to reach the least fixed point; and hence it requires complicated finite approximation in order to be processed in finite neural networks.

In this talk, I will introduce SLD Neural Networks, an alternative to the existing neuro-symbolic networks. SLD neural networks use a novel method of performing the algorithm of SLD-resolution in neural networks. The resulting neural networks work with syntax of formulae, and perform unification and resolution algorithms. They are finite and do not require any approximations. Notably, they embed six learning functions recognised in neurocomputing.


19-Feb-2008 at 14:15 in Cole 1.33 Lab Format: PSAC seminar. Speaker: Steven Morrison (Amazon).

Abstract is one of the world''s leading E-Commerce companies, with over 15 years of online retailing behind them. While based mainly in Seattle, they also have remote development centres in many countries, including Scotland.

Steven Morrison joined Amazon in 2005 as a graduate recruit. In this talk he will discuss some of the scaling issues Amazon have overcome, the projects being worked on in the Scotland development centre, and how Extreme Programming is being applied there.

An approach to automation of functional program synthesis

05-Feb-2008 at 10:00 in Honey 103 GFB Format: Computational Logic Seminar. Speaker: Dr Yulia Korukhova (Lomonosov State University, Moscow).

Abstract The work deals with automatic deductive synthesis of functional programs. Formal specification of a program is taken as a mathematical existence theorem and while proving it, we derive a program and simultaneously prove that this program corresponds to given specification. Several problems have to be resolved for automatic synthesis: the choice of synthesis rules that allows us to derive the basic constructions of a functional program, order of rule application and choice of a particular induction rule. The method proposed here is based on the deductive tableau method. The basic method gives rules for functional program construction. To determine the proof strategy we use some external heuristics, including rippling. And for the induction hypothesis formation the combination of rippling and the deductive tableau method became very useful. The proposed techniques are implemented in the system ALISA (Automatic Lisp Synthesizer) and used for automatic synthesis of several functions in the Lisp language.

Retirement of Professor Ron Morrison: Reception

25-Jan-2008 at 17:00 in Lower College Hall Format: Reception.

Professor Ron Morrison is about to retire from the University. The school is having a small reception should anyone wish to come along and say their farewells. Open to all staff, students, and general public.

Epidemic Spread in Time-Dependent Networks from Human Connectivity

25-Jan-2008 at 14:00 in Cole 1.33a Lab Format: seminar. Speaker: Eiko Yoneki (Cambridge Computer Lab).

Abstract Increasing numbers of mobile computing devices form dynamic networks in everyday life. In such environments, nodes (i.e. laptops, PDAs, smart phones) are sparsely distributed forming a network. Such networks are often partitioned due to geographical separation or node movement. New communication paradigms using dynamic interconnectedness between people and urban infrastructure lead towards a world where digital traffic flows in small leaps as people pass each other.

Efficient forwarding algorithms for such networks are emerging, mainly based on epidemic routing protocols where messages are simply flooded when a node encounters another node. To reduce the overhead of epidemic routing, we attempt to uncover a hidden stable network structure such as social networks, which consist of a group of people forming socially meaningful relationships.

I will describe our study of patterns or information flow during epidemic spread in dynamic human networks, which shares many issues with network-based epidemiology. Properties of human contact networks such as community and weight of interactions are important aspects of epidemic spread. I will consider a model for space-time paths based on graph evolution: time-dependent networks where links between nodes are time-windows dependent. I will explore epidemic change by exploiting device connectivity traces from the real world and demonstrate the characteristics of information propagation. I will show clustering nodes with traces that form human communities. An experimental rather than theoretical approach is used in this study.

This research work is part of the EU Haggle project.

Computer Science Film Festival and Oscars

20-Dec-2007 at 15:15 in Cole 1.33 Format: Film show, from students of the CS4302 Multimedia module:

  • EPIC FAIL Productions presents Battle Royale
  • JAAK productions presents Die Hard Classic
  • Harry Vs Frodo presents AN EPIC TALE
  • TBA presents Star Pirates
  • Steprock Cottage Productions presents Looney Tunes the Movie: Merry Maladies
  • Shenshen Han presents The last fatal two
  • (unknown) presents The Movie

The films will be awarded points (And points mean ... prizes! Oscars. A chocolate bar, sort of.) in the following categories:

  • Best Film
  • Best Special Effects
  • Best Comedy
  • Best Soundtrack

Panel of eminent judges: Paula Whiscombe, Al Dearle, Greg Bigwood.

An epistemic measurement system for quantum security

19-Dec-2007 change of date at 14:30 in Honey 103 GFB Format: Computational Logic Seminar. Speaker: Dr Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh (Oxford & Southampton).

Abstract We present a formal system to reason about knowledge properties of quantum security protocols. The formalism is obtained via a marriage of measurement calculus of Danos-Kashefi-Panangaden with the algebra of epistemic updates of Baltag-Coecke-Sadrzadeh. Our setting consists of a quantale Q of classical and quantum actions and its right module M of classical and quantum data. We endow the pair (M,Q) with a family of appearance maps f_A: (M,Q) --> (M,Q) that represent information of agents A in Ag. The triple (Q, M, f_A) is required to satisfy a set of axioms encoding non-local correlations of quantum mechanics. Reasoning about knowledge of agents after running the protocol is done via unfolding the adjunctions that arise from f_A''s and the action of Q on M. As examples we encode and reason about sharing and secrecy properties of Ekert''91 and BB''84 key distribution and bit-commitment protocols and show we can derive their corresponding attacks.

Hypersequents as a basis for automated reasoning

13-Dec-2007 at 14:30 in Honey 103 GFB Format: Computational Logic Seminar. Speaker: Robert Rothenberg (University of St Andrews).

Abstract We show that hypersequents as an abstract data type are equivalent to some forms of labelled sequent calculi. This equivalence can be used to illuminate aspects of both hypersequent and labelled calculi, and inspire extensions to both formalisms. It can also be exploited for using logics with a proof theory using hypersequents (such as many intermediate logics) as a basis for automated reasoning.

Lawside Academy

06-Dec-207 in Cole 0.35 2nd Year lab Format: School visit.

Teachers and pupils from Lawside Academy in Dundee visit the School of Computer Science to find out what studying Computer Science is all about. The programme of events includes talks, hands-on activities, meeting real live students, a quick tour and refreshments.

Obese applications, crash diets and the functionality gagging reflex

05-Dec-2007 at 14:15 in Cole 1.33a Format: PSAC seminar. Speaker: Adrian O''Lenskie (Adobe Systems Europe Limited).

Abstract Traditional desktop applications are HUGE. For example, we now spend considerable time and effort inventing mechanisms that allow end users to both hide and discover functionality. What percentage of functionality do you actually use in your favourite application? How did this happen? Why do we care? Is there any salvation? In this talk we will explore these questions with some fortitude, an understanding of the question will hopefully allow us to sagely predict the path to salvation.

Customers and Computers - The Missing Link

03-Dec-2007 at 09:45 in Cole 1.33a Format: Talk, of interest to undergraduates and postgraduates about to go into the job market. Speaker: Sunil Bhatti (EDS).

Abstract Sunil will be recounting his experiences of dealing with a corporate customer base, whilst working for one of the UK''s largest suppliers of IT services to the government and commercial sector.

Sunil Bhatti graduated in Computer Science from the University of Reading in 2005. He is a Business Support Analyst working with EDS in the UK / EMEA service management team. He currently works in London, on-site, for one of EDS''s major customers, Kraft Foods.

Face of the Future

22-Nov-2007 Bernard Tiddeman''s image processing software to recognise and manipulate facial images is on display in the Moray Winter Festival and the University Showcase Area restricted access of the Glasgow Science Centre .

Scheduling Real-time Systems

22-Nov-2007 at 10:00 in Cole 0.35 2nd Year Lab, 14:00 in Maths Theatre C Format: Distinguished Lecture Series. Speaker: Professor Alan Burns (University of York).

Abstract Real-time systems are required to satisfy constraints over when computation takes place. For example, control loops must meet stringent periodicity and jitter requirements, and signal processing procedures must complete by defined deadlines. The main obstacle to meeting these requirements is the limited resources on which real-time systems are usually implemented. Scheduling theory is concerned with the design, implementation and evaluation of resource management algorithms.

In these talks the general notion of processor scheduling will be described with details been given of the commonly used fixed priority scheduling approach. Results from this approach will be outlined as will the current topics being addressed by the real-time scheduling research community. These topics include probabilistic approaches to execution time analysis, and the challenges presented by multi-core platforms.

Programme restricted access

People Management in the Software Industry

25-Oct-2007 at 15:30 in Cole 1.33a Format: PSAC talk. Speaker: Graeme MacArthur (CEO, MetaSwitch).

Abstract The "business" sections of bookshops are filled with weighty tomes on how to manage people. This talk gives a personal perspective on managing teams and individuals involved in the software industry in the UK, and explores some of the key aspects that are particular to managing people working in the field of software engineering.

Excel ate my election!

25-Oct-2007 at 14:00 in TBA Format: Seminar. Speaker: Dr Ian Brown (Oxford).

Abstract Elections held during May 2007 in England and Scotland for the first time allowed accredited observers access to polling stations and counts. This provided an opportunity for detailed scrutiny of the use of e-voting and e-counting equipment in these elections. We observed the use of these technologies in 10 constituencies and gathered data with Freedom of Information Act requests, interviews with officials, candidates and parties and reports on previous trials. We found that inadequate time was available during the procurement process for cross-party consensus to be built around the English e-voting trials or for systems to be fully tested. Design errors meant that a very large number of Scottish ballots were spoiled, while problems with ballot papers required a large number of votes to be counted manually. Votes initially missed due to an over-wide Excel spreadsheet changed the result in the Highlands and Islands region and handed control of the Scottish Parliament from the Labour party to the Scottish National Party.

Deep Inference and Normalisation via Atomic Flows

22-Oct-2007 at 16:30 in Cole 1.33a The first in the 2007-08 programme of Seminars on Computational Logic. Speaker: Dr Alessio Guglielmi (University of Bath).

Visitors are welcome to join us for tea and/or coffee and (maybe cakes) in the Jack Cole Building common room from 4pm onwards. After the seminar there will be a trip (weather permitting, a walk) to some pub and then dinner; those wishing to join us for dinner please let Roy Dyckhoff (rd at know.

Angus Macdonald: Young Software Engineer of the Year

12-Oct-2007 Angus Macdonald, now a research postgraduate in this school, won third place in the YSE competition (and received a cheque for £750 donated by Graham Technology), with his project to simplify Web Service compositions. The prize is awarded annually by ScotlandIS, the trade body for software, telecomms and IT in Scotland, and represents members from all ICT disciplines from small specialist businesses to global companies.

More ...

Stéphane Lengrand wins Ackermann Award

02-Oct-2007 Stéphane Lengrand, PhD student here from 2003 to 2007, received one of the three 2007 Ackermann Awards in Lausanne on 12 September at the annual meeting of the European Association of Computer Science Logic, for his Paris/St Andrews PhD thesis Normalization and Equivalence in Proof Theory and Type Theory. Stéphane is taking up a CNRS research position in Paris from 1 October, while continuing here as a Visiting Researcher.

Face of the Future

11-Sep-2007 at 09:30 in Main Hall, Sports Centre, The University of York The school''s Face of the Future public engagement exhibit goes on show at the British Association Festival of Science in York next week.

Vacancy: Research Assistant

31-Aug-2007 Deadline for applications. Topics of particular interest (you should have experience and publications in at least one of these areas), are network systems architecture; wireless and mobile systems (especially wireless ad hoc networking); sensor networks; resource limited environments and systems; network control and management; network defence; traffic and performance analysis.

Best Poster Award

01-Aug-2007 The poster Symbolic computations as Grid and Web services by Alexander Konovalov, Steve Linton and Kevin Hammond received the Best Poster Award at the International Symposium on Symbolic and Algebraic Computation (ISSAC 2007) that was hold at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada on July 29 - August 1, 2007. The poster tells about the EU Framework VI Project SCIEnce - Symbolic Computation Infrastructure for Europe.

Stéphane Lengrand


Congratulations to Stéphane, who has recently been offered a permanent research position with the CNRS at LIX (École Polytechnique, Paris), having come first (equal with 2 others) in 342 candidates for 22 such positions in computer science. He will work in the group of Dale Miller in the laboratory at LIX directed by Jean-Pierre Jouannaud.

Stéphane was awarded his PhD jointly by the University of St Andrews and University Paris 7 last December. He will continue to be a visiting scholar in St Andrews until January 2008.

EPSRC-funded PhD studentship

20-Jul-2007 Deadline for applications. An EPSRC-funded PhD studentship is available to work on an area related to the Large-Scale Complex IT Systems project. There is some flexibility in the topic but we are particularly interested in exploring ways of developing usable organisational memories.

Vacancy: Assistant Webster

06-Jul-2007 at 12:00 Deadline for applications.

Funding Available for 2007/8 Taught Courses

28-Jun-2007 Funding is available for the year 2007/8 for our taught Graduate Diplomas in Advanced Computer Science, Management and Information Technology, and Information Technology. This funding is from SAAS, and eligibility rules are complex, but this represents an outstanding opportunity to study at this great University. Funding is available to students who are resident in Scotland, but may also apply to citizens of European countries. The School has a limited quota of funding to allocate between our various courses, so candidates are advised to apply as soon as possible. You are advised to contact SAAS if you eligibility is unclear.

Graduate awarded prestigious fellowship

26-Jun-2007 Karen Petrie, who graduated in Computer Science from St Andrews in 2001, has been awarded a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowship. She will hold her fellowship at Oxford University for four years, researching the relationship between group theory and constraint programming. In 2006, Karen worked on this topic in St Andrews, in the Constraint Programming research group and CIRCA, and we look forward to working more with her in the future.

A lightweight mechanism for dependable communication in untrusted networks

22-Jun-2007 at 14.00 in Cole 1.33a Speaker: Michael Rogers.

Abstract We describe a method for enabling dependable forwarding of messages in untrusted networks. Nodes perform only relatively lightweight operations per message, and only the originator and destination need to trust each other. Whereas existing protocols for dependable communication rely on establishing a verifiable identity for every node, our protocol can operate in networks with unknown or varying membership and with no limits on the creation of new identities. Our protocol supports the maintenance of unlinkability: relays cannot tell whether a given originator and destination are communicating. The destination of each message generates an unforgeable acknowledgement (U-ACK) that allows relays and the originator to verify that the message was delivered unmodified to the destination, but relays do not need to share keys with the originator or destination, or to know their identities. Similarly, the endpoints do not need to know the identities of the relays. U-ACKs can be seen as a building block for dependable communication systems; they enable nodes to measure the level of service provided by their neighbours and optionally to adjust the level of service they provide in return, creating an incentive for nodes to forward messages. Our work is ongoing.

APGES2007 submission deadline

18-Jun-2007 Authors are invited to submit full papers of up to 8 pages, or shorter position papers or extended abstracts (which, if accepted, may be allocated shorter presentation slots). Papers must not be previously published or already submitted elsewhere. Papers should be formatted in the Option 2 LaTeX style file (sig-alternate.cls) or equivalent; see the ACM SIG Proceedings Template for details.

Scottish Programming Languages Seminar

14-Jun-2007 at 12:30 - 17:00 in Jack Cole Building Format: Seminar. The June 2007 SPLS meeting is the ninth in the Scottish Programming Languages Seminar series. The meetings are open and interested participants are encouraged to attend.

Permutation Patterns 2007

11-15-Jun-2007 in the School of Computer Science and Mathematical Institute Conference

The conference topics include (but are not limited to) enumeration questions, forbidden pattern questions, study of the involvement order, algorithms for computing with permutation patterns, applications and generalisations of permutation patterns, and others.

Large-Scale Complex IT Systems

08-Jun-2007 Prof Ian Sommerville has been awarded a grant of £1.15 million by the EPSRC to investigate socio-technical systems engineering within the context of large-scale, complex IT systems. This is part of a 5-year project involving the Universities of Bristol, Leeds, Oxford, St Andrews and York which aims to develop new approaches to understanding and designing complex, multi-organisational IT systems.

Postgraduate Combinatorial Conference 2007

06-08-Jun-2007 in the Mathematical Institute Conference

The Postgraduate Combinatorial Conference is aimed at research students in all areas of combinatorics and discrete mathematics who are currently working on their PhD. It allows students to meet and talk about their research, and related subjects, in an informal environment. Most talks are contributed by the students themselves, apart from three talks by invited speakers.

Initial observations from the Scottish elections

05-Jun-2007 at 11:15 in Cole 1.33a Format: seminar. Speaker: Russell Lock. Revised time.

Abstract Russell Lock will give a seminar describing some of the experiences of observers from the LSCITS/InDeED Project at the recent Scottish Elections. The elections were the first use of automated technology in Scotland to obtain an official result and, as you may have gathered from the media, there were some problems.

Archive of news reports. Short paper describing some of the HCI issues.

Kevin Hammond to chair APGES2007

30-May-2007 Kevin Hammond has been appointed to the General Chair for the Automatic Program Generation for Embedded Systems workshop in Salzburg, in October 2007.

Nuffield award

10-May-2007 in the School of Computer Science

Stuart Norcross and Graham Kirby have been awarded two Nuffield Undergraduate Research Bursaries. The Bursaries will enable two third-year undergraduates in Computer Science to experience working within the Networked and Distributed Systems research group over the summer. One of the projects is on Adaptable and Policy Free Middleware for Developing Flexible Distributed Applications, and the other on Exploiting Spatio-Temporal File Access Patterns in a Distributed Storage System.

Same language roots, same numbers

10-May-2007 at 14:00 in JH103 Computational Logic Seminar. Speaker:Dr Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh (University of Southampton).

Abstract Pregroups, introduced by Lambek, are replacements for type-categorial grammars. They have been used to analyze the structure of a wide range of languages from English and French to Polish and Japanese. I will present recent work on analyzing the structure of Persian of Ommar Khayyam. Visitors are welcome, including staff and postgraduate students in other Schools.

Proof-Theoretical Semantics

08-May-2007 at 10:30 in Edgecliffe, The Scores, St Andrews Workshop:

  • 10.30 Tea/coffee
  • 11.00 Ole Hjortland (University of St Andrews): Conceptions of Harmony in Proof Theory
  • 12.45 Buffet Lunch (provided)
  • 14.00 Nissim Francez (Technion, Haifa, and University of St Andrews): Lexicalized Proof-Theoretic Semantics for Natural Language
  • 15.45 Tea
  • 16.15 Peter Milne (University of Stirling): A formulation of first-order classical logic in natural deduction with the subformula property

More ... More ...

Model-Driven, Component Engineering

02-May-2007 at 10:00 in Cole 0.35 Second Year Lab Distinguished Lecture Series. Speaker: Colin Atkinson (University of Mannheim). Colin Atkinson currently holds the chair of Software Engineering at the University of Mannheim in Germany. Before that he held a joint position as a professor at the University of Kaiserslautern and project leader at the affiliated Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering. From 1991 until 1997 he was an Assistant Professor of Software Engineering at the University of Houston – Clear Lake. His research interests are focused on the use of model-driven and component based approaches in the development of dependable computing systems. He received a PhD and MSc in computer science from Imperial College, London, in 1990 and 1985 respectively, and received his BSc in Mathematical Physics from the University of Nottingham 1983.

Abstract Over the course of three lectures we will look at how component and service-based systems can be developed in a model-driven way. We will review the state-of-the art in component-based development, service-oriented architectures and model-driven development and will examine how these are integrated in the KobrA method. We will then look at how these paradigms might evolve in the future.


  • 10.00 – 11.00 Components, Services and Models
  • 11.00 – 11.30 Coffee
  • 11.30 – 12.30 Model-Driven, Component-Based Development
  • 14.30 – 15.30 Orthographic Service Engineering

Application = Code + Markup

23-Apr-2007 at 11:00 in Cole 0.35 Guest lecture by Mark Johnston from Microsoft UK. The lecture is targeted at CS2003 (Advanced Internet Programming) students but is open to the whole school.

Abstract "WPF/E" is the codename for a new rich internet technology which allows developers and designers to go beyond the HTML specification and object model. By combining the best of the XAML language for mark-up of client applications and the JavaScript programming language developers can create graphically rich, media centric applications that are cross-browser and cross-platform. In this session, Mark will take you through the technology, show you some demos and write some code to help you get started.

Mark Johnston works in the Developer & Platform group at Microsoft in the UK. He helps developers and designers get to grips with the latest presentation technologies on the desktop and on the web - particularly WPF and "WPF/E". More ...

Augmented pre-group grammars and their associated automata

22-Mar-2007 at 16:00 in Honey 103 Computational Logic Seminar. Speaker: Nissim Francez (joint work with Michael Kaminski (CS, Technion)).

Abstract After a survey of Lambek''s pre-group grammars (shown equivalent to CFGs by Buszkowski), an extension of such grammars by means of commutation (in)equations is presented. It shown to generate mildly context-sensitive grammars (of high interest in computational linguistics). Then, a class of (restricted) canceling automata (generalizing PDAs) is introduced and shown to generate the same class of languages as commutation-augmented pre-group grammars. Finally, a pumping lemma for mildly context-sensitive languages is presented (provable by the above automata). The talk will survey and present results, and show examples, without presenting any proofs.

My robot has no name


Our robot needs a name. Surely you can think up a good name for a (fairly) house-trained robot, born in the USA, but with some definitely European connections, and now living in Scotland. The best entry will win an iPod Shuffle. Competition closes 17-Mar-2007. The competition is sponsored by the EU Framework VI EmBounded project and by the Semi-Autonomous Systems DTC (SEAS). More ...

Emergency communications

16-Mar-2007 at 10.00-11.00 and 11.30-12.30 in Cole 1.33 Dr Ken Carlberg is a consultant to the US Department of Homeland Security involving emergency communications over the Internet. He is the lead author of the book titled, Preferential Emergency Communications: From Telecommunications to the Internet.

Abstract Disasters, be they natural or man-made, focus our attention on specific events and foster a demand for instant information. This demand comes from three perspective: individuals directly involved in an emergency (eg first responders, government personnel), people whose family or friends have some proximity to the event, and those that have a general concern about the tragic events in our world. Unfortunately, this demand for instant information tends to stress communication infrastructures as well as information management -- at times, to a point where lives and quality of life are severely impaired.

This talk will discuss the subject of emergency communications in terms of how they are used, their limitations, and how they are being evolved. We start with an overview of the goals and objectives of information management from the perspectives of Crisis Management and Command & Control. We then present past and existing communication systems specifically designed to provide preferential service to authorized personnel (in contrast to 999 service used today by the general public). Finally, specific work in standards groups such as the IETF and the ITU are presented to give a more in-depth look at the challenges and approaches in augmenting today''s communication infrastructures to support emergency communications.

Initial Algebra Packages for Principled Programming with Nested Types

13-Mar-2007 at 14:30 in Cole 1.33a Joint Computational Logic and Functional Programming seminar, by Patricia Johann. Visitors are welcome to join us for tea after the seminar. More ...

National Science and Engineering Week

10-Mar-2007 at 11:00 to 16:00 in Physics and Astronomy Building Activities taking place as part of National Science and Engineering Week:

Face Morphing The School of Computer Science in association with local company called Fife X will use advanced 3D face capture software to see what you would have looked like if you were born a member of the opposite sex. This interactive session will also allow you to see how people look when they are artificially aged or miraculously made younger.

Robots Special guests from the University of Edinburgh will bring programmable robots that can do amazing things as well as holding fights with each other!

Win an iPod Shuffle Our robot needs a name. Surely you can think up a good name for a (fairly) house-trained robot, born in the USA, but with some definitely European connections, and now living in Scotland. The best entry will win an iPod Shuffle. Competition closes 17-Mar-2007. The competition is sponsored by the EU Framework VI EmBounded project and by the Semi-Autonomous Systems DTC (SEAS). More ...

Robocode Competition

06-Mar-2007 The School has begun its first Robocode competition amongst first and second year level undergraduates, with £250 of prize money available.

The aim of the project is to encourage students to develop their programming skills in a voluntary, fun and enjoyable context. To achieve this, the project uses the Robocode competition engine, in which participants must write programs that control a robot tank''s tactics in a battle arena. Robot tanks are awarded points when they shoot other robots accurately and lose points when they themselves are shot. Each week, a battle is run on the project''s server, allowing students to track the success of their robot against those of their peers. At the end of the semester a final competition will be run. Prizes will be awarded to the winner of the competition and to the best engineered robot.

To be successful in the competition, students are encouraged to develop and implement movement tactics, targeting algorithms and data structures that store information about the robot''s environment. Students also learn practical skills and discover new programming tools available to them.

The project is organised by Dr Martin Bateman, Dr Tim Storer, Dr Stuart Purdie and Dr Russell Lock and is funded by a grant from the University''s SELF fund, with prize money provided by the School. More...

News item date semantics

06-Mar-2007 Up till now, a news item''s date was its publication date. For items that announce future events, it is the date of the event that is more important. From now on the event date, if there is one, will be used instead of the publication date.

Separation Logic

16-Feb-2007 A computational logic seminar by Professor Richard Bornat, Middlesex University, in the Goldfish Bowl, John Honey Building, School of Computer Science, at 2.30pm on Tuesday 20 February. Professor Bornat is known for many things, such as his book on compilers, his customisable proof-editor JAPE and his recent work (with Saeed Dehnadi) on the teaching (and learning) of elementary computer science. More ...


15-Feb-2007 Andrew Cormack, Chief Security Advisor UKERNA, will be talking on Cybercrime. Monday 19th February at 2:30 in Jack Cole 1.33. All Welcome. Andrew Cormack joined UKERNA as Head of JANET-CERT in March 1999. In January 2002 he took up the new post of Chief Security Advisor, concentrating on the awareness, policy, legal and regulatory aspects of computer and network security. Andrew is active in promoting co-operation between organisations working on computer security in the UK and Europe. He is a partner with TERENA in the TRANSITS project to deliver training for Computer Security Incident Response Teams in Europe. He spends a lot of time talking to people about the problem of computer insecurity and what to do about it.

Design for failure: Software challenges of digital ecosystems

05-Feb-2007 Professor Ian Sommerville will present a keynote address entitled ''Design for failure: Software challenges of digital ecosystems'' on 23rd February 2007 at the 1st IEEE Conference on Digital Ecosystems Cairns, Australia. He is also giving invited talks at Curtin University, Perth, the University of Western Australia and the University of Technology, Sydney.

Nominal Logic: an Overview

22-Jan-2007 Computational Logic Seminar Tuesday 13 February, 2.30pm, Goldfish Bowl, John Honey Building. Dr Christian Urban (Techn. Univ. Munich). More ...

Challenges for Automated Theorem Proving in Classical Higher-Order Logic

22-Jan-2007 School Seminar, Thursday 8 February, 4.15 pm, 1.33a, Jack Cole Building. Prof. Christoph Benzmueller (Saarbruecken & Cambridge) More ...

Vacancy: Research Fellowship

16-Jan-2007 The post involves the development of static analyses of worst-case time behaviour for embedded software, working on industrial/EU projects as part of the internationally recognised functional programming group at the University of St Andrews. £26,915 -- £30,293 per annum. Appointments will be made for one year in the first instance, with a possibility of extension based on pending funding applications. The start date will be 1 March 2007, or as soon as possible thereafter. Revised closing date: 30 January 2007. More ...

Professor Nissim Francez

15-Jan-2007 Professor Nissim Francez (Technion University, Haifa) joins the School for 7 months from 1 February as a Senior Visiting Research Fellow, to work on an EPSRC-funded project with Dr Dyckhoff on proof theory and computational linguistics. More ...

Categorical semantics of multi-valued logic programming

05-Jan-2007 The next external speaker in a series of seminars on Computational Logic will be Ekaterina Komendantskaya (University of Cork), in the Goldfish Bowl, John Honey Building, School of Computer Science, at 10 am on Tuesday 9 January. Her topic will be Categorical semantics of multi-valued logic programming. Visitors are welcome, including staff and postgraduate students in other Schools. More...

The Constructive Orbit Problem

13-Dec-2006 Speaker: Ally Donaldson (Glasgow University). Venue: Goldfish Bowl, John Honey Building, at 2pm on Thursday 14th December. Abstract: Symmetry reduction techniques in model checking typically involve computing the minimum image of a state under a group before it is stored during search. This NP-hard problem, known as the Constructive Orbit Problem (COP), has similarities with the problem of checking whether a partial CSP assignment is minimal with respect to a group, which has recently been employed as part of the GAP-Lex approach to symmetry breaking. I will present some efficient approaches for solving the COP for specific classes of group, and some results on determining whether an arbitrary permutation group (given as a generating set) falls into one of these classes. This complements recent results in CGT (at St Andrews) on solving the minimal image problem for arbitrary groups.

Dr Lengrand

13-Dec-2006 Stéphane Lengrand conducted his PhD defence on Friday 8 December in Paris; this provoked a strongly positive report by the 8-person jury, culminating in The jury is honoured to have served on the occasion of the first joint PhD diploma at Paris 7, as well as at St Andrews. The present thesis sets the standards high! We are therefore very pleased to recommend the award to Stéphane Lengrand of the degree of Docteur en Informatique and of Doctor of Philosophy of the University Paris 7 and the University of St Andrews, avec la mention très honorable.

Dynamic Epistemic Logic and Unconditionally Secure Protocols

11-Dec-2006 The next external speaker in a series of seminars on computational logic will be Dr Hans von Ditmarsch (University of Otago), in the Goldfish Bowl, John Honey Building, School of Computer Science, at the revised time of 3pm on Thursday 14 December. His topic will be Dynamic Epistemic Logic and Unconditionally Secure Protocols. Visitors are welcome, including staff and postgraduate students in other Schools. More...

Poster session

11-Dec-2006 Postgraduate research students will present posters of their work in the Jack Cole Building, on the afternoon of Wednesday 13th December. The students and their reviewers should be on hand to discuss their research.

Normalisation and Equivalence in Proof Theory and Type Theory

05-Dec-2006 Computational Logic seminar. All welcome. Speaker: Stéphane Lengrand. Goldfish Bowl, John Honey Building, 2:30 pm. Abstract: At the heart of the connections between Proof Theory and Type Theory, the Curry-Howard correspondence provides proof-terms that are equipped with computational features and equational theories, i.e. notions of normalisation and equivalence. We extend the framework of these concepts in three directions: proof-theoretic formalisms (such as sequent calculus) that are appealing for logical purposes like proof-search, powerful systems beyond propositional logic such as type theories, and classical (rather than intuitionistic) reasoning. More....

Watched Literals and Learning for Constraint Programming

06-Nov-2006 Ian Gent and Ian Miguel have been awarded funding of £382,000 from the EPSRC to investigate ''Watched Literals and Learning for Constraint Programming.'' The famous Sudoku puzzle is a simple example of a constraint problem, but applications range as wide as mathematical puzzles and airport gate scheduling. The aim of this research is to find new ways to solve such problems faster." More...

Blackberry Women and Technology Award

06-Nov-2006 Karen Petrie, one of our graduates, was named "the most promising woman in technology under the age of 25". Karen graduated in Computer Science from the University of St Andrews, and more recently returned for a postdoctoral research post here. In October 2006 she took up a post at the University of Oxford. The BlackBerry Women & Technology Awards were created to celebrate the achievements of women using technology, both within and beyond the IT sector, to bring their outstanding contributions to business via the use of technology into the public eye. The Awards look to honour the individual (or company) that has achieved success and competitive advantage through innovation, management and return on investment via technology. More...

Distinguished Lecturers

25-Oct-2006 The distinguished lecturer this semester is Professor Bashar Nuseibeh from the Open University who will be talking about requirements engineering/security. The lectures will be held in the Jack Cole Building on Friday 1st December 2006. More...

IBM Mainframe Contest 2006

09-Oct-2006 Morag Hughson, a graduate of Computer Science from St Andrews University who now works in the IBM development lab in Hursley, Hampshire, has written to tell us about the IBM Mainframe Contest 2006. The main idea of the contest is to give current students, with no mainframe experience, some appreciation of the platform through a series of "hands-on" exercises. If the lure of using the technology with a chance to enhance their CV isn''t a big enough incentive to take part, then there is also a series of prizes that the students can win along the way: T shirts, Sony PSPs, Lenovo Thinkpads, and a trip to Hursley.

Finding and avoiding system vulnerabilities

05-Oct-2006 Professor Ian Sommerville has been awarded a grant of £423, 000 from the EPSRC to investigate how socio-technical issues influence the dependability of complex systems. Working with Edinburgh, York and City Universities, the St Andrews role is to develop ways of finding and avoiding system vulnerabilities that arise as a result of responsibility failures.

Scottish Theorem Proving seminar

28-Sep-2006 There will be a meeting of the Scottish Theorem Proving seminar in St Andrews on Friday, 13 October, from 2--5.30 pm, preceded by lunch.

Royal Society of Edinburgh Support Fellowship

26-Sep-2006 Dr Kevin Hammond has been awarded a one-year support fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh starting from October 2006. The fellowship will allow for a concentrated period of research, including studying issues of compilation for multicore systems, power consumption in embedded systems, and cost modelling for networked embedded systems.

SCIEnce: Symbolic Computing Infrastructure in Europe

26-Sep-2006 The €3.2M EU Framework VI SCIEnce project involves a consortium of nine Universities and companies from seven countries collaborating over a 5-year period on developing new computational Grid middleware and other technologies for symbolic computation systems, including the GAP system whose ongoing development is coordinated from St Andrews.

The overall goal of the SCIENce project is to improve integration between key world-leading developer and application experts in Symbolic Computation software systems. Such systems form a vital infrastructural tool in areas of modern academic and commercial research, with important applications in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering and other technical disciplines. The project will improve technical cooperation between the developer and application groups; ensure the incorporation of important developments in Computer Science, including modern memory management technology; allow the construction of tools exploiting software components developed in multiple systems; and make such tools usable on the important new infrastructure of heterogeneous computational Grids.

The project is run from St Andrews by Prof Steve Linton and Dr Kevin Hammond.

Computer Science at St Andrews: 1st in Scotland, 3rd in the UK

02-May-2006 According to a survey by the Education Guardian. The university tables have undergone a degree of revision since they were first published on May 2nd and a number of universities have shifted position.