Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Prof John Hennessy on the Future of Microprocessor Architecture

Professor John Hennessy, erstwhile Director of the Computer System Laboratory, now President, of Stanford University will receive an Honorary Degree from the University of Edinburgh on Wednesday 30th November.

Professor Hennessy will then visit the Institute for Computing Systems Architecture, within the School of Informatics, and will give a public lecture on the the Future of Microprocessor Architecture.

Title: The Future of Microprocessor Architecture
Venue: Swann Lecture Thetre Kings Buildings
Time: 16:30

Prof. Hennessy led the RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) team at Stanford in the early 1980s and was a cofounder, in 1984, of MIPS Computer Systems, now MIPS Technologies.

He is a recipient of the 2000 John Von Neumann Medal, the 2000 ASEE R. Lamme Medal, the 2001 Eckert Mauchly Award and the 2001 Seymour Cray Award. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences, and he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Schools outreach

The student society Women of the World would like to kick off with an outreach program at the start of next semester. The program will target young teenagers at local comprehensive schools, with an aim to encouraging them to explore subjects that are of academic interest to them, while challenging gender stereotypes and glass ceilings.

We would like to hold workshops for teenagers that would introduce them to subjects that they might not previously have considered to be fun and interesting, and especially to encourage traditionally underrepresented groups in fields such as the sciences, mathematics, engineering, informatics, technology, and law.

If any graduate students, postdocs, or staff/faculty members would be interested in participating, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Women of the World by email: .

Library news: Safari

Recommendations for Safari Books Online

Safari bookshelf is an electronic reference library which allows you to search, and download chapters, from the electronic versions of a broad range of the best technical books from leading publishers.

This is a yearly subscription paid from the Informatics Library allocation, which at the moment, allows for 40 slots (each title is worth 1/2 - 3 slots) and 6 simultaneous users. To view the current subscription visit Safari Books Online and click on the 'My Bookshelf' tab.

There are over 3,000 titles to choose from within Safari Books Online and it is possible to exchange titles within the subscription. The School Library Committee has decided to review the titles in our collection every 3 months. We are currently creating an online form, but in the meantime, if you would like to recommend a title for possible exchange, please contact the School Library Rep, Marcelo Cintra at

Please note, that in order to help the Committee make decisions regarding possible book exchange, you should provide as much information as possible to support your recommendation.

If you have any general comments on this service, please contact Sarah Kelly (, Liaison librarian for Informatics.

Problems with Safari

Please also note, we are aware of a recurring problem with Safari this week, which has disrupted our access to this service. You should not have to enter an Athens username and password to access this resource. If you are having problems, please contact Sarah Kelly ( who will get in touch with the provider to resolve the problem ASAP.

Vacancy: Commercial Executive

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Machine Learning and Robotics

Vacancy: Administrative Assistant

Friday, November 25, 2005

Oscar Tuazon


Temporary, Mobile, Hidden, Invisible

The first in the StudioLab series of public Conversations was held in St Cecilia's Hall on November 22nd.
By looking at architecture, and the built environment in general, not as a product of design but as the contested site of various competing modes of occupation, we can see a sort of architecture without architects, or an architecture without buildings. Conflicts over how space is used have given rise to strategies of building and living with minimal resources, in remote locations, or parasitical to other economies. As mainstream architecture has in recent years produced increasingly sophisticated mega-buildings, the technological and aesthetic innovations developed by alternative cultures offer practical models of using space that are quick, cheap, and flexible.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

iMONDRIAN - A Visual Tool To Annotate and Query wins best demo for EDBT 2006

The International Conference on Extending Database Technology is an established and prestigious forum for the exchange of the latest research results in data managemet.

iMONDRIAN was selected for the demonstration section in EDBT 2006. Out of the 58 that were submitted, only 20 were selected for demonstration and publication and iMONDRIAN was judged to be the best.

iMONDRIAN was created by Floris Geerts, Anastasios Kementsietsidis from the Database Group in LFCS, and Diego Milano from the University of Rome.

Informatics I-Rescue Team in Japan

Prof Austin Tate and Richard Wheeler in Tokyo Austin Tate and Richard Wheeler were in Japan in November 2005 on a seven day visit to promote the work being done on I-X for emergency response. They were out to see senior decision makers and emergency responders in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Disaster Response Centre. They met with companies, such as NTT Data, who are key providers of the systems used to give resilient communications and coordination in the face of large scale natural disasters. The team also spoke with organisations exploring rescue and home companion robots, such as Sony and Toshiba.

The visit was supported by Scottish Enterprise as part of the I-X/IM-PACs Proof of Concept (POC) Project for which Austin Tate is P.I. and Richard Wheeler is the University's commercialisation manager. The POC project is to assist AIAI in its efforts to put I-X into productive use and to commercialise the technology in various ways. Emergency response has been the primary focus of the POC work to date. This builds on three decades of Edinburgh work on advanced planning technologies, and a decade of work for the UK and US governments on search and rescue using I-X/I-Plan and its predecessor O-Plan.

The presentations focused on the possibilities of applying advanced planning, communication and coordination technologies to crisis modelling, planning, and response integration across Japan. They drew strong interest from senior Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Japanese Defence Force officials. Companies who provide the systems in day-to-day use across the prefectures in Japan and those looking to advanced robotic rescue systems also found the technology of interest for possible future concepts in their systems. Contact has been established with rescue-orientated research groups too. A visit to the main Tokyo area Disaster Response Centre has given valuable information for the I-X Rescue work.

I-X and POC Project co-ordinator Austin Tate said "this has been a great chance for us to meet some of the key people in emergency response in Japan, an area prone to natural disasters, and discuss future ways in which I-X can be put into use to respond to such events and to really save lives. We could not have gained access to such influential individuals and organisations without the support we received for commercialisation from the Scottish Enterprise POC project, ERI, the School of Informatics business development framework, and Scottish Development International out in Tokyo".

AIAI's intelligent planning technology, called I-X, is in use throughout the world in such diverse applications as spacecraft assembly for the European Space Agency and in financial help desks, The IM-PACs Proof of Concept project comes to a close at the end of November, and will be followed by a Scottish Enterprise backed POC Plus project which was announced the day the I-X team left for Japan. POC Plus will focus on maximising commercial outcomes. The I-X team are exploring a number of channels for deploying the technology to achieve the aim of widespread use, especially in highly dynamic emergency response contexts. As part of this, Austin Tate has joined Rhetorical CEO Marc Moens to create I-C2 Systems Ltd which will target markets for virtual operations centres using a range of complementary technologies, including, it is hoped, I-X.

The Informatics team visiting Japan also included Sethu Vijayakumar, Anatoly Sorokin and Stuart Moodie who are anchoring research collaborations in robotics and systems biology with Japanese companies and organisations.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Research artist in residence

We are pleased to announce the arrival of the School's first ever Research Artist in Residence, Richard Brown.

Richard's mission is to work with researchers in the School: to develop new interactive art pieces, based on aspects of our research; to develop an artistic policy for the new building; and to help raise funds to commission further work from a variety of artists.

Richard will spend the first months of his residency visiting each of the existing Informatics sites in turn and getting to know who's who and what's what. To start with, he will be located in Appleton Tower, in Room 3.13.

Richard has a BSc in Computers & Cybernetics and an MA in Fine Art and creates interactive artworks using multi-media technology, computer programming, electronics and interfacing. Between 1995 and 2001, Richard was a Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art, where he created and exhibited three major interactive works Alembic, Biotica and the Mimetic Starfis and published the book 'Biotica: Art, Emergence and Artificial-Life'. For more detail check out

And to get a further flavour of the kind of artistic work Richard is involved with, check out the following.

Richard is involved in an event in Nottingham 1-4th December
*"This three day international symposium aims to bring into focus artistic practices of live performance that make use of digital technology in the form of lens based, networked or locative media."*

He is also involved in another relevant event in Sussex, 9-10th Dec
"A two-day symposium exploring the dynamics of situated behaviour, development and learning inviting practitioners working with live systems that merge interface design, intelligent environments, performance and physical output, as well as biologists, artificial life researchers and cognitive scientists."

Richard and Jon Oberlander have just won a grant from the Gulbenkian Foundation which will enable Richard to work on re-creating Pask's Ear, an analogue computer. Visit the programme web page.

Richard's email addresses are and .

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

About Face

Professor Vicky Bruce will give the second talk in the Computational Thinking Seminar series at 4pm on Wednesday, 9 November 2005, on level 3 of Appleton Tower. Open to all. For abstract and more information click on title above.