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News Archive : July - September 2010

York shortlisted as a University of the Year

Date Added: 28th September 2010
We're very proud that York is vying for the coveted Times Higher Education Award of University of the Year.

York has also been shortlisted for International Collaboration of the Year, Widening Participation Initiative of the Year, and Most Innovative Teacher of the Year in the THE Awards 2010.

We'll be waiting for the result, due to be announced on 25 November. You can see the nominations at

An Indian view of Computer Science

Date Added: 3rd September 2010
The Department of Computer Science recently hosted two interns from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT): Ambuj Singh, from IIT Kanpur and Shivank Agarwal from IIT Roorkee.

Both interns worked closely with academics in the Department – Ambuj with Dr Detlef Plump, a member of the Programming Languages and Systems research group, and Shivank with Dr Adrian Bors, a member of the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition research group.

The IITs are a group of 15 autonomous engineering and technology-oriented HEIs in India, which are highly regarded nationally and internationally, with very competitive entrance requirements. The interns spent time at York towards the end of their undergraduate programmes. As they came to the end of their time at York, we asked them about their experience in the Department.

Ambuj: “Working in a research group with other graduate students gave me a chance to actually see how research in Computer Science is done. It has been a new experience for me to work on a paper that might be published, on the graph programming language, GP (which makes it is easier for programmers to solve graph problems). What I liked the best was the informal environment – here in York you can sit with staff over lunch and a beer, and discuss football, which is a really nice experience! I was a little wary there would be some cultural differences, but everyone in Halifax and the Department were really friendly, and it was easy for me to make friends. It’s been a lot of fun!”

Shivank: “My academic supervisor helped me in everything and the computers I used were very good. Social interaction with the staff here is very strong – not at all like in India! Everyone is really friendly and I was welcomed very warmly. I’ve really enjoyed the last two months, and it has been a very good opportunity and experience for me. The research I helped with would have taken much longer in India. I was working on 3D reconstruction – the software constructs a 3D image from pictures taken from various angles and distances. I was finding the limitations of the software - this work has lead to a paper that will be published, and it was very exciting to be working so close to the state-of-the-art.”

The internship partnership with Computer Science at York and the IITs has now been running for two years, and has been very successful. When Ambuj and Shivank return to India, they will act as ambassadors for York, and tell other students about their experience.

Computer Science PhD student wins the 2010 SAIC Biometrics Grand Challenge

Date Added: 12th August 2010
Clement Creusot, a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science, has won the 2010 SAIC Biometrics Grand Challenge.

Clement presented his work on “Landmark Labelling for 3D Faces” about 3D biometrics systems at the University of Kent in July. Clement had to submit his research paper, describing his work and its potential impact and benefit to the industry, to be reviewed by an expert panel of judges.

The competition was sponsored by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and is designed to foster bold and innovative biometric ideas and to uncover potentially influential concepts in biometrics from up-and-coming UK researchers currently working towards their doctorate degree in the field.

Clement’s prize is to be flown to the United Sates to participate with SAIC at the 2010 Biometrics Consortium Conference and Biometric Technology Expo in Florida. He will also visit SAIC’s headquarters in Virginia to present his project to SAIC management.

Clement is supervised by Professor Jim Austin and Dr Nick Pears in the Advanced Computer Architectures research group in the Department. You can find out more about the work of the group at

Computer Science student completes Caledonian Challenge 2010

Date Added: 10th August 2010
James Williams, a Computer Science PhD student, and his team, including students from other York departments, have raised over £2000 in the challenge.

The Caledonian Challenge is a charity hike organised by the Scottish Community Foundation, who work to support local communities in the most rural and deprived areas of Scotland.

The event itself consists of a 54 mile walk in under 24 hours, stopping only very briefly at 4 checkpoints along the way to rest and fill up on food and drink. It is a hilly walk across the Scottish Highlands - the equivalent of climbing Ben Nevis twice!

The team, named "Yorkies - Not for Girls!" did very well, completing the challenge in under 21 hours and raising more than £2,000. Congratulations to them for this fantastic achievement!

The finishing touches are being added to our new building!

Date Added: 9th August 2010
You can now see new pictures of the inside of the new Computer Science building at Heslington East.

The finishing touches have been added, and the building will be ready for occupation by the Department in September. The new pictures can be seen at

Computer Science exhibiting at Farnborough Air Show 2010

Date Added: 9th July 2010
As part of Futures Day at Farnborough, York Computer Science will be there on 23 July 2010 to show how studying computer science can be the start a career in aerospace and defence.

Both aerospace and defence, along with many other industries, have to build time predictable, reliable, high integrity systems, and the sort of material we teach at York is exactly the knowledge needed to build and maintain these kinds of systems.

Studying Computer Science, and embedded systems in particular, is challenging but also relates to the real world. As only 2% of processors are in desktop and laptop computers and servers, the remaining 98% can be found in items such as mp3 players, mobile phones, aeroplanes and cars.

Futures Day at Farnborough promises to be an exciting, activity-packed day, including the Tri-Nation Rocketry Finals (between the UK, the USA and France) and an air show. You can find out more about it at