Back to Latest News

News Archive : October - December 2010

New Computer Science public lecture series announced

Date Added: 17th December 2010
The first lecture will take place on 9 February 2011, entitled "Breaking the Code: from Enigma to your Cashpoint Card and Many Centuries Back".

To celebrate our move to new facilities on the campus expansion at Heslington East, we are delighted to announce a new series of public lectures. Taking place twice a year, the lectures aim to bring Computer Science to life for a general audience.

The first lecture will take place on 9 February 2011, and will be given by our Deputy Head of Department for Research, Professor John Clark. John will take you on a journey through some landmark events in the breaking of cryptographic systems.

This includes a look at the emergence of machine assisted cryptanalysis, which includes World War II and the breaking of the Enigma machine at Bletchley Park, and will move to the present day and beyond. You may think that with the vast computer resources available to us now that breaking Enigma would be a piece of cake - John will show you why this is not the case.

The evening begins with a welcome drinks reception at 6.30pm in the Ron Cooke Hub on Heslington East. The lecture will begin at 7pm and will include a question and answer session. Admission is free and open to all, but please book your place at our online store, to make sure we can include you in our catering!

Computer Science lecture in EU Erasmus Intensive programme

Date Added: 1st December 2010
Dr Dimitar Kazakov will be lecturing at the Natural Language Processing: Techniques, Applications and Challenges event being held in Greece in 2011.

The programme, hosted by the University of Western Macedonia, aims to introduce computer science and linguistics undergraduate students to current technology, trends and challenges in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and their applications. This includes courses on Text Mining and Web Search, Computer-Aided Translation and Language Learning, Speech Recognition and Synthesis, Formal and Natural Language Evolution and Neurophysiology. The programme runs from 27 June until 8 July 2011.

A combination of lectures and lab practicals will help attendees to learn more about the different perspectives of NLP. There will also be time for cultural and social activities, including museum trips and a weekend sea excursion. All student travel, accommodation and meals expenses will be paid under the Erasmus scheme.

Students will be encouraged to think creatively, and understand more about research and teaching in NLP. The programme aims to establish long-term cooperation in research and teaching with the institutions taking part. To find out more about the programme and how to apply, visit

York is THE University of the Year 2010

Date Added: 29th November 2010
The University of York has been named University of the Year in the 2010 Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

York was one of five universities shortlisted for the coveted award, collected by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brian Cantor, at an awards ceremony on Thursday 25 November.

The judges were impressed by the University’s drive to combine academic excellence with social inclusion and its record in scientific discovery. They also said that York was investing more in the arts and humanities than any other university.

The new campus expansion at Heslington East also played its part, and the judges visited the new Computer Science building as part of the decision-making process. We like to think that this helped to swing the decision in York's favour!

For more information, visit

Distinguished paper award for Enterprise Systems research group

Date Added: 14th October 2010
Professor Richard Paige, Dimitrios Kolovos and Osmar Santos have won the ACM/SigSoft Distinguished Paper Prize at MODELS 2010.

The winning paper was entitled "transML: A Family of Languages to Model Model Transformations". The paper presents a new approach to engineering model transformations, and is a first attempt to establish a discipline for their systematic development.

Professor Paige, Dimitrios Kolovos and Osmar Santos are all part of the Enterprise Systems research group here in the Department. Enterprise systems are the large-scale, distributed, highly complex, and business-critical software systems that extend across and between organisations. The Enterprise Systems group studies the unique technical and socio-technical challenges involved in the analysis, design, implementation, deployment and management of these types of systems.

The paper was also written with two sabbatical visitors to the Department: Professors Juan de Lara and Esther Guerra, both professors in the Departamento de Ingeniería Informática at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.

MODELS 2010 is a conference devoted to model-based development for software and systems engineering, covering all categories of modeling languages, methods, tools, and their applications.

You can find out more about the Enterprise Systems research group, which also leads teaching on the undergraduate Masters programme, Computer Science with Business Enterprise Systems. Students on the programme gain an understanding of how businesses work and what they want from their software.

Heads of Department gather to celebrate new building

Date Added: 11th October 2010
To celebrate the move to the new Computer Science building, we gathered together Heads of Department, past and present.

In a speech which mentioned how far Computer Science had come from its beginnings as a service department in 1966, Professor John McDermid, our current Head of Department, thanked all the previous Heads for their help in making Computer Science the growing, successful department it is today.

The new building on Heslington East is another milestone in the history of the Department. As one previous member of staff commented, "It is a stunnnig building - you're all very lucky to have such a wonderful environment in which to work!"

Professor Jim Austin shows off his computer collection.

Date Added: 7th October 2010
A rare glimpse into how computers have developed over the years has been featured in York's The Press.

Jim Austin, a Professor of Neural Computing and head of the Advanced Architectures Group, has been featured in York's Press. Jim has a unique collection of computers at his home outside York, reflecting his passion for the magic of computers.

The article shows off his collection, including a 1950s vacuum tube computer and a huge Fujitsu VPX 240 supercomputer. You can find it at The Press website.

You can also read more about Jim and his research at