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News Archive : April - June 2011

Computer Science continues to rise up the league tables

Date Added: 24th June 2011
The Times has rated the Department 8th in the 2012 Good University Guide, up two places from last year.

The Times bases its rankings on student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects to give each department a score out of 100.

We scored 88.4, ranking us eighth out of 105 UK Computer Science departments. This follows our rise up the Guardian league tables to 6th. The Independent also ranked us eighth in their 2012 Complete University Guide.

New undergraduate programme announced for 2012 entry

Date Added: 22nd June 2011
Our new joint degree, Computer Science with Philosophy, opens up new avenues for Computer Scientists to explore.

The two disciplines of Computer Science and Philosophy share many close affinities - in areas such as artificial intelligence, machine consciousness, logic and ethics. Our new degree programme allows these links to be explored whilst also giving a good grounding in both subjects.

The new programme will accept its first students in 2012. You can find out more about the programme at

Computer Science staff nominated for Supervisor of the Year!

Date Added: 20th June 2011
Nominated by the students themselves, we're delighted that nine of our staff have been nominated as Supervisor of the Year

Nominations for this coveted title have come from all departments across the University, with the winner being announced at the end of June.

Congratulations to all who have been nominated. They are:
Rob Alexander
Adrian Bors
Chris Crispin-Bailey
Steve King
Daniel Kudenko
Fiona Polack
Simon Poulding
Will Smith
Leandro Soares Indrusiak

We'll keep you posted if they win!

Success in BCS Apprentice-style competition for York MSc student

Date Added: 26th May 2011
Alex Vaughan, an MSc student studying Human-Centred Interactive Technologies recently won the BCS competition "The Graduate".

"The Graduate" is an Apprentice-style competition run by the BCS, where entrants practice their soft skills - non-technical abilities such as resourcefulness and interpersonal skills - and interview techniques to progress through the competition.

Alex applied for the competition through a competency based application form, and was then selected as one of only 16 finalists, for a day of tests at Yorkshire Water.

"The final was run just like a normal assessment centre, but we were being judged and competing against one another - just as you would be if you were applying for a job," said Alex.

The final consisted of four tests throughout the day - a group task, where finalists demonstrated how they could work within a team, an interview with high-level people, a session of mind-bending Diagrammatic Reasoning and a presentation.

Alex took charge in the group task, to make sure that all bases were covered, and impressed with his presentation on a mobile app for Capgemini, Yorkshire Water and KPMG, with only 15 minutes to prepare, given to representatives of the companies themselves.

It wasn't all hard work, as Alex explains: "We were put up in a very decent hotel for the night, and had an evening meal with as much free alcohol as you could take, and three courses, including fillet steak.

"I was later announced the winner, shook hands with the President of the BCS, was awarded my trophy and iPad2, and then proceeded to celebrate!"

Congratulations to Alex for winning this tough competition!

Computer Science at York rises to sixth in the Guardian league table

Date Added: 17th May 2011
The Guardian league tables published today has shown that we have kept our top ten rating, rising to sixth out of 106 UK Computer Science departments.

The Guardian rankings take into account student satisfaction, as well as our high staff to student ratio and high spend per student. You can see the full rankings at

Call for papers announced for York Doctoral Symposium 2011

Date Added: 5th May 2011
The Department of Computer Science will host the fourth York Doctoral Symposium (YDS) on 20 October 2011.

YDS 2011 is now accepting long papers (8 pages), extended abstracts (4 pages) and posters. Research students from all stages of postgraduate study in all areas of computer science and from any institution are encouraged to submit papers.

Generous prizes are offered for the best submission in each category, and YDS 2011 has received sponsorship from a number of respected international organisations, including Google, BAE Systems and IBM.

Submissions are peer reviewed, and successful entries will be published as a technical report by the Department of Computer Science here at York, which does not affect subsequent submission to other conferences or workshops.

YDS aims to bring together research students from around the UK and Europe to share and exchange their research and ideas with others. The event provides an excellent opportunity for networking, and allows students to receive friendly feedback on their research endeavours from other students and academics. By bringing together research students from numerous research areas, YDS promotes the transfer of knowledge between disciplines and a broadening of students' overall understanding of computer science.

For more information and to submit papers, please visit or contact one of the General Chairs: Gary Plumbridge or James Williams.

New vacancy with Ordnance Survey announced on the Engineering Doctorate

Date Added: 14th April 2011
The project, "Modelling geographic change with computer science and software engineering techniques", includes a full EPSRC studentship for eligible applicants.

Applications are invited for a student to work on a research project exploring how geographic objects change over time and how such changes can be modelled using Computer Science and Software Engineering techniques.

The research will involve investigating the manner in which geographic objects (with particular reference to settlements, roads and buildings) change over time and how this may be modelled.

With extended visits to the Ordnance Survey, the post will primarily be based in York. A full studentship from the EPSRC is available for eligible candidates.

To find out more about the post and to see if you qualify for the full studentship, visit

New public lecture: Embracing Uncertainty: the future of Machine Intelligence

Date Added: 13th April 2011
Our next public lecture will be given by Professor Chris Bishop of Microsoft Research, on 11 May 2011.

For over half a century, scientists have strived to create intelligent machines. In this dynamic and entertaining talk, Chris Bishop from Microsoft Research will use live demonstrations to illustrate some of the exciting new developments in machine intelligence, and to explore the future of this fascinating field.

The lecture will take place in the Ron Cooke Hub on the Heslington East campus. Join us for a drinks reception at 6.30pm before the lecture starts at 7pm.

The lecture and drinks reception are free to attend, but admission is by free ticket only. Register for your place.