DIMAP Logic Day 2015
On June 1st 2015, our Division of Theory and Foundations, jointly with DIMAP, organized DIMAP Logic Day 2015. The goal of the event was to bring together the UK community of researchers and graduate students interested in the study of logics, automata and games.
The event had an outstanding list of invited speakers from leading academic institutions and research labs (Nathalie Bertrand, INRIA Rennes; Antonin Kucera, Brno; Slawomir Lasota, Warsaw; Davide Sangiorgi, Bologna, INRIA Sophia Antipolis; Sylvain Schmitz, Cachan, INRIA Saclay, Warwick; James Worrell, Oxford) presenting recent advances in logic in computer science, and attracted over 40 participants from the UK and abroad.
The Department of Computer Science at Warwick has been ranked 6th in the recent Complete University Guide.
Dr Matthew Leeke (Director of Admissions and Recruitment) said:
We are always proud to be recognised as a top-rate institution for Computer Science. The ranking is testament to the quality and commitment of the students and staff who make the Department such an exciting place to study.
Professor Stephen Jarvis (Head of Department) adds:
It has been a fantastic past few months for us: Warwick is the 2015 University of the Year; Computer Science has been ranked 2nd in the UK for CS research; the Department has been chosen to establish the new national centre for data science - the Alan Turing Institute - with 4 other leading UK institutions. We look forward to building on this success over the coming years.
Computing at Warwick has a great history. Founded in 1967, Warwick was one of the first Computer Science Departments in the UK. Alumni have included a Turing Award winner (the Computing equivalent of the Nobel Prize), several Fellows of the Royal Society and numerous industry luminaries.
The European Research Council (ERC) has just announced that two Warwick Computer Science Professors, Graham Cormode and Dan Kráľ, have been among the winners of its Consolidator Grant competition. ERC Consolidator Grants is funding 372 top mid-career scientists with €713 million to pursue their best ideas, as part of the European Union Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020. Grants are worth up to €2.75 million each, with an average of €1.91 million per grant. The funding will enable them to consolidate their research teams and to develop their most innovative ideas.
Graham Cormode has been awarded an ERC Consolidator grant for a project entitled "Small Summaries for Big Data". The project focuses on the area of the design and analysis of compact summaries: data structures which capture key features of the data, and which can be created effectively over distributed data sets. The project will substantially advance the state of the art in data summarization, to the point where accurate and effective summaries are available for a wide array of problems, and can be used seamlessly in applications that process big data.
Dan Kráľ has been awarded an ERC Consolidator grant for a project entitled "Large Discrete Structures". The project will advance theory of combinatorial limits, which combines methods from analysis, combinatorics, computer science, group theory and probability theory to analyze and approximate large discrete structures (such as graphs, which can be used to represent large computer networks). The project will lead to proposing new mathematical methods to represent such discrete structures and to applications of the new methods to specific problems in extremal combinatorics and algorithm design.
Professor Artur Czumaj has been made an EATCS Fellow for "contributions to analysis and design of algorithms, especially to understanding the role of randomization in computer science”.
Dr Sylvain Schmitz joins DCS as Leverhulme Visiting Professor
Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, Dr Schmitz will spend 6 months at Warwick, collaborating with Dr Ranko Lazic and other colleagues on logics and games for algorithmic verification, and delivering three research lectures.
Warwick University is one of only five universities to have been considered worthy of establishing the prestigious £42m Alan Turing Institute for Data Science, thanks to our hard-earned reputation for world-class research.
This means our exceptional researchers from Mathematical Sciences will be at the forefront of the UK’s approach to big data. We’ll help the Institute to meet society’s toughest challenges, and strengthen the links between academia and technology industries.
Using the headquarters at the British Library in London as a base, we’ll use our research strength - as demonstrated by our excellent Research Excellence Framework (REF) performance - to fully exploit the trends and patterns found within huge data sets.
Warwick’s existing activities in data science are already significant. This includes two major EPSRC-funded Science and Innovation centres: Centre for Research in Statistical Methodology and the Centre for Discrete Mathematics and Applications. It also includes three of the new Centres for Doctoral Training (Oxford and Warwick Statistical Programme, Mathematics for Real-World Systems, and Urban Science and Progress), all of which will train highly qualified PhD students in big data and complex modelling. Warwick also holds 3 EPSRC 5-year Programme Grants relevant to this area, and is the only university in the UK to teach an undergraduate degree course in Data Science; Computer Science also leads the highly successful MSc in Data Analytics.
By working alongside the very best, we’ll make the UK a world leader in big data.
What does this mean for Warwick?
The Institute will bring together leaders in advanced mathematics and computing science from the five lead universities and other partners. Its work is expected to encompass a wide range of scientific disciplines and be relevant to a wide range of business sectors.
Professor Stephen Jarvis, Head of Department, Computer Science said:
We are delighted to have been selected as one of the five universities that will establish the world-leading Alan Turing Institute. Mathematical Sciences (Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science) at Warwick are extremely strong; all three Departments are ranked in the Top 3 for research in the country.
The Turing Institute will be a magnet for world-leading research and application in data science. We are thrilled to be able to shape that future through Warwick’s engagement, and look forward to the many benefits to our postgraduate and undergraduate programmes as a result.
The announcement of our involvement in the Alan Turing Institute is undoubtedly good news, but what does it mean for Warwick? Professor Tim Jones, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Science, Engineering and Medicine explains:
It means Warwick is right at the top table in the area of data science. This is the UK’s strategic priority to pull together the best academics and other partners across the country to tackle the challenges of big data and to exploit the opportunities. There are four other universities in the Institute – Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and UCL – and Warwick will be the fifth. I think that’s a great measure for the quality of our work in the area.
What is Big Data?
Big Data is one of the areas where our research excels thanks, in part, to our world leading mathematics, computer science and statistics departments. Warwick has long prized itself on using interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to answer the pressing questions of our time, and, as big data throws up such questions, that expertise comes to the fore.
Or follow the conversation on twitter at #warwickturing
The final of the School Cyber Games, part of the Cyber Security Challenge’s programme for schools, saw Stockport School emerge victorious once again as UK Schools Cyber Security Champions. This was the third time the competition has been run, and the second time the final has been held at the University of Warwick’s Department of Computer Science.
The Cabinet Office-backed competition aims to raise awareness of the excitement of a career in cyber security amongst a new generation of young people in order to address a growing skills shortage in this sector, as well as help teachers tackle the huge changes being made in the computing curriculum in schools.
Eight teams of Key Stage 4 students overcame a series of fun code-breaking and cyber security themed challenges to claim top prizes, including a cash prize of £1,000 and Hexbug robot kits. There were two teams from Stockport School, as well as teams from, The Kings School (Chester), King Edward IV School (Chelmsford), Grimsby Institute, High School for Girls (Gloucester), Hailybury School (Hertfordshire) and Ysgol Maesydderwen (Powys). Each was selected after finishing as the highest scorers from schools all over the country who registered for the first stage of the Cyber Security Challenge’s Schools Programme, an online code-cracking competition.
Each challenge was devised by experienced cyber security experts at Cyber Security Challenge sponsors and partners, including BT, Bletchley Park, Birmingham City University, the Cabinet Office, Cisco, CompTIA, MWR/Dataline, Raytheon, The Smallpeice Trust and Warwick Manufacturing Group. Brian Higgins, who co-ordinates the Cyber Security Challenge’s programme for schools, was the Gamesmaster.
On completion of these challenges, the teams then had to put together the clues completing each challenge had given them and crack one final code against the clock to discover the password needed to access the winning computer. The winning team from Stockport School managed to interpret the clues and discover the password in less than two minutes!
There was also a good deal of press attention, including a reports from Newsround and the Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/jan/06/computer-hacking-security-teaching-schools)