Hello there!

So here we are – the chosen ones, the witty writers, the glorious bloggers of Kilburn Castle (errm…). I hope you enjoy reading our blogs and get an idea of what it is like to be a student at the School of Computer Science.

I’ve only just arrived back in Manchester from a lovely weekend in Berlin, full of culture (I actually visited a real castle) and German food – but I’m looking forward to coming back to my office and getting some work done! It’s always good to tick some of the boxes on my epic “to do” list… Just a few words about my research: I am a postgraduate research student in the Information Management Group that is fairly spread out both locally all over the Kilburn building and thematically over different aspects of computer science (namely semantic web, web accessibility, e-science and computer security). My research focuses on the semantic web, or more specifically, ontologies and OWL (Web Ontology Language), where I work on and explore methods of “explaining” logical errors in ontologies to the people who work with them (if you would like to know more, take a look at my research page). My supervisors, Bijan and Uli, never fail to impress me with their ability to be both mad scientists with an extensive knowledge of… well… basically everything… while still being supportive, fun and very much human (in fact, this applies to the whole research group!).

I’m also a “student coordinator” for WiSET (Women in Science, Engineering and Technology), a group that organises career events and workshops for female students at EPS (the Faculty of Engineering, Physics and Science, which the School of Computer Science is a part of – and I’m going to stop with the acronyms now!), which I find quite important given the extremely small number of female students and employees in any IT related disciplines. At the moment, I’m trying to establish a regular get together for all female students and members of staff at the School of Computer Science – we’ve named it “WiSET Tea & Chat”, but we really need to come up with something slightly less formal (Any suggestions? 🙂 )

And because we always spend a fair amount of time every day discussing the “what are we having for lunch?” problem (probably harder than the travelling salesman if you’re trying to accommodate seven hungry PhD students!), I am going to use this blog to keep track of any interesting (positive or negative) findings of the food options around campus. Today I noticed that “Pi in the Sky” (the cafe in the maths building, the name is almost as good as our “Byte Cafe”) actually had a sign on the display pointing out their vegan options! While it wasn’t more than the usual “hummus on hummus, topped with hummus”, it made me quite happy to see that, apparently, me (and others I suppose) complaining about the lack of vegetarian and vegan options to Food on Campus finally shows some results (I mean, seriously, why would anyone want to eat egg mayo sandwiches?) . Yay for them.

So much for this first blog entry, but I’m sure the next one will follow soon (I’ll try and snap some pictures as well!).