Seminar: Jacob Howe on Propagation and Reification

Jacob Howe, Senior Lecturer at City University London, and sabbatical visitor, will be giving a seminar to the AI Research Group at 2pm on Thursday 15th December in JC 1.33a.

The title and abstract are:

Propagation and Reification: SAT and SMT in Prolog

This talk will describe how a watched literal DPLL based Satisfiability (SAT)
solver can be succinctly coded in 20 lines of Prolog. The extension of
this solver to an Satisfiability Modulo Theories (SMT) solver will be discussed with a particular focus on
the case where the theory is that of rational-tree constraints, and its
application in a reverse engineering problem.

Event details

  • When: 15th December 2016 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

Seminar: Alice Toniolo on Computational Argumentation

Alice Toniolo, a new lecturer in Computer Science at St Andrews, will be giving a seminar to the Artificial Intelligence Research Group on Thursday 1st December 2016, 2pm, in JC 1.33a. All are welcome.

Computational argumentation: an overview of current reasoning and dialogue models and their applications

Abstract: Argumentation is the process of arriving at a decision for a controversial standpoint. Computational models of argumentation aim to imitate the human decision-making process by modelling reason for or against certain decisions and extract justifiable options. This talk will draw from philosophical studies to present the core concepts of argumentation theory in AI through a range of abstract, logical and dialogical models. I will focus on the potential of argumentation-based models employed by software agents to support reasoning and dialogue in the presence of incomplete, inconsistent and uncertain information. An application of argumentation-based reasoning is presented in the context of intelligence analysis. The agent-based tool discussed, called CISpaces (Collaborative Intelligence Spaces), employs argumentation to help analysts make sense of information in collaboration and provenance to establish the credibility of hypotheses.

Event details

  • When: 1st December 2016 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

Computer Science Student Reps 2016


We are delighted to congratulate the student representatives for 2016/7, elected by their peers. Reps play a very important part in the life of the school by providing a healthy communication channel between staff and the students they represent, and also by chairing and running the Staff-Student Consultative Committee, amongst many other roles.

The reps are shown outside the Jack Cole Building in November 2016, and are (from left to right)

  • Juris Bogusevs (1st year)
  • Seamus Bonner (1st year, library)
  • Keno Schwalb (3rd year, careers)
  • Christa-Awa Kollen (welfare)
  • Vika Anisimova (4th year)
  • Anastasiia Izmailova (2nd year, social)
  • Masha Nedjalkova (masters, careers, minutes)
  • Fearn Bishop (postgraduate research)
  • Robin Nabel (school president)

Many thanks to the reps for arranging this photo (taken by Alex Bain who can be seen in the reflection), which should help staff and students put faces to the names.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered to be a student rep.



Welcome to new 2016 PhD Students


The School is very happy to welcome its new group of PhD students who have started in 2016. Shown outside the Jack Cole Building on 13 October 2016 are:

(Back row, left to right) Fahrurrozi Rahman; Xue Guo; Teng Yu; Yanbei Chen; Guilherme Soares Carneiro; Yasir Alguwaifli; and Xu Zhu.

(Front row, left to right) Mun See Chang; Zahida Almuallem; Esme Benssassi; Sidi Zhan; and the Director of Postgraduate Research, Miguel Nacenta.

Absent from the photo are Dawand Sulaiman and Saad Attieh.

Two more Internship Opportunities

Two new internships for summer 2016 are available in the Artificial Intelligence Research Group.
Internship 1: “What did I just do and how can I do it again?”
Supervisors: Ian Gent & Chris Jefferson
Internship 2: “Mixed Integer Programming Backend for Savile Row”
Supervisors: Chris Jefferson & Peter Nightingale

The deadline for applying is Wednesday 4th May 2016.

More details in this pdf: Computer Science Internship Summer 2016

Children in Need Bake Sale 2015


On Friday November 13 from 10.30 there will be a bake sale hosted by Sophie Gent in aid of BBC Children in Need in the Jack Cole Building coffee area.

There will be a vegan and gluten free option, but if you need this please feel free to let us know in advance so we can reserve some for you. (Tell Ian Gent)
All money taken will go towards the BBC Children in Need. This is a charity to help children in the UK, and more can be found at the BBC Children in Need website

This is the fourth time we’ve done this and it’s been successful every time, so we hope to see you there.  Here are some photos from two years ago to tempt you.


Event details

  • When: 13th November 2015 10:30 - 11:30
  • Where: Cole Coffee Area

Seminar by John Slaney

What is Meyer’s E1 problem?

John Slaney, Australian National University

The E1 problem is a rather specialised question concerning propositional logic. It was posed by R. K. Meyer almost 50 years ago, and is still open. In this talk, I undertake to explain the problem, to review progress towards its solution and possibly even to make it look less eccentric than it might at first seem. The talk is accessible to anyone with an interest in computer science or logic, as it does not presuppose any great technicalities.

John Slaney is Professor of Computer Science at Australian National University, Canberra.

His research has focussed on many aspects of logic and artificial intelligence, sometimes from a very philosophical standpoint but also from a very practical one of building better solvers. He also wrote Logic4Fun, an interactive logic modelling and solving website.

John Slaney has never denied rumours that he was a professional ice hockey player in North America, including scoring the winning goal in a Canada-USSR match. However, if asked he probably will deny them (since he was never a hockey player).

Event details

  • When: 1st September 2014 11:00 - 12:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar, Talk

PhD Admissions Session, Thursday 13 March 2pm

There will be a short session for students (either 4th year or Masters) interested in applying for a PhD in the School of Computer Science.

The deadline for the University’s funded 7th Century scholarships is March 31, so this is a good time to be thinking about it if you are interested and have not already applied.

The session will consist of a short talk and time for Q&A with John Thomson and Ian Gent, who handle PhD admissions in the School.

It will be in Jack Cole 1.33a, from 2pm to 2.30pm on Thursday 13 March 2014

Event details

  • When: 13th March 2014 14:00 - 14:30
  • Where: Cole 1.33a

Constraint Modelling Winners

Medal given to prize winning team
At the annual conference on Constraint Programming, CP 2013, Ian Gent and Ian Miguel were members of the winning team in the “First International Lightning Model and Solve” competition. Many thanks to the organisers of the event and especially to Allen van Gelder of UCSC for having the idea of entering a manual team and for inviting us to join in.

This was a quick event – just two hours – and the team’s strategy was to solve problems by hand, using pen and paper.  This was reflected in their team name, “Mano”.

Ian Gent has written a much longer blog post about the experience, why the team won, and why it is not bad news for constraint programming.


PhD student awarded Google Scholarship

Many congratulations to Bilal Hussain, first year PhD student working with Dr Ian Miguel. Bilal has been awarded a Google Europe Scholarship for Students with Disabilities. We thank Google for their additional support for Bilal’s study and research. The main funding for Bilal’s PhD comes from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and we of course thank them too.