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Page for New Members of the Department


We hope you will soon feel at home in the department. This page is intended to answer some of those questions that everyone else seems to know the answer to, but no one ever thought of telling you.

If there is some important piece of information that you found you needed, that wasn't available here, let us know so that we can make life easier for the next new arrival.


You should have been allocated a member of staff as a mentor. This person will be able to provide you with information about the Department and how it operates. This is the first person you should contact when seeking advice about departmental/university matters. If you have not yet been told who your mentor is then contact the head of department.

Where you work, who you are working with, and what they do

The department's local home page is a good starting point for finding out more about the department, although student and teaching matters are being migrated to the faculty site (known as SAFE). Practically everything is on the web, from publications and lecture notes to technical support information. It is not always easy to find so it is worth getting to know your way around the web site. Among the useful links there you will find: In particular on the Handbook page you will find links to information about departmental procedures. For example, you will find links to pages dealing with Admissions procedures, Examination procedures, Curriculum Review procedures, etc.

Administrative Stuff

Ask the administrative staff in the School office, room MVB 2.19 for The School office is closed outside working hours. Bear this in mind if you plan to work in the evening or at weekends, and get any stationery or support you need while it is open. The fax machine is in there too and the same advice holds.

Your working and computing environment

You should be allocated a desk and a computer, possibly in a room shared with other members of the department. The technical support staff will set up your computer account and give support for your use of it. The IT team, based in MVB 3.41 deals with most staff IT queries in the Merchant Venturers Building.

Help and information about the local system is available

Like setting up email.

If you are a postgrad or research assistant, and there is some problem with your desk or room, tell the staff member who is responsible for you. Otherwise, tell the School Administrator. If you are a postgraduate student, your first point of contact for administrative or procedural queries of any kind is the School office, in MVB 2.19. If you are an academic member of staff, the Graduate School also provides support for you on any issues relating specifically to your work with postgraduate research or postgraduate taught students.

Phones, fax, photocopying, and other facilities

Registering, contractual matters and other formalities

Depending on whether you are a postgrad, research assistant, lecturer, support staff, or administrative staff, you will have different kinds of official status. The Personnel Office in Senate House deals with contracts for salaried staff, in consultation with the School Manager. The School Office deals with registering postgraduate students, who should re-register annually.

The School Manager will assist you with anything of this nature.

There is a Departmental Database, currently managed by Ian Holyer. Contact Ian to make sure you are correctly entered in this.

Faculty and University Computing Facilities

A separate username and password is required to use the Faculty computers, which include those in lecture rooms and the Faculty laboratories. Information on how to register to use the Faculty computers is available here.

The University Information Services provides various other computing facilities and services including access to some free software like virus checkers.


The Engineering Faculty library is in the Queen's Building. Your ID card is also you library borrowing card. There is a web site and an on-line catalogue.

Coffee, tea, and the common room

Room MVB 3.01 and the adjoining kitchen are shared between the Computer Science department and the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and the Department of Engineering Mathematics.

11 a.m. and (to a lesser extent) 4 p.m. are the usual coffee times. You have to provide your own mug. Don't leave it in the kitchen as any mugs left there are liable to be taken. Supplies of coffee, tea and milk are provided, but each department has its own labelled supplies. These supplies, especially milk, are available for reasonable consumption by any member of the department. Some people bring their own private supplies, which you can also do: otherwise use only the labelled "public" supplies. There is a boiler, a filter coffee machine, and a microwave oven for anyone to use.

The doughnut tradition

The Computer Science department has a tradition that people bring in doughnuts and/or similar goodies when they have something to celebrate, such as birthdays. Arriving in this department is definitely an occasion that warrants doughnuts! Note, these days about 40 doughnuts should be sufficient, which can be obtained locally in a couple of places, for example Greggs on Queen's Road. Announce it on the e-mail list cs-donuts a day or two beforehand, and send a reminder half an hour before (the 11 a.m. coffee break is the usual time).


There are several options.


There have been occasional thefts from the building. Do not leave valuables where they are on view. It is a good idea to lock your office when no one is there. The porters will get to know you in time but they are entitled to ask anyone to show their ID card.

The Security Office 24 hour phone number is 87848. Phone if you experience any security problem or see something suspicious. The University Emergency phone number is 112233.



Here is a list of things that you could check off to make sure that you are a fully-fledged member of the University and Department.