by Professor Kevin Hammond, University of St Andrews
Firstly, may I take the opportunity on behalf of the SICSA Directorate to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a successful 2017.
As the incoming SICSA Director, it has been my pleasure to meet many of you at the various SICSA events that we have run so far, such as SICSA DEMOfest which took place at the Technology & Innovation Centre Glasgow last month, and I look forward to meeting and working with you all over my term as SICSA Director. I have been visiting individual departments and hope to get around all the SICSA institutions soon https://www.sicsa.ac.uk/about-us/our-members/
To me, the strength of SICSA lies in representing the broad reach of excellent teaching and research across Scotland, and in strengthening the connections between all our institutions and with industry, both directly and through the four Innovation Centres: The Data Lab http://www.thedatalab.com/ CENSIS http://censis.org.uk/ , Digital Health & Care Institute https://dhi-scotland.com/ and the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre http://www.ogic.co.uk/ . It also lies in the enthusiasm and dedication of the SICSA members (both staff and postgraduate students), and in the fantastic support that is given by our executive team. Without you, we could not make SICSA work! Thank you, everyone, for all you have done so far!
I am particularly pleased to see strong SICSA participation in Athena Swan across the SICSA institutions (including my own) and delighted that our own Professors. Muffy Calder (Glasgow) and Carron Shankland (Stirling) have been honoured by the MRC for their contributions to Science. Congratulations! This is a great endorsement of their work and an encouragement to others!
As I’m sure you know, we have just instituted exciting new research themes in the areas of data science, cyber physical systems and cyber security, and we are expanding and promoting our activities in core areas such as Theoretical Computing, HCI, AI, and Networks; more information on these can be accessed at https://www.sicsa.ac.uk/research/research-themes/ . Each of these themes will be organising meetings and events that you are welcome to participate in, has its own dedicated mailing list, and its own web presence. Our goal is for these themes to be representative and inclusive. Thank you to all the new theme leaders who have stepped forward to represent us. SICSA also offers central support for summer schools and for short themes, offer funding for visiting fellows and for research visits, have funding to assist writing European research proposals, and we will write letters of support and provide some financial support for conferences that you organise in Scotland. These activities do not need to be connected with the main themes, of course, and are not geographically restricted. Please do take advantage of what SICSA can do for you, and please do tell us if there is anything else that we can do! Our funding page has full information on these opportunities https://www.sicsa.ac.uk/funding/
Finally, we have open vacancies for the SICSA Director for Education and for the Director for Knowledge Exchange. Please do consider applying yourself and please do encourage your colleagues to apply. More information can be found on our vacancies page https://www.sicsa.ac.uk/about-us/vacancies/
I look forward to working with you in 2017.