Student attends the International Conference on Intelligent Robots with the help of SICSA

by Èric Pairet, Heriot Watt University
25 November 2019

Last week, I attended the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) organised by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Robotics Society of Japan (RSJ). IROS is one of the top conferences world-wide were scientists gather to present and discuss the state-of-the-art on robotics.

This year’s IROS edition was held in the majestic Venetian Macao, Macau, China. The conference consisted of a series of workshops, technical sessions and keynotes that lasted for a total of five days. I presented in one of the technical sessions my most recent research entitled “Learning Generalisable Coupling Terms for Obstacle Avoidance via Low-dimensional Coupling Terms”, which was received with great enthusiasm and admiration by the attendees. I received many interesting technical questions and got engaged in multiple discussions about my work which may help me to improve my future research. The conference received a total of 2,513 papers, a 44.8% from which were accepted for presentation.

Besides the learning experience in this type of events, the networking opportunities are incomparable. Overall, I would rate this experience as unique and would totally recommend it, especially for those interested on keeping on with state-of-the-art technologies and methods in robotics. Attending IROS conferences offers a unique opportunity, not only to new researchers but also to experienced academics to share ideas and get valuable feedback.

Thanks to SICSA I was able to attend and present my work in such a prestigious conference where I could share experiences as a researcher and get valuable advice on how to pursue my future career.

Extended Deadline to Register to Exhibit Your Research at DemoFest 2019

SICSA DemoFest is the largest event of its kind in Scotland. Now in its twelfth year, it showcases the very best of Informatics and Computing Science research from all of Scotland’s Universities

The event will take place on Monday 4th November 2019 from 4.00pm in the stunning venue, Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh

You can now register now to apply to exhibit your research.  Exhibiting your research is free and entails completing a short (one page) questionnaire which you can access here:  https://edinburgh.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/sicsa-demofest-2019-presenting-your-research.
Deadline for applications is 23rd June 2019with outcomes communicated no later than 26th June.

Why Exhibit?
We expect over 200 delegates from business and the public sector, who will be keen to discover some of the cutting-edge research taking place currently in Computer Science and Informatics in Scotland.

The event provides a space for exhibitors to showcase their current research and discuss future academic and business collaborations, commercialisation opportunities, internships and placements, employment opportunities and much more.

Who can Exhibit?
We now welcome applications from researchers at all 14 SICSA Institutions. Exhibitors are encouraged from all stages of research, from 1st year PhD to Professorial level.

We particularly encourage applicants who are keen to build collaborative linkages with industry; to commercialise their research; and to build contacts with other researchers.

Your Space
All exhibitors will be provided with their own space in the exhibition hall featuring an individual pod for your research poster and space for any technology that you wish to demonstrate.

Please do get in touch (admin@sicsa.ac.uk) if you have any questions.

DemoFest 2019: Register now to exhibit your research

SICSA DemoFest is the largest event of its kind in Scotland. Now in its twelfth year, it showcases the very best of Informatics and Computing Science research from all of Scotland’s Universities

The event will take place on Monday 4th November 2019 from 4.00pm in the stunning venue, Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh

You can now register now to apply to exhibit your research.  Exhibiting your research is free and entails completing a short (one page) questionnaire which you can access here:  https://edinburgh.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/sicsa-demofest-2019-presenting-your-research
Deadline for applications is 23rd June 2019, with outcomes communicated no later than 26th June.

Why Exhibit?
We expect over 200 delegates from business and the public sector, who will be keen to discover some of the cutting-edge research taking place currently in Computer Science and Informatics in Scotland.

The event provides a space for exhibitors to showcase their current research and discuss future academic and business collaborations, commercialisation opportunities, internships and placements, employment opportunities and much more.

Who can Exhibit?
We now welcome applications from researchers at all 14 SICSA Institutions. Exhibitors are encouraged from all stages of research, from 1st year PhD to Professorial level.

We particularly encourage applicants who are keen to build collaborative linkages with industry; to commercialise their research; and to build contacts with other researchers.

Your Space
All exhibitors will be provided with their own space in the exhibition hall featuring an individual pod for your research poster and space for any technology that you wish to demonstrate.

Please do get in touch (admin@sicsa.ac.uk) if you have any questions.

SICSA PhD Conference 2019 – Registration now open

Registration for the SICSA PhD Conference is now open and is fully funded (accommodation, meals and registration) for all Computing Science PhD students working within Scottish HE institutions.  Places are filling up fast, so register soon to avoid disappointment. 

The SICSA PhD Conference will feature a range of workshops, keynotes and social activities across two full-days.  You can find more details at www.sicsaconf.org

This year’s event will also feature an Elevator Pitch Video Competition, which is open to all delegates.  For more details about submitting your video, please visit Elevator Pitch Competition

Also, don’t forget that all PhD students (whether coming to the conference or not) are eligible to vote in the SICSA Supervisor of the Year 2019 Award.  If you wish to nominate your supervisor, simply complete the 3-minute survey.

Applications invited for the post of SICSA Director

Applications are invited from any suitable member of academic staff within a SICSA Institution for the role of SICSA Director.  

The post is initially funded to end of July 2020. 

Job Purpose
SICSA is the Scottish Funding Council Research Pool in Informatics and Computer Science.  The goal of SICSA is to cohere the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science research communities to help increase critical mass and to enable cooperation in research, teaching and Knowledge Exchange.  The SICSA Director provides academic leadership for SICSA, working with the SICSA Directorate and the SICSA Executive.

Main Responsibilities
The SICSA Director role is part-time, taking approximately 20% of the working week as follows:

Working with Directors and SICSA Executive to deliver activities such as research themes, researcher mobility, SICSA Graduate Academy, Knowledge Exchange and other events (10%)

Directing and Chairing the SICSA Committee, SICSA Research Committee and SICSA Advisory Board, interacting with SICSA constituent Schools. (2%)

Liaison with Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and other bodies relative to the strategic direction of SICSA.  Representing SICSA on various external boards. (2%)

Developing overall SICSA strategy with the other SICSA Directors in the areas of research, teaching and knowledge exchange. (3%)

Representing and presenting SICSA at events such as DemoFest, SICSA PhD Conference, and other external events. (2%)

Participate in the annual Performance & Development process for the SICSA Executive Officer. (<1%)

For further information on the role and to apply, please download the guidelines and application form below.

SICSA-Director-Job-Description

SICSA Director Application Form

Closing Date: 30th April 2019

SICSA PEER award helps to further our own work in Europe

by Dr Stefano De Paoli
4 February 2019

It is quite impossible to talk about European Research without mentioning the current political context as this has clearly created a shadow of uncertainty over UK based organisations’ role in future consortia. I must admit that my trip to the ICT2018 in Vienna (https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/events/ict-2018-imagine-digital-connect-europe) did not start under the best auspices. The week before my trip, I learned that a group of colleagues with whom I have been working with for several years and with whom I am currently involved in an H2020 project, were planning to write a new project. During a chat over Skype they told me that they were not likely to include our organisation in the new consortium because they perceived some risks for their project with our participation….. this more or less gives an idea about the kind of challenges we are up against at this moment in time.

Thanks to the excellent support of the SICSA PEER scheme, I travelled to Vienna to the ICT2018 event from 4-6 December 2018.  For those who may be less familiar with the process, every year in fall there is a main ICT event for European Research, which is organised in the country hosting the presidency of the Union. Often these events are called the Proposers’ Day as they are organised for people who propose projects and there are opportunities for networking and creation of partnerships. This year the event was an “ICT” event, meaning that there was also a showcase of current ICT funded projects. I have been attending these events for a few years now (the first time in 2012) and have always found them very fruitful in terms of networking and scouting for project opportunities and collaborations, especially for early careers and young researchers, who have limited international networking opportunties these events can be an entry door into the ICT European research. In particular, there is the opportunity to book in advance of the event a number of bilateral meetings (called Face2Face, or Brokerage event https://ict2018.b2match.io/ )which is essentially a sort of speed dating mechanisms with perspective partners. Meetings are booked via an online system in advance of the event and then ahead of the meeting once the schedule of the appointments and the times is received. Prior to commencing my travel I had secured 20 meetings. As I do not coordinate projects, I always try to book a number of appointments with organisations that I know may be coordinators, in the expectations that they could see our research offering as a potential contribution for their future projects. It must also be said that several of these meetings are often just speculative and do not lead to results, but it is also often possible to leave the event with opportunities to participate in multiple project submissions. I also use the F2F to enlarge my UK based network and always tend to book some appointments with UK based organisation in order to explore also national avenues for research (this year for example I met a consultant for the NHS and researchers from Manchester and Cardiff).

This event is an opportunity to meet people with whom one may be already be planning to write joint projects. This, in particular is something that helps refreshing existing trust relations, leading to increased commitments for projects. While I cannot reveal who I met and what are the details of the discussions that I had, I can say that I already have a few Skype meetings planned for the beginning of 2019 to explore potential collaborations, with organisations from Austria and Spain. Moreover, I received confirmation that planned project writing is likely to go ahead for March.

From many of the discussions that I had, I am confident that European organisations continue to want to collaborate with organisations in the UK and in Scotland especially and I felt very encouraged that very few people mentioned Brexit to me. I hope that this kind of enthusiasm toward our work remains intact and that collaborations can continue to prosper in the future. However, I think the best intelligence that I can share is to tell how much the PEER support from SICSA is important for furthering our own work in Europe. Knowing that we can rely financial on support for attending events like the ICT2018, makes an important difference. It certainly made an important difference for me.

SICSA PhD Conference 2019: Now recruiting student organising committee members

We are very pleased to announce that the 2019 SICSA PhD Conference will take place on 18th & 19th June 2019 at the University of Stirling.

Following an extremely successful Conference earlier this year at RGU we are now making plans for next year’s event.  As always, the SICSA PhD Conference next year will be put together by a hard-working group of student volunteers and we are now recruiting for the next organising committee.  If you are a PhD student in Informatics/Computer Science, working in a SICSA institution you are eligible to apply to be part of the committee.

Being part of the SICSA Conference Organising Committee can be an immensely rewarding experience – you will have the opportunity to work closely with PhD students and academics from around Scotland, gain experience of all aspects of organising a high profile academic event and contribute to the success of a conference that is becoming more popular year upon year.   This is also a great addition to your CV.

To apply for this exciting opportunity please complete the short Application Form and return to admin@sicsa.ac.uk by 22 November 2018

DemoFest 2018: Bringing Research to Life – Register Now!

SICSA DemoFest is the largest event of its kind in Scotland. Now in its eleventh year, it showcases the very best of Informatics and Computing Science research from all of Scotland’s Universities.  

Eventbrite - SICSA DemoFest 2018: Bringing Research to Life

DemoFest provides a perfect opportunity for your organisation to experience, first-hand, the cutting-edge research taking place in Scottish universities. There are 52 research and technology demonstrations at this year’s event and already over 300 delegates registered from academia, industry and the public sector.

Our exhibitors will talk about their research, tell you why it’s important to your organisation, and demonstrate their technology working in real-time.  The event also provides a space for you to discuss future collaborations, business opportunities, internships, employment opportunities and much more.

The 2018 event will feature: 

  • Welcome from Polly Purvis, OBE, CEO ScotlandIS
  • Keynote talk from Ali Shah, Head of Emerging Technology & Strategic Direction at the BBC
  • Keynote talk from Jamie Graves, CEO ZoneFox
  • Exhibition hall with 52 technology demonstrations from 14 Scottish Universities
  • Event Partner Exhibitions

 

Please register now to avoid disappointment as spaces are filling up fast.

This year’s event is kindly sponsored by:

Register now to Exhibit Your Research at DemoFest 2018!

SICSA DemoFest, the largest event of it’s kind in Scotland will take place on 6th November 2018 at Our Dynamic Earth Edinburgh.  Now in its eleventh year, it showcases the very best of Informatics and Computing Science research from all of Scotland’s Universities. 

Register to Exhibit Now!
Exhibiting at DemoFest is free-of-charge.  However, space is limited within the exhibition hall to a maximum of 50 research stands and we encourage you to apply to exhibit your research by completing our short exhibitor questionnaire at http://sgiz.mobi/s3/SICSA-DemoFest-2018-Bringing-Research-To-Life as soon as possible or by latest 1 June 2018.  We will confirm all exhibitors by no later than 15 June 2018.

Why Exhibit?
We expect up to 200 delegates from business and the public sector, who will be keen to discover some of the cutting-edge research taking place currently in Computer Science and Informatics in Scotland.

The event provides a space for exhibitors to showcase their current research and discuss future academic and business collaborations, commercialisation opportunities, internships and placements, employment opportunities and much more.

Who can Exhibit?
We now welcome applications from researchers at all 14 SICSA Institutions.   Exhibitors are encouraged from all stages of research, from 1st year PhD to Professorial level.

We particularly encourage applicants who are keen to build collaborative linkages with industry; to commercialise their research; and to build contacts with other researchers.

Your Space
All exhibitors will be provided with their own space in the exhibition hall featuring an individual pod for your research poster and space for any technology that you wish to demonstrate.

Robot Research in the Wild: Water Transport in Rural India

Researchers from the University of Glasgow and AMMACHI Labs at Amrita University in India have recently been undertaking a feasibility study utilising robots for water transportation in India, which has identified as a key problem for those living in rural communities.  The project, which was co-funded by SICSA (via the Postdoctoral and Early Career Researcher Exchanges programme) was presented this week at the Social Robots in the Wild workshop at HRI 2018 in Chicago. You can read more about the project at IEEE Spectrum or watch the video below.