SICSA Conference 2020

We are delighted to announce that the SICSA Conference 2020 will take place, on-line on 1 October 2020 and will be under the theme SICSA and the Sustainable Society.

The conference this year will be co-located with ScotSoft, which is Scotland’s leading tech conference allowing our delegates to access elements of the event throughout the day.

For this year’s conference we have prepared a rich and varied schedule addressing the many challenges presented by the idea of a future Sustainable Society. We are delighted to have Dr Elizabeth F. Churchill (UX Director, Google) and Professor Sally A. Fincher (School of Computing Science, University of Kent) as our Keynote Speakers.

You will have the chance to hear about issues and challenges encountered in Computing Science Education, discussed at the Education Panel Session. Excellent exemplars of graduate research across SICSA will be presented from the shortlisted candidates for the SICSA PhD Award for Best Dissertation during at the PhD Lightning Talks session.

We have invited participation from our partner research pools across Scotland, allowing us to bring together a large community of people to discuss the Computing and interdisciplinary challenges ahead. The SICSA Research Themes will show case research that demonstrates cutting edge computing research and its potential to address the Sustainable Society Challenge.

We have inaugurated a new award for Best PhD Thesis in Scotland at the Conference this year and the winner will receive a prize of £2,000 generously sponsored by Amazon Development Scotland.

Given the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic the Conference this year will be held online, allowing us to increase our audience and have invited speakers from far and wide. The Conference will be open to all members from across the SICSA institutions, industry partners and all SICSA key stakeholders

Visit the SICSA Conference 2020 website to find out more and register your interest to attend the event.

SICSA Conference 2020

Thank you to everyone who attended the SICSA Conference.  

The Conference attracted participation from our SICSA institutions, the SICSA Research Themes and our partnering Research Pools throughout Scotland.    The Keynote Talks, Panel Sessions, PhD Lightning Talks and our SICSA Showcase and Interdisciplinary Research with our Research Pool Colleagues sessions are now available to view below.

Professor Stuart Anderson, Director of SICSA opened the SICSA Conference:  The Sustainable Society.   The first Keynote Talks was from Professor Sally Fincher, University of Kent and her talk was on ‘Educational Resilience’. Following on from this, Dr Mark Zarb, Director of Education introduced the SICSA Education Champions who continued the theme of Educational Resilience in the Education Panel discussions.

The SICSA Showcase consisted of talks from our Research Themes Leaders and colleagues:

  • Artificial Intelligence for Sustainability, with talks from Dr Frédéric Bosché, HEA Fellow, Senior Lecturer in Construction Informatics, Dr Francesco Pomponi, Associate Professor of Sustainability Research at Edinburgh Napier University and Dr Simon Powers, Lecturer in Computer Science.
  • Cyber Physical Systems, talks from Dr Rik Sarkar, Lecturer in the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh and Dr Vaishak Belle, Chancellor’s Fellow and Faculty at the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh.
  • Cyber Security: Surviving the world of fake news and misinformation included talks from George Weir, University of Strathclyde, Catherine Happer, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow and Fernando Pereira, Department of Electrical and Computers Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal.
  • Data Science session had talks from Professor Roma Maguire, University of Strathclyde and Professor Nick Bailey, UBDC, University of Glasgow.
  • Human Computer Interaction (HCI) theme invited talks from Dr Amol Deshmukh, University of Glasgow and Dr Daniel Rough & Dr Rachel Menzies, University of Dundee.
  • Theory, Modelling & Computation research theme speakers were Ekaterina Komendantskaya, Heriot Watt University, Juliana Bowles, St Andrews University and Nick Nayfack, IOHK.

Interdisciplinary Research Session with our Research Pool Colleagues:

  • Data Sciences & Brain Health Across the Life Course from colleagues from SINAPSE, SULSA, SICSA and SDRC. The session addressed multidisciplinary challenges in the early detection of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, and new opportunities to build capacity in Scotland by integrating data science with brain health research areas of neurobiology and neuroimaging.
  • Rising to the Challenge, lead by Dr Hannah Rudman, Senior Challenge Research Fellow, SRUC  The session looked to introduce Computer Scientists to  SRUC , which has  just appointed new academic fellows  to lead the organisation on some of the biggest challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century.
  • Developing the Future of Transport, lead by Dr Caitlin Cottrill, Senior Lecturer, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen reflected on the emerging needs and opportunities for computing science input in the transport sector.
  • Beyond Computational Chemistry, lead by Dr Alan Wiles, ScotCHEM and featured talks from Professor Leeroy (Lee) Cronin, School of Chemistry, University of Glasgow and Dr Tomas Lebl, School of Chemistry, University of St Andrews
The closing Keynote Speaker for the Conference was Dr Elizabeth F Churchill, UX Director, Google. Dr Churchill spoke about ‘UX for DX, improving designer, developer and user experience through research driven insights‘.
This year we introduced the SICSA PhD Award for Best Dissertation and had our exemplar PhD finalists give Lightning Talks on their research.  Chris Cummins, former student at the University of Edinburgh who was awarded the coveted SICSA PhD Award for Best Dissertation in Scotland 2019-2020 at this year’s SICSA Conference, for his pioneering work on deep learning. The award was sponsored by Amazon Development Scotland.
Professor Stuart Anderson, SICSA Interim Director said:

“Chris’s research into deep learning and neural networks is outstanding. We received a range of exceptional submissions for this year’s Best Dissertation in Scotland Award, once again demonstrating the calibre of students, research and industry collaboration in Scotland.”

Jane Morrison-Ross, CEO of ScotlandIS added:

“Scotland is already at the forefront of neural network technology research and Chris’s work really brings this to life. Research and the application of deep neural networks are of critical importance to our digital technology sector and I know that many companies have already been looking at adopting Chris’s research.

Professor Stuart Anderson closed the Conference and took the opportunity to thank everyone for attending and participating in the first SICSA virtual conference.

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