WICS hosted another coffee break today in the School Coffee Area, It was great to see lots of interest!
WICS are also hosting a blog competition, sponsored by Google. Your blog post submission has the chance to be featured on our website as well as shared on our social media pages.
There will be two winners, one decided by Google and a public vote by our members. Each winner will receive a prize from the Google store.
The prompt for the contest is anything related to WICS. This could be
- Notes of gender bias in the world.
- Exciting research in technology.
- Personal experience in a male-dominated field.
The prompt for the competition is quite vague, so be as creative as you like. For more inspiration, visit the about us section of our website. There is an advisory word count of 500 words.
This competition is open to anyone. To submit your blog, fill out the information via our website under the blog submission tab.
Competition blog submissions close on Friday 17th February at 9.00 pm.
If you have any questions reach out to us on either our social media channel or our email: email@example.com
We look forward to receiving your submissions!
Alice Lin (she/her)
Women in Computer Science at St Andrews | standrewswomenincs.com
Dr Alan Miller and Catherine Anne Cassidy of the Open Virtual Worlds research group have been successful in funding from the Impact Innovation Fund for their project “Evidencing and Amplifying Impact of Immersive Exhibits in Highlands and Islands Museums”. The project will evaluate the value of digital heritage engagement with virtual reality exhibitions and further develop opportunities to preserve and promote cultural heritage in the highlands and islands of Scotland. Collaborative activities and approaches trialled are intended to discover ways to maximise positive impact. Exhibits are part of the Northern Heritage Network, which provides an infrastructure for transnational collaboration of heritage organisations to preserve and promote heritage within and beyond the North Sea region. The geographical focus of the network is: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Scotland, Island of Ireland, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and the Baltic countries.
Lockdown and COVID-19 meant that the focus of the heritage sector was how to connect with audiences remotely. Whether this be through live online events, social media, virtual tours or other means. In the coming year there is much emphasis on sustainability and on the return of visitors to museums.
Evidence prior to COVID-19 shows that such exhibits have a positive impact in: communicating heritage, improving the sustainability of museums, improving visitor numbers and contributing to the wider Scottish economy. This is recognised by museums who are setting aside valuable space, and time to host immersive exhibits in the coming year. Through developing, deploying and using immersive exhibits we will enhance the “within walls” museum experience with the following impacts:
- Create digital heritage assets: including 3D models, historic scenes and records of intangible heritage.
- Improve the way that heritage is communicated.
- Connect communities with their museum and their heritage.
- Make learning engaging, improve understanding and motivate learning
- Contribute to social cohesion and inclusion.
- Contribute to well being.
- Contribute to the sustainability of museums.
- Contribute to the tourist economy and prosperity.
Design of a Heritage Impact Toolkit for digital heritage engagement evaluation will facilitate relevant data collection for West Highland Museum, Timespan Museum, Tomintoul & Glenlivet Discovery Centre, North Isles Landscape Partnership Scheme, Finlaggan Trust, Museum of Islay Life, and Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath.
Through surveys, interviews and observation we will collect evidence of impact. Identified profiles for evidence collection include end users (visitors), stakeholders (community), museum and visitor centres (heritage practitioners), and third party organisations (e.g., Creative Scotland, European Commission, ICOM), This will be combined with statistics including visitor numbers and feedback from visitors. Inquiry will cover:
- Accessibility – whether the exhibition is easy to use and improves accessibility to heritage,
- Learning – whether the exhibit is effective as a learning resource, helping to learn, reassess views on the topic and generating motivation to engage,
- Social impact – whether the exhibit helps users engage in heritage and promotes community develop inclusion and cohesion,
- Engagement – whether the exhibit is engaging and immersive.
We had our first School seminar of the semester today. The speaker was André G. Pereira visiting Scotland on a SICSA DVF Fellowship. André is working on AI Planning problems, an area that is closely related to the work of our own Constraint Programming research group.
Title: Understanding Neuro-Symbolic Planning
Abstract: In this seminar, we present the area of neuro-symbolic planning, introducing fundamental concepts and applications. We focus on presenting recent research on the problem of learning heuristic functions with machine learning techniques. We discuss the distinctions and particularities between the “model-based” and “model-free” approaches, and the different methods to address the problem. Then, we focus on explaining the behavior of “model-free” approaches. We discuss the generation of the training set, and present sampling algorithms and techniques to improve the quality of the training set. We also discuss how the distribution of samples over the state space of a task, together with the quality of its estimators, are directly related to the quality of the learned heuristic function. Finally, we empirically detail which factors have the greatest impact on the quality of the learned heuristic function.
Biography: Dr. André G. Pereira is a professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. His research aims to develop and explain the behavior of intelligent systems for sequential decision-making problems. Dr. Pereira has authored several papers on top-tier venues such as IJCAI, AAAI, and ICAPS. These papers contribute towards explaining the behavior of heuristic search algorithms, how to use combinatorial optimization-based reasoning to solve planning tasks, and how to use machine learning techniques to produce heuristic functions. Dr. Pereira is a program committee member of IJCAI and AAAI. His doctoral dissertation was awarded second place in the national Doctoral Dissertation Contest on Computer Science (2017), and first place in the national Doctoral Dissertation Contest on Artificial Intelligence (2018). Dr. Pereira advised three awarded students on national events, including first place and finalist in the Scientific Initiation Work Contest (2018, 2022), and finalist in the Master Dissertation Contest on Artificial Intelligence (2020).
Alan Miller and The Virtual Open Worlds team appeared in The Herald earlier this month promoting their digital reconstruction of Fort William for the West Highland Museum
Using VR headsets, the team created a fully immersive virtual reality model of the old fort in Fort William in the days leading up to the Battle of Culloden on April 16, 1746.
Thanks to everyone who attended the school Research away day. The day was very informative and lots of ideas were created.
It was lovely to meet our Ukrainian Visiting Academics Maryna Novozhylova and Olga Chub.
We would also like to thank our guests, Ricky Shek from careers, Kirsty Ross from RIS, Adeel Shafi and Jayshree Johnstone from business development.
*STV has committed to provide a further ten students with RTS/STV bursary in the 2020/21 academic year.*
Considering a career in the broadcasting industry? Our students have successfuly secured Royal Television Society technology bursaries in 2019 and in previous years. The venture is intended to address a skills gap and attract some talented young people from top computer science or engineering courses to consider a career in television. Further details of the scheme can be found here: https://rts.org.uk/education-and-training-pages/bursaries
The RTS Bursary Scheme submission window opened on the 1st of February 2020 and will close on the 30th of June 2020.
Bursary recipients attend a summer tour of the industry, a financial award per year towards their studies, membership of the Royal Television Society and mentoring opportunities within their final year of study. Recipients are selected by a panel of industry professionals following an open call to UK students applying for courses at accredited colleges and universities.
This Week Dr Juliana Bowles brought together nine leading academic and industry partners for the 4th Consortium meeting for the Serums project.
The project aims to produce tools and technologies to support future-generation healthcare systems that will integrate home-based healthcare into a holistic treatment plan, reducing cost and travel-associated risks and increasing quality of healthcare provision.
For further information on the project visit the Serums website
Image and text provided by Annemarie Paton