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This Week’s Events

SICSA DVF Seminar - Dr André G. Pereira, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (University of Aberdeen)

Group: Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA)
Speaker: SICSA Event, SICSA
Date: 30 January, 2023
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location:University of Aberdeen, ,

Mini-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 national Scientific Initiation Work Contest (2018, 2022), and finalist in the national Master Dissertation Contest on Artificial Intelligence (2020). Title: SICSA DVF Master Class - Heuristic Search Planning Date: 30/01/2023 Time: Part 1 from 10:00 to 12:00 - Part 2 from 15:00 to 17:00 Venue: University of Aberdeen Abstract: Automated planning is a traditional area of artificial intelligence that aims to create general problem solvers for goal-directed tasks: a single algorithm will perform sufficiently well on all possible tasks. In this master class, we introduce planning tasks and the input modeling language for these solvers. We present the central heuristic search algorithms and techniques that are currently the most effective approaches to solving planning tasks. We discuss how to automatically derive heuristic functions used to guide search algorithms from the declarative model of the task. Finally, we present recent research trends on how to apply machine learning techniques to create heuristic functions. The master class includes hands-on demonstrations. Event link and registration: SICSA DVF Masterclass - Heuristic Search Planning Tickets, Mon 30 Jan 2023 at 10:00 | Eventbrite

FATA Seminar - Quantum Computation with Quantum Annealing

Group: Formal Analysis, Theory and Algorithms (FATA)
Speaker: Catherine Higham, University of Glasgow
Date: 31 January, 2023
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Room 422, SAWB

Quantum computing using a quantum annealer can be realised with the commercially available D-Wave System. Although not a universal machine, a quantum annealer has the potential to find solutions to hard discrete optimization problems and to provide samples from complex distributions.  In this talk I will discuss how quantum annealing works and how some applicable optimisation and sampling problems can be formulated and solved using D-Wave's QPU. Recently, we proposed a new kernel that quantifies success for the task of computing a core periphery partition for an undirected network. Results will be provided on both synthetic and real data sets, showing that quantum annealing offers benefits in terms of optimising this new quantity of interest. 

Upcoming events

SICSA DVF Seminar - Dr André G. Pereira, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (University of Aberdeen)

Group: Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA)
Speaker: SICSA Event, SICSA
Date: 30 January, 2023
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: University of Aberdeen, ,

Mini-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 national Scientific Initiation Work Contest (2018, 2022), and finalist in the national Master Dissertation Contest on Artificial Intelligence (2020). Title: SICSA DVF Master Class - Heuristic Search Planning Date: 30/01/2023 Time: Part 1 from 10:00 to 12:00 - Part 2 from 15:00 to 17:00 Venue: University of Aberdeen Abstract: Automated planning is a traditional area of artificial intelligence that aims to create general problem solvers for goal-directed tasks: a single algorithm will perform sufficiently well on all possible tasks. In this master class, we introduce planning tasks and the input modeling language for these solvers. We present the central heuristic search algorithms and techniques that are currently the most effective approaches to solving planning tasks. We discuss how to automatically derive heuristic functions used to guide search algorithms from the declarative model of the task. Finally, we present recent research trends on how to apply machine learning techniques to create heuristic functions. The master class includes hands-on demonstrations. Event link and registration: SICSA DVF Masterclass - Heuristic Search Planning Tickets, Mon 30 Jan 2023 at 10:00 | Eventbrite

FATA Seminar - Quantum Computation with Quantum Annealing

Group: Formal Analysis, Theory and Algorithms (FATA)
Speaker: Catherine Higham, University of Glasgow
Date: 31 January, 2023
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Room 422, SAWB

Quantum computing using a quantum annealer can be realised with the commercially available D-Wave System. Although not a universal machine, a quantum annealer has the potential to find solutions to hard discrete optimization problems and to provide samples from complex distributions.  In this talk I will discuss how quantum annealing works and how some applicable optimisation and sampling problems can be formulated and solved using D-Wave's QPU. Recently, we proposed a new kernel that quantifies success for the task of computing a core periphery partition for an undirected network. Results will be provided on both synthetic and real data sets, showing that quantum annealing offers benefits in terms of optimising this new quantity of interest. 

FATA Seminar

Group: Formal Analysis, Theory and Algorithms (FATA)
Speaker: Ruth Hoffmann, University of St Andrews
Date: 07 February, 2023
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Room 422, SAWB

Abstract TBA

Title TBA

Group: Programming Languages at University of Glasgow (PLUG)
Speaker: Laura Voinea, University of Glasgow
Date: 08 February, 2023
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Lilybank Gardens, F121 Conference Room

GIST Seminar

Group: Human Computer Interaction (GIST)
Speaker: Professor Ian McLoughlin, ICT Cluster, Singapore Institute of Technology
Date: 09 February, 2023
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Sir Alwyn Williams Building, 423 Seminar Room

Dear all,

The next hybrid GIST seminar will take place on February 9th at 13:00 and will be delivered by Ian McLoughlin. Professor Ian McLoughlin (马国岭), ICT Cluster Director in Singapore Institute of Technology (Singapore's 5th university) was previously a professor and Head of the School of Computing at the University of Kent (Medway Campus) from 2015-2019, a professor at the University of Science and Technology of China NELSLIP lab from 2012-2015. Before that he spent 10 years at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and 10 years in the electronics R&D industry in New Zealand and the UK. Professor McLoughlin became a Chartered Engineer in 1998 and a Fellow of the IET in 2013. He has over 200 papers, 4 books and 13 patents in the fields of speech & audio, wireless communications and embedded systems, and has steered numerous technical innovations to successful conclusions.
 
The talk will be about Speech and Audio AI. 

Location: SAWB 423 and via zoom.

Kindly find the zoom link below:
https://uofglasgow.zoom.us/j/96540497220?pwd=TlROd0srSGZLUzZ3QXhQV2VDOTVhZz09

To be added

Group: Glasgow Women in Computing Science (GWiCS)
Speaker: Pro. Wim Vanderbauwhede, University of Glasgow
Date: 09 February, 2023
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Sir Alwyn Williams Building, 422 Seminar Room

To be added

Don't throw that computer away! Fighting back planned obsolescence

Group: Low Carbon and Sustainable Computing
Speaker: Cristián Rojo, Cybercirujas
Date: 09 February, 2023
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: https://uofglasgow.zoom.us/j/89612344370?pwd=T1dacFg1Wkk2QWF0cjI4dFVIam10UT09

Cybercirujas

From the fertile lands of hacktivism and free software, a horizontal community called Cybercirujas was born to address the lack of access to computers and the Internet of many people in Argentina, especially during the recent pandemic years, where having such basic needs covered or not could make all the difference in the world.
 
In 2022 Cybercirujas refurbished and gave back to the community 82 computers (laptops and desktop) and held dozens of events in hacklabs and public spaces to spread the idea that it is possible to extend the lifespan of our computers, and that we can even do it ourselves.

Cybercirujas have an active and practical approach on the matter. They share, mix and apply different ideas going from anti-extractivism to anticapitalist techno-politics, and as a horizontal community, they organize in small and independent cells or groups spread across the whole country.

Planned obsolescence

Planned obsolescence nowadays is pushed by the changes in the daily software we use. We try to reuse and keep the software running by fine-tuning the resources of the recovered computers, but what happens when support for the software stops, or it isn’t available for the platforms that we want to reuse?

We live in times when software is pushing the change of hardware constantly, and the hardware is harder to update with each passing day. CPU and RAM soldered, hardware with closed specifications. Does anyone else feel, at any point, that current hardware keeps things working properly for less time than before? Maybe it isn't only a feeling, we could be having a point here

Our response to this aspect is the use of open-source solutions when possible, encouraging people to try different software to do the same tasks, different operating systems, or the application of tweaks to the system that is used.

Usually, we start with the installation of a Linux (or BSD-based) distribution paying attention to the host computer. We have increased the life span of several computers with this software change, in other cases, we have suggested alternative usages for computers that don’t have a good performance after the changes. Some examples include media boxes, emulation platforms, NAS, and mini services that could be part of a self-hosted infrastructure.

Education

The final use for really old hardware is research and education. We have several systems from pre Pentium era (including some 8 bits microcomputers!) that can be moved to meetings and events to teach about how different challenges have been addressed from the beginning of home computing. Frequently this change of perspective and being in touch with the past, literally in a way, enables us to pass on the message: we need as society return to be the owners of our devices.

We are trying to do an explicit call to the need of a shift in the curricula. A shift based in teaching what is the environmental cost of computing and the big amount of energy that it takes. Moore's Law seemed to be eternal 40 years ago, but not today. The discharge of greenhouse gases is one of the problems that we would like to communicate to a variety of audiences, not only computers scientists.

SICSA Education: Immersive Experience Design & Dev Lab Day

Group: Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA)
Speaker: SICSA Event, SICSA
Date: 11 February, 2023
Time: 00:00 - 00:00
Location: Robert Gordon University, The Sir Ian Wood Building, Robert Gordon Unviersity, Aberdeen, United Kingdom

SISCA is delighted to be supporting the Immersive Experience Design & Dev Lab Day, taking place on 11 February at Robert Gordon University Are you an art and design student or creative business student or a creative entrepreneur passionate about merging digital and physical? Do you have an interest in Mixed Reality looking to find new and innovative ways to present interesting digital artefacts? OR Are you a computing, gaming, or digital media student or a developer or entrepreneur that is interested in creating Mixed Reality applications? You may have some experience of using WebXR or another platform, but this isn’t necessary. Then this event is for you! Register at We are hosting an Immersive Experience Design & Dev Lab Day on Saturday 11th Feb 9.00 – 21.00 in the digital media labs in the School of Computing, The Sir Ian Wood Building at RGU, Aberdeen. Working in mixed teams across computing and creative students, developers, independents, and entrepreneurs you will gain a fun ‘hands-on’ opportunity to work on a set challenge to explore creative opportunities of immersive and interactive technologies. No previous experience is required. There will be presentations and an exhibition too so you can find out more about the Immersive Scotland network and creative/tech projects. The event is FREE and there will be unlimited food, snacks and drinks with team prizes awarded at the end of the day. More information about the event, including the schedule can be found on the Eventbrite link here. Places are limited so sign up soon to miss disappointment. If you would like more information please email Josie Steed at j.steed@rgu.ac.uk or Yang Jiang at y.jiang2@rgu.ac.uk .

FATA Seminar

Group: Formal Analysis, Theory and Algorithms (FATA)
Speaker: David Manlove, University of Glasgow
Date: 14 February, 2023
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Room 422, SAWB

Abstract TBC

GIST Seminar

Group: Human Computer Interaction (GIST)
Speaker: Dr Theodore Zanto, University of California San Francisco
Date: 16 February, 2023
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Sir Alwyn Williams Building, 423 Seminar Room

Dear all,

The next hybrid GIST seminar will take place on February 16th at 13:00 and will be delivered by Theodore Zanto. Theodore is an associate professor at the University of California San Francisco, and he is visiting GIST from February 13th to February 17th. 
 
Title: Mechanisms of transfer: From music training to improved attention and working memory
 
Abstract: Aging has been associated with numerous cognitive declines, such as reduced attentional control and working memory. Recent research has indicated that musical training, which engages numerous cognitive abilities including attention and memory, may benefit performance of those same cognitive functions. Yet, there is limited evidence that musical training may benefit cognitive aging. In this talk, I will discuss recent findings from a randomized clinical trial where older adult (aged 60-80 years) non-musicians were engaged in a musical rhythm training intervention. Results from this research highlights the potential for musical training to remediate age-related cognitive declines and elucidates the neural mechanisms that enables musical training to improve attention and working memory.
 
Speaker's bio: Dr. Zanto is an Associate Professor in Neurology at the University of California San Francisco and Director of the Neuroscape Neuroscience Division. He utilizes fMRI, EEG and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (such as TMS & TES) to study neural mechanisms at the intersection of attention, perception, and memory. He is interested in the role of neural entrainment in cognitive control and how it may be used as a potential therapeutic, particularly in the aging population. Currently, Dr. Zanto is assessing whether select cognitive functions may be improved through neural entrainment with musical rhythms or with non-invasive rhythmic neurostimulation.

Location: SAWB 423 and via zoom.

Kindly find the zoom link below:
https://uofglasgow.zoom.us/j/96540497220?pwd=TlROd0srSGZLUzZ3QXhQV2VDOTVhZz09

Rapidly Testing ML-Driven Drone Applications

Group: Understandable Autonomous Systems
Speaker: Dr. Demetris Trihinas, University of Nicosia
Date: 22 February, 2023
Time: 12:30 - 13:30
Location: Sir Alwyn Williams Building, 423 Seminar Room

As drone technology penetrates even more application domains, Machine Learning (ML) is becoming a key driver enabling intelligence in the sky. However, ML Practitioners and Drone Application Operators are often faced with several challenges when wanting to test ML-driven drone applications early in the design phase. These include the development and configuration of experiment use-cases over a robotics simulator along with the collection and assessment of desired KPIs which can range from ML algorithm accuracy to drone resource utilization and the impact of “intelligence” to the drone’s energy footprint. This talk will introduce FlockAI, an open and modular by design framework supporting users with the rapid deployment and repeatable testing during the design phase of ML-driven drone applications over the Webots robotics simulator. With FlockAI users can design drone testbeds with “ready-to-go” drone templates, deploy ML models, configure on-board/remote inference, monitor and export drone resource utilization, network overhead and energy consumption to pinpoint performance inefficiencies and understand if various trade-offs can be exploited.

Healthcare Seminar: TBC

Group: Computing Technologies for Healthcare
Speaker: Prof. Crispin Miller, Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute
Date: 22 February, 2023
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: https://uofglasgow.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUtf-msqjIoEtQhY63wGchI-Vaj42GueFsS

Prof. Crispin Miller is the head of bioinformatics at Cancer Research UK Beatson Insitute. He leads the Computational Biology group, which is focused on using data-driven approaches from machine learning to develop a better understanding of the processes that underpin tumour growth and development. 

A major aspect of his work is the use of cancer ‘omics data generated by large-scale tumour sequencing projects. These datasets are large enough to use machine learning algorithms that seek to correlate patterns with phenotype. This is allowing the team to explore aspects of tumour evolution, and to ask how the regulatory systems that control gene expression are perturbed in tumour cells.

His group is particularly interested in the regulatory pathways that act downstream of transcription, including the processes that govern how alternative splicing is coordinated across different pathways. Other projects in the group focus on uncovering novel regulatory sequences within the genome, and in making use of comparative genomics to help interpret the genome rearrangements that occur in tumour cells.

Registration is required: https://uofglasgow.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUtf-msqjIoEtQhY63wGchI-Vaj42GueFsS

GIST Seminar

Group: Human Computer Interaction (GIST)
Speaker: Ross Barker, University of Glasgow
Date: 23 February, 2023
Time: 13:00 - 14:30
Location: Sir Alwyn Williams Building, 423 Seminar Room

Dear all

The next hybrid GIST seminar will take place on February 23rd at 13:00 and will be delivered by Ross Barker is a Senior Communications Officer at University of Glasgow and leads external relations related to the College of Science and Engineering.
 
Title: How to create media attention for your research. 

Location: SAWB 423 and via zoom.

Kindly find the zoom link below:
https://uofglasgow.zoom.us/j/96540497220?pwd=TlROd0srSGZLUzZ3QXhQV2VDOTVhZz09
How to create media attention for your research

SICSA HCI Theme Event: Children, Interaction, and Design Networking

Group: Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA)
Speaker: SICSA Event, SICSA
Date: 03 March, 2023
Time: 10:00 - 14:30
Location: Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, ,

We would like to invite you to the Children, Interaction, and Design (CID) networking workshop on Friday 3rd March 2023, 10.00 - 2.30pm at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh. Lunch is provided. The event, co-funded by SICSA and the Wellcome Trust, aims to bring together researchers, practitioners and industry members (est.40-60 attendees) interested in how design influences the way diverse children of all ages interact, think, feel, communicate and learn, including implications for emerging technologies. Through a combination of short talks, group discussions and showcasing work, we hope to achieve the following outcomes: Shared knowledge of cutting-edge theory and practice in Children, Interaction, and Design Opportunities to meet and share work with others in the field Registered interest in a national network in Children, Interaction, and Design and potential future funding opportunities. If you would like to attend this event, please register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/children-interaction-and-design-networking-event-tickets-504606921887 Please be mindful that places are limited when booking, and notify us at your earliest convenience if not able to attend - to enable others. Please bring your ticket to the event to help us confirm attendance. For any questions, please contact event organisers Cara Wilson, Andrew Manches, Uta Hinrichs or, Susan Lechelt . Planned agenda for day: Time Session From 9.00am Showcase set-up 9.30 - 10.00am Coffee/Pastries 10.00 - 10.15am Welcome/Introduction to Children, Interaction, and Design 10.15 - 11.00am Session 1: Contexts for Designs 11.00 - 11.45am Session 2: Inclusive Design 11.45 - 12.30pm Lunch/ Showcase 12.30 - 1.15pm Session 3: Horizon Technologies 1.15pm - 2.00pm Session 4: From Research to Impact at Scale 2.00pm - 2.30pm Next Steps/Finish

FATA Seminar

Group: Formal Analysis, Theory and Algorithms (FATA)
Speaker: Alastair Donaldson, Imperial College London
Date: 07 March, 2023
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Room 422, SAWB

Abstract TBC

Title TBA

Group: Programming Languages at University of Glasgow (PLUG)
Speaker: Jeremy Singer, University of Glasgow
Date: 08 March, 2023
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Sir Alwyn Williams Building, 423 Seminar Room

SICSA Education Event - Moray Game Jam 2023

Group: Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA)
Speaker: SICSA Event, SICSA
Date: 10 March, 2023
Time: 12:00 - 12:00
Location: Moray College UHI, Lecture Theatre, University of Highlands & Islands, United Kingdom

The Moray Game Jam is returning for 2023 following a 3 year break. Building on the success of the Moray Game Jam over the inital 5 years from 2014 - 2019 the 2023 event aims to be even bigger and better. The event is taking place over 48 hours at UHI Moray, starting at 12noon on Friday 10th March and finishing at 12noon on Sunday 12th March. Check out the event website for more info here. Complete the registration survey here.    

To de added

Group: Understandable Autonomous Systems
Speaker: Dr. Ivana Dusparic, Trinity College Dublin
Date: 22 March, 2023
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Location: Room 422, SAWB

To be added

Medical AI: addressing the validation gap

Group: Computing Technologies for Healthcare
Speaker: Gael Varoquaux, INRIA
Date: 22 March, 2023
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: https://uofglasgow.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwrf-ygqjguE9NlUx9-uLqR0IEutLzPDe0K

Abstract:

Machine-learning, which can learn to predict given labeled data, bares many promises for medical applications. And yet, experience shows that predictors that looked promising most often fail to bring the expected medical benefits. One reason is that they are evaluated detached from actual usage and medical outcomes.
And yet, test runing predictive models on actual medical decisions can be costly and dangerous. How do we bridge the gap? By improving machine-learning model evaluation. First, the metrics used to measure prediction error must capture as well as possible the cost-benefit tradeoffs of the final usage. Second, the evaluation procedure must really put models to the test: on a representative data sample, and accounting for uncertainty in model evaluation. I will discuss advanced topic on these questions.
For medical applications, predictions should come with associated confidence. It is important to evaluate these confidence with adequate metrics. Here, the difficulty is to control individual probabilities, as each individual is observed only once. I will explain a procedure to measure how far a predictor is from outputing the ideal individual probabilities, due to intrinsic uncertainty [1].
Predictors can be used to reason about possible interventions: for a given individual, what is the potential outcome of an intervention versus no intervention? However, the corresponding inferences require a particular type of control on the error of the predictors [2].
Last but not least, a numerical experiment to benchmark predictors comes with arbritrary sources of variation. Understanding and accounting for this uncontroled variance is important to make well-grounded decisions on which predictive model to use. This is possible with simple procedures [3].


[1] Beyond calibration: estimating the grouping loss of modern neural networks
    Alexandre Perez-Lebel, Marine Le Morvan, Gaël Varoquaux
    ICLR 2023 – The Eleventh International Conference on Learning Representations, May 2023, Kigali, Rwanda
    https://hal.science/hal-03829870v3
[2] How to select predictive models for causal inference?
    Matthieu Doutreligne, Gaël Varoquaux
    2023
    https://hal.science/hal-03946902
[3] Accounting for variance in machine learning benchmarks.
    Xavier Bouthillier, et al.
    Proceedings of Machine Learning and Systems 3 (2021): 747-769.
    https://proceedings.mlsys.org/paper/2021/hash/cfecdb276f634854f3ef915e2e980c31-Abstract.html

 

Biography:

Gael is a research director at the National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology (INRIA) at France. He is also the team leader of Soda - Computational and Mathematical Methods to understand health and society with data (https://team.inria.fr/soda/). His research interests encompasses three areas: 

  • Machine learning and public health, which involves analytics on health databases for personalized medicine and treatment development, biomedical natural language processing and information extration and causal inference.
  • Democratizing machine learning which encompasses machine learning on dirty data Missing data in machine learning, machine-learning model evaluation and learning on relational databases.
  • Machine learning for mental health, cognition, and brain activity, which encompasses learning models of brain function and its pathologies from brain imaging, biomarkers of mental traits and disorders which encompasses resting-state and functional connectivity Encoding and decoding models of cognition.

 He is also the director of scikit-learn operations at Inria foundation and core contributor of several open source projects in scientific computing with python.  

Registration is required: https://uofglasgow.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwrf-ygqjguE9NlUx9-uLqR0IEutLzPDe0K

Session Types & Imperative Languages & Dependent Types, Oh My!

Group: Programming Languages at University of Glasgow (PLUG)
Speaker: Jan de Muijnck-Hughes, University of Glasgow
Date: 22 March, 2023
Time: 15:00 - 16:00
Location: Lilybank Gardens, F121 Conference Room

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