On Tuesday 1st November, we took to Leeds to celebrate the launch of our new research theme, Machine Learning. The day began with a welcome from Dr Serge Sharoff and an introduction to N8 CIR from Dr Gillian Sinclair, our N8 CIR Programme Manager.
Dr Marion Weinzierl and Dr Peter Crowther talked about our special interest groups, including Research Software Engineers, Research Infrastructure Engineers, Research Data Management Professionals, and our Women in HPC chapter.
Finally, Dr Gillian Sinclair and Grainne Wrigley invited attendees to think about future plans for the machine learning theme, including how to keep the community together. Attendees can fill out our feedback survey to let us know how they want to stay in touch with fellow researchers.
"What’s important is a community-based approach because there are so many opportunities and challenges that can easily make us overwhelmed. Through in-person interactions, we can find out our shared problems, goals, and solutions, and we can learn about something beyond our knowledge/circle.
"Everyone has busy lives and it’s hard to get a hold of all the important things happening out there, so such an event is important to get on top of things and more importantly make connections. After the virtual connections, we need to make some real physical in-person connections so we can fully leverage this network. Our effort is aligned very well with the national effort led by the Alan Turing Institute to get people connected so we can share resources and expertise, and collaborate and work more efficiently at this difficult time. Machine learning has a big role to play in this time of modernisation revolution.”
“There is a fancy name of Artificial Intelligence, there is statistics, an established name which sounds scientific, while our Machine Learning combines both by our interest in creating models which predict certain properties, be that in language, in medicine or in chemistry.
“Several people mentioned the pleasure of seeing people face-to-face, interacting with the audience rather than with the computer screens, having extremely interesting discussions over coffee breaks. We really missed all of this over COVID, so now many are ready to grab as many opportunities as possible for face-to-face events.”