This year, the ADA group was well represented at ICT.OPEN, the conference for ICT professionals in The Netherlands, which took place on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 March.
Cooperation is key
Prof. Holger H. Hoos gave the keynote lecture on Tuesday morning, talking about how machine learning is transforming the way we do science. He argued that, while competition is important, cooperation is what ultimately makes us conquer the problems of our times.
Bob the builder
That evening Anna Louise Latour won the elevator pitch competition. In the final round, four PhD students competed to explain their research in under three minutes to a jury and the audience, using only a single prop to illustrate their story.
Anna Louise described how make optimal decisions under constraints and uncertainty, using an optimisation version of the Powergrid Reliability Problem as an example. During her pitch, she used a yellow Bob-the-builder helmet to distinguish between the user with the problem, and the Computer Scientist with the solution.
She impressed jury and audience with the clarity and content of her pitch, and with her charisma, ranking highest in the jury report and receiving three times as many audience votes as the runner-up.
The next day, we had another win: Can Wang was awarded second prize in the Commit2Data poster competition. Her poster explained how Automated Machine Learning can be used to predict the energy consumption of a household. “Pitching my poster to the jury was a bit out of my comfort zone, but I’m very happy that I’ve won!”, Can said afterwards.
For those of you who missed ICT.OPEN this year: make sure to join next year! In the mean time, enjoy NWO’s video of this year’s event:
Cooperation is key, revisited
Of course this outcome was also a team effort. ADA group members, as well as other people from LIACS, helped Can and Anna Louise by providing feedback on their posters and presentations, or being there to cheer. Therefore, we celebrated as a team, with cakes 🙂