This is the Newsletter of the Centre for Data Science and Systems Complexity (DSSC) at the University of Groningen. The DSSC Newsletter is published every two months.

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Centre for Data Science and Systems Complexity (DSSC), University of Groningen

DSSC Newsletter


DSSC welcomes 11 new PhD students 
Data Driven Policy Management meeting in the Hague
Research profile: Simon Gazagnes (MS), DSSC PhD student in the project VFast Data
Arguments for good artificial intelligence, Bart Verheij (ALICE)
Cooperation between the University of Groningen and Statistics Netherlands


Is Data Science a game changer for Operations Research? (18 Jan., Lunteren)
European Robotics Forum (13-15 Mar., Tampere)
ICT.OPEN (19-20 Mar., Amersfoort)
Groningen Spring School on Cognitive Modeling (9-13 Apr., Groningen)
Exascale Applications and Software Conference (17-19 Apr., Edinburgh)
IEEE Conference BioRob 2018 (26-29 Aug., Twente)
IEEE eScience Conference 2018 (29 Oct., Amsterdam)

DSSC welcomes 11 new PhD students

A new cohort of PhD students is joining the DSSC Centre in 2018, sponsored through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND grant, DSSC internal funds and an Executive Board bonus. The DSSC received 120 applications that underwent a rigorous selection procedure involving, for the short-listed applicants, a Skype and an on-campus interview with an independent jury. 11 excellent applicants from Austria, Indonesia, Italy, Iran, Korea and Mexico have been recruited and opted for interdisciplinary projects in all three DSSC lines of research (Adaptive Models & Big Data, Complex Systems & Engineering and Advanced Instrumentation & Big Data). Their projects are available on the DSSC COFUND and DSSC websites. We will keep you informed about DSSC introductory meetings during which you can meet them.

Data Driven Policy Management meeting in the Hague

On Tuesday November 28, the DSSC was present at the conference Data Driven Policy Management (the Hague). The meeting - a follow-up of a similar 2016 event - was aimed at policy researchers, statisticians, data scientists and knowledge managers in government. The focus was on the use of data applications for more effective and balanced policy. Among the themes discussed were policy opportunities of data analytics and visualization, normative constraints such as transparency and privacy and quality improvement using data

The session "Challenges for data science within governmental programs" consisted of an introduction by Prof. Dr. Frank van Harmelen (Free University), presentations by representatives of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities, and pitches about 7 research centers with a focus on data science. Prof. Dr. Bart Verheij presented the DSSC, explaining the DSSC's three interdisciplinary research areas (adaptive models & big data, complex systems & engineering, advanced instrumentation & big data) and connecting DSSC research to three research themes relevant in the context of government policy: the creation of value by embedding normative choices in data science, the enhancement of communication between the human user and data technology and the need for data transparency in terms of reasons and explanations.

Research profile: Simon Gazagnes (MS), DSSC PhD student in the project VFast DataGazagnes photo

Simon Gazagnes is a PhD candidate who has recently joined the DSSC. He will be supervised by Michael Wilkinson (JBI), Leon Koopmans (Kapteyn) and Nasser Kalantar-Nayestanaki (KVI-CART) in the multidisciplinary project “[VF]ast Data”. This project aims at developing and optimizing new algorithms to process the huge amount of data that are too large to process on a single node, or handle data-acquisition having a data rate so high that it makes challenging the storage of all the information recorded. In the first case, finding the good scaling is mandatory to achieve an efficient processing, as processing one billion of 10 Megapixel images is considerably different from processing one thousand 10 Terapixel images. In the second case, methods able to detect and select only the desired information during the data acquisition need to be implemented.

These new methods for Vast and Fast data problems will be applied in two different fields, astrophysics and particle physics. In the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, the Epoch of Reionization project aims at detecting the first signal from the reionization of the universe using the large radio telescope LOFAR. This instrument creates images-cubes (2 dimensions of space, one dimension of frequency) with a billion (or more) voxels of the sky, including different type of features, like compact and very diffuse structures, at vastly different scales. These large data need to be processed through a multi-scale analysis to capture the smallest details of interest. In the KVI-CART center, researchers are looking for new particles based on high energy collisions using a particle accelerator. The detection of these particles require a rapid-data acquisition method to detect and keep track of the rare events throughout the acquisition. The proposed methods will use mathematical morphological tools developed in the JBI, and will be implemented on distributed CPU and GPU-based architecture.

Simon Gazagnes’s background is on electrical engineering, signal and image processing, and astrophysics. He had a first experience in image processing in the MORPHEME team in Sophia Antipolis (France), developing a new method (SMLM-CEL0) to perform molecule localization related the photo-activated localization microscopy in biology. He then joined the STARBUST team in the Geneva Observatory to work on modelling and data analysis of galaxies spectra emitting ionizing photons.

Simon Gazagnes is interested in a wide range of fields, from the particle physics to the formation of the Universe, through neuroscience and biology. He aims at developing multi-disciplinary methods that could be used to meet the data processing challenges that these domains will face in the coming years.

Arguments for good artificial intelligence, Bart Verheij (ALICE)

Prof. Dr. Bart Verheij is the chair of Verheijartificial intelligence and argumentation at the Artificial Ingelligence and Cognitive Systems Institute and a DSSC member. In his inaugural lecture this September he explained how research on argumentation systems can help achieve good artificial intelligence and quiet our anxiety about the growing capabilities of robots and computers.

Argumentation systems model a critical thinking process in which hypotheses are constructed, tested and valued. Thus, the development of argumentation systems can bridge the gap that now exists in artificial intelligence between knowledge systems and data systems: knowledge systems use the knowledge embedded in them to reason and to learn data systems through the analysis of many examples. Argumentation theory is a topic involved in two DSSC PhD projects: The Value of Data and Home Robotics

Cooperation between the University of Groningen and Statistics Netherlands

Following an agreement between the UniversitySmitsborg image of Groningen and Statistics Netherlands (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek) the Center for Information Technology (CIT) is hosting an Academic Data Center where CBS staff and University researchers will work together closely to enable a more effective use of CBS data for academic research. The aims of the Center are to facilitate a more efficient collaboration in methods and data science, and to create a direct, yet controlled, integration between the virtual workspaces of the researchers of the University of Groningen and the expertise in ​​remote access to microdata of Statistics Netherlands.

Current cooperation projects with Statistics Netherlands: Alumni, Child abuse, Big DataInternet economics and shipping statistics.

Horizon 2020
LC-SC3-ES-7-2018: Pan-European Forum for R&I on Smart Grids, Flexibility and Local Energy Networks (5 Apr. 2018)

ICT-07-2018: Electronic Smart Systems (17 Apr. 2018)

ICT-11-2018-2019: HPC and Big Data enabled Large-scale Test-beds and Applications (17 Apr. 2018)

ICT-12-2018-2020: Big Data technologies and extreme-scale analytics (17 Apr. 2018)

ICT-13-2018-2019: Supporting the emergence of data markets and the data economy (17 Apr. 2018)

ICT-26-2018-2020: Artificial Intelligence (17 Apr. 2018)

DT-ICT-02-2018: Robotics - Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) (17 Apr. 2018)

DT-ICT-07-2018-2019: Digital Manufacturing Platforms for Connected Smart Factories (17 Apr. 2018)

SC1-HCO-02-2018: Data integration and data-driven in-silico models for enabling personalised medicine - a European standardization framework (18 Apr. 2018)

SC1-DTH-07-2018: Exploiting the full potential of in-silico medicine research for personalised diagnostics and therapies in cloud-based environments (24 Apr. 2018)

Lorentz Center Workshop (15 Jan. 2018)
Financial boost for Industrial Doctorates (18 Jan. 2018)
Scientific infrastructure for astronomy, computer science and mathematics (30 Jan. 2018)
Indo-Dutch Joint Research Programme for ICT (6 Mar. 2018)    


Data Science and Operations Research
18 Jan. 2018, Lunteren
Should current Operations Research practitioners get better acquainted with the developments in Data Science and expand their skill set? What are the scientific and practical challenges when Operations Research is combined with Data Science? The conference Is Data Science a game changer for Operations Research? will address these questions. More information is available here.
European Robotics Forum
13-15 Mar. 2018, Tampere
ERF2018 covers current societal and technical themes related to the field of robotics. Interesting subjects will be discussed, including human-robot-collaboration and how robotics can improve industrial productivity and service sector operations. The conference also showcases the newest research in the field, and the projects funded under EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme. You may register on the website
19-20 Mar. 2018, Amersfoort
The ICT.OPEN2018 track committees invite authors to submit an abstract to be presented at two days conference program. It's also possible for researchers to submit a demo proposal. For the demo proposals we are looking for new or on-going work on systems and applications that can be presented in an exciting and highly interactive way to the ICT.OPEN audience and ICT companies from small to large enterprises.
You may register on the website.
Groningen Spring School of Cognitive Modeling
9-13 Apr. 2018, Groningen
The school will cover four different modeling paradigms: ACT-R, Nengo, PRIMs, and Accumulator models. It thereby offers a unique opportunity to learn the relative strengths and weaknesses of these approaches. Each day will consist of four theory lectures, one on each modeling paradigm. Each paradigm also includes hands-on assignments. Register soon!
Exascale Applications and Software Conference
17-19 Apr. 2018, Edinburgh
The organizers seek novel contributions in all areas associated with applications, tools, software programming models and libraries, and other technologies necessary to exploit future exascale systems. More information and the registration are available on the website.
IEEE Conference BioRob 2018

26-29 Aug., Twente
The primary focus of Biorobotics is to analyze biological systems from a “biomechatronic” point of view, trying to understand the scientific and engineering principles underlying their extraordinary performance. The understanding of how biological systems work can be used for two main objectives: to guide the design and fabrication of novel, high performance bio-inspired machines and systems for many different applications; and to develop novel nano-, micro-, and macro- devices that can assist human beings in prevention, diagnosis, surgery, prosthetics, rehabilitation and personal assistance. Registration is available on the website

IEEE eScience Conference 2018
29 Oct. - 1 Nov. 2018, Amsterdam
IEEE eScience 2018 brings together leading international researchers and research software engineers from all disciplines to present and discuss how digital technology impacts scientific practice. From the humanities to physics and from ecology to astronomy. 
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Centre for Data Science and Systems Complexity · Nijenborgh 9 · Groningen, Gr 9747 AG · Netherlands

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