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April 8, 2013

The Young Scientist Symposium 2013 takes shape

Group of junior researchers at IST Austria announces the Young Scientist Symposium 2013 on „Understanding Shape: in silico and in vivo“

Photo of organizing committee

The concept of shape and how to deal with it touches on many areas of research, including mathematics, computer science and life science. PhD students and postdocs at  the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) are currently preparing completely independently the Young Scientist Symposium (YSS) on April 26, 2013. Titled “Understanding Shape: in silico and in vivo”. The symposium will present a selection of international speakers discussing various approaches.

Problems of shape and form are of relevance in silico (e.g. in computer models) and in vivo (the living object). This multitude of aspects has led to a number of different approaches, often developed in isolation to each other. Accordingly, the one-day symposium will be dedicated to bringing together alternative views. Description, formation, and perception of shape will be covered in talks by six experts from internationally renowned research institutes. The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion. One of the speakers, Ed Connor, professor at the Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, summarizes the objective if the symposium: “Shape is a truly ubiquitous domain, posing identical problems of parameterization and analysis across dozens of disciplines. This conference comprises shape research across disciplines that rarely communicate but must have a great deal to say to each other.”

Fostering the communication between different fields of research is one of the main goals of the YSS 2013, and reflects the spirit of research at IST Austria. Massimo Ferri, professor at the Engineering Faculty of Bologna University and speaker at the YSS 2013, describes the advantages of the interaction of disciplines in his own field of research: “We come from a period in which most mathematics was self-referential and closed in itself, but the new century seems to give a high value to interdisciplinarity.” This interdisciplinarity is reflected by the selection of speakers who all work in different fields. The exchange of ideas will be promoted by a panel discussion open for the interaction between speakers as well as contributions from the audience.

The organizing committee of the YSS 2013 is as international and multidisciplinary as the speakers are. The four students and four postdocs came from six different countries to do their research at IST Austria. Abraham Martin del Campo (Mexico) heads the organizing committee: “It is a valuable experience to interact with leading scientists in the field as well as fellow postdocs and students, and organize such an inspiring event“.

Last year, a committee of students and postocs at IST Austria organized the first YSS on human evolution. The symposium attracted around 100 participants. Tom Ellis (PhD student), involved in the organization of both events: „Last year’s success encouraged us to make the symposium an established annual event. Each year we would like to explore a new topic, which would reflect the engaged and interdiscpilinary atmosphere at IST Austria.“


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