Writing progress made at Wyresdale

The Apple Store Cafe at Wyresdale Park in Scorton provided the scenic summer setting for the third Digital Economy Network cross-CDT writing retreat of 2017, which was held on 19-20 June.

There were 24 PhD student attendees from across eight EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training  within the Network, who spent two days in rural Lancashire focusing on a writing project of their choice.  The CDT students participating were all at differing stages of their PhD and found the opportunity to have dedicated time to focus on their writing, as well as benefit from the advice and support from their peers at the retreat, extremely valuable.

Some used the session-focused event to focus on specific chapters of their thesis; such as their methodology, whilst others used the time to draft academic papers, carry out data analysis or work on their PhD annual review reports.

Students were able to make the most of the warm sunny days by using the tree sheltered peaceful gardens in the Estate as a haven for productive writing.

Photos from the retreat can be viewed here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm3aB5QN

Students from the following CDTs were represented:

  • Digital Civics, Newcastle University
  • Embedded Intelligence, Loughborough University
  • Financial Computing, UCL
  • Healthcare Innovation, University of Oxford
  • HighWire, Lancaster University
  • Horizon, University of Nottingham
  • Media & Arts Technology, QMUL
  • Web Science, University of Southampton

DEN would like to extend utmost thanks to Andy Darby (HighWire, Lancaster University) for facilitating, Sally Whewell of Wyresdale Estate for hosting, and to Tish and Kate of HighWire for helping to look after our delegates for the retreat.

Writing progress made at Elmore Court

The second DEN cross-CDT PhD Writing Retreat took place on 16-17 May at Elmore Court, a stunning and historic 13th Century country house venue, located just outside Gloucester.

Elmore interior21 CDT students from across various DEN CDTs, at differing stages of their PhD research, attended for the 2-days, to focus on a writing project related to their research. Some students were returning to the event for the second time after finding the previous retreat held in Leicestershire extremely beneficial.

Some students used the two days to focus on finalising chapters of their PhD thesis, whilst others were drafting research papers, journals or conference workshop presentations. Attendees were able to make use of the vast space of the Hall, Drawing Room and Morning Room at Elmore, as well as the peaceful surroundings of the grounds.

As well as having a goal-setting, time-structured approach to writing, some students took advantage of dedicated time with the facilitator, Andy Darby (HighWire CDT), to talk through, get advice and receive feedback on their chosen writing projects.

The majority of the delegates stayed at Elmore Court overnight, as the house benefits from seventeen individual rooms with views of the Cotswolds and the River Severn. During the breaks and over dinner, PhD students were able to talk with their peers about the progress of their PhD and share advice and experience.

Elmore 2

The EPSRC-funded Digital Economy CDTs represented via PhD students at this DEN organised event were:

  • Financial Computing & Analytics – University College London (2 students)
  • Healthcare Innovation – University of Oxford (1 student)
  • HighWire – Lancaster University (6 students)
  • Media and Arts Technology – Queen Mary University of London (4 students)
  • My Life in Data (Horizon) – University of Nottingham (4 students)
  • Web Science – University of Southampton (4 students).

The next writing retreat will take place on 19-20 June at the popular venue of Wyresdale Park in Scorton, Lancashire.

DEN would like to thank Andy Darby of the HighWire CDT for facilitating the event.

If you have any questions about the DEN writing retreats, please contact Felicia Black, DEN Manager at felicia.black@nottingham.ac.uk.

Felicia Black

DEN Manager

Data Publics in pictures

#Datapublics

Last weekend, the DEN co-funded Data Publics Conference took place in Lancaster, from Friday 31 March to Sunday 2 April, hosted in the University’s LICA Building. The event also live-streamed keynotes and sessions over the three days via Periscope to open up the talks and discussions to a wider audience.

Data Publics aimed to investigate the formation and representation of crowds, groups and clusters within the digital economy,  and accepted abstracts were grouped into four stands; activating publics, governing publics, provoking publics and emergent publics.

The conference consisted of keynotes, workshops, parallel sessions and an exhibition, and there was also a drinks reception and conference dinner at the Lancaster House Hotel.

You can download the Data-Publics-Programme and book of abstracts here.

There was also extensive live coverage of the event via Twitter throughout the weekend and you can catch up on this below:

  • You can see the #DataPublics Storify for social media highlights of the conference.
  • There are also pictures of Louise Mullagh and Serena Pollastri’s Walking with Data exhibit via Flickr.

Thank you to the conference organisers at Newcastle and Lancaster universities for putting on this fantastic and informative event, and to Lancaster’s Data Science Institute and the other partners that made Data Publics possible.

Writing in the Woodlands

After the popularity of the DEN CDT PhD Writing Retreats held at Wyresdale Park, hosted by the HighWire Centre for Doctoral Training in Lancaster, DEN organised the first Midlands-based event at The Woodlands at Hothorpe Hall in rural Leicestershire.

28 PhD students from across nine of the DEN CDTs attended the 2-day residential retreat, which took place on 21-22 March, with representation from the Cloud Computing, Digital Civics, Embedded Intelligence, Financial Computing, Healthcare Innovation, HighWire, Horizon, Media & Arts Technology and Web Science centres.

Writing retreat

The retreats, funded by the Network, provide the opportunity for CDT students to focus on a piece of research writing of their choice, where they can work individually in a series of time-focused sessions, whilst benefiting from being able to network and receive support from peers during the breaks and over dinner.

Writing  projects and goals at this retreat included thesis work, journals, papers, presentations and PhD annual review reports.

The Woodlands venue, with surrounding Hall and lodge accommodation on-site, appeared to be a popular venue, so DEN will look to organise another retreat at the Theddingworth based facility in 2018.

The next two DEN writing retreats will take place on 16-17 May (Gloucestershire) and 19-20 June (Lancashire).  Thank you to Andy Darby, of HighWire CDT for facilitating the retreat.

Reflections on Double Dabble

Saturday 4 January 2017 at The Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear

Double Dabble was a  one-day participatory creative workshop organised by Digital Civics CDT students Angelika Strohmayer and Janis Meissner, of fempower.tech and the Open Lab at Newcastle University.  

The aim of #doubledabble was to provide an event where feminist researchers, practitioners and makers could meet in order to work and play together to create a fun and interactive day ,full of tinkering and creativity.

This event was organised by Digital Civics CDT Students  Angelika Strohmayer and Janis Meissner of fempower.tech, who are a group of intersectional feminist researchers who aim to raise awareness of feminist issues in HCI, based at the Open Lab at Newcastle University. Double Dabble was made possible after they received funding from the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association and DEN to organise this national workshop, which attracted 30 attendees.

You can read organiser Angelika’s blog and enjoy photos from #Doubledabble at http://tripsandflips.com/reflections-on-double-dabble/.

DEN would like to thank fempower.tech for organising this one-day activity which members of the DEN community could benefit from. Attendees included CDT students and researchers from the Media & Ars Technology CDT at Queen Mary University of London, the Digital Civics CDT at Newcastle University and the HighWire CDT at Lancaster University.

Felicia Black – DEN Manager
@felicia_DEN

DEN Annual Meeting held at Digital Catapult

The fourth DEN Annual Meeting was held at the Digital Catapult Centre in London on 1 February, and was attended by over 65 people from the DEN community. The attendees were made up of a great combination of Digital Economy CDT staff, students, EPSRC colleagues and Digital Catapult contacts, with almost all DEN EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training represented.

The IET President, Professor Jeremy Watson of UCL, was also able to join us and contribute to interactive group workshops, and we are now looking to work in collaboration wih the IET for future DEN activities and events.

Presentations were delivered from:

  • Professor Sarah Sharples, DEN Director, University of Nottingham – DEN Update
  • John Baird, Lead – Digital Economy Theme, EPSRC
  • Donna Palmer, CDT in Embedded Intelligence, Loughborough University – DE Summer School 2017 planning presentation
  • Louise Mullagh, CDT Student, HighWire CDT, Lancaster University – Ten go to Tiree
  • Daniela Di Angeli, EngD Student, Centre for Digital Entertainment, Bath – DiMEA Workshop presentation – taking place in October 2017
  • Anat Elhalal, Head of Technology, Digital Catapult Centre

Particular topics of interest and discussion included:

  • Equality, diversity and inclusion and the development of a DEN ED&I framework via a workshop.
  • Plans for the Digital Economy Summer School 2017.
  • DEN event planning for 2017 including a policy lab, future-scaping activities, film making workshops, privacy and trust event, public engagement activities and digital entreprenuerial event.

More details of the DEN Annual Meeting and it’s outcomes will be posted here very shortly.

Felicia Black -DEN Manager

@felicia_DEN

Hacking happiness for Cloud Computing team

#HackingHappiness competition, Digital Catapult Centre, January 2017

Congratulations to the team of four PhD students from the EPSRC CDT in Cloud Computing and Big Data who were part of the winning team Route2Happiness at the 28-hour Hacking Happiness hackathon competition, which took place at the Digital Catapult Centre in London,  on 16-17 January 2017, in conjunction with the Royal Society.

At this event, teams collaborated to find novel ways in which artificial intelligence and machine learning could be used to predict, measure and also increase positive mood and wellbeing.

The Route2Happiness team worked on a solution to use data to work out a personal happiness index in order to map the most ‘happiest’ route to take on a journey.

You can check out the highlights of the competition via Storify here:  https://storify.com/DigiCatapult/hackinghappiness#publicize.

Ten go to Tiree to explore common values

Exploring Common Values: Diving Deeply into the Digital Frontier

Isle of Tiree, Scotland, 8-13 October 2016

The group of 10 digital economy PhD researchers from the HighWire, Horizon – My Life in Data, Digital Civics and Web Science CDTs, who visited the island of Tiree last month, have produced a collective Tiree reflections report, which fellow DEN CDT students and staff can download here.

This informative document includes details of the activities and data collection exercises that were carried out on the remote Scottish island, as well as personal reflections from each of the multi-disciplinary doctoral students. The report also features some great scenic and workshop images that help put the activities in to context.

Thank you to Louise Mullagh, PhD student at HighWire CDT, Lancaster University for producing this report for the benefit of the DEN community.

A digital economy network for PhD students in CDTs funded by EPSRC