Tag Archives: CDT

INTER/SECTIONS 2017 culminates in one-day symposium

INTER/SECTIONS Symposium 2017

#MATIntersections17  @_intersections_


Inter/sections is an annual, week-long series of events and an exhibition organised by PhD students of the Queen Mary University of London’s Media and Arts Technology (MAT) Centre for Doctoral Training.  

Each year, the programme of activities and associated exhibition focuses on a specific theme, which for 2017, was Politics and Ethics in Media and Art Technology.

This year Inter/Sections culminated on Friday 8 September via a one-day symposium,held at the Mile End Art Pavilion in East London for the second year running.

The specific aim of the event was to facilitate discussion and exchange between academia, industry and activists, and it attracted over 100 delegates.


Programme of activities

After commencing with a welcome from the symposium organisers, the event opened with lightening talks from eight of the exhibiting PhD students and artists who had the chance to inform the audience of the work behind their exhibit showcases.

The symposium also featured two keynote speakers, Dr Dan McQuillan a Lecturer in Creative & Social Computing at Goldsmiths College, University of London and Dr Stephen Minger, an expert in stem cell technology.

In the afternoon, an interactive problem-solving workshop ‘Technology, Ethics and the Arts Now’ was delivered by colleagues from The Culture Capital Exchange, which was followed by a panel discussion (sponsored the Digital Economy Network), entitled ‘Work Ethics in the Age of Automation’.

This hour-long panel session was extremely well-attended and was chaired by Jacqueline de Rojas, President of techUK, and offered  a space for attendees to debate new ethical frameworks for current and emerging technologies.

Exhibition viewing

Delegates were also able to view and interact with the 11 exhibits from PhD students and Artists that had been on display throughout the week in the Pavilion.


You can view some of the photos from the symposium taken by the DEN Manager, Felicia Black in the INTER/SECTIONS 2017 album on the DEN Flickr page.


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

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.

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.