The St Andrews Computer Human Interaction research group (SACHI) was established in 2011. Each year our members have been involved in summer or winter schools, either as organisers or participants. Starting from 2011 we organised, with our colleagues across Scotland, the SICSA Multimodal Systems for Digital Tourism summer school here in St Andrews. In 2012, Professor Quigley taught a summer school in Oulu Finland “UbiOulu” on UbiComp and Big Data. In early 2013, Dr. Anne-Marie Mann attended the “Tiree Tech Wave” and later that year we organised another school here in St Andrews called the SICSA summer school on Big Data, Information Visualisation with Professor Adam Barker the director of the Systems Research Group. SICSA further supported this event with a distinguished visiting fellowship for Professor John Stasko, of Georgia Tech, who is now a visiting Professor here in St Andrews.
Also in 2013, Dr. Mann attended, with SICSA support, the 2013 UbiOulu summer school in Finland. Later in 2016, Guilherme Carneiro and Dr. Gonzalo Mendez attended the Visual Analytics Spring School in London. In 2017 Fearn Bishop attended the Tiree Tech Wave in March with SICSA support. Then later in the year, Hui-Shyong Yeo attended the ACM SIGCHI Summer School on Computational Interaction in ETH Zurich. More recently in 2018, Iain Carson attended the ACM SIGCHI Intelligent User Interfaces Summer School in Haifa, Israel (see image on the top left of this blog post).
Such schools represent an important way for students to learn and for faculty to share their knowledge. The following is an overview of one the schools in 2013 called the SICSA Big Data, Information Visualisation summer school.
This summer school was concerned with the processing, management and hence presentation of “big data”, in an intelligible form with information visualisation techniques and methods. Data-intensive researchers talk about the “three Vs” of Big Data: Volume, Velocity and Variety. The school attempted to demystify the concept of big data by introducing a systematic, scientific and rigorous approach to tackling it. The school took a blended theory and practice approach, by providing both theoretical underpinnings and practical use of the infrastructure to process big-data and the means to understand it with information visualisation.
We had sixteen lecturers from the USA, Canada, three SICSA Universities and three lecturers from industry. Our practice-based work drew on dataset from SkyScanner andBrightSolid and used computation resource from an Amazon AWS grant. The intended audience for this school were graduate students across SICSA, the UK and Europe who are either focused on research in this area or are seeking to use big data methods and information visualisation to make sense of voluminous data. There were 35 students at the Summer School, 25 of whom were Scottish-based Ph.D. students.