Since 2015, the data science center ScaDS.AI (Center for scalable Data Services and Artificial Intelligence) and the preceding Big Data center ScaDS Dresden/Leipzig run a yearly international summer school. Its 6th edition was planned to take place for a full week in July 2020 at the Univ. of Leipzig. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic it was replaced by a virtual and more compact 2-day event that took place at July 7-8. This opened the summer school on current AI (artificial intelligence) and Big Data topics not only for a broader and more international crowd of participants but also for internationally renowned speakers. With more than 250 registrations from North and South America (USA, Ecuador, Brazil), Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Norway, France, UK, Romania, Ukraine), Asia (Russia, India, Thailand), Africa (Morocco, Turkey, Iran) and Australia the ScaDS.AI Summer School of 2020 achieved a great international outreach and better participation than in previous years with 70-100 participants.
After a short introduction from Erhard Rahm (chair of the summer school and co-director of ScaDS.AI), the first day started with a tutorial on Scalable Deep Learning given by Elena and Decebal Mocanu from University of Twente, Netherlands. The lecture was well received by the participants as reflected in positive feedback in the chat as well as in social media channels such as Twitter. This was similarly the case for the keynote presentations by Angela Bonifati (University of Lyon), Kristian Kersting (TU Darmstadt), Andreas Hotho (Univ. Würzburg), Myra Spiliopoulou (Univ. Magdeburg) and Volker Tresp (LMU; Siemens) covering current AI and Big data topics such as graph analytics, knowledge graphs or the limitations of AI. Several principal investigators from ScaDS.AI including its director Wolfgang E. Nagel, Thomas Neumuth, Norbert Siegmund and Erhard Rahm also contributed to the success of the summer school. The program further included several industry talks from the companies Adesso, Signal Cruncher, and Alexander Thamm GmbH illustrating practical AI use cases and solution approaches. The detailed program schedule can be found here.
After the presentations participants could join a scientific speed dating in the evening of the first day where attendants had the possibility to get to know other participants and their research interests within short interactive sessions. In a closing discussion on the second day, attendants and speakers provided positive feedback on the technical organization and overall quality of the ScaDS.AI summer school with its mix of tutorial, scientific keynotes and industry talks as well as the novel scientific speed dating. We from ScaDS.AI Dresden/Leipzig are very happy and grateful about the achieved international outreach and positive feedback and will incorporate it for next year’s summer school.
Professors Rahm, Kersting and Hotho and Matthias Täschner during the lecture of Professor Kersting