PhD students from Swansea University have been sharing their cutting-edge research into artificial intelligence with colleagues in America.
A group of 12 PhD students and two Faculty members of Swansea’s UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Advanced Computing (AIMLAC) visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The group exchanged ideas on the application of AI and Machine Learning (ML) in scientific research as well as on the education and training of the next generation of data science/ML leaders.
The delegation, led by CDT Director Professor Gert Aarts of the Physics Department, and CDT Technical Director Professor Biagio Lucini, from the Mathematics Department, visited the Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Fundamental Interactions (IAIFI).
Hosted by Professor Jesse Thaler and Dr Phiala Shanahan, the students - six from Swansea and two each from Bangor, Bristol and Cardiff universities - presented their research in two longer talks and 10 flash talks.
IAIFI Fellows then gave the same number of talks which resulted in stimulating discussions during the social events afterwards.
A special session was devoted to the training programmes of AIMLAC and IAFI, including an AIMLAC presentation on student placements at industry partners.
The visit was made possible by EPSRC funding specifically devoted to enable collaborative activities between AI researchers in the UK and the USA.
Tabitha Lewis, a first-year PhD student at Swansea, said: “This visit not only helped me discuss my research with others, sharing thoughts and creating connections, but also gave me an appreciation and understanding of the research other people are undertaking, helping build relationships between cohorts. It was just an amazing experience that I will never forget!”
Maciek Glowacki, a second-year PhD student at Bristol, added: "MIT blew my (already high) expectations. There's just something truly special in the air at that place. It was a treat to share my own work and hear about the ground-breaking research undertaken by IAIFI fellows and postgraduates.”
Professor Aarts said: "For the PhD students, it was the first research trip in more than two years, so it was truly exciting. I am pleased that EPSRC was able to support this activity and I want to thank the MIT team for their excellent hosting. I am particularly proud of our students presenting a wide range of research topics all connected via the use of ML methods."