2nd IEEE Tunisian Student Branches Congress (TSBC) 2014

The IEEE Tunisia section and the IEEE Student Branch of the National Engineering School of Sfax (ENIS) had the honor of hosting the second IEEE Tunisian Student Branches Congress (TSBC) on December 22-23, 2014 in Sousse – Tunisia.

Website: http://tsbc.ieee-enis.org/

The TSBC 2014 was the biggest engineering event in Tunisia which brought hundreds of IEEE students from different student branches in Tunisia. The aim of the congress is to learn more about IEEE, to boost IEEE activities by training and motivating the student branch members, to exchange ideas and experiences and thoughts, to collaborate, to increase effective networking, to enhance technical and soft skills, and to Share skills and methods.

During two days, 260 attendees from 15 student branches in Tunisia attended the high quality talks presented by 8 distinguished speakers.

The program featured professional and technical activities. Participants enjoyed the following plenary talks and workshops:

  • IEEE” & “Project Management Skills”, By Margaretha Eriksson, 2015/16 IEEE R8 Director‑Elect, Sweden
  • How develop your leadership skills?” & “Oral Presentation Skills” By Kurt Richter, IEEE Life Fellow, 1991/92 IEEE Director Region 8, Professor Emeritus from Graz University of Technology, Austria
  • Benefits of IEEE Student Chapters”, “IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES)”, and “IEEE Women In Engineering (WIE)” By Simay Akar, IEEE R8 Student chapter coordinator, Turkey
  • IEEE Industry Applications Society (IAS)” & “Nuclear Energy Today and the Future – What in the World is Going on?” By David J. Vaglia, IEEE IAS Distinguished Lecturer, Westinghouse Electric Company, USA
  • How to Succeed as a Young Entrepreneur” By Lassaad Mezghani, Counselor of Entrepreneurship Development, Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and ICT, Tunisia
  • IEEE Pre-University Activities: EPICS-in-IEEE Program” & “IEEE Technology Engineering and Management Society (TEMS)” By Sohaib Qamar Sheikh, IEEE R8 Pre-University Activities Coordinator, Ove Arup and Partners Ltd, United Kingdom
  • ITU, Innovating Together” By Bilel Jamoussi, Chief, Study Groups Department, ITU-T, Switzerland
  • The Black Dog & Indiscipline Tree” By Nadhem Bardaa, IEEE R8 Professional Speaker, NTraining Manager, Tunisia

An IEEE booth was ready during two days to present the IEEE student transition & elevation benefits and to congratulate the recent IEEE graduates members.

Furthermore, a SB contest was organized: On the first day, 3 student branches (ENET’Com, ESTI, and INSAT) were selected as the best student branches in Tunisia according to their activities on 2014. At the end of the congress, a debate was organized between them following their TSBC’15 hosting proposals. After voting session, the winning student branch is the National Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (INSAT) student branch and it will be hosting the next TSBC 2015.

We trust all speakers and members who participated in this year’s congress had an amazing time and we look for a greater congress next year!

Gratitude was expressed to our IEEE partners: Region 8, Sfax subsection, YP and WIE Tunisian affinity groups, and the Industry Applications Society; and our sponsors: Interface Group, International Institute of Technology (IIT Sfax) and International School of Business (ISB Sfax).

Habib M. Kammoun, TSBC 2014 General Chair.

Photos:

  • Photo 1: Participants’ Group photo
  • Photo 2: Welcome Speech by Habib M Kammoun
  • Photos 3: Kurt and Margaretha during the opening session
  • Photos 4-12: Speakers presenting their talks
  • Photos 13-20: Speakers receiving their awards
  • Photo 21: Margaretha discussing with students during the coffee break
  • Photo 22: 3 student branches competing to organize the next TSBC 2015
  • Photo 23: Awards for Student branch finalists
  • Photo 24: Simay with IEEE women in engineering student members
  • Photo 25: Participants during the first talk presented by Margaretha

Students and Young Professionals: Welcome to Krakow!

This year’s edition of the biggest student and young professional event in Region 8, the Student and Young Professional Congress – SYP 2014, was hosted in the beautiful Polish city Krakow, from the 6th to the 10th of August.

SYP-2014-01Around 400 students and young professionals from 52 IEEE sections attended the SYP. So did IEEE officials such as IEEE President Roberto De Marca, the three President-Elect Candidates, many other global volunteers, and staff members. Special guests included representatives from industry, and a group of high school students!

The SYP (previously called Student Branch and Gold Congress – SBC) welcomed speakers from various fields, who held a wide variety of interesting technical and non-technical workshops. The program also included cultural visits and plenary sessions, providing the attendees with great networking opportunities, and allowing them to develop their skills on diverse levels. A special event was the poster session where 115 student branches, IEEE societies, and industrial firms presented over 150 posters to exchange ideas and to learn from each other.

Moreover, awards were presented to outstanding Student Branches and Young Professionals.

SYP-2014-02

In summary, the R8 SYP 2014 was about three goals:

  • Bringing IEEE students and young professionals closer to industry
  • Engaging students and young professionals, and getting them excited about IEEE
  • Motivating students and young professionals to reach out and also get engaged in pre-university activities

Many, many thanks to the organizing committee, and to everyone who joined the congress, making it one of the best experiences in our lives. A big thank you to all the attendees… you made this event so special!

Check out the SYP photos on facebook.com/ieee.r8sac J

2013-2014 SAC Team: Pablo, Christian, Efthymia, Piotr, Djordje, Elias, and Youmna

SYP-2014-03

 

HISTELCON 2015- CALL FOR PAPERS

HISTELCON – HIStory of ELectrotechnolgy CONference – is a flagship Conference of IEEE Region 8 and IEEE History Center, and is planned to be shared in the future by IEEE Tokyo Section and more IEEE Regions.
HISTELCON 2015 is the 4th in the series (after HISTELCON 2008 in Paris, HISTELCON 2010 in Madrid and HISTELCON 2012 in Pavia). It is held in conjunction with ICOHTEC (International Committee on History of Technology) 42th Symposium, and with the 10th Historical Conference of IEEE History Committee and History Center, with cooperation of the Cohen Institute for History and Philosophy of Science at Tel-Aviv University, the Graduate Program in Science, Technology and Society at Bar-Ilan University and the EE Section of the AEAI (Israel National Engineering Society). The official language of the conference will be English.

Conference Theme
HISTELCON 2015 is designed to explore the phenomenon of “High Technologies” at various historical epochs from multiple historical and contemporary perspectives. We aspire to a comprehensive picture of the development of such technologies, their employment and spread and the interactions with scientific knowledge, economic and social interest and the cultural, social, military, economic and scientific effects.
Recognized as a major force in the modern world, Hi-Tech attracts the attention of experts from many fields. This joint Conference will allow interaction of historians and sociologists of technology and science, with practicing engineers, scientists and technical experts, reflecting their experience and discipline. It aims to create a network between researchers and practitioners from Academia and Industry that encourage interdisciplinary activities. Young Historians, Researchers and Engineers are mostly welcome.

The main theme of “History of High-Technologies and their Socio-Cultural contexts”.
Original and innovative contributions are invited in areas including, but not restricted to:

  • Origins and early developments of High-Technologies
  • The Cultural/Social/Economical Drivers for the development of High-Technologies.
  • The impact of High-Technologies on Culture/Society/Economics.
  • Governmental Policies to foster High-Technologies in different cultures/societies.

Participants with various backgrounds such as historians, technologists and researchers are welcome.

Abstracts Submission
Interested participants are invited to submit an extended abstract for oral or poster presentations to the Technical Program Committee by electronically sending a 500 word abstract, written in English, with the title, the name(s) and affiliation(s) of the author(s) in Word format. All abstracts will be reviewed and acceptance notifications will be sent to the author. Full papers are not mandatory. A book of abstracts will be distributed to Conference attendees and full papers presented at the Conference will be included in IEEE Xplore. For each presented paper or poster, one presenter will have to fully register to the Conference. Guidelines for preparation of full papers will be provided in due time.

Special Sessions and Panels
Proposals to organize a special session and/or a Discussion Panel on a specific subject (e.g. related to an IEEE Technical Society) are welcome. Special Session presentation abstracts will be reviewed in a similar way to regular presentations. The duration of a session or a Panel discussion will be 90 minutes.

Important Dates

  • Extended Abstracts & Session proposal submission – 01 February 2015
  • Notification of Abstract acceptance – 15 March 2015
  • Preliminary program – 15 April 2015
  • Advance registration deadline – 15 June 2015
  • Final program – 30 June 2015

Submission address: Abstracts and proposal for Sessions should be submitted to: m.geselowitz@ieee.org
.
Communication services to Israel: Ben-Gurion (TLV) airport, 20 minutes from Tel-Aviv, is served by many regular and “low-cost” companies. Cost from main European cities is from $500 and lower, due to the new “open skies” policies.
Venue: Tel-Aviv University (TAU) will host the conference. The university is situated in northern Tel-Aviv and is easily reached by public transportation (buses) from all parts of the city, 20-30 minutes ride on the average. TAU will provide all of the required rooms (for the some 8 or more parallel sessions) within the same or adjoining buildings and a hall for hosting the opening session, with the expected 250 attendees. The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, which is one of the main hosts, is situated in the Gilman humanities building. The chosen halls and rooms will be in the proximity to the Gilman building or in the building itself.
Accommodations: Some rooms in the TAU dormitories will be reserved for the conference (The dormitories are less than 10 minutes walking distance from the conference venue). 2-5 Stars Hotels are situated in different parts of Tel-Aviv, mostly near the waterfront, about 30 minutes ride by bus.
Lunches and coffee brakes will be provided at the venue.
Visits: HISTELCON 2015 provides also a special opportunity to experience Israel culture and to visit its archaeological and historic sites as well as its Academic and Research Institutions.
Companion’s program: Registered companions will be invited to all official events of the Conference. Arrangements will be provided for companions interested in different activities (tours, etc.)

COMMITTEE

General Chairs

  • IEEE Co-Chair – Jacob Baal-Schem (Israel)
  • ICOHTEC Co-Chair – Yoel Bergman (Israel)

Technical Program Committee

Co-Chairs:

  • Mike Geselowitz – IEEE History Center (USA)
  • Antonio Savini, University of Pavia (Italy)

Members:

  • Eiju Matsumoto (Japan).
  • Noah Efron, Technology and Society at Bar Ilan University, Israel
  • Pierre Mounier (France}

Organizing Committee

  • Prof. Simon Litsyn – IEEE Israel Chair
  • Prof. Leo Corry – Tel-Aviv University
  • Dr. Marc T. Apter – IEEE-USA
  • Shaul Katzir – Cohn Inst. Tel-Aviv University, Israel
  • Shmuel Auster – Elta Systems, AEAI(Association Of Israel Engineers)-EEE Chair
  • Eran Socher – IEEE Israel Section – Treasurer
  • Rafi Hoyda – IEEE Israel Section

General contact: HISTELCON2015@ieee.org

Download Call in PDF format HISTELCON 2015 Call for Papers

Life Member Technical Tour 2015

The IEEE Life Member Committee has organised a technical tour, the 5th in the series, that includes visits to sites of special interest to those interested in the history of engineering and technology in Western Europe. The Tour begins in Paris on May 6th, moves on to Geneva, and ends in Munich on May 17th. It is open to all IEEE members and their partners. More details are available on the Life Member Committee website. Queries can be addressed to:
Charles Turner (c.turner@ieee.org)
(Coordinator for the 2015 IEEE Life Member Technical Tour)

IEEE GCC Conference and Exhibition, A Historic First in the Sultanate

By: Arnold N. Santos, Secretary-IEEE Oman Section

MUSCAT – History will unfold in the capital city of the Sultanate on 1-4 February, 2015 as it hosts the IEEE GCC Conference and Exhibition at Sultan Qaboos University for the first time on its 8th biennial succession.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) – Oman, a professional organization under the auspices of Oman Society of Engineers (OSE) takes great honor and pride for having been chosen to organize this momentous technical event which is considered to be the most prominent and premiere gathering of Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering professionals in the GCC region.

This conference, which has already been held and organized in other GCC states of KSA, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, aims to convene practitioners and students alike all over the world from various industries, academic and research institutions on multidisciplinary background. The key objective of this gathering is to present, discuss and review the challenges and developments confronting the dynamic world of electrical and electronics engineering. Tutorials, workshops and industrial exhibitions on the theme “Towards Sustainable Smart Solutions” will also be showcased.

The conference is supported through the generous sponsorship of major companies including Oman Electricity Transmission Company, Muscat Electricity Distribution Company, Authority for Electricity Regulations and Public Authority for Electricity & Water. H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al-Futaisi, Minister of Transport & Communications is anticipated to inaugurate and grace the event while Dr. Amer Al-Hinai, Chairman of the Authority for Electricity Regulations, is directly contributing to the conference through his active involvements in the steering and organizing committees.

Meanwhile, preparations are in full swing through the leadership of Dr. Ahmed Al-Naamany, conference chair, and ably assisted by the members of the steering and organizing committees to ensure the successful hosting of this conference.

IEEE GCC Conference and Exhibition,  A Historic First in the Sultanate
8th GCC Conference and Exhibition steering and organizing committee members from Oman and other GCC states

IEEE Authorship Workshops

In keeping with IEEE mission to foster technological innovation, IEEE has partnered with leading academic institutions in developing a series of free live authorship workshops offering advice on everything from how the IEEE publishing process works to basic writing tips and submitting a manuscript. The goal of this series is to enable engineers, faculty, researchers, authors, and industry professionals to help advance technology and their careers by enhancing their ability to get published and share their research with the scholarly community.

Each event in this series of live workshops is intended to be free to all technology professionals with an interest in learning how to publish with the IEEE.

Topics include:

  • Benefits of getting published
  • How to choose where to publish a paper
  • What editors look for in a submission
  • Why editors and reviewers reject papers
  • Aiding discovery with the right title, abstracts, and keywords
  • Paper structure and organization
  • Ethics and avoiding misconduct pitfalls
  • Authorship tools available from IEEE

For more information please see the flyers and visit: http://forms1.ieee.org/IEEE-Authorship-Workshops.html.

Milestone Dedication in Warsaw, Poland, August 5, 2014.

On August 5th 2014, the achievements by Polish mathematicians which could also be defined as a gift to the world in the time of World War II, was paid tribute to in front of the Mathematics Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, during the cutting of the “ribbon” by the IEEE President-Roberto de Marca to unveil the Milestone plaque. The writing on it reads as follows:

First Breaking of Enigma Code by the Team of Polish Cipher Bureau, 1932-1939. Polish Cipher Bureau mathematicians Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski broke the German Enigma cipher machine codes. Working with engineers from the AVA Radio Manufacturing Company they built the ‘bomba’ – the first cryptanalytic machine to break Enigma codes. Their work was a foundation of British code breaking efforts which, with later American assistance, helped to end World War II.”

The highly impressive ceremony consisted of two parts:

- International Seminar „From First Breaking of Enigma Code to Modern Cryptography” which was

organized at the prestige Senate Hall of the Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland;

- The IEEE Plaque Dedication Ceremony which took place on a square in front of the Mathematics

Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences.

Many distinguished representatives of IEEE participated in the ceremony: IEEE President J. Roberto de Marca, VP-Technical Activities Jacek M. Zurada, Director Div. IV Joseph Modelski, Region 8 Director Martin Bastiaans, R8 Director Elect Costas Stasopoulos and other IEEE members of the Poland Section with its Chair Ryszard S. Jachowicz.

The ceremony was attended by nearly 250 people, including IEEE members, inter alia Vice-President of Warsaw City Wlodzimierz Paszynski, President of Polish Academy of Sciences Michal Kleiber, President of Polish Federation of Engineering Associations – Ewa Mankiewicz-Cudny, President of Association of Polish Electrical Engineering (SEP) – Piotr Szymczak, Chairs de Affairs of Republic of France – Philippe Cerf and the First Secretary, Head of Policy Delivery Group, British Embassy Warsaw – David Wallace, as well as a significant number of high rank Polish army officers, family representatives of the awarded mathematicians and many others.

SAMSUNG CSC

Fot.1. IEEE President Roberto de Marca [left] and (clockwise) Chair of IEEE Poland Section Ryszard Jachowicz, mathematician Rejewski’s daughter Janina Sylwestrzak and Vice Mayor of Warsaw Capital City Włodzimierz Paszyński unveil the Milestone plaque honouring Polish mathematicians for breaking the German Enigma ciphering machine codes (above in the English language and below in Polish).

Photo 2.

Fot.2. IEEE President Roberto de Marca in front of the Milestone monument.

Photo 3.

Fot.3. After the Milestone dedication

from left to right: J.Zurada, R.de Marca, C. Stasopoulos, J.Modelski and M.Bastiaans

Photo 4.

Fot.4. The Milestone monument

Short history

Enigma is an electrically wired rotor machine; a sequence of ciphers is generated by the motion of rotors in the machine. It is one of several cipher machines that were developed for military use just after World War I. During the 1930s, a trio of Polish mathematicians Marian Rejewski (1905 – 1980), Henryk Zygalski (1907 – 1978), and Jerzy Różycki (1909 – 1942) resolved the German Enigma cipher machine and broke Enigma messages. Working with engineers from AVA Radio Manufacturing Company they built the “bomba” – the first cryptanalytic machine designed to attack Enigma.

Photo 5.

Fot.5. The Enigma cipher machine

The Reichsmarine of Germany began using Enigma cipher coding machines in 1926, and the Reichswehr began using it in 1928. The Polish Cipher Bureau had many successes during the Polish-Soviet War (1919 – 1921), and in the 1920s the Cipher Bureau monitored radio signals resulting from German military exercises. In 1928 the Poles were confronted by messages that – because of the randomness of letters in the messages – were thought to be generated by a cipher machine. The Intelligence Services of other countries believed after some trials that breaking of the Enigma codes was impossible.

By the end of 1932, Rejewski had determined the wiring of the rotors of the military version of Enigma. In 1932, the French gave Rejewski two German manuals that described the operation of military Enigma. He had managed to write a system of equations that modelled the permutations of the six indicators (which were used by the sending operator to transmit the message setting to the receiving operator) at the beginning of Enigma messages. In December 1932, Rejewski received from the French the setting sheets for September and October. This information allowed Rejewski to substitute for some of the unknowns in his system of equations and solve for the wiring of the rotors. The Polish codebreakers developed several techniques to determine settings. For example, Różycki developed the “clock method,” and Zygalski developed a set of perforated sheets. Two other methods resulted in the production of codebreaking machines – one machine to produce a catalogue of settings and their “characteristics” and another to determine the rotor settings. In 1934, Rejewski was able to exploit patterns, which he called characteristics, produced by the six-letter indicators at the beginning of Enigma messages.

Working with the engineers at AVA – Radio Manufacturing Company, Warsaw, one of the most famous codebreaking machines – the bomba – was produced. The six bomby (plural in Polish for “bomba”) searched through all 105,456 rotor settings for those that exhibited patterns that could be determined from the indicators after a sufficient number of messages were intercepted. As there were three rotors and three positions for rotors in Enigma, there were six possible rotor orders; therefore, six bomby were produced. In July 1939, as war with Germany loomed over Poland, the Polish codebreakers met just outside Warsaw with British and French codebreakers. During this meeting, the Poles described their achievements against Enigma. As a result of the meeting, both the British and the French received one of the Enigma doubles and information on the methods used by the Poles to solve daily keys. On September 1, 1939, Germany attacked Poland, and British codebreakers at Bletchley Park continued the attack on Enigma. British mathematicians such as Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman and engineers such as Harold “Doc” Keen and Thomas “Tommy” Flowers developed cryptanalytic machines to attack Enigma and other German ciphers. One of the machines to attack Enigma was the Turing-Welchman bombe. (IEEE Milestone, Bletchley Park, 1939 – 1945). Both the British bombe and the Polish bomba searched through all possible Enigma rotor settings for settings that produced patterns that had been noticed by the codebreakers.

The British bombe searched for patterns in Enigma messages, and the Polish bomba searched for patterns in Enigma indicators. After the United States had entered the war, US Navy mathematicians at Naval Communications in Washington, DC, designed cryptanalytic machines to attack Japanese ciphers and machines to assist the British with the attack on naval Enigma. These codebreaking machines were engineered by Joseph Desch and other engineers at the Naval Computing Machine Laboratory located at National Cash Register Company in Dayton, OH. One of the machines to attack naval Enigma was the US Navy cryptologic bombe. (IEEE Milestone, Naval Computing Machine Laboratory, 1942 – 1945).

Photo 6.

Fot.6. The IEEE Milestone plaque

TISP Workshop at SYP 2014

The IEEE Region 8 Student and Young Professional Congress took place from August 6th to August 10th in Krakow, Poland. On August 7 a Teacher-in-Service-Program Workshop was organized by Fabio Domingos and Ioannis Mousmoutis, Ad Hoc Members of the IEEE Region 8 Pre-University Works Sub-Committee.
At the beginning of the workshop Pre-University Activities and Teacher-in-Service-Program were presented and their benefits were discussed.

TISP01

Afterwards, a hands-on workshop was delivered. The participants were divided into groups of 3-4 members and they were asked to build a tennis racquet using simple materials in 45 minutes.
All the teams presented what they build and explained what they discovered about engineering by doing this activity.

TISP02

TISP03

After the hands-on activity, a comparison between TISP and TISP 2.0 was made and guidance on how to organize a successful TISP workshop was demonstrated.
The participants seemed very interested and motivated and we expect them to organize TISP workshop in their local areas soon.

IEEE R8 Pre-University Works committee
r8puw@ieee.org

How to get into Bioinformatics?

There are many times when I tell the people that I am doing a PhD in bioinformatics, they are looking at me a bit weird like they don’t even know what that means. The simplest reply that I usually give is the analysis of biological data using informatics.

Nowadays there is a vast majority of biological technologies and developments (Next Generation Sequencing technologies) to extract information (genetic data) from humans and other species. These technologies are improving and they are becoming cheaper, more and more every day. However, even if we have millions of data, if we are not able to analyze, handle and understand them, they are useless.

This is the exact point that bioinformatics, an interdisciplinary science that involves biology, informatics, genetics, mathematics and chemistry comes to solve this problem. Things in bioinformatics could be done fast compared to the wet lab experiments that could take ages to finish and even if they finish, sometimes you need to rerun them because something went wrong in the process. However, one may think that reformatting, analyzing the data and producing graphs could be a bit boring but the real fun comes when you do understand the graphs and you make the real connection with biology.

To give an example, one of the goals of population geneticists is to analyze the data (e.g. through statistics) that will provide information about specific regions in the DNA that have a story to tell us. Identifying regions and as a consequence genes and even further pathways (networks of genes) in controls (healthy people) and cases (diseased people) can help to the earlier diagnosis of a disease such as diabetes which is one of the leading diseases, the prevalence of which is increasing more and more.

From Biology -> Informatics or from Informatics -> Biology?

How to get there?

In my opinion pure bioinformaticians like me are the ones that have the real problem (gap). This is because they don’t have a deep knowledge neither in biology nor informatics. The work of a biologist can’t be completely done without the help of a (bio-) informatician or the other way around. The reason for this is the following: the biologist will produce the results in the lab, but once he has the data he is unable to analyze and interpret them. Computational modeling of a biological system or the statistical analyses of a large-scale datasets are of crucial importance to provide a more general biological overview rather than just an opinion on the specific experiment under the specific parameters, limitations and even environmental conditions of the lab.

The question or statement that is pointed out usually from students is “Bioinformatics seems really difficult! I really don’t know if I can manage”.

The main aspect that someone needs to think is what it is more on demand in the job market. Obviously the technical knowledge and expertise of a bioinformatician are the skills that are required the most, in positions both in academia and industry and most of the times with a very good salary. However, this is not a sufficient reason to follow bioinformatics. One should ask oneself what it is the reason that he would like to follow this field (a question that you will probably be asked in many interviews as well). As Galileo Gakilei said: “Passion is the genesis of genius”.

Now how you will realize that you like bioinformatics? Certainly, you can’t become passionate just from one course in the university. There are many things that you can do to help you understand this. The first and probably the easiest is to go to different conferences and seminars that will help you open your mind and see a different world. There you will have the opportunity to attend presentations from people with different backgrounds in the field of bioinformatics, each of who sees things from a little different perspective.

In the beginning of the conference you may feel that you don’t understand anything. However don’t get nervous or disappointed, this might be because the projects are too complicated with too much information. However, there is also the possibility that the speakers don’t explain their work well. Many researchers even though they are extremely intelligent, they find it amazingly difficult to describe their work to a third person. Have in mind that even if bioinformatics is an multidisciplinary field, in a presentation you need to keep as much as possible the parts of informatics, biology etc separately in order to give the opportunity to the others (informatician, biologists etc) to understand their part.

The most crucial point for you in such conferences is to meet these people, talk with them, get advice and feedback on the field: what you could follow exactly in bioinformatics (genomics, proteomics etc) according to your interests? information about well known universities and even possible scholarships for which could apply. Have in mind that fellowships and awards are things that will make your CV distinct among the million others that have applied for the same job.

There is also always google and books to get more informed about bioinformatics but it is less interesting rather than getting to know people or students that had these experiences themselves. You have fun, get informed and grow up your communicational circle, all at the same time.

What about Marie Curie?

Previously I talked about scholarships. Having the honor to be a Marie Curie ambassador, as a fellow of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and more specifically of the Innovative Training Networks (ITN)http://intercrossing.wikispaces.com/, I will talk a bit more about this. Marie-Curie scholarships named after the Polish-French researcher Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA), being the first woman that won a Nobel Prize is probably the best and the most well paid fellowship in Europe. Getting such a fellowship can be very difficult as it is a very competitive program

The goal of MSCA is to train researchers at all stages of their career, independent of nationality offering them experiences both in academy and private sectors not only on bioinformatics but training on organizational, communicational and diplomatic skills as well. The knowledge and the expertise that one will acquire from a MSCA fellowship will make him appealing and attractive in the long-term future.

I received my degree from Greece in the field of Computational and Biomedical informatics in the University of Central Greece, I was then awarded with a BBSRC fellowship to attend the Master of Research in Computational Biology in the University of York, UK and immediately after that I was awarded with the Marie Curie scholarship which will allow me to complete my doctoral in almost one year and half gaining experience both in academia (University of Joseph Fourier, Grenoble and University of St.Andrews, UK) and industry (Era7, Granada Spain).

As an IEEE member and Marie-Curie fellow, I support and encourage the students to think about bioinformatics. I am more than happy to give further advice and information from my small experience in the field

(alex.vatsiou@gmail.com

http://intercrossing.wikispaces.com/Alexandra+Vatsiouhttps://sites.google.com/site/alexvatsiou/)

Alexandra Vatsiou