Category Archives: Summer Schools

3rd Summer School - Creativity and Evolution

Lake Como Summer SchoolThe third ESSENCE Summer School on the subject of Creativity and Evolution (in games, language, robots, life and art) will run from Monday September 5th until Friday September 9th, 2016. The School will be held at Villa del Grumello, at the borders of lake Como (Italy).

The school will feature a combination of plenary lectures and hands-on ateliers. The plenary lectures will be delivered by international experts in the domains of artificial intelligence, linguistics, evolutionary biology and complex systems science. The four parallel ateliers will take place in smaller groups, in which the participants will acquire the skills to explore novel methods for studying creativity and evolution.

The School is primarily of interest to PhD students, but the School is also open to undergraduate/postgraduate students and researchers with an interest in the subject area. The application is closed now.

About the Summer School

Creativity is the ability to come up with a novel solution to a non-trivial problem. We see creativity in all domains of human knowledge, not only in the arts where it is clearly manifested, but also in science, engineering, economics and business. Can we develop scientific models of creativity that might inspire all of us to be more creative or foster more creativity in organisations? Can we develop artificial systems that exhibit some form of creativity? How can we stimulate creativity in humans?

Psychologists traditionally draw on observations of human creativity to develop and test theories. This remains a fruitful approach, but lately, new methods have lead to exciting breakthroughs. One approach uses the power of the web to stimulate creativity in large groups and then studies how the resulting collective dynamics leads to more creative problem solving using the techniques of complex systems science.

Another novel method uses computer simulations of software agents playing language games with each other. The agents are given software components which invent new concepts, new words, compositional semantics and new grammatical constructions. This has already lead to highly intriguing, concrete and testable models of language creativity. A third approach explores the new opportunities given by more powerful and cheaper sensors, actuators and processors, as well as 3d-printing, to boost the development of evolutionary robotics.

In nature, the most creative process is undoubtly evolution by natural selection. Although this can explain the survival of the fittest there is still a lack to understand the 'arrival of the fittest', i.e. by what mechanisms species can find solutions to the survival problems they face, without an intelligent designer. Exciting new developments have been happening lately in biology and they suggest yet another method to study creativity. Finally, an approach has recently been developed to apply this evolutionary dynamics to understand better the brain processes underlying creativity, particularly insight problem solving.

This summerschool, a successor to earlier very successful schools held in Erice (2006, 2007) and Cortona (2009, 2013), brings together researchers in complex systems science, biology, computer science,  and linguistics. The school will be a combination of lectures by international experts and ateliers where participants acquire the skills to explore one of the novel methods for studying creativity. The scientific and engineering tracks are augmented with tracks in which participants can exercise their creativity in the artistic domain.

About ESSENCE

ESSENCE is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded under the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme (agreement no. 607062) that runs from November 2013 to October 2017. It is a four-year research training network that will build a European research base for the study of evolving semantic in natural and artificial communication. ESSENCE investigates how meaning emerges and evolves through communication among intelligent systems. We develop methods that enable software agents, sensors, and robots to autonomously negotiate meaning among themselves. Our methods are inspired by the capabilities of humans to understand each other despite differences in their individual viewpoints.

The network supports 15 young scientists at the doctoral and post-doctoral levels who investigate different aspects of the overall research theme in close collaboration with industry and a number of leading academic institutions across Europe. The fellows are supervised by leading experts from at least two institutions. They spend extended periods of time visiting other institutions within the network, including secondments with industrial and governmental organisations.

In addition to scientific training, which includes work on doctoral theses, publications, and participation in conferences and workshops, the network provides training in a broad range of transferable skills, such as project management, technical writing, and entrepreneurship. ESSENCE features an extensive programme of training, dissemination, and outreach events.

2nd ESSENCE Summer School on Evolving Semantic Systems

Edinburgh CastleThe ESSENCE Summer School on the subject of Evolving Semantic Systems will run from Monday 24th August until Friday 28th August, 2015. The Summer School will be held at the School of Informatics of the University of Edinburgh and will take place at the Informatics Forum in central Edinburgh.

The School is primarily of interest to PhD students, but the School is also open to undergraduate/postgraduate students and researchers with an interest in the subject area. Tutorials and lectures will be delivered by internationally renowned speakers who are experts in various areas related to the evolution of meaning, from semantic technologies to natural language processing, language evolution and agent-based systems.

For registration details, please see our registration page. A number of bursaries will be offered to cover registration and/or accommodation and subsistence, on the basis of applicants' CVs and motivation letters, which should also explain whether additional funding is available from other sources to cover part of the participation and/or travel cost. Bursaries may involve partial of full reimbursement of accommodation, travel cost, and other participation expenses. Applicants will be notified by 6th August. To apply, please visit the registration page. The deadline for bursary applications is 4th August 2015. Applicants will be notified in good time to make travel arrangements.

About the Summer School

The ESSENCE Summer School will feature a host of lectures, tutorials and training courses delivered by top experts in Artificial Intelligence and related fields. Themes of the Summer School include: computational linguistics; learning; ontology matching; semantic data integration; negotiation in multi-agent systems; robotics; multimedia content analysis. Please visit our Programme page for details.

About ESSENCE

ESSENCE is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded under the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme (agreement no. 607062) that runs from November 2013 to October 2017. It is a four-year research training network that will build a European research base for the study of evolving semantic in natural and artificial communication. ESSENCE investigates how meaning emerges and evolves through communication among intelligent systems. We develop methods that enable software agents, sensors, and robots to autonomously negotiate meaning among themselves. Our methods are inspired by the capabilities of humans to understand each other despite differences in their individual viewpoints.

The network supports 15 young scientists at the doctoral and post-doctoral levels who investigate different aspects of the overall research theme in close collaboration with industry and a number of leading academic institutions across Europe. The fellows are supervised by leading experts from at least two institutions. They spend extended periods of time visiting other institutions within the network, including secondments with industrial and governmental organisations.

In addition to scientific training, which includes work on doctoral theses, publications, and participation in conferences and workshops, the network provides training in a broad range of transferable skills, such as project management, technical writing, and entrepreneurship. ESSENCE features an extensive programme of training, dissemination, and outreach events.

2nd ESSENCE Summer School Registration Page

By filling in the form below, you are registering your interest in attending the School. We will contact you by email as soon as possible (or after the deadline for the bursary applications, if you apply for financial support) to confirm your registration and make arrangements for payment. Note that filling in this form neither constitutes an entitlement to attend the event, nor a legal obligation.

In case of problems, please contact us at  essence-info@inf.ed.ac.uk.

Registration Form

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The ESSENCE First Summer School was a success!

Check out the video resuming what happened at the school!

ESSENCE Autumn School - Ischia 2014

 

Moreover, all the videos of the talks delivered by the speakers (along with the slides) are available here!

Have a look at the General Report on the 1st ESSENCE Autumn School by Pavlos Andreadis!

Finally, check out the interviews page!

Stay tuned!

ESSENCE Autumn School—Payment

If you are an Autumn School student you can pay your participation fees by using the buttons below. Only upon payment can your participation be confirmed. If you were offered a bursary you still need to pay, and we will reimburse your costs after the event.

Account details for payment by bank transfer are also available upon request.


Pay the registration fee here:

Registration fee (210€)




Pay the accommodation here by choosing the length of your stay:

Three nights of full board at the hotel, in a double room shared with another Autumn School attendee (340€).
Ferry transfer from Naples to Ischia and back is included in the price.




Four nights of full board at the hotel, in a double room shared with another Autumn School attendee (425€).
Ferry transfer from Naples to Ischia and back is included in the price.




Five nights of full board at the hotel, in a double room shared with another Autumn School attendee (510€).
Ferry transfer from Naples to Ischia and back is included in the price.




Six nights of full board at the hotel, in a double room shared with another Autumn School attendee (595€).
Ferry transfer from Naples to Ischia and back is included in the price.




Seven nights of full board at the hotel, in a double room shared with another Autumn School attendee (660€).
Ferry transfer from Naples to Ischia and back is included in the price.




2nd ESSENCE Workshop—Ad Hoc Approaches to ESSENCE problems

Workshop Programme

The 2nd ESSENCE Workshop is a private event open only to ESSENCE members and invited guests.

Day 1: Thursday 30 October
14:00–15:00 Welcome and Opening of Workshop by Michael Rovatsos
15:00–15:30 Presentation of the Gender Action Plan by Fiona McNeill
15:30–16:00 Coffee Break
16:00–18:00 Cohort 1 Fellows: Poster Session and ‘Rapid Fire Talks’:
Yana Knight
Tânia Marques
Julian Schlöder
Thomas Brochhagen
Paul van Eecke
Mladjan Jovanovic
Nicola Bova

Day 1 (Thursday afternoon) of the workshop is dedicated to opening talks and very short poster presentations from ‘cohort 1’ fellows (recruited in early 2014). Cohort 1 fellows are asked to prepare a poster in advance on their respective research topics. At the workshop the posters will be exhibited in the conference room and fellows will present them in short five-minute talks.

Day 2: Friday 31 October
09:30–11:00 Cohort 2 Fellows: presentations
Aimilios Vourliotakis
Mercedes Huertas
11:00–11:30 Coffee break
11:30–13:00 Cohort 2 Fellows: presentations
Kristof Kessler
Adrian Kemo
13:00–14:00 Lunch break
14:00–15:30 Further discussions and summing up
15:30–16:00 Coffee break
16:00–17:00 Empty slot

Day 2 is dedicated to new ‘cohort 2’ fellows, recruited during Summer 2014. Fellows are asked to prepare a 15-minute talk with slides where they present their planned research topics. After each talk, around 30 more minutes will be allocated for questions and a free discussion of the plan and ideas put forward by the student, involving both seniors and fellows.

ESSENCE 1st Autumn School Registration Page

The ESSENCE Summer School registration fee is 210€. Prices for accommodation and meals are given in more detail on the Practical Information page. While it is possible in principle to choose your own accommodation, we strongly recommend staying at the School venue, which offers very good value for accommodation and full board, and also will enable to fully benefit from interaction with speakers and members of the ESSENCE community.

  • Please note that participants are responsible for their accommodation and travel expenses, unless these are covered by a bursary offered by ESSENCE.

Registration is now closed