ETU “LETI”: Science & Fauna: LETI Hosted a School on Animal-Centered Computing

More than 250 students from universities in Russia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, New Zealand, UK, China, Israel, Austria, Norway, Estonia, Sweden, Japan, USA, and India participated in the second international online summer school on Animal-Centered Computing from July 19-22.

Anastasia Minina, Vice-Rector for International Affairs at LETI, opened the online school.

“Combining animal science and computer technology is something that is already being done today at LETI together with partners from around the world. For the second year, we are holding the Animal-Centered Computing school, attracting a large number of participants and partners. Now we are designing a new master’s program, and each of you is already a co-developer. I am sure that you will have an interesting three days of collaborations and the prospect of becoming a student of the first networked master’s program Animal Data Science. Have a productive event, and we look forward to seeing you at the First Electrical University!”

Anastasia Minina, Vice-Rector for International Affairs at LETI
The participants were also welcomed by Rami Aharoni, Director of Engineering and Advanced Technology Research at the Ministry of Science and Technology of Israel. He noted that the Ministry’s goals are the development of science and knowledge, sustainable growth, and cooperation. “This event certainly lives up to our expectations in this respect, demonstrating scientific achievements and many practical results,” emphasized Rami Aharoni.

“You seem to have managed to combine two of my favorite things in your research – animals and technology. It is as close to heaven on Earth as it can get. I envy you. We are happy to see such important advances in animal technology and how you have progressed in the last couple of years. We are eager to promote academic research for potential practical applications. There are three more days of presentations and speeches awaiting you, and I believe this will lead to new ideas, further research, and collaboration. We can only hope that the third International Summer School on Animal-Centered Computing will be held in person so that we can all meet and collaborate in an even more enjoyable atmosphere.”

Rami Aharoni, Director of Engineering and Advanced Technology Research at the Ministry of Science and Technology of Israel

Anna Zamansky, the scientific director of the program, Associate Professor of the Department of Information Systems at the University of Haifa (Israel), told about the prospects for joint research of the school participants: “The main goal of our meeting is an opportunity to establish contacts for all researchers from various fields, who are interested in animal emotions and their analysis. With people from so many different disciplines joining us, this will be a great opportunity. I think we can become a vibrant community with a lot of collaborations.”

The summer school program had seven modules focused on modern technologies for controlling animal behavior and improving animal welfare and well-being. Emotional state recognition was a special theme this year.

The developers and teachers of the school were representatives of the University of Haifa (Israel), University of Bologna (Italy), Northumbria University (UK), University of Salford (UK), Imperial College London (UK), Georgia Tech (USA), North Carolina State University (USA), University of Kyoto (Japan), etc.

“I already had some ideas before school, but after the lectures, I got a lot more ideas and thoughts. I learned a lot, and hopefully, I will be able to teach myself someday.”

Yon Alexandre Raileanu, a participant of the school on Animal-Centered Computing from Hebrew University (Jerusalem, Israel)

During the summer school, Dmitry Kaplun, Associate Professor of the Department of Automation and Control Processes at LETI, a head of the program, presented the first online master’s program Animal Data Science.

“The school received a lot of positive feedback from students and teachers. The number of its participants has increased by more than 3.5 times compared to last year. That gives us confidence that we will soon successfully launch the first online network master’s program on Animal Data Science dedicated to the in-depth study of research areas centered around the design and development of analytical and computational systems for animals.”

Dmitry Kaplun, Associate Professor of the Department of Automation and Control Processes at LETI
LETI’s partners in the master’s program will be universities in Israel, the UK, Germany, and Italy.

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