M.EIC students distinguished with an E-REDES Merit Scholarship

The 2nd edition of the E-REDES Top Women Scholarship brought us good news with five students from the Master in Informatics and Computing Engineering being awarded one of the 30 scholarships.

 Ana Matilde Guedes Perez da Silva BarraCatarina Oliveira PiresEunice Juliana Freitas AmorimMargarida Assis Ferreira and Mariana Mirra Monteiro, the distinguished students, in addition to the merit scholarship worth 2000€ will have access to a Mentoring Programme with customized support from an E-REDES mentor, through which the students will learn more about the activities and opportunities offered by the energy sector.

Motivation for the sector, getting closer to the business environment, stimulating networking between mentors and E-REDES mentors, are some of the objectives of this mentoring programme offered to all the winners which runs along the academic year.

 The E-REDES Top Women Scholarship is a scholarship programme designed to reward young women graduating with master’s degrees in the fields of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, with the aim of encouraging an increase in the number of women opting for the technology sector, where gender imbalances still persist.

 “We are committed to promoting full participation and equal opportunities in our organisation, but also to supporting and extending to other technological areas,” can be read  website.

 In the 1st edition of this programme, which took place in 2022, Ana Inês Oliveira de Barros and Diana Cristina Amaral de Freitas, who have recently graduated from M.EIC, were also on the list of winners. Remember them here.

Photo: DR

DEI TALKS| “Aprendizado colaborativo em redes neuronais artificiais” by Prof. Areolino de Almeida Neto

“Any task that cannot be carried out by a single agent requires the interaction of multiple agents aligned with the solution to the problem. Teamwork usually requires coordination between the members so that there are no conflicts and the result is more efficient. In the field of artificial learning, when one element is unable to fully learn the solution to a problem, it requires the participation of other “intelligent” elements to fully learn the solution. In this way, a collaborative learning system is presented, in which intelligent agents learn to collaborate with each other in order to achieve complete learning in a self-coordinated way (without a coordinator) and without the occurrence of conflicts between the intelligent elements. Specifically, it involves inserting other neural networks or other intermediate layers into an ANN in order to collaborate with the learning already acquired and thus add new knowledge to the system.”

This is how Prof. Areolino de Almeida Neto describes his presentation entitled “Collaborative learning in artificial neural networks”, which will take place on 15 November at 14:30, room B033.

The talk will be moderated by Prof Carlos Soares (DEI).

Short Bio

Areolino de Almeida Neto holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Federal University of Maranhão (UFMA) in 1990, a Master’s degree in Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering from the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA) in 1998 and a PhD in Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering from ITA / Universität Hannover (2004). He has experience in Electrical Engineering, Mechatronics and Computer Science, with an emphasis on Mechatronic Systems and Artificial Intelligence, working mainly on the following topics: neural networks, reinforcement learning, mobile robotics and manipulator robotics. Since 2015, he has been working as Coordinator of the Aerospace Engineering WG of the Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation (SECTI) of Maranhão, Brazil. He has been a permanent member of the Postgraduate Programme in Computer Science at UFMA since 2010, which has allowed him to publish several scientific articles on neural networks and reinforcement learning, and a book on multiple self-coordinating neural networks.

DEI TALKS | “Research projects and cooperation opportunities with São Paulo – Brazil” by Prof. Alessandro Santiago dos Santos

This presentation, which will take place on November 6, at 14:30, room I-105 (DEEC), will cover the main lines of research at the Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnológicas, São Paulo, Brazil, with a focus on projects related to Smart Cities and ICTs. Opportunities for collaboration in these areas will also be explored.

The talk will be moderated by Prof. Rosaldo Rossetti (DEI).

Alessandro Santiago dos Santos, Senior Researcher at the Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnológicas of the state of São Paulo (IPT), working in Brazilian Technological Research and Development for over 20 years, with digital transformation studies and projects. He is currently a visiting researcher at the Instituto Superior Técnico of the University of Lisbon, investigating issues related to smart, resilient and sustainable cities. In Brazil, he is the Business Development Manager of IPT’s digital technologies unit; coordinator and professor of the Professional Master’s in Applied Computing at IPT, and was a member of the contingency committee for dealing with the Coronavirus in São Paulo, working on the Intelligent Monitoring System, which supported the government in dealing with the pandemic. He holds a PhD in Transport Engineering and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of São Paulo, and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Federal University of Mato Grosso. Awards, academic and business recognitions are part of his professional career, including managerial experience in companies such as SENAC, IBM and IPT. Projects, consultancy and research in areas such as: Intelligent Transport Systems, Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, Smart and Sustainable Cities. International cooperation with Europe on R&D projects in IT and Transport, as well as advising the World Economic Forum on the data policy platform at the Centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution (C4IR Brasil).”

Inter-University Programming Marathon 2023 (MIUP)

On October 21, 2023, the Inter-University Programming Marathon 2023 (MIUP) took place at the Department of Computer Engineering at the University of Coimbra. MIUP is a programming competition aimed at university students and has been held annually since 2001. It provides an excellent opportunity for students to test their problem-solving skills and, beyond the competitive aspect, MIUP also allows students and professors from Portuguese universities to get together and exchange experiences. In this competition, teams of three are challenged to solve various problems using the C, C++, Java and Python languages.

In this edition, 6 students from the Bachelor in Informatics and Computing Engineering (L.EIC) and 1 from the Master in Informatics and Computing Engineering (M.EIC) participated on the competition. Unlike in previous years, teams from the Faculty of Engineering (FEUP) and the Faculty of Sciences (FCUP) competed as University of Porto, result of the growing collaboration between DEI and DCC. There was even a mixed team and another that included an element from another faculty, ICBAS.

This year, 3 teams from the University of Porto had the privilege of achieving the distinction of reaching the top-6:
1st place – 2 students from MCC and 1 from ICBAS 🥇 gold medal
4th place – 1 student from LCC, 1 from MCC and 1 from L.EIC 🥉 bronze medal
6th place – 1 student from M.EIC and 2 from L.EIC 🥉 bronze medal

More information about MIUP 2023 can be found on the page of the event and the teams’ final results here.

MEDINFOR VI – A Medicina na Era da Informação

On October 18, 19 and 20, 2023, the International Colloquium MEDINFOR VI A Medicina na Era da Informação, a scientific meeting promoted by the University of Porto and the Faculty of Medicine of Bahia (FMB), organized by FLUP/CITCEM, the Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences (ICBAS) and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto (FMUP) was hosted by FLUP. The Colloquium was attended by renowned professors and researchers from various countries in the fields of Information Science, Health Sciences, Computer Science and Culture.

The 4 main topics of this edition – Information Management in Health Systems, Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, Scientific and Medical-Cultural Communication and Dissemination, Memory, Identity and Heritage, promoted interdisciplinarity between Medicine and Information Science, the main objective of this event.

On the second day of the meeting, *Eugénio da Costa Oliveira, Emeritus Professor at the University of Porto/ Full Professor at DEI/FEUP, participated, alongside Mariana Pais (FMUP) and Rui Sousa e Silva (FLUP), in the round tableArtificial Intelligence in Health: the impact of Large Language Models“, moderated by Ricardo Cruz Correia (FMUP).

The discussion in this and the other panels under theme II, “AI in Medicine“, sought to answer and clarify some questions about the promising application of AI in Medicine, such as: “What is the value of the doctor in this changing panorama of the information and A.I. world? “; “What is the role of AI in medicine and the ethical principles in designing algorithms?”; “What is the relevance of AI in medical information?”; “What is the correlation of images with the clinical context and their integration with the status of biomarkers, molecular information and other biological and pharmacological informational data?”, among others.

The perspective conveyed by Professor Eugénio Oliveira is included in his initial presentation and can be read here.

* Short CV

The results of THEIA validate the success of the U.Porto-Bosch scientific partnership

Bosch and the University of Porto (U.Porto) presented the results of THEIA (Automated Perception Driving) project, which aims to improve the safety of autonomous vehicles. The project was presented on September 26 at Alfândega do Porto and counted with the presence of the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Elvira Fortunato, and partner institutions.

The research carried out under THEIA focused on improving the capabilities of autonomous vehicle sensors, in particular LiDAR sensors, allowing vehicles to perceive their external environment even in adverse conditions. In addition, the project also addressed the efficiency of perception algorithms and data security.

The consortium between Bosch and U.Porto represented an investment of more than 28 million euros and involved Bosch employees and researchers from the University of Porto at the Faculty of Engineering (DEEC and DEI) and the Faculty of Sciences (DCC). DEI researchers were involved in tasks related to accurate and efficient perception, developing methods based on computer vision and artificial intelligence. This collaboration has also resulted in the publication of several scientific papers and master’s dissertations by students from M.EIC (Master in Informatics and Computing Engineering) and other programs in which DEI is involved.

Photo: U.Porto

U.Porto students – the grand winners of the Sogrape Impact Hack

“Reinventing the wine sector, through innovation, for a positive impact!” was the motto of the first edition of the Sogrape Impact Hack, a Hackaton organised by Sogrape that took place at Casa Ferreirinha on September 21st.

There were 12 hours of competition in which the 110 participants were divided into teams of 4 to 6 and, through collective intelligence and expert mentoring, came up with “concrete and creative solutions with the aim of contributing to the construction of a more impactful and sustainable world, focused on attracting new consumers, creating new products and implementing sustainable practices”.

The three winning teams, formed by students from the University of Porto, stood out for the innovative solutions they presented and were awarded a cash prize, 20% of which went to non-profit, non-governmental organisations selected by the teams themselves.

The “Techrocks” team, made up of Francisca Osório, Filipe Ferreira, Mário Branco (L.EIC) and Silvia Rocha (Alumna M.EIC), won the first place with their idea for an application that allows personalised recommendations using AI algorithms.

The “S4U” team took 2nd place with “Iniciativa Zero”, which focussed on creating a brand of innovative, low-alcohol products aimed at younger consumers. The team included Inês Arinto, João Gomes, Pedro Pinheiro and Matilde Ribeiro, former and current students on the Management Master’s programme at the Faculty of Economics.

“For the WINe”, a team made up of Dinis Sousa (M.EIC), Gonçalo Barros, Maria Helena Matos, Miguel Tomás Rodrigues (L.EIC) and Rodrigo Sousa, came 3rd with an app that rewards customers with discounts, prizes and privileged access to new products by sharing information and purchase history.

With the success of this first edition stays the promise of a return next year.

Photo: Sogrape

Sofia Vieira Pinto at the 10th edition of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum

The 10th Heidelberg Laureate Forum took place in Germany September 24-29, bringing together some of the brightest minds in mathematics and computer science. At this conference, 200 carefully selected young researchers in mathematics and computer science, spend a week interacting with the laureates of these disciplines: recipients of the Abel Prize, ACM A.M. Turing Award, ACM Prize in Computing, Fields Medal, IMU Abacus Medal and Nevanlinna Prize. Established in 2013, the HLF is annually organized by the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF).

With a blend of scientific and social program elements, the HLF platform is especially designed to initiate exchange among the participants. Laureates give lectures on subjects of their choosing which are primarily directed at the participating young scientists. Those lectures should be the starting point of intensive discussions between the laureates and the young researchers during the forum. This means that the Forum is not a classical scientific conference but a networking event meant to motivate and inspire the next generation of scientists. Providing a space for ideas to take shape and evolve is what defines the Forum’s underlying purpose.

Among these young researchers we find Sofia Vieira Pinto, a third-year L.EIC student, who was selected to take part in this fervent meeting. “It was undoubtedly one of the most memorable weeks of my career so far”, tells us Sofia upon her return to FEUP. “There’s no way to describe in mere words all the contacts, conversations and even friendships that took place over the course of these days. I had the opportunity to make contact with numerous award-winners and listen to the life stories of those who already have many pages to tell. It was a period of learning, development and personal fulfilment such as I’ve never experienced. It still feels like a dream come true”, concludes our promising student.

PhD Defense in Informatics Engineering: ”Argumentation mining from text using semantic approaches”

Gil Filipe da Rocha

Date, Time and Place
October 2, 14:00, Room Professor Joaquim Sarmento (G129), DECFEUP

President of the Jury
Rui Filipe Lima Maranhão de Abreu, PhD, Full Professor, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto

Hugo Ricardo Gonçalo Oliveira, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Coimbra;
Bruno Emanuel da Graça Martins, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa;
Eugénio da Costa Oliveira, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Department of Informatics Engineering, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto;
Sérgio Sobral Nunes, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Informatics Engineering, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto;
Henrique Daniel de Avelar Lopes Cardoso, PhD, Department of Informatics Engineering, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto (Supervisor).

“The aim of argumentation mining is to automatically detect, identify and extract arguments from natural language text. The end goal is to provide a structured representation of the arguments (argument diagrams) that can be automated and analyzed in many different ways. Argumentation is a rhetorical act that has been studied for centuries and has been influenced by different research fields such as philosophy, linguistics, computer science, and artificial intelligence. In general, arguments are justifiable positions where pieces of evidence (premises) are offered in support of a claim (conclusion). Some characteristics of natural language text and, more specifically, of argumentation exposition make argumentation mining a complex task. Indeed, the ambiguity of natural language text, the assumption of commonsense reasoning and implicit knowledge, different writing styles, and the inherent complexity of argument diagrams are some of the challenges that argumentation mining systems have to overcome. Addressing these challenges, especially across different languages and text genres, demands robust argumentation mining systems. In this thesis, we conduct research toward the development of a robust computational system that can be employed to detect, identify, and extract argumentative content across different languages and text genres. Our vision is to deploy such a system to address argumentation mining in less-resourced languages (such as Portuguese) and in text genres that feature high-variability of argument exposition profiles (such as opinion articles). To this end, we combine techniques from computational linguistics and machine learning with knowledge from argument structure and rhetoric theories to automatically identify argumentative reasoning in natural language texts. To study argumentation mining in a less-resourced language and a challenging text genre, we conduct an annotation study to create a corpus annotated with arguments from opinion articles written in Portuguese. To address the challenging argumentation mining task, we propose a relation-based approach and context-aware models motivated by argumentation theory foundations and tailored to overcome some of the challenges of argument exposition. To tackle this task in a less-resourced language, we investigate how cross-language learning techniques can be employed to explore annotated resources from different languages and improve the performance of machine learning models in a target language. Finally, to improve the robustness of argumentation mining systems across different genres, we leverage recent advancements in language modeling capabilities and propose a cross-genre approach for argumentation mining.”

INForum 2023 – September 7/8 @FEUP

The 2023 edition of INForum, now in its 14th edition, will be held at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto on September 7 and 8, with the local organization by Jácome Cunha, João Paulo Fernandes, João Pascoal Faria and Rui Maranhão, Professors at DEI, and João Saraiva from the University of Minho.

Bringing together the national community, INForum is a privileged place for the dissemination, discussion and recognition of scientific work and innovation and technological advances in Computer Science. INForum thus offers a specialised stage to promote, on the one hand, the exchange of knowledge and experience between academia and industry and, on the other hand, the debut of young researchers looking for dissemination, constructive criticism and encouragement of their work. INForum is therefore a national event for sharing and strengthening community spirit.

Computer Science is a consolidated area of Research and Development in Portugal, supported by a network of internationally recognised research centres and the offer of undergraduate and postgraduate courses by practically all Portuguese higher education institutions. It is also an area in which several Portuguese companies present R&D results of international relevance.

INForum is organised in thematic sessions on topics proposed by the community and selected by the organisation. The topics have their own Programme Committees (PC), which liaise with the Chairs of the Programme Committee in the processes of organising the sessions (call for submissions, review and selection of papers, publication of proceedings, etc.) in order to take advantage of a single support infrastructure and guarantee the coherence of the event.

This edition will also feature keynotes from Cristina Videira Lopes (Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Irvine) and Pedro Saleiro (Senior Director of AI Research at Feedzai).

* O Fim da Programação (como a conhecemos)

“Cristina (Crista) Lopes é Chancellor’s Professor na School of Information and Computer Sciences at University of California, Irvine, com interesses de investigação em Linguagens de Programação, Engenharia de Software e Ambientes Virtuais Distribuídos. É IEEE Fellow e ACM Distinguished Scientist. Ela é a vencedora do Prêmio Pizzigati de 2016 para Software de Interesse Público pelo seu trabalho na plataforma de mundo virtual OpenSimulator. O seu livro ‘Exercises in Programming Style’ recebeu críticas excelentes, incluindo ter sido escolhido como ‘Livro Notável’ pelas revisões do ACM Best of Computing.”

** Innovating from within: AI Research at Feedzai

“Pedro Saleiro is Senior Director of Research at Feedzai where he heads the AI research group. Before joining Feedzai in 2019, Pedro did a postdoc in Fair Machine Learning at the University of Chicago and he was a research data scientist at the Center for Data Science and Public Policy working with Rayid Ghani. During his time at UChicago, he co-developed Aequitas, the first open-source library to audit bias and fairness of decision-making systems. Pedro holds a PhD in Machine Learning from University of Porto.”

The conference programme can be found here.