San Diego, Sao Paulo and Sicily: all in a year’s PhD studies!


By Spencer Thomas


May 2012 – Computational Intelligence in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (CIBCB)

I presented my work on a possible mechanism for biological evolution using gene regulatory networks and evolutionary algorithms. The conference was in San Diego, California and the work was published in the conference proceedings:

Presentations were held in three different venues: two boats (see picture) and a conference room in the hotel where the conference was held. After the conference I spent some time travelling around San Diego and LA as it was my first visit to the west coast of America.

September 2012 – Parallel Problem Solving in Nature (PPSN)

I presented my current research, and presented on behalf of Tameera Rahman, at a workshop on biological modelling at the PPSN conference. The conference was in Sicily, one of the most beautiful places I have been to, and was a great place to share ideas and network with people also modelling biological systems. At the conference, I was able to see the local sights, which included a Greek theatre and a historic market town, and eat some fantastic food.

 October 2012 – São Paulo School of Advanced Science on e-Science for Bioenergy Research (SPSAS)

Wissam Albukhanajer and I received full funding (flights, accommodation and sustenance) to attend the SPSAS programme in Brazil. The school was a series of tutorials and workshops on modelling and analysis of large data, as well as some of the issues we will face in the future from vast data sets. The participants all gave brief presentations on their research so the school was also great for networking with other researchers from various backgrounds including computer science, biology, chemistry, engineering and mathematics. Ricardo Cerri, who returned to Brazil earlier in the year also attended, so he was able to show us some Brazilian culture and dancing. The school was very insightful and is worthwhile for networking opportunities. I would strongly advise anyone to apply to future schools they have.

A few snapshots from those trips can be found below.