ECVP 2019 – European Conference on Visual Perception

ECVP 2019 – European Conference on Visual Perception

This year the ECVP will be welcoming DyViTo ESRs to present their findings. There will be oral presentations, posters and a chance to network with peers from different disciplines.

The European Conference on Visual Perception is an annual event, centring on the field of human visual perception. This includes disciplines like Psychology, Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences. With a strong emphasis on student and young researcher participation the conference, which has been held each year since 1978, happens in a different European location every year.

This year our DyViTo researchers will be joining the conference hosted by KU Leuven.

KU Leuven. Photo credit: https://www.kuleuven.be

KU Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) is a research university with a strong tradition in perception, dating back to Armand Thiéry (who started the Laboratory of Experimental Psychology in 1892, after obtaining his PhD with Wundt in Leipzig) and Albert Michotte (1881-1965), whose pioneering work on the perception of causality is still highly influential. In the present day, perception and vision-related research is conducted in many disciplines (including psychology, neurosciences, biology, computer vision, computer graphics, light and light technology and sports and rehabilitation), addressing fundamental questions as well as applications.  This broad range will be reflected in the scientific program (12 symposia, talks and poster presentations). In addition, there will be a tutorial program for young researchers, two excellent keynotes, a demo night, and a historical exhibition. The social program includes an opening reception, a conference dinner and a conference party.

Spotlight – University of Zaragoza

One of the oldest universities in Spain, the University of Zaragoza campus is divided into five locations across the historic Zaragoza, the capital of Aragon. While the city is famous for its historic sights and festivals like the annual Fiestas del Pilar, the University of Zaragoza is well known for their dedication to research and development.

Founded in 1542, the University does have its roots dating all the way back to the 7th century. Boasting a total of about 40,000 and fields ranging from foreign language to nanotechnologies, the University is highly regarded amongst Spanish, European and International Universities.

University of Zaragoza (Photo credit: University of Zaragoza
http://wzar.unizar.es )

Notable alumni include Jose Marti, poet and Cuban national hero and Santiago Ramón y Cajal, who is widely considered to be a forerunner of modern neuroscience.

The beautiful and unpronounceable Schloss Rauischholzhausen

The conference hotel of Giessen University

Schloß Rauischholzhausen

Surrounded by 32 hectares of manicured lawns, woodland and running water, this conference center is like no other. The park is designed in the English style and contains almost 300 different types of trees. Two creeks run through the park and form several ponds connected by artificial cascading waterfalls. Sculptures including a Lithuanian princess, a female slave, a virgin, and a tired rambler may be found between groups of trees.

View of the castle from the gardens

The castle of Rauischholzhausen was designed by the architect Carl Schaefer, a student of Gottlieb Ungewitter, in the style of Klein-Potsdam. The construction lasted from 1871 to 1878 and the castle was lavishly decorated. Inside and out, you are bound to come across wonderful and elaborate details.

The DyViTo network meeting is well and truly underway, with talks and poster presentations scheduled for today as well as an opportunity for everyone to network.

The view of the pond and castle from the grounds

DyViTo Day 2 – A Day at the Museum

Day 2 saw us being welcomed by the Science and Media Museum, promising a full day of expert training and wondrous science. 

The outside of the Science and Media Museum

As soon as you enter the space you know that you will be in for a day of adventure. The space is expertly renovated to welcome you into the marvelous world of science and media. I say renovated not built because the original building was not conceived as a museum space. The 1960’s the space was envisioned to be a cinema. Even though the museum has undergone many name changes and it looks fairly different now, the cinema areas are still there. They even had the first IMAX cinema in Europe.  

Our day started with a warm welcome from Jo Quinton-Tulloch, Director at National Science and Media Museum. As part of the Science Museum Group, who are DyViTo partners, they are the worlds most significant group devoted to science. 

Jo Quinton-Tulloch welcoming the DyViTo team to the Science and Media Museum

Of course, we couldn’t go the Science and Media Museum without spending some time in the Wonderlab. Not enough time, if you ask me, but we had a schedule to keep. We even had the opportunity to observe the museum staff in action: we got to sit in on a school visit at the Wonderlab Studio. Not only was Liz, the presenter-extraordinaire, inspiring and energetic but she was able to keep the children engaged throughout.

Having air canons helped as well.

Some of the DyViTo team learning about air canons in the Wonderlab Studio

Alas, in no time at all we had to leave the Wonderlab. However, the museum staff had one more trick up their sleeve.

We had the privilege of taking a peak at some of the items in the museum storage. From the camera that was used to film the iconic Bohemian Rhapsody intro, to the Daily Herald archives and rows upon rows of classic cameras, everywhere you looked there was something fascinating. Our expert guides made sure we understood the innovative nature and, in some cases, the breakthrough designs that helped shape the world of media and photography we now know.

Three photos including a selection of cameras kept in the storage room, the DyViTo team getting a tour and the camera used to film the into of Bohemian Rhapsody

It was not all fun and games, though. We heard about the work that the museum does in order to engage the community in Bradford. John Darnbrough, Learning Programmes Developer, spoke about the various outreach work that the museum undertakes. The Family Programme alone can have over 30 thousand visitors across the event. 

John Darnbrough talking about the Family Programme at the Science and Media Museum

Robin Dark, Partnership and Learning Projects Manager, spoke about the Bradford Science Festival. Their approach to taking the science outside of the museum to Broadway Shopping Center and Centenary Square means that learning has never been more accessible. As Jo Quinton-Tulloch put it “We don’t lecture, we inform and inspire”.

Robin Dark talking about the Bradford Science Festival

Last, but by no means least, Professor Candy Rowe was kind enough to give a talk about Gender and Diversity in Research. Coming all the way from Newcastle University she was able to start a very spirited conversation around the theme of “Why should we care about equality, diversity and inclusion”. 

Professor Candy Rowe doing a talk on Gender and Diversity in Research

You will agree that Day 2 was intense. There was nothing left to do but blow off some steam with the quintessential yule-tide pastime, Christmas crackers.  The Midland Hotel was kind enough to host us for dinner over a festive menu and cracking crackers. Pardon the pun. 

The DyViTo team at dinner at The Midland Hotel

DyViTo Day 1 – Welcome to the University of Bradford

Our eagerly anticipated week has begun!

Our guests have been coming in from across our network, some have come from Germany while others from Spain and Netherlands. This week marks the first meeting for most of the Early Stage Researchers, their Supervisors and our Partners.  

Having almost everyone from across the DyViTo project in one room really made it clear just what a great team of passionate and driven individuals we have working with us.

It was also the perfect opportunity to put some faces to the email address! 

Even though we have a lot to cover this week, we tried not to overload anyone with information on their very first day. Professor Marina Bloj started the day with a talk about DyViTo while Dr Andrew Logan, 
Lecturer in Optometry, spoke passionately about Open Access.  

Dr Andrew Logan giving a talk about Open Access at the University of Bradford.

Even though Day 1 did set a tone for the rest of the week, which will include training, seminars and talks, we did not forget that this is also an opportunity to introduce everyone to the city of Bradford. Ans this can only mean one thing. Curry!

Bradford is considered by many to be the ‘Curry Capital of Britain‘, a title they have won six times between 2011 and 2016. You cannot come to Bradford and not try a curry. Are you in the mood for a Pakistani or a Kashmiri take? Will it be a tikka masala or a rogan josh? This is one of those moments that may put you in a tailspin. Thankfully, Omar Khans came to the rescue. They were able to organise a banquet menu that introduced us to some of the most famous, an delicious, Asian dishes. Team building and networking is definitely better over expertly prepared curry. And when the table goes quiet, you know that the food is good. 

The DyViTo team having their first taste of the famous Bradford curry at Omar Khan’s