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.

DyViTo First Advanced Training Course

The first in a series of advanced DyViTo training courses was held from 11-14 March in the beautiful Schloss Rauischholzhausen near Marburg, Germany.

Schloss Rauischholzhausen

The goal of these workshops is to train ESRs and to allow them to network with experts in the field as well as build relationships with other DyViTo members and partners. The workshop included 15 high level talks covering the following subjects under the umbrella of material perception:

  • multisensory integration
  • haptics
  • machine learning
  • perception of color and light
  • computer generated graphics
  • Bayesian modeling
  • analysis of industrial coatings
  • neural mechanisms and brain imaging
Keynote presentation by Prof. Roberta Klatzky on Perception and Rendering of Material Properties

Poster Presentations

Evening poster sessions gave ESRs and external attendees the opportunity to share what they have been working on over the past few months and to develop their communicative skills.  

Networking skills

To the credit of organizers, less formal evening sessions were included so as to allow for a more casual flow of ideas and an opportunity to network.  

Soft skills networking session

A study of sound

The event also included an immersive acoustic experience as all workshop guests and speakers were invited to experiment with a range of musical and audio equipment.

A light show during the acoustic experience workshop

Guided tour of Landgrafenschloss Marburg (Landgrave Palace)

On Day 3, guests were invited to attend a tour of Landgrave Palace which dates back to the 11th century. Today the palace functions as a museum open to the general public.

Photo taken by Hydro sourced from Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D

All in all, the workshop was a major success thanks to all the speakers and the efforts of Jacob Cheesman and Müge Cavdan who organized everything.

Blog author: Sina Mehraeen

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

Spotlight – University of Giessen

Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) is one of the oldest universities in the German-speaking part of Europe. JLU, one of the largest research universities in the State of Hessen, was founded in 1607.The university is named after Justus von Liebig who is the inventor of artificial fertilizer, the founder of agricultural chemistry, and the most famous faculty member. JLU attracts students with its state-of art facilities and long history. Some of the well-known professors are physician Georg Haas, theologian Adolf von Harnack, gestalt psychologist Kurt Koffka, and physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen.

Photograph of Psychology and Sports Science Faculty- JLU Giessen (Photo credit JLU Giessen)

Department of General Psychology represent DyVito Project with two sub-projects. Our department comprises of more than sixty researchers and four different research team in perception (action and perception, brain and action, material perception, and color perception). You can find more information about our research group here and our publications from 2003 to 2018 here.

The DyVito Project at JLU:  

Project 1: perception of high gloss materials

Supervisor, Professor Roland Fleming, Professor Karl Gegenfurtner, early stage researcher Jacob Cheeseman

Project 2: visuo-haptic perception of softness

Supervisor, Dr. Katja Doerschner, Professor Knut Drewing, early stage researcher Müge Cavdan

Blog author: Müge Cavdan

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