The RIKEN AICS HPC Youth Workshop 2016, a new computational science and technology workshop for students and young researchers, took place at AICS from November 28 to 30, 2016.
Directed at helping participants improve their communication skills as well as get to know each other and form networks, the event had a strong international flavor with all presentations and discussions carried out in English. A total of 17 people attended, including PhD-holders from overseas institutions, foreign exchange students in Japan, and Japanese students and researchers.
The morning of the first day consisted of an orientation, self-introductions, and mini-lectures by AICS research team leaders. In the afternoon the participants divided into three groups, with two young AICS researchers as mentors in each group, and each participant made a presentation on their research to their own group.
The second day opened with more mini-lectures in the morning and collaborative group activities on assigned topics and discussions in the afternoon. On the last day, each group reported on their collaborative projects.
With English being used for the presentations and discussions, the whole event was a unique exercise in improving communication skills.
The participants clearly enjoyed getting to know each other and their discussions continued into the lunch breaks when group members sat together for their meals. Comments ranged from “I really enjoyed myself” to “It was hard to understand the presentations in fields different from my own,” and “I wish I could have head the presentations in other groups.”
This was a first-time event, but we plan to hold it again next year and will be sure to incorporate some of the ideas suggested by this year’s participants. We look forward to seeing many more people join us next year.