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Work started to build the new Data Science & AI Labs

1 JULY 2020 - WILL - BUILD PROGRESS

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Life for all of us has been very different for the last few months and I must admit getting to grips with these new working conditions have provided some interesting challenges. My colleagues at the university have done a fantastic job moving to complete remote working & teaching almost overnight. Supporting our students through this massive change has been a huge focus for the team over the last few months.

The good news is that we are still moving at pace with the development of the DigiTech Centre. Colchester based Cadman Construction have been appointed as main contractors for the works on the first floor of Oberon House which will be our base. We held our socially distanced early pre-stat meeting on site. Work is due to start in the middle of July with handover back to the university in November, COVID permitting.

It is said that there is nothing like a war to drive the development of technology, or at least the implementation of such. This has been no exception and I am sure many of these changes will be with us for a while, if not permanently. Whilst we all miss the interaction and buzz of the Ipswich campus, the use of video conferencing for meetings, briefings, even virtual coffee breaks have really helped keep the team spirit going.  

Audio and Video conferences do require careful management to make them effective. All meetings have the danger of being dominated by the more flamboyant personalities. This is even more so in audio and video calls, with the lack of visual cues it easy for the less confident to contribute, so it is always important to make sure that everybody has a chance to contribute.

Considering current circumstances, we have adapted our designs to ensure that the teaching areas are video-enabled, and that where possible, IT technology can be accessed remotely. We can’t extend the walls but have tried to ensure we can make the best learning environment, whatever the future has in store for us.

The DigiTech base will include two IT suites for delivery of the MSc Data Science & Artificial Intelligence launching in January ‘21’. This MSc is a postgraduate conversion degree providing opportunities to gain deep knowledge, practical skills, and meaningful expertise in data science and artificial intelligence. This is a conversion course so your undergraduate degree can be in any subject. Find out more.  

We will also have seminar and meeting rooms and importantly a community space where we can run small events and so we can encourage interaction with external companies from Adastral Park and beyond. Establishing the high-tech corridor is part of our commitment to support SME business in Norfolk & Suffolk.

Lastly, we have just made the papers… 

 

All enquiries to: digitech@uos.ac.uk

Will Pryke

University of Suffolk – DigiTech Centre

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