Impressed Minister visits Simula to kickoff Summer School
By: Christine Gulbrandsen
"Simula Research Laboratory is an impressive organization," says Iselin Nybø, during her visit to Simula today. "It's important to me to visit, not only to recognize and shed light on the work they do here, but also because I like to see for myself what they are researching. They are involved in so many interesting and exciting projects."
Nybø is no stranger to Simula. In May she visited Simula to announce cryptography funding from the national budget. Today she came to mark the start of summer school, a joint program hosted by Simula, the University of Oslo, and the University of California, San Diego. "It's a clever and impressive program, and it gives the participants an excellent arena for meeting and further developing their skills. By collaborating with other eager, highly-skilled researchers with different backgrounds, they can exchange knowledge and get new input," she says.
Moreover, Nybø highlights that the summer school is providing them with both the time and opportunity to work, discuss and research a topic in depth. "A one or two-day conference, on the contrary, would not give the researchers the same opportunity to immerse themselves in the work. So this is a great opportunity to invest in their future academic careers."
First Oslo, then San Diego
26 students from 12 different countries will participate in this year's summer school. The first two weeks of school will be conducted in Oslo, the remaining 10 days in San Diego in August. The main goal is to teach the students to solve multi-scale computational physiology.
"The summer school is an exceptional, unique program, with cutting-edge research," says professor Andrew McCulloch, who directs UCSD’s Cardiac Mechanics Research Group, during the opening session.
Nybø believes that gathering students from all over the world adds value to the program and subsequently to future research. "I believe that research collaboration across borders is a major success factor. Knowledge is international, and the summer school is about crossing barriers," she states. The Minister of Research and Higher Education continues to compliment Simula on what she calls their unusual international orientation. "The organization aims for quality, and is thus always hunting for the best people. And due to their strong international focus – and work environment – they are succeeding in attracting experts from all over the world. That ensures a unique starting point."
Nybø further claims that research is what makes the world go forward. "It's also the one thing that helps me stay hopeful regarding our ability to solve the big challenges we face."
An important contributor to innovation
In Nybø's eyes, Simula is an essential contributor to research and innovation, especially within the fields of communication systems, scientific computing and software engineering. "Simula certainly delivers on groundbreaking research. I strongly believe that Norway relies on having specialized, unique research organizations, such as Simula," she says. "We need highly-skilled research institutions capable of dealing with – and helping solve – the societal challenges we face. And the need for new solutions will in no way decrease in the future."
Aslak Tveito, Managing Director of Simula, is pleased that the Minister took time to come to Simula today. "It is very inspiring that she wants to come and see what we are doing. It is also fantastic for the students to be welcomed by a minister, that doesn't happen too often," he says. Tveito also adds that he is very grateful for the support both Nybø and the Ministry of Education have given Simula in the past years. "That is very important to us, and to our partners," he says.
- Summer School in Computational Physiology 2018.
- The fifth annual joint summer school, held by Simula Research Laboratory, the University of California, San Diego and the University of Oslo.
- First half is held in Oslo, from June 18th-29th, the second half in San Diego, from August 9th-17th.
- The core goal of the program is to promote successful research collaboration between the host institutions.
- The program includes both targeted research lectures and a practical project component.
- The summer school is open to first- or second-year PhD students and MSc students, from both host universities and third-party institutions.