Outreach Events

The UT Austin|Portugal Program offers events throughout the year which connect our research and educational activities to the broader public.

To keep up with our offerings, please see our calendar or subscribe to our newsletter.

Digital Media - Advanced Computing - Mathematics

Digital Media Events

Digital Media program events attract a variety of participants from around the world including industry representatives, members of the local art and music communities, media activists, and scholars. These events promote interaction and collaboration on local and international levels, fostering new relationships and strengthening existing communities of interest. Two primary examples are the International School on Digital Transformation and the Future Places digital media festival.

International School on Digital Transformation

The Gary Chapman International School on Digital Transformation is an immersive, weeklong residential school that brings together emerging and established scholars, entrepreneurs, social activists, and other professionals to explore ideas about cutting-edge technologies useful for civil society. The University of Porto hosted ISDT from 2009-2011, drawing attendees from over 20 countries on six continents, including Canada, the U.K., Brazil, Egypt, Iceland, and India as well as the US and Portugal, with between 45-60 participants every year. Several research and activism projects have grown out of these diverse international meetings.

ISDT has explored digital media in a variety of contexts, including

  • Democratic transformations of society
  • Promotion of grassroots civic activities
  • Prospects for digital communication in developing regions
  • “Open cities” and municipal participation
  • Information access and open civic discourse
  • Internet content regulation and the public’s right to information

The program has featured a broad range of distinguished speakers including Katrin Verclas of MobileActive, an international organization focused on the use of mobile phones and community organization; Micah Sifry, co-founder of the Personal Democracy Forum; social networking researcher Jorge Martins Rosa of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa; and privacy activist Jillian York of the Electronic Freedom Foundation. A complete list of the School’s faculty and areas of interest may be found on www.digitaltransformationschool.org.

Future Places

Since 2008, the Future Places digital media festival in Porto has focused on digital media and local cultures, examining how different forms of digital media can strengthen and reinvigorate, providing new avenues for cultural production, community-building, and participation. The festival has benefited from the institutional participation of over 20 universities across Portugal in addition to support and sponsorship from numerous civic and cultural organizations and private media companies; it is a highly collaborative effort. Over the last five years, the festival has hosted academic panels, concerts, digital art exhibits, community-driven art projects, and international digital media competitions that have attracted artists from around the world.

Typically lasting for a few days each October, Future Places has featured a number of internationally-renowned speakers including media expert Siva Vaidhyanathan of the University of Virginia, author of The Googlization of Everything; free culture advocate and media scholar Elizabeth Stark of Stanford University; Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, co-founder of BitTorrent indexing site The Pirate Bay; and, most recently, members of the experimental music and copyright activist group Negativland. Speakers have addressed a wide range of topics over the years including copyright and international law, how digital media has affected music production, audio sampling and the creation of original works, free culture, and the challenges global media technologies can pose to local cultures.

In addition to attending these highly interactive talks and panels, Future Places attendees have the opportunity to participate in hands-on technical workshops and “Citizen Labs”—participant-driven, locally focused projects that have resulted in audio recordings, videos, and live cultural interventions around the city. Technical workshop topics have included designing interfaces for mobile devices, Arduino and physical computing, 3D media creation, experimental animation, and storytelling through location-aware mobile devices.

For more information about Future Places, please go to www.futureplaces.org.

Digital Media Summer Institute

The Digital Media Summer Institute is an annual event that takes UT Austin faculty to Lisbon or Porto to teach intensive graduate-level credit courses for advanced students and industry professionals. In the past several years, course topics have included:

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Experimental Animation
  • Researching Digital Media Users (Research Methods)
  • Sound for Film
  • Interactive Music
  • Online Journalism
  • Digital Documentary Production

Course ratings are consistently high—in 2012, averaging 4.8 out of 5--as students report the classes help them both academically and professionally.

Also in summer 2012, two UT Austin production faculty members led intensive scriptwriting classes at Academy RTP, a Rádio e Televisão de Portugal transmedia program that gives young interns and professionals the opportunity to develop and distribute their projects with their peers and take workshops conducted by a range of media experts.

Advanced Computing Events

The advanced computing area also offers a number of public events throughout the year to provide training opportunities for both industry professionals and researchers. Representative events include the following.

The January 2011 Winter Advanced Computing Seminar included sessions on parallelism for audiences of different backgrounds, from general software developers through specialists.

The June 2010 Summer School in e-Science with Many-Core CPU/GPU Processors was the first course in Europe given by NVIDIA senior members David Kirk and Michael Garland and by Wen-mei W. Hwu of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The June 2009 CoLab Advanced Seminar on Multicore Platforms included topics ranging from architectural and programmability issues to parallel scientific computing.

The October 2008 Functionally Graded Materials Workshop featured keynote speaker Jim Chelikowsky of UT Austin and launched a national/international network of researchers applying advanced computing to this topic in materials science.

TACC Spring Schools

The Texas Advanced Computing Center coordinates Spring Schools in Portugal for computational scientists seeking to broaden their skill sets. In 2009, TACC held two of these spring schools, one at the University of Porto and one at the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon. These spring schools consist of a series of workshops on a variety of topics including:

  • Introduction to Parallel Computing
  • Ranger Hardware Overview and User Environment
  • Advanced MPI programming
  • Optimization and Performance Engineering for Scientific applications
  • MPI Programming
  • Scalability Performance
  • Advanced visualization techniques

Mathematics Events

Like Advanced Computing, the Mathematics program area also offers intensive programs for advanced students as well as workshops on a variety of topics. The intensive programs included the Postdoctoral Academy in Mathematics and Mathematics Summer School in Financial Mathematics. Recent workshops in Portugal and Austin have dealt with topics such as Kinetics & Statistical Methods for Complex Particle Systems and Imaging, Modeling & Visualization in Multiscale Biology.

Postdoctoral Academy in Mathematics

The Academy brought together postdocs from the Mathematics programs of both the Carnegie Mellon|Portugal and UT Austin|Portugal partnerships, for a two-day event to address the theme Applied Analysis and Partial Differential Equations. S peakers included awardwinning mathemeticians Luis Cafarelli from UT Austin and Panagiotis Souganidis from the University of Chicago. 

Mathematics Summer School in Financial Mathematics

A two week program on financial mathematics was provided for advanced undergraduate and first year graduate students from Portuguese universities, to prepare them for the follow-on advanced workshop. This summer school took place at The University of Texas at Austin with financial support from the National S cience Foundation for US attendees and from the CoLab program for Portuguese attendees.