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Students organise conference for their bachelor’s degree

When the international NORDTEK conference on artificial intelligence is held on 8 June, three bachelor students will be behind the scenes.

Photo of the students in the studio
Bachelor students Nora Maria Becker (left), Cecilia Kristansen, and Stian Hanssen Lande had already collaborated on several projects when they were asked to organise the NORDTEK conference.

The NORDTEK conference will be held digitally on 8 June, with over a hundred participants from 30 universities in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

“It is going to be exciting to manage this live, but there is pressure because many will be attending the event. There is a lot of new things to learn”, says Cecilia Kristiansen.
Together with fellow students Nora Maria Becker and Stian Hanssen Lande, she is in the studio at Campus Grimstad to get acquainted with the technology needed to manage a large international conference online.

The three are bachelor students in Multimedia Technology and Design at the University of Agder (UiA). They are responsible for everything during the conference, from the visual setup to the technical implementation. The conference is their bachelor thesis.

“On 8 June, we will manage everything from the studio. We will control sound and camera and switch between live broadcasts on Zoom, pre-recorded videos, and the things that will take place in the studio”, says Becker.

Priority research area at UiA

NORDTEK springs from a network of Nordic and Baltic universities that offer higher education in engineering and science. Every year, rectors, deans, students, and others from the various institutions gather for a three-day event. Due to the pandemic, the event this year is for one day and is organised online. The topic is artificial intelligence, which is often abbreviated as AI.

“Artificial intelligence is one of six prioritised research areas at UiA, and we are proud to welcome colleagues, partners and friends to talk about AI as a catalyst for co-creation and innovation”, says UiA Rector Sunniva Whittaker.

The conference is free and accessible for anybody who wants to participate. It is hosted by the Faculty of Engineering and Science.

“We look forward to the conference for many reasons. For one, I am curious to see what separates a conference created by UiA students from all other virtual conferences I have attended in the last twelve months”, says Dean of the Faculty, Michael Rygaard Hansen.

photo of students in studio

The students try out different live-streaming solutions from the studio on Campus Grimstad. Everything must be ready for the NORDTEK conference on 8 June.

Exciting programme announced

“The Nordic-Baltic region share a long history dating back to the era of the Hanseatic League. The mission of the NORDTEK network is to strengthen the advances of engineering sciences through cooperation. We do this by focusing on education, entrepreneurship, innovation, and mobility,” says Johan Tysk, vice-rector at Uppsala University and the first speaker at this year’s NORDTEK conference.

The chair of the organising committee for the conference at UiA, Professor Christian Omlin, says there will be an impressive line-up of speakers at the conference.
A representative from CERN will elaborate on the topic of AI in Big Science. Omlin also promises an educational and exciting presentation on AI and creativity from one of the top researchers at the University of Helsinki.

“The virtual NORDTEK conference will be a day of education, entertainment and excitement”, concludes Omlin.

First meeting this year

The three students in the studio on Campus Grimstad are also very excited. When they meet to test cameras and microphones this week, it will be the first time in a year they see each other in person.

“We have worked a lot on Zoom and had many planning sessions”, says Nora Maria Becker.

“It is very educational. We have tried out things we have learned during our studies. It is a big task, however, much bigger than a group project. It is exciting to be involved with an international conference”, says Cecilia Kristiansen.

You can register for the conference here.