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The first HIDA PhD Meetup was a great success.

Bringing together PhD students from across the Helmholtz Association, the HIDA PhD Meetup was a unique networking event.

The HIDA team invited doctoral researchers within the Helmholtz Association specialising in information and data sciences to the first PhD Meetup. On 6 and 7 June, more than 20 early career researchers from seven centres met to present their research, receive valuable feedback and forge interdisciplinary contacts.

As early as Thursday afternoon, when the first participants arrived and put up their posters, lively discussions began. The doctoral students exchanged information about their research projects and made new contacts.

At 4 pm, Otmar Wiestler, President of the Helmholtz Association, officially opened the event. In his speech, he emphasised the importance of combining scientific expertise and data science skills for research. The Helmholtz Information and Data Science Framework was established to anchor these data science skills in the Helmholtz Association.

The Helmholtz Information and Data Science framework is a highly dynamic network that is constantly generating innovative solutions for the challenges of cutting-edge research.

Otmar Wiestler

A highlight of the first day was the keynote speech by Sahar Abdelnabi, an AI security researcher at the Microsoft Security Response Centre in Cambridge, UK. She explained the new security and protection challenges posed by the increasing use of Large Language Models (LLMs) and assessed their implications.

The lecture was recorded and can be watched here:

Following the lecture, the poster session kicked off. Lasting well into the evening, the participants presented their work, discussed different approaches and discovered interdisciplinary similarities.

The second day began with an interactive Berlin rally in which the participants explored the city through geocaching. Equipped with GPS and roadbooks, the teams solved various tasks and discovered Berlin from new perspectives.

The rally was followed by a Bar Camp session in which the doctoral researchers set the agenda themselves. After two hours of intensive work on topics such as "High-Performance Computing with Rust" and "Phishing with LLMs", the groups presented their results and led the discussion.

On Friday afternoon, it was time to take down the posters and say goodbye. But the conversations did not end there, and many participants still chatted as they left the HIDA office.


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