SCONE and NGI meeting sponsored by SICSA 13-04-2016

SICSA is the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance.


This is a 48-hour, 2-night retreat! Shared accommodation and food is included in the registration. Registration is compliments of SICSA.


This is a ‘pitching for resources’ enterprise. Often we have ideas. More often, pursuit of those ideas requires that they be framed in contexts that are unfamiliar, or less than perfect in fit. Though perhaps counter-intuitive, sometimes that pitch needs to be HUGE in nature.

Surprisingly, the same principle applies in industry. In fact, to me, this was the most striking aspect of my short time at one of the big multinational tech companies.

During this retreat each attendee will, with the support of the other attendees, go through the exercise of making their research fit within the ideals and goals of others. The context, since we in Scotland are well positioned on the subject, will be rural broadband.

There are two goals for Firbush this year:

  • Generate an EPSRC-like `work package’ for your research in the context of rural broadband, with supporting justification, appropriate for a Programme Grant.
  • Understand the challenge, and acquire some skill, in thinking outside of your narrow domain.

This will be a guided and collaborative endeavor.

Pre-Firbush Preparation

  • Prepare ~5 slides – 10 min summary – of your work. This is not a conference-type talk. Only 5-7 slides needed, describing at a high level what you are doing, why it may be important (eg. motivation), and challenges or open problems. (Earlier career students can do this effectively!) This should take no more than 30-60 minutes of your time!


(Unfortunately, Firbush only allows us to begin in the afternoon on day of arrival.) Free time in the afternoons may be used for work or play.


  • 1:00 – 1:15 Welcome
  • 1:15 – 1:45 Overview of event, goals, background.
  • 1:45 – 2:00 Doc. distribution, questions, short break
  • 2:00 – 4:00pm General Talks (unrelated to main focus)


  • 9:30 – 10:45 Attendee summaries (8-10 min talks)
  • 11:00– 12:30 Group Rotations; determine the following: Why is your work important/beneficial? How does it fit in a rural context?
  • 12:30– 1:30 Lunch
  • 1:30 – 3:00 Group Rotations; Establish a ‘workplace’ over 2-3 years, with milestones, measures, experiments.


  • 9:30 – 10:45 Make slides + notes (group environment)
  • 11:00– 12:15 Individual slide presentations
  • 12:15– 12:30 Wrap-up!


  1. Daniel Licciardello
  2. Dong Wang (UWS)
  3. Hong-su Yen
  4. Simon Jouet (Glasgow)
  5. Valentin Radu (Edinburgh)
  6. Abhirup Ghosh
  7. Mah-Rukh Fida (Edinburgh)
  8. Stephen McQuistin (Glasgow)
  9. Mahesh Marina (Edinburgh)
  10. Saravana Rathinakumar (Edinburgh)
  11. Rik Sarkar (Edinburgh)
  12. Paul Patras (Edinburgh)
  13. Tristan Henderson (St Andrews)
  14. Marwan Fayed (Stirling)