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Students' welcome from the DTIM research bunker

Posted on February 10th, 2016 by Jovan Varga

Hi there!

Welcome to the DTIM blog! Before the talk about research and blog posts about the work we do, it might be nice to share a piece of atmosphere in a few words about us. This post brings some insights from a student perspective. The advantage of writing a blog post like this is the possibility to be maximally subjective and use descriptive and less formal terms like great, amazing, cool, interesting, and other attributes describing our team. So here we go, welcome to the bunker :)

Oh yes, you heard well, the bunker. Although probably not of the type you thought of. Bunker is the nickname we use for our student office at -1 floor (i.e., fancy term for basement) of the UPC Campus Nord library. Not sure who gets the credits for the title but we generally like it. This is the frontline of our research battlefield. But more than that, this is the place where the team spirit is built. When we fight the errors in text and code editors, when we try to address nice and less nice comments on our work, when we face the (paper) accepts and rejects, when we discover the reality of the present and try to envision the future, it is always easier when you have great colleagues next to you. And more than just colleagues, we become friends. And that is great and amazing! As you can see, we are diverse group where some are into their work (or at least just their screens :)), others discuss the ideas (or at least what is on the screen), and others smile and wonder why certain individuals are taking pictures of the office. People say a picture speaks a thousand words. Thus, instead of writing bunch of text (that in general no one would read!) it is better to capture a spontaneous moment in a digital (photo) format. Hope you get a better idea of how we roll!

Now if you wonder what our research is about, we may say that it is exactly about capturing and describing things in a digital format, i.e., it is about data. And not just data, but data about data known as metadata, data about data about data known as metametadata, and so on. Generally, everything is data and “meta” depends on the perspective. We mostly focus on Big Data, nowadays well known and popular buzz term, which is still interpreted in various ways. We will give our vision in some of the next posts/papers. Anyhow, data need to be modeled and processed and that is where each of us finds the (research) challenges to keep us busy. That and few more activities like courses, seminars, teaching, and others. This would be enough details for now as more insights are to come in next posts.

Our team is led by experts and experienced people that help us to form our own skills which are necessary to face challenges and push the boundaries of our field of work. Of course, these are the team seniors, our professors, and they take big credits for the atmosphere in the team. They are always willing to help and approach us (students) as young colleagues whose opinion is always considered and fully respected (although lets be real, we (students) yet have so much to learn), thus creating such a motivating working climate. They lead by example, setting the bar high such that we could grow and develop the most. And don’t worry, the professors do not sit in the bunker :) Jokes aside, the main reason for us sitting in the bunker is that we could share the same office and there are other options available. 

And let us not go into how amazing city Barcelona actually is :) you can find that out by yourself :)

Signing out till the next update!

Stay tuned,

DTIM students