Intelligent impulses, intelligent diversity – Girls’ Day 2024 @SCIoI

During this year’s Girls’ Day, on 25 April 2024, SCIoI opened its doors once again to school girls from the Berlin area. In the course of the day, sixteen girls gained an insight into the Cluster’s work and got to interact with the scientists and the many demonstrators in SCIoI’s labs.

The girls were welcomed by Lujain Kretzschmar, Diversity and Equal Opportunities manager, alongside Julten Abdelhalim, , SCIoI’s Academic Coordinator as well as Maria Ott from the PR & Communication team . The team briefly outlined what SCIoI is all about and passed the floor to the researchers for some hands-on exhibitions.

One of our AI and Machine Learning experts, Soledad Traverso, introduced the girls to the fascinating world of intelligent behavior in mice. These little creatures are recorded when they demonstrate their intelligence by solving “lock-boxes”, namely boxes that only open after the mice solve a mechanic riddle – inside they find a little reward treat!

Computer scientist Palina Bartashevich and computational neuroscientist David Mezey let the girls to interact with augemented reality fish swarms! At SCIoI, the researchers draw inspiration from real life fish swarms and their interactions with their environment and then use this knowledge by introducing it to swarms of artificial agents.

Postdoctoral researcher Asieh Daneshi studies how people’s behavior can affect others in groups. She uses virtual reality to help her understand how humans interact with one another. During her session, every participant tried the VR headset and explored her research in a very interactive way.

Later on, doctoral researcher Anna Lange let the girls have a glimpse on what it means to actually programme robots in the modern world. Now, the visitors have a much better idea of not just the technical but also the social and ethical aspects of creating artificially intelligent agents nowadays.

Last but not least, the Lab Managers Michael Brück and Mathis Kaiser invited the girls to build their own robot. Not with a lot of coding or complicated cables and environmentally unfriendly plastic particles: instead they created a robot figure out of wood that was designed by Rolf Struikmans by using a laser cutter and a 3D printer.

The SCIoI scientists were happy to engage and interact with the school girls and present their research to them.

According to the Federal Ministry, girls and young women in Germany still often choose professions or subjects of study where women are already overrepresented, leading them to miss out on potential career opportunities and future prospects. This is particularly true in technical fields such as computer science, natural sciences, mathematics, technology, and crafts, where there is a shortage of skilled workers and all talents are needed. In response to this, the annual Girls’ Day initiative, supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), aims to provide practical insights into STEM fields and careers and encourage girls to pursue their individual interests in career orientation.

The Cluster Science of Intelligence is strongly committed to equal opportunity and diversity and is delighted to have been able to provide an insight to its work during this annual event.


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