Update from the PC Chairs

Whats happening at the eScience Conference 2017? An unbiased perspective from the PC-chairs:

The thirteenth IEEE eScience Conference  will be held in Auckland, New Zealand from 24-27 October 2017, and it is shaping up to be an exciting event.

eScience researchers from a number of countries including NZ, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, South Korea, Spain, USA and the UK will gather to discuss the novel technologies, applications and related challenges in the world of computationally intensive science.

This year we had two major goals. One was to come up with an interesting programme for you, which we believe we have achieved. The other was to focus more on computation related to the sciences or humanities, rather than computation in the abstract. This goal is supported by four initiatives: stating the goal explicitly in the criteria for paper selection, the chosen keynotes, the experience track and a hearty poster track.


The conference starts with a day of workshops ranging over topics from environmental computing through digitalization for natural history collections to sustainable software and safe data platforms.

Environmental computing is of acute interest due to its societal challenges and state-of-the-art technical developments, requiring generalising, productising and maturing today’s environmental modelling solutions.

Digitalization of natural history collections addresses the challenging problem of translating large collections of physical specimens into the digital realm where they may contribute to a new understanding of biodiversity and natural history.

The goal of the sustainable software workshop is to improve the quality of today’s research software and the experiences of its developers by sharing practices and experiences. In particular topics relevent to software specific to science will be addressed.

The safe data platforms workshop addresses new principles that may govern the collection and use of proprietary or human subjects data in the new era, while identifying promising new methods, policies, and technologies that may allow for the realization of those principles in different settings.


We have three agreed keynotes, with one to come. The three keynotes are:

  • Professor Merryn Tawhai
  • Professor Marina Jirotka
  • Dr James Hetherington.

Merryn’s keynote focuses on the development of a digital human lung model, with the long term goal of testing interventional approaches and therapies, optimizing treatments and stratifying patients into risk groups.

Marina brings a wealth of experience in responsible research and innovation to her keynote, where she will address ethical, social and institutional concerns relating to the advances in e-Research.

James will focus on the challenges of developing research software engineers, engineers that combine the knowledge and expertise of a computational scientist with the values of a professional software engineer.

The fourth keynote is likely to be an energetic researcher with an extensive background in genomics. Watch this space!

Additionally, there will be a presentation by Luca Fascione from Weta Digital who will provide some insight into the latest developments  and challenges in movie making.

Paper and poster sessions

The keynotes are interspersed in the paper and poster sessions. We have:

  • 4 experience paper sessions (12 papers)
  • 10 research paper sessions (33 papers)
  • session of lightning poster presentations (20 posters)

The experience papers focus on practical outcomes through applying eScience tools and techniques to novel problems. The application areas of the experience papers are varied, including experimental humanities which provides insight into historical scenarios, fruit fly identification using images, risk assessment of reef ecosystems, and modelling in the earth sciences. The experience papers address technical challenges, such as creating usable software for science, performance and throughput, reproducibility of science, and workflow for eScience applications.

The research papers focus on new research achievements in eScience, spanning core technologies and applications. Again, there are a range of applications areas including monitoring white-bellied herons in Bhutan, plant phenology, orthodontic treatment, and monitoring water quality. The novel research achievements are in areas such as semantics based data compression, scientific workflow search, cyberinfrastrcture design choices, object detection in aerial imagery, satellite image analysis, uses of deep learning, and task scheduling.

The posters provide presenters an opportunity to showcase their early stage results and innovations. The posters cover a huge range of topics from computing artistic style, to genome sequence alignment to data quality control in observational data with multiple data providers.


The objective of the eScience Conference is to promote and encourage all aspects of eScience and its associated technologies, applications, and tools. The applications are as broad and exciting as the technologies used.

We look forward to seeing you in Auckland.

eScience 2017 PC Chairs

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