Online – “ConnectTM” Exhibition at West University

Thursday 09 June 2022

More than 40 projects of more than a hundred students from Timisoara are part of the “ConnectTM” applied research and scientific communication pilot project. They include statistical analyzes based on data – original data, reused data from public databases, as well as online communication campaigns collected in collaboration with local, national and international organizations or on our own initiative – on different themes: analysis of civil society and the potential for collaboration and innovation, analysis of books, television series or video games, analysis of Twitter communications or public expenditure, as well as the mobilization of the public to give blood or to attend specialized events for scientists and professionals.

The pilot project was launched during the current academic year at the University of West Temeswar/Timișoara. The initiator is lecturer Silvia Fierăscu, founder and director of the educational research center “Social Fabrics Research Lab” (FabLab for short) at Western University. “The aim of the project was to promote student learning outcomes in the areas of network science, data science and public communication for building communities in the public sphere,” explains the professor.

The result of the students’ work is currently physically visible in the foyer of West-Uni until June 19th. As part of the exhibition “ConnectTM Research Visualization Exhibition at UVT”, the best student projects of the Digital Media, Communication and Public Relations and Advertising courses of Years I and III of the Faculty of Political Science, Philosophy and Communication and ‘other disciplines of the Uni West have been developed. All 49 student projects can also be viewed and analyzed on the platform.

Understand complex phenomena

About 70 projects were developed and submitted by West University students during the first semester of the 2021-2022 academic year. All these projects were coordinated by the lecturer Silvia Fierăscu in the courses “Introduction to Network Science”, “Digital Data Analysis” and “Online Advertising”. 49 of them were selected for the exhibition and the ConnecTM platform. Third-year digital media student Ianis Ru{itoru assisted with the selection with local, national and international partners. “Today, data is a widely available resource and at ConnecTM we believe that we should make the most of it and our potential. Students presenting their projects at the ConnecTM exhibition believe in the power of knowledge , connection and that these two values ​​play an important role in our daily lives,” says speaker Silvia Fierăscu. “With so much data at our disposal, there are countless opportunities to learn more about complex phenomena – from what an active civil society looks like, to the way we mobilize online in protest, to the way we engage in complex multiplayer video games with AI or how we read and understand series of science-fiction novels- fiction”, continues the editor.

Among the best projects are: Urban Mobility – Innovation; Analysis of the Marvel Movies Network; the age of the bicycle – thematic analysis; the network of beauty influencers; civil society mapping of Timisoara; the Timotion fundraising network; water quality in Timisoara; Tourism in Timisoara or public transport in Timisoara.

Award-winning projects

The beneficiaries of these student projects are the Community Foundation of Timisoara, the City of Timisoara for the SmartCity Strategy, the Făgăraş Research Institute and the Transfusion Center of Timisoara. Three projects were also funded: “REspirabil” received the MyUVT grant of 20,000 euros – basically the project on air quality based on the analysis of digital data. This was produced by third-year students, Roxana Leaha and Lorena Davidescu (digital media). The “Shakespeare for Safety” project on urban mobility was developed by students Estera Ciochină and Roxana Duralia (Digital Media, 1st year) and received the “Era Zero” (Zero Era: Zero Accidents. Zero Emissions) scholarship from a value of 3500 euros. An Era Zero scholarship worth 3500 euros has also been awarded to students Ovidiu Grecu and Elena Irimia (Digital Media, 1st year) for their project “Verde pentru copii” (Green for children), which helps children in security zone around the school is dedicated.

ConnecTM Expo, Platform and Catalog

Details of the 49 submitted projects and the students of the respective years who participated can be found on the platform. “But employers, entrepreneurs and institutions can also analyze the showcase catalog of projects and discover the skills and competencies in the areas of data analysis, visualization and communication that our students have. You can then approach students to hire them, undertake research projects or fund them so that they can continue working,” says Silvia Fierăscu.

The young teacher founded “FabLab” at Western University in November 2019 as a research, development and innovation laboratory for computational social sciences and as a center for the personal and professional development of students. Its mission is to make research in the social sciences accessible to general and specialized audiences, in order to guarantee the relevance and usefulness of this research. “The FabLab aims to bring together different fields ranging from social sciences to business, government and academia to user experience to bring a multidisciplinary approach to data research. The main objective of the FabLab is to have an impact, but also to strengthen civil society,” explains speaker Silvia Fierăscu.

What is Data Search?

Data research is a common term, but one that is difficult for many to interpret. What is data discovery and why is it becoming more and more popular? In which fields does this science find an application and what does a data scientist do? Data mining is a science that deals with the acquisition of knowledge and information from large amounts of data (big data). It uses various techniques and methods from the fields of mathematics, statistics and computer science to analyze them as a whole. The objectives can be very different depending on the field of application. The information is made available, viewed or examined in order to derive action recommendations for companies, to increase sales success, to optimize production processes, to analyze purchasing behavior or to predict trends.

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