ICT industry leaders to gather at SAICSIT Conference 2019

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Professor Carina de Villiers, conference chair for the 2019 SAICSIT Conference.
Professor Carina de Villiers, conference chair for the 2019 SAICSIT Conference.

The South African Institute for Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (SAICSIT) is inviting ICT industry professionals to register for the three-day 2019 SAICSIT Conference, taking place next month.

Established in 1982, the institute focuses on research and development in the field of computing and information technology in SA. One of its core objectives is to enhance communication among members and all interested parties regarding research and development projects.

The SAICSIT Conference, which has been taking place annually since1985, is part of the institute’s objectives to support education and training; to monitor the availability of human resources for research and development; and seek solutions to technical and socio-economic problems in SA.

Themed “Digital ecosystems gone wild”, this year’s event takes place from 16 to 18 September, at the Nombolo Mdluli Conference Centre in Skukuza, the Kruger National Park's rest camp and administrative headquarters.

The 2019 SAICSIT Conference will consist of keynote addresses from industry experts, workshops and break-away sessions. Topics include agricultural and health informatics; Internet security, computer science, information systems; social media; big data and ICT in education.

Among the keynote speakers will be professor Robert Winter, a German business theorist and professor of business and information systems engineering at the University of St Gallen, who will discuss issues related to information systems.

Other speakers include: Vusi Skosana, image processing researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research; Motlhabane Maboe from the University of SA; Mikhail Rybakov from Tver State University in Russia; Temitope Tokosi from Nelson Mandela University; and Lisa Seymour from the University of Cape Town.

Lecturers from the University of Pretoria – Marie Hattingh, Rennie Naidoo, Linda Marshall and Marlene Holmner – will hold a roundtable discussion titled: “Data science competency in organisations: A systematic review and unified model.”

Professor Carina de Villiers, head of the Department of Informatics at the University of Pretoria and conference chair for the 2019 SAICSIT Conference, says it is a platform for knowledge-sharing across several different domains, through which participants will learn about the digital ecosystems influencing their respective fields.

“The theme, ‘Digital ecosystems gone wild’ reflects the current digital ecosystem of connective social media – cloud computing, artificial intelligence and the Internet of things – that we inhabit as human beings. We live in an ecosystem of networks, physical objects embedded with electronics, software and sensors enabling inter-connected linkages of supply chains, markets and businesses. Our challenge is to make sense of an increasingly ubiquitous technology and data-rich environment, which if left unchecked, can unleash a host of unintended consequences.”

The conference will shed light on how businesses and individuals can navigate their way in an ecosystem of terabytes and exabytes, notes De Villiers.

The sponsors include the University of Pretoria and software solutions and managed services company, Epi-Use.

Another keynote speaker, professor Willem Visser from the computer science department at Stellenbosch University, will discuss: “The magic of analysing programs.”

“Professor Visser’s presentation will take a brief tour describing various technologies that have proven useful to automatically discover semi-software defects. These include model checking, symbolic execution and fuzzing tools,” explains De Villiers.

“Throughout the presentation, he will show various real-world bugs that were discovered using our versions of the aforementioned types of tools and we will conclude with what we believe would be the perfect combination of tools, to not only find errors, but also to show correctness, and what it would take to make these work on commercial-scale problems.”

Registration for the conference is open until 15 August. The price packages vary depending on the following criteria:

  • SAICSIT member conference registration (workshops optional) R5 700
  • Non-SAICSIT member conference registration (workshops optional) R6 500
  • Student conference registration (workshops optional) R5 000
  • AISSAC workshop (only) R1 500
  • CUDA workshop (only) R800
  • Current trends in health information technology workshop (only) R800
  • Masters and doctoral symposium (only) free

To register, visit the SAICSIT Web site.

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