Some remarks on the SweCog 2016 conference


Yesterday I got back from this year’s SweCog (Swedish Cognitive Science Society) conference. This year the conference was hosted by Chalmers University of Technology. It was two very interesting days, which I will try to sum up in coming posts. This post just provides an overview of the event.

I had never heard about this conference before I started my work as a postdoc in Uppsala this autumn and that is partly because this is only the third time SweCog was held in its current form. Before 2013 SweCog was a national graduate school, financed by Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council), and was meant to provide a rich research environment for graduate students focusing on cognitive science. After the financed period ended, a decision was taken to make it a yearly conference. The conference has no registration fee and no external funding, so the hosting institution needs to cover the expenses.

We were eight researchers from my department (Visual Information and Interaction) who traveled to the conference as a group and stayed at the same hotel. Five of us went back to Stockholm together while some stayed in southern Sweden for a while. About 50 researchers from different universities (mostly Swedish) attended the conference and there were two key notes, ten paper presentations, one panel discussion and one poster session. The conference had only one track, so you never had to choose between different sessions running in parallel.

Since the conference gathered people whose research interests were in any way related to cognitive science the topics varied widely between different presentations. There were quite a few presentations related to different aspects of machine learning, one was about the power of the programming language LISP and one provided a philosophical view of concepts and their changing nature. As a result it was a little bit hard to find a common thread between the presentations, but on the other hand many interesting areas were covered.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the conference and I hope I will be able to participate again next year. In fact it is very likely that I will do so since it was revealed during the concluding session (the SweCog annual meeting) that the next university to host the event will be Uppsala University!


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