For a Human-Centered AI

WebValley 2024: the results of the summer school for young data scientists that studied the ionosphere using AI

July 5, 2024

The 2024 edition of WebValley, FBK's summer school, is wrapping up with the closing event on July 5.

The 20 young high school students from Italy and abroad are presenting the results of the work done during the three weeks at WebValley, the summer school in data science organized by FBK and covering a different topic each year. This year’s edition, which began on June 16 and is wrapping up with the event on Friday, July 5, focused on the study of the ionosphere using AI.

The Webvalley young talents, hosted at the Artigianelli Institute in Trento, were trained and mentored by researchers from the Data Science for Industry and Physics and Data Science for Health Units of FBK’s Center for Digital Industry and Center for Digital Health & Wellbeing as well as researchers from the Physics Department of the University of Trento and from the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN-TIFPA).

“During the first week, the students learned both physics and programming concepts and were able to investigate some aspects of the phenomena that occur in the Earth’s ionosphere/magnetosphere at solar flares, geomagnetic storms, and the study of changes in fields and plasmas at seismic or man-made events.  This year’s initiative focused on analyzing data collected by instruments aboard the CSES-01 (China Seismo Electromagnetic Satellite) satellite, which has been in orbit since 2018. The instruments include electric, magnetic, plasma, and low and high energy particle field detectors. From this data, the students, divided into three teams, each focused on developing a different tool that they presented to us today,” Francesco Maria Follega and Luca Coviello, two of the WebValley tutors, said.

The first team worked on creating a database, “Our work began by downloading a considerable amount of physical, cosmic and space data like magnetic storms and solar flares. We then harmonized the data, i.e., we cleaned them and made them compatible with each other, and created a database that was later entered into a web application that we developed called SpaDe or Space  Detection and that, in addition to the database, contains useful tools to correctly interpret the data,” explained Asia Campidelli (“Galileo Galilei” High School, Trento) .

The second team focused on data visualization and exploration “by creating a simple interface that will allow scientists to easily access data from the CSES-01 satellite, through graphs specific to different types of data. We then developed the site, created the interface and finalized the user manual,” said Georgios Zahopulus (“A.Bafile” High Schhol, L’Aquila).

The third team developed a tool for detecting and predicting anomalies in the data: “We have trained a machine learning model that can recognize anomalies in the data coming from the satellite, i.e., to perform anomaly detection tasks. By extracting information from new data and comparing it with what was learned by training on non-anomaly data sets, the model is able to detect anomalies,” Marta Genovese (“Guglielmo Marconi Technical High School, Verona) said.


As every year, the topic covered during the three weeks of WebValley was stimulating. Participants had the opportunity to collaborate with high-level science researchers, putting themselves on the line and trying to figure out their skills and interests, also in view of the post-diploma choices they will have to face in a few months,” WebValley director Claudia Dolci said.

Thanks to the presence on the team of a number of teachers from Istituto Artigianelli, the project was carried out by applying teaching and design thinking methodologies, linked to the world of innovation as well, which ensured a structured approach to context analysis, idea generation and the presentation and promotion phase of the results. Communication was handled by a Communication Officer, a TAG Artigianelli student.

The activities were alo attended by two professors from South Florida University with whom the foundation is collaborating to launch a sister school program at their college next year.


Italian students:

Alessandro Giustina (Tione, Trento), Asia Campidelli (Trento), Gabriel Poenariu (Verona), Georgios Zahopulos (L ‘Aquila), Giuseppe Trivella (Brescia), Ilaria Coletti (Rovereto, Trento), Lavinia Tornaghi (Milan), Lisa Romanin, Marco Pichler (Bolzano), Marta Genovese (Verona), Nicola Largher (Trento), Tommaso Scesi (Carate Brianza, MB), Tommaso Todescato (Vicenza)

International Students:
 Carolina Horita (São Paulo, Brazil), Dhruva Sharma (Fort Myers, Florida, USA), Emily Zhao (Manhasset, New York, USA), Emma Rueter (Berlin, Germany), Gil Ramot (Hod HaSharon, Israel), John Anand (Akron, Ohio, USA), Maxim Dolgov (Sarasota, Florida, USA)



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