WebValley Turns 18
This year the young participants worked on an artificial intelligence project for the diagnosis of brain tumours in collaboration with the Bambino Gesù Hospital
“I expected competition, but I found great collaboration instead”. This is the opinion of Eugenio Tampieri, 18, on the experience of WebValley 2018, the international summer school on Data Science that, as of 2001, FBK has dedicated to young research enthusiasts.
Similarly, for Giulia Morelli, a student who participated with him this year: “Before leaving I thought it would be a technical experience but it turned out to be a human experience first of all. WebValley taught me, in particular, to know how to relate with others, to work in groups, to accept opinions different from mine”.
With the other members of the team, the students presented their experience on Friday, July 6 in the Conference Room of Casa de’ Gentili in Sanzeno (Trento). The 2018 edition was attended by a total of 8 girls and 10 boys between 17 and 19 years old from Italy (7 from Trentino and 7 out-of-Province) and from the United States (the latter selected among the finalists of the Intel ISEF Award, the world convention of competitions for young researchers). They received the support of researchers and tutors who followed them during the three weeks of activity in Val di Non, that took place in a laboratory set up for the occasion and hosted in the elementary school of Casez.
“Our kids”, explained the project coordinator, Cesare Furlanello “have worked on an artificial intelligence tool to improve the diagnosis of brain tumours in particularly serious situations that are studied at the Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome, the top children’s hospital in Italy. A very ambitious operation but the kids did really well and are perfect for this new world where we work across different scientific disciplines”.
“WebValley”, underlined the president of Fondazione Bruno Kessler Francesco Profumo, “is a unique experience for kids who want to get involved as real researchers. It is not so much a traditional training course, but a preparation to research on current and multidisciplinary subjects, led by the researchers of the Foundation and their internationally experienced colleagues. We have over 350 alumni of past editions and many of them have started working in research or are already established researchers, doctors, company managers”.
To keep in touch with all the participants of the 18 editions so far, a newsletter was started, the first issue of which was sent by President Profumo to the whole community on the occasion of the presentation on July 6 in Val di Non.
Like every year, the WebValley formula provides for the selection of a small town in the valleys of Trentino in which to build the laboratory of activities, proving the fact that, with a good reason and with Internet resources, research can be done also in apparently remote areas. It is a real research experience that boys and girls lead together with scientists. The initiative, launched in 2001, has reached its eighteenth edition this year.
– Article by Viviana Lupi
– Photos and video by Alessandro Girardi