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Organizing Courses, Summer Schools and Inter-Disciplinary Symposia

The ELLIS Unit Jena faculty are committed to disseminating the most recent advances in their constantly evolving research area as well. This outreach activities cover a wide expertise audience: from young researchers or students in the field to the broad public. Over the years, the faculty have taken a leading role in developing new University courses, offering tutorials at conferences, and organizing summer schools and symposia that bring together researchers with diverse backgrounds. For example Professor Alexander Brenning and Professor Giesen organize respectively the yearly ‘GIS Day’ and the ‘Data Science Day’ where the regional research institutions and private companies in the area share their recent advances on Geo-Informatics and Data Sciences with the scientific and general community. The faculty has also been involved in the organization of the Climate Informatics Workshop Series. Within the framework of the Michael Stifel Center Jena and the IMPRSgBGC Research School, the faculty has also participated or co-organized several talks, workshops and summer schools with focus on machine learning and its application to Earth Sciences: e.g. Dagstuhl Seminar ‘Computer Science meets Ecology” or workshop on “Environmental Informatic Challenges”, among others. The faculty have also taught numerous advanced tutorials and/or challenges at top-tier conferences in ML and AI like the ‘Causality4Climate (C4C)’ NeurIPS competition for causal discovery on climate data challenges in 2019. We will expand these activities within ELLIS and together with other ELLIS units.

Participation in Expert Groups, Regulatory Bodies, and Public Outreach

The ELLIS Unit Jena faculty actively participate in expert groups and frequently advise governmental agencies (from regional to national and European level) regarding the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in society and its applicability to Earth and Climate sciences. As concrete examples, members of the faculty have been recently involved in the grounding of the Thuringian Centre for Learning Systems and Robotics, actively participate in the IPCC International Panel of Climate Change assessment reports and contribute to the German National Strategy on Sustainability. In addition, unit members integrate the strategic review boards of the Helmholtz Artificial Intelligence Cooperation Unit.

Public Release of Software and Data Artifacts

The ELLIS Unit Jena faculty will continue and intensify their established practice of sharing their research data and software publicly. Examples of such activities is the Cause-me causality benchmark platform which provides ground truth benchmark datasets featuring different real data challenges to assess and compare the performance of causal discovery methods and the EarthNet 2021 challenge.