September 13, 2016

Facebook 2016 London Faculty Summit

By: Kelly Berschauer

This week we are gathering in London to collaborate and exchange ideas with leading academics across Europe at the 2016 Facebook London Faculty Summit.

The London summit will focus on two key research areas, machine learning and programming languages, with full tracks of speakers and topics for each one. The goals of the summit are twofold, share key research findings from Facebook researchers and engineers with experts in academia, and have rich meaningful discussions to foster the exchange of ideas for future work and collaborations.

Kicking off the summit is Andy Cox, Chief Engineer of Facebook Connectivity Lab’s UK aviation team. His team is managing the Aquila project, which completed its first test flight earlier this year. With the Connectivity Lab’s overall focus on developing ways to make affordable internet access possible in communities around the world, the team is employing a variety of technologies, including high-altitude long-endurance planes, satellites and lasers. The combination of aeronautical engineering and state-of-the-art computer science technologies applied to designing, building and delivering new technologies like Aquila is sure to spark some interesting conversations.

“An important part of my research in AI is to be aware of the state of the art in technology, as well as future research directions. I have attended Facebook Faculty Summits since 2012 and have always found them to be of great interest. Much of my current work in natural language processing, computer vision, and machine learning has direct counterparts in Facebook. As a side effect, I believe this also makes me a better teacher.” said Nello Cristianini, Professor of Artificial Intelligence, University of Bristol, UK.

Faculty Summits are just one of the ways we engage with distinguished faculty around the world. “The value of ongoing collaborations and discussions with leading experts in academia help further advancements in computer science and its direct impact on the ways that people connect and share around the world,” said Peter O’Hearn, Facebook Engineering manager in the Static Analysis Tools team and one of the organizers of the 2016 London Faculty Summit. “I am particularly looking forward to having some rich discussions in the programming languages track about the Infer work my team delivers that has an ongoing impact to the Facebook code base.”