Why STEM students should attend Winter School

Ebony Watson attended last year’s Winter School in Mathematical and Computational Biology and was so inspired by the presentations, she decided to do a PhD at The University of Queensland on machine learning and bio-imaging.

She now works within Associate Professor Jessica Mar's lab, (Associate Professor Mar will be speaking at this year’s Winter School), at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN). 
Ms Watson highly recommends that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) research students attend this year’s Winter School. On Twitter she recently wrote: “If you're a STEM student (especially PhD and Masters), you need to know how to analyse your data. This is an amazing [Winter School] program to learn how, regardless of how much (or little) experience you have in bioinformatics and data science!”
PhD student Simon Thomas, in UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), agrees. Two years ago, he wrote in the 2017 Winter School survey: "Seeing the range of work being undertaken in the real-world gave me the confidence to explore areas that I hadn't previously considered part of bioinformatics, or generally even possible. It also gave me an early introduction to researchers, which somewhat shortened the distance between us, making them more approachable to discuss future research projects."
The Winter School is designed to introduce bioinformatics, mathematical and computational biology to advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and others working in the fields of biology, mathematics, statistics, computer science, information technology, complex systems analysis, and chemical and medical sciences and engineering.
This year’s Winter School features a range of speakers who are leaders in the field from the UK, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand and research institutes around Australia.
“The last speakers have been finalised and for the first time we have more women than men, with 21 women and 19 men!”, said QCIF’s Dr Nick Hamilton, Winter School’s main organiser. 
“This is the most gender-balanced Winter School we've had, and something we always strive towards. It’s also something attendees notice, and we have had positive comments in the past about the number of great women speakers we have,” he said.
Registrations are now open for the Winter School, and filling fast. Last year’s event sold out, so people are advised to register early. Early-bird registration closes 10 June.
Australian Genome Research Facility (AGRF) and Bioplatforms Australia are offering a limited number of competitive travel bursaries to undergraduate and postgraduate students to participate in this year’s Winter School.
The School includes an afternoon workshop on the Genomics Virtual Laboratory, which is limited to 36 bench scientists who are full Winter School registrants.
QCIF and its bioinformatics arm, QFAB, are proud sponsors of this year’s Winter School.

Ebony Watson at UQ's Hacky Hour. (Photo: Dr Nick Hamilton.)