Presidency at the closing UCIENCIA 2023. Photo: Abel Padrón Padilla/ Cubadebate

After three days of extensive debates and with the participation of Cuban and foreign experts, the V International Scientific Convention Uciencia 2023 concluded. The closing gala, chaired by the Minister of Communications, Mayra Arevich Marín, and other executives from the computer and communications sector, marked the end of this outstanding event.

Lidia Ruiz Ortiz, vice president of the UCIENCIA 2023 organizing committee, during her speech on the closing day. Photo: Abel Padrón Padilla/ Cubadebate

Lidia Ruiz Ortiz, vice president of the organizing committee of Uciencia, expressed her satisfaction with this edition of the event, describing it as very positive. He stressed that the convention provided a space for academic and scientific collaboration, as well as for the reaffirmation and initiation of joint actions.

The V International Scientific Convention Uciencia had the participation of 17 countries, with a total of 317 Cuban representatives and 77 foreigners, both virtually and in person. "During the event, 35 conferences and 47 panels were held, including 277 presentations. The most debated topics were related to pattern recognition, innovation management, higher education for the sustainable development goals, cybersecurity management, software engineering and quality, among others."

Mayra Arevich Marín (D), Minister of Communications. Photo: Abel Padrón Padilla/ Cubadebate

For her part, the Minister of Communications highlighted the relevance of the topics addressed at the meeting. She was pleased that cutting-edge issues in the field of computer science were discussed, recognizing the crucial role of universities in the digital transformation of the country and in the dynamization of government management in science and innovation.

Aware of the importance of the necessary changes, the minister highlighted the ongoing efforts to use artificial intelligence in the country, with the collaboration of various institutions and experts from different fields. He also mentioned the prominent role of the UCI in the development of platforms for commerce and e-government, thanking the valuable scientific contribution of the event.

The V International Scientific Convention Uciencia 2023 has left a significant mark in the scientific and academic field, promoting collaboration and knowledge exchange between national and international experts.

What kind of computer engineers do we need?

Carmen Romero Ternero, senior technical director of the University of Seville. Photo: Abel Padrón Padilla/ Cubadebate

Within the framework of Uciencia 2023, the International Symposium on Vocational Training focused on the higher education of professionals in computer engineering on Friday morning. The main conference, offered by Carmen Romero Ternero, senior technical director of the University of Seville, highlighted the responsibility of universities to form citizens with a social conscience, not only focusing on technical aspects, but also on ethical issues.

During the conference, three major challenges for computer science students were identified. First, the speed of evolution of technologies, which requires constant updating and adaptation by professionals. Secondly, the gender gap, as the presence of women in the field of computer science remains low globally. And third, the need to consider the human perspective and the social impact of technology.

To address these challenges, various strategies were proposed. First, the importance of agility and awareness of teachers to stay updated was highlighted. In addition, the need to find the appropriate level of abstraction in the contents to avoid obsolescence and to maintain high standards in basic competencies was emphasized.

The use of active learning methodologies, such as project-based learning, which allow for the introduction of conceptual and technological innovations, was recommended. Likewise, a greater connection between teaching, research and knowledge transfer was promoted, and extracurricular activities were proposed to encourage constant updating.

Regarding the gender gap, it was noted that only 28 percent of engineering graduates are women, and in Spain only 13 percent of computer science professionals are women. In addition, it was warned about the low levels of presence of women in specialized positions and in companies in the sector. To address this problem, the importance of fostering the vocation for computer science among women was emphasized, as well as promoting self-esteem and assertiveness in students. It was also urged to turn them into allies to promote their visibility and the growth of female role models in the sector.

Romero Ternero also emphasized the need to shift the product-centric paradigm to a person-centered paradigm. In addition to technical competences, the importance of developing skills such as person-centered design, multidisciplinary work capacity, emotional intelligence and the ability to adapt to changing environments was highlighted.

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