FUTMINNA HOSTS 1ST COMPUTER, INFORMATION SCIENCE SPRINGER CONFERENCE IN WEST AFRICA

The Federal University of Technology, Minna has attained another landmark as it has just hosted the first Communications in Computer and Information Science (CCIS) Springer Conference in West Africa.
The conference, third in the series of the International Conference on Information Technology (ICTA), organized by the School of Information and Communication Technology (SICT) was held on a virtual platform from 24th to 26th November, with the theme: Leveraging Emerging Technology for Sustainable Digitisation of Society.
Declaring the biennial conference open on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Abdullahi Bala, fsssn said that the institution was delighted that SICT was able to organize the conference despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prof. Bala who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Emmanuel Emeka Udensi,fnip, disclosed that FUTMinna was working very hard on ICT and its applications, with a view to combining online teaching with the face-to-face approach, in line with the present global realities.
He said the conference is very important now that the world is so much dependent on ICT and expressed hope that the outcomes of the conference will help enhance people’s capacity.
In his welcome address, the Host and Dean, SICT, FUTMinna, Prof. Nicholas Iwokwagh said ICTA is a biennial conference which provides a platform for intellectual discourse and cross fertilization of ideas for scholars in the field of Information and Communication within and outside Nigeria.
On the importance of the theme of this year’s conference, Prof. Iwokwagh said: ‘’In the light of the digital transformation that is sweeping across the nations of the world, we anticipate that it will stimulate research and deepen the conversation on how best Emerging Technologies could be leveraged in the context of strategy, policy, and diplomacy to contribute to the sustainable digitization of a globalized world.’’
He disclosed that a total of 158 submissions were received from 12 countries including: Germany, South Korea, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Lithuania, Pakistan, Argentina, South Africa and India and each paper was carefully reviewed by members of the Technical/Editorial Committee before acceptance for presentation.
Prof. Iwokwagh said that they were looking forward to having the proceedings of the conference published in the reputable Communications in Computer and Information Science (CCIS) Springer series.
He thanked the Vice-Chancellor for his helpful disposition and support for the programmes and projects of SICT.
Earlier in his remark, one of the General Chairs of the conference, Prof. Sanjay Misra of Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, disclosed that more than 30 of the conference papers were authored by scholars outside Nigeria.
Prof. Misra, a former Head, Department of Computer Engineering, FUTMinna expressed regrets that with the diversity of participants the conference, as earlier planned, would have afforded researchers from different parts of the world to meet physically and see the beauty of Nigeria and FUT, Minna, were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic.
He thanked Prof. Nicholas Iwokwagh for his motivation which brought the idea of the conference to fruition.
In an exclusive chat with FUTMinna Info team, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Dr. Joseph Ojeniyi said ICTA aligns with FUTMinna standing as the best specialized university in Nigeria, adding that the fact that ICTA 2020 articles will, for the first time in Nigeria, be indexed in Springer proceedings, which is turn indexed in Scopus, is a development that will further project the institution to the global community as a university with international collaborations.
He said the University stands to gain increased ranking from the conference, just as the research output therefrom will be commercialized and also translated into community development applications.
Dr. Ojeniyi recalled that all the articles that featured in the first edition of the conference in 2016 were indexed in Scopus, a situation that helped in increasing the University’s ranking, adding that all the articles of the second edition held in 2018 were published in high impact journals.
The conference Keynote addresses were presented by Professors Vincenzo Piuri, Universiti degli Studi di Milano, Italy; Andrew Ware University of South Wales, UK and Osvaldo Gervasi, University of Perugia, Italy.
Some of the papers presented at the conference included: Gamifying users’ learning experience of Scrum; Developer Mental Health: Scooping review; Drug Verification System using Quick Response; Privacy Preservation in Mobile-Based Learning Systems: Current Trends, Methodologies, Challenges, Opportunities and Future Direction: A Review; A Novel Approach to News Archiving from Newswires and Visualizing Multilevel Test-to-Code Relations amongst others.
In a related development, FUT, Minna had recently partnered Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State to host the 3rd International Conference of Applied Informatics (ICAI), the first of its kind in Africa. The conference was held on the virtual platform from 29th to 31st October, 2020.

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