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Citizen Science and the Data Avalanche

Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 18:00 to 20:00
Berrill Theatre, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes

Sign-up for tickets here.

A talk by Professor Stephen Serjeant

Did you know people are better at classifying tasks then computers? Can crowdsourcing help us to classify data of the universe? Astronomy and particle physics have begun a new data-rich era of discovery, from finding warps in space and time to new particles in accelerators. But the data avalanche is so fast, so large and so complex that it’s a challenge for computing. Artificial Intelligence regularly offers no easy solutions. Humans are still often much better than AI at classification tasks. This has led to a new way of doing science: crowdsourcing, with the help of citizen science volunteers. This gives members of the public a genuine and valuable participation in scientific discovery, and there is a huge public appetite for taking part. Stephen Serjeant, professor of astronomy, will show you how you can join in, and review some of the highlights of our citizen science on the leading crowdsourcing platform, the Zooniverse.

About the speaker

Stephen is The Open University’s Professor of Astronomy specialising in extragalactic surveys of star-forming galaxies and strong gravitational lensing. He's written or co-written nearly 300 papers so far with over 14,000 citations in all, and four books, and co-won a 2004 Daiwa Adrian Prize for Anglo-Japanese scientific collaboration. Stephen is also a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a Chartered Physicist.

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