2015 Talks at Basingstoke Cafe Sci

Mar 2015 - Citizen Science – Processing Massive Amounts of Data Thanks to Volunteers

The speaker for the March 2015 meeting of Basingstoke Cafe Scientifique at The Tea Bar will be Dr Greg Hines, Data Scientist for the Zooniverse project at the University of Oxford.  Dr Hines will introduce us to the fascinating topic of "Citizen Science – Processing Massive Amounts of Data Thanks to Everyday Volunteers".  

Abstract: We live in a world where it is much easier to create data than to process it. Science projects such as the Serengeti Lion Project, the Large Hadron Collider and the Hubble Space Telescope have created millions of bits of data that need to be analyzed. This data can be images, videos or even sound clips. Unfortunately, computer algorithms are often not smart enough to do the detailed analysis required. We need people to help but the amount of data far exceeds what the scientists can examine themselves.

Citizen science websites allow the public to help process the data by answering questions that are easy for people but hard for computers, e.g. is there a zebra in this picture? Zooniverse is a portal for over 40 citizen science projects. In this talk, I'll discuss how citizen science works, what the Zooniverse community is like and how, with citizen science, simple algorithms can create highly accurate results.

You can read more about the Zooniverse project at:  www.zooniverse.org

Bio:  Greg is the data scientist at Zooniverse, an online portal for citizen science projects based at the University of Oxford and the Adler Planetarium, Chicago. He has a PhD from the University of Waterloo, Canada in Artificial Intelligence / Computer Science. He also has a Bachelor's and Master's of Mathematics from Waterloo, giving him a background in math and statistics as well as computer science. Before Oxford, he worked for two years as a post-doc at the University of Southampton. He lived in Basingstoke for a year and a half and has fond memories of the town.

Venue:  The Tea Bar doors will be open from around 6.00pm before the talk which starts at 7:30pm, so you can get yourself a drink and have a chat with other participants. We will aim to finish around 9:00pm as usual, though everyone will be welcome to stay around and have a chat with the speaker until around 10:00pm.

The format of the evening is usually a talk of 30 to 40 minutes, followed by a short break so the audience can refill their glasses and buy cakes before questions and discussions about the talk. Entry is free and open to everyone, but we do encourage you to buy a tea, coffee or drink (and cakes) at the bar to show your support for The Tea Bar who sponsor the meeting by providing the venue.

Cafe Scientifique is a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore and debate the latest ideas in science and technology.

Basingstoke Cafe Scientifique is a free Science Interest Group organised and sponsored by the Active Hampshire Social Club.


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