Seabird monitoring - witnesses in the wild
Seabirds – including penguins – are amongst the most threatened animals on the planet. They are also very useful indicators of wider environmental change. But how do you effectively monitor species which live in hard-to-reach places, such as Antarctica? A team of scientists at the University of Oxford has come up with a...
Viewing extreme events through social media...
Artificial Intelligence 3 - Understanding how we learn language
Professor Kim Plunkett explains how neuroscientists use artificial intelligence as a tool to model processes in the brain – in particular to understand how infants acquire language.
How is technology being used to track Black Lives Matter protestors?
We've probably all heard the phrase 'Big Brother is watching you' (a reference to the fictional character in George Orwell's dystopian novel '1984') - but are we really under constant surveillance? Is it actually possible to be a fully functioning member of modern society without being tracked by some sort of surveillance system? And how is...
Algorithms among us: machine learning and society
achine learning, or the study of algorithms that can learn and act, allows automated decision-making that is both scalable and free of human error.
Artificial Intelligence 1 - Using artificial intelligence to spot patterns
Professor Stephen Roberts explains how machines, whose job it is simply to learn, can help researchers spot scientific needles in data haystacks, which will help us solve some grand challenges.
What does Hollywood get right and wrong when science is in the storyline?
In this week’s episode of the Oxford Sparks Big Questions podcast we are diving into the world of TV and films and looking at what comes first: the science or the storyline?
We take a look at popular films including: Star Wars, The Martian, Gravity, Terminator, Chain Reaction as well as popular TV drama Mr Robot.
To help us find...
Ada Lovelace Symposium: Celebrating 200 years of a computer visionary
The Symposium, celebrating Ada Lovelace’s 200th birthday on 10 December 2015, is aimed at a broad audience of those interested in the history and culture of mathematics and computer science, presenting current scholarship on Lovelace’s life and work, and linking her ideas to contemporary thinking about mathematics, computing and artificial...
Where have all the cicadas gone?
The New Forest cicada is the only cicada native to the UK. During May to July it sings with a very characteristic high-pitched song, which is at the limits of human hearing, and is particularly difficult for most adults to hear. Sightings of the cicada within the New Forest date back to 1812, but the last unconfirmed sighting was in 2000!
I have always been fascinated by the Polar Regions – the harsh but beautiful landscapes, the epic stories of human exploration, and – most of all – the animals that find their home there. These creatures don’t just survive in their environment, they thrive in it, perfectly adapted to the conditions.