The STEM wrap-up: six stories worth a read this week
By Carl Jackson
Our latest STEM story round-up has a strong computing theme, with everything from the world’s longest-surviving computer to using AI to address child poverty.
Here are the stories from science, technology, engineering and mathematics that piqued our interest this week.
1. Scienceworks exhibits the renowned CSIRAC
The world’s longest surviving first-generation computer has gone on display at Melbourne’s Scienceworks as part of the Think Ahead exhibition. Built in 1949 and moving to the University of Melbourne in 1955, it currently forms part of the Museums Victoria collection and is a truly incredible slice of computing history.
2. Google Maps could affect house prices as traffic in big cities increases
With mapping apps directing more traffic off main roads on to smaller residential streets, experts including AIMES Director, Professor Majid Sarvi have said that both traffic conditions and house prices could be impacted. Is there any good news in the future for car-owning property hunters?
3. How intelligence could help reduce child poverty
Could artificial intelligence contribute to solving the global issue of child poverty? A recent seminar with a panel of leading experts discussed the possibilities and potential risks in using AI to process a large volume of case data to provide in-depth insights.
4. Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web, has some regrets
The man credited with the creation of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has expressed his disappointment in the direction his invention has headed, from fake news to mass surveillance. The good news is Tim has a few ideas about how to get the Web back on track.
5. Uproar over the digital privacy (or not) of My Health Records
You might have missed it if you’re based overseas, but last week the option to opt out of the Australian Government’s recently launched My Health Record went live, pushing privacy and digital security to the top of the news agenda.
6. From gravitational waves to mobile phones: 50 years of physics
A lot has changed since the University’s School of Physics started their July public lectures in 1968. Professor David Jamieson highlighted four of the most significant advances to have occurred in the field over the last 50 years.