The STEM wrap-up: six stories worth a read this week

By Carl Jackson

Close up of CPU

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

Photo of CSIRAC
CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/), from Wikimedia Commons

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.

Learn a little more about this exhibition on Technology Decisions.

2. Google Maps could affect house prices as traffic in big cities increases

Google map pointer on white background

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?

Read more on Domain.

3. How intelligence could help reduce child poverty

Abstract neurons glowing

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.

Delve into the details of this on The Mandarin.

4. Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web, has some regrets

Another close up shot of a CPU, this time in blue

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.

See what the creator of the World Wide Web proposes in Vanity Fair.

5. Uproar over the digital privacy (or not) of My Health Records

Stethoscope on a laptop keyboard

 

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.

See what Minister for Health Greg Hunt had to say in this piece from Healthcare IT News

6. From gravitational waves to mobile phones: 50 years of physics

Close up of a Newton's Cradle

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.

See what made the list on Pursuit.

Seen a cool STEM story you think needs to be shared? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter.