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NEWS

Prof. Jesse H. Ausubel

The Rockefeller University and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (New York City, USA)

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 at 11:00:00 AM  

Conference room Querzoli - LENS - via Nello Carrara 1 - Sesto Fiorentino (Florence)

Enrico Fermi Colloquium

Published on-line at 09:51:25 AM on Monday, October 1st, 2012

Macroscopes for Science

Big data in science: macroscopic initiatives to show how to collect, aggregate and handle them.

While some phenomena are too far or too small to see unaided, some phenomena are too large or complex. For these we need macroscopes. To observe exceedingly large and complex objects, economists and others have developed statistical databases that allow us, for example, to measure national economic growth and perceive patterns and trends at scales that a single observer could never achieve. If the data are the stars in a telescope or the cells under a microscope, then the computer and other instruments of information handling are the macroscope.

Biology has begun during the past 20 years to create large databases that permit our ever more powerful macroscopes to go to work in biodiversity science. DNA barcodes, short DNA sequences from a uniform locality on the genome for identifying the species of a specimen, for tens and hundreds of thousands of species open marvelous macroscopic possibilities. Aggregating genetic with other information on web pages for each species, as the Encyclopedia of Life now does for more than 1 million of the 1.9 million or so named animals, plants, and fungi, opens even more. Astronomy, geology, and other fields increasingly also provide opportunities for macroscopic discovery. I will discuss macroscopic initiatives and share some early insights they provide.

[video=720 540]a20121106_ausubel[/video]

Klein colloquium by Dr. Antonio Pontin: "Opto-mechanical systems for light squeezing experiments".

[video=720 540]b20121106_pontin[/video]

For further informations, please contact Prof. Roberto Bini.