Virtual Public Lecture: Lucy Fortson
To the Zooniverse and Beyond: How Crowdsourcing Science is Solving Big Data Problems for UMN Researchers
What do lions, galaxies, cell nuclei and notes taken by the Justices of the United States Supreme Court have in common? Each of these is a topic of intense research by faculty at the University of Minnesota – and each suffers from a similar problem: too much complex data for researchers to properly analyze. You might think that computers should be able to tackle these problems, but in fact, pattern matching (a hallmark of analyzing complex data) is exactly where computers still lag behind even a human child. So how can researchers make any progress in problems where human visual processing of millions of images is required? By turning to the general public and asking for their help. This talk will describe the Zooniverse project, and will take you on a tour of the engaging projects in the Zooniverse – from the lions in the Serengeti to galaxies in the furthest reaches of time and space. Along the way, Dr. Fortson will describe the issues that researchers now face with “Big Data,” what crowdsourcing is, and how combining human intelligence with artificial intelligence is revolutionizing how science is being done.