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YorkTalks 2020 - Session One

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Ron Cooke Hub

Campus East

University of York

York

YO10 5GE

United Kingdom

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Photography and video recording will take place during YorkTalks, which may be used for marketing purposes by the University of York. If you have any concerns or would prefer not to feature, please email marketing-support@york.ac.uk. For further information about how we use photgraphy or video which includes you please see our privacy notice.


Welcome and introductions

A short welcome and induction for the day.

Singing in a virtual world: understanding the real world benefits of singing together - Helena Daffern, Department of Electronic Engineering

With more than two million people singing regularly in choirs and a record 40,000 singing groups operating across the UK, former opera singer and chorister Dr Helena Daffern is using cutting edge digital technologies to provide a deeper understanding of why singing together creates such powerful therapeutic effects. Dr Daffern’s talk takes us from the summit of Great Gable in the Lake District, where a choral group sing at the top of their voices to experience the benefits of the natural environment and group singing, down to the inner recesses of York’s high-tech AudioLab.

Her research explores how experiments with immersive technologies such as virtual reality are unlocking the secrets of why singing together has such a profound impact on participants and how it might be used to widen access to those with restricted mobility through her Sing from your Seat project.

From computer says no to robot says yes: engineering a positive future for robotics - Ana Cavalcanti, Department of Computer Science

With the prospect of sophisticated robots working ever more closely with humans, it is vital that software engineers have the tools and techniques to ensure safety and reliability. Professor Ana Cavalcanti, a computer scientist whose research is changing the very language of robotic software development, is on a mission to ensure that, unlike the computer, the robot never says no: that it does the right thing at the right time, every time.

To achieve this, Professor Cavalcanti and her team are developing a framework for the modelling and simulation of mobile and autonomous robots, bringing outdated software engineering practices, based on trial and error, into the state-of-the-art. Her vision is a 21st-century toolbox for robot-controller developers that will enable the safe application of socially beneficial robotics, allowing the UK to tap into a multibillion dollar global robotics market.

Interactive competitive esports are revolutionising digital creativity and providing deep insights into human cognition - Florian Block, Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media

With audiences of 380 million growing at a rate of 20 per cent a year, the esports market in 2018 consumed 2.6 billion hours of content globally. This rich data stream is being explored by Dr Florian Block and his team at York’s Digital Creativity Labs as they help develop a cross-reality, highly personalised viewing experience for esports audiences. Funded through the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund immersive technologies for audiences of the future programme, the industry-led Weavr consortium is harnessing York’s research expertise in Artificial Intelligence, UX design and human computer interaction.

Dr Block will show how York is bringing the UK’s creative businesses, researchers and technologists together to create the next generation of highly immersive experiences. This should help secure a hugely lucrative market for UK creatives, while at the same time providing a rich data source for academic researchers interested in human cognition.

Counter culture: unearthing the truth about complexity, diversity and inequality in Neolithic times - Penny Bickle, Department of Archaeology

Blending smart data modelling, high resolution strontium isotope and dental calculus analysis with existing osteological information and evidence from ancient burial rites, Dr Penny Bickle and her eight-strong team of archaeologists are exploding myths about the early inhabitants of Europe. Penny will reveal how our ancestors lived through periods of rapid innovations; more like today’s boom and bust than through a slow transition from simple to complex. She will also show that inequality in Neolithic times is much more nuanced than conventional archaeological wisdom – hugely influenced by Karl Marx – has claimed.

By providing a more accurate understanding of the past, Dr Bickle argues, we are better equipped to negotiate the challenges of today. The centrality of food, for instance, and its sharing through the community, meant there were no food banks in Neolithic times. A lesson for today?

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Date and Time

Location

Ron Cooke Hub

Campus East

University of York

York

YO10 5GE

United Kingdom

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