Scientists from the University of Cape Town, the South African Astronomical Observatory and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences are delivering a series of lectures this week (19 - 23 January) on what the SKA will mean for data and computing in the sciences, particularly astronomy.
The Distinguished Teacher Award is the highest accolade given to lecturing staff in acknowledgement of the value UCT attaches to teaching and learning. Two Science Faculty staff received the award for 2014, namely Associate Professor James Gain from Computer Science and Dr Spencer Wheaton from Physics.
Professor Guy Midgley, who presented this year's Distinguished Alumni lecture said that human beings are changing the planet so much that we may need to recognise a new geological era. He explained that we have lived in a CO2 constrained world for several million years but that we could, in the next few decades, push the CO2 levels to levels not seen for 50 million years. This represents a major evolutionary shock to modern ecosystems that have evolved under exceptionally low CO2 levels of the past million years.
High-quality three-dimensional seismic data, collected off the West Coast of South Africa by petroleum giants Total and Shell, will help geologists accurately pinpoint gas and oil in the area and also provide an invaluable training tool for the Department of Geological Sciences.