Speakers Profile - Dr Alan Duffy

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Associate Professor Duffy is an astronomer at Swinburne University creating baby universes on the nationís most powerful supercomputers to understand how galaxies like our own Milky Way form and explore nature of the hidden universe, dark matter and dark energy.

He is a regular on ABC TVís Breakfast News, Network Tenís The Project and has recently appeared in Stargazing Live: Back to Earth with Brian Cox and Todd Sampsonís Life on the Line.

He is an experienced corporate/public speaker in astrophysics, aboriginal astronomy and science and technology (in particular Big Data, Machine Learning / AI). He has given public talks in the Sydney Opera House for TEDx Sydney- The Power of Simple Questions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5P4Yc-GiU8, and opened to 5000 at Neil DeGrasse Tysonís Melbourne tour. He wrote and starred in a science show about dark matter, Dark, shown in 148 planetariums in 25 countries worldwide, and does many school talks nationally.

He was also named Menís Style Magazineís Men of Influence and Sunday Time Magazineís Best and Brightest as well as State Finalist in the Fresh Science Award for science communication and recently Commbankís Australian of the Day.

Dr Duffy speaks on a variety topics including:

How did the universe begin? How big is it? Whatís a black hole and why is most of the universe invisible? Find out answers to questions youíve never dared to ask.

Shared skies / Aboriginal astronomy
Explore the beautiful Southern Night Sky from three different perspectives, modern astrophysics, Greek mythology and Aboriginal astronomy that was ahead of European efforts for centuries. As a shared heritage the night sky can be a source of national pride for Australia, and our construction of the worldís largest telescope is a millennia long national heritage.

Searching for ET
In the last decade we have realised nearly every star in the night sky has a planet. In the next decade new telescopes will allow us to see if these planets can host life and potentially detect their communication signals. How will we undertake this search? What challenges do we face? Are we ready to answer ďare we alone?Ē

Challenges of Big Data are out of this world
Upcoming telescopes such as the Square Kilometre Array will create an internetís worth of data each and every day. Yet astronomy is already facing the challenges of Big Data. Learn how open source design and massive new supercomputers are helping find the galaxies within the data deluge.

Ethics in a technological world
With Big Data and sophisticated machine learning we will soon live in a world of constant and all-pervasive monitoring. Will the benefits outweigh the threats to privacy? What challenges will we face in living within such a world? And what does finding galaxies have to do with ethics in this era of Big Data?

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