What’s happening at the University of Melbourne? News and Updates from Parkville

COURSE INFORMATION DAY

Course Information Day is a great opportunity to hear first-hand what STEM related opportunities exist at the University of Melbourne. The event will run on Monday 18 December, where you can ask questions about our Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics courses and have a tour of our campus and residential colleges.

The University of Melbourne offers through its Melbourne Model, the opportunity to create your own study path in over 41 different areas of Science through our Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Biomedical Science degrees like in areas such as Biology, Chemistry, Animal Health and Disease Management, Physics and Physiology.

Register to attend our Course Information Day here!

THRIVING AMID THE RISE OF THE MACHINES

Since 1948, futurists have warned about the impact automation could have on the human workforce, and now those changes are becoming a reality. Does it mean a re-think about what jobs humans can do better than machines?

Technology is destroying jobs, says Dr Greg Adamson, an expert in the social impact of advanced technology. There can no longer be any doubt about that hard fact of life in the 21st Century. The process is now inevitable, as automation, robotics and artificial intelligence embeds deeper into our society.

But with robots and automation proliferating – and with traditional jobs disappearing – what opportunities are there for humans in this new age?

WHY CAN’T WE CURE CANCER?

After heart disease, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world – 8.8 million people lost their lives to cancer in 2015.

A generation ago, one in three people in the developed world were diagnosed with cancer; in some countries it is now approaching one in two. Low- and middle-income countries are also severely affected – with the majority of cancer cases now presenting themselves in these countries.

Why despite the great strides in medical knowledge, does the world continue to struggle in finding a cure for cancer? This episode of The PolicyShop addresses this question with two world leading experts.

Nobel Laureate, Dr Harold Varmus, currently the Lewis Thomas University Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, who formally served as the Director of the National Institute of Health and as the Director of the National Cancer Institute in the United States and Associate Professor Sherene Loi, head of the Translational Breast Cancer Genomics Laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne join the host Professor Glyn Davis, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne.

You can find the podcast on iTunes or listen on our website, here!

ETHICS IN SCIENCE EVENT

With the rapid advancement of science, ethical dilemmas arise frequently. These range from the use of embryonic stem cells or animals in research, deciding how much power to give robots and artificial intelligence, how far to go with clinical trials in humans or using modern technology to decide whether one should turn off the life support of someone in coma.

Though science is not infallible, it is essential that scientific research is pursued with integrity and transparency and to the highest possible standards. Scientists owe this dedication and honesty to their pursuit of truth and to the tax-payer who both funds and is the beneficiary of the research.

At this forum, five internationally renowned scientists working in different fields will address some of these ethical issues and answer questions from the floor.

This Q&A type session will be moderated by Bernie Hobbs from the ABC (The New Inventors).

Register to attend our Ethics in Science forum here!

WHAT COULD SUSTAINABLE AUSTRALIAN CITIES LOOK LIKE IN 2040?

It’s 2040.

As you wake and look outside, things might not look hugely different to 2017 – there aren’t any hoverboards or sky highways – but Australian cities have managed to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent.

And how your day unfolds will look very different depending on how we reached this point.

How can Australia meet its cities energy needs whilst also meeting the country’s clean energy targets?

Read more about this article here!

What’s happening at Melbourne University?

What’s happening at Melbourne? News and Updates from Parkville

As written by the University of Melbourne

FOCUS ON MELBOURNE – COURSE INFORMATION EVENINGS

Our Focus on Agriculture, Biomedicine, Engineering, I.T, Science and Veterinary Science information evenings are a great way to learn more about our Biomedicine and Science undergraduate degrees and career pathways. The event will feature a range of different presentations, Q&A panels and opportunities to meet with our current staff and students.

  • Talk to our friendly staff about your study options in 2018
  • Hear from current students and staff about, and get a glimpse of University life
  • Explore majors, breadth options, electives, internships and research opportunities in your chosen faculty

Focus on Biomedicine – Tuesday 16 May
Focus on Agriculture – Thursday 18 May
Focus on Veterinary Science – Thursday 18 May
Focus on Engineering -Tuesday 23 May
Focus on I.T – Wednesday 24 May
Focus on Science – Tuesday 30 May

To learn more and register, visit the Focus on Melbourne website: https://futurestudents.unimelb.edu.au/explore/events/victoria_and_interstate/victoria/focus-on-melbourne

SHARKS – HOW A CULL CAN RUIN AN ECOSYSTEM

Killing of sharks in high numbers can devastate oceanic ecosystems, leading to plummeting populations and serious environmental consequences. Associate Professor Robert Day, a marine biologist in the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne, says sharks’ role is so tightly interwoven with the health of the ocean, if their numbers are reduced everything goes out of balance.

“The top predators in any ecosystem are very important because they decide on whether other creatures become numerous or not,” he says.

“If there is a lack of sharks, then fish and other ocean creatures that would otherwise be consumed by sharks will become too numerous and eat too many smaller creatures and so on, meaning that the whole ecosystem changes massively.”

Find out more about this amazing research here!

PLANTS HAVE FEELINGS TOO!

Plants may not have eyes, ears or a tongue, but their skin can perform many of the same functions. Plants are not only aware of when it rains or when it’s windy, but they can respond accordingly.

Dr Kim Johnson, a research fellow in the School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, studies the world of plant senses.

“Plants are constantly under environmental stresses. You can actually see how plants respond to those physical stresses because they change their shape,” Dr Kim Johnson says.

“So if a plant is getting constantly hit with strong wind, it will actually change shape to better resist that wind; if roots hit a rock, they’ll grow around it, so they sense things around them.”

Find out more about this amazing research here!

FROM POKEMON GO TO THE CLASS ROOM – HOW THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE AND MICROSOFT IS TAKING STUDENTS UNDER THE SKINS OF THEIR PATIENTS

Pokémon Go pushed Augmented Reality, or AR, into the mainstream, sending over 500 million people chasing cartoons with their smartphones. But now, in a unique multi-disciplinary collaboration, it’s making the leap from entertainment to education.

A new fusion of augmented reality, gaming technology, and anatomy is giving physiotherapy students at the University of Melbourne access to cutting-edge technology to take a look inside the human body by projecting different layers of muscles and bones over the top of a volunteer ‘patient’. It provides an inside view of how the body works as it moves in real time.

By using tracking sensors mounted on a scaffold it projects images of our muscles and skeleton directly onto a volunteer. The images automatically follow the shape and movement of the body, giving students in the studio space an interactive all-round view of how our bodies work. It can even allow them and their teachers to “draw” on the projected image to make information and action more explicit.

Find out more about this amazing research here!

What’s happening at Melbourne Uni? News and Updates from Parkville

All the latest news, direct from the University of Melbourne…

COURSE INFORMATION DAYS IN DECEMBER – ON CAMPUS & ONLINE

After you’ve got your ATAR, come to Course Information Day on Wednesday 14 December 2016 at the Parkville campus to find out what you can study at Melbourne in 2017.

  • Talk to our friendly staff about your study options in 2017.
  • Course information sessions will give you all the details about our undergraduate course and pathways to graduate study at Melbourne. You can also find out more about scholarships and our special entry schemes like Access Melbourne.
  • Tour our beautiful Parkville campus, located right on the fringe of Melbourne’s CBD, and take a look at our residential colleges.

Located in a rural area or interstate, or just can’t make it to the Parkville campus? Not a problem!

The Online Course Information Day on Thursday 15 December 2016 gives you the chance to learn more about your options, even if you can’t come and meet us in person. Log in and chat with our friendly staff, and get personalised advice about the undergraduate courses, pathways to graduate study, scholarships and special entry schemes that are relevant to you.

To learn more and register, visit the Change of Preference website: www.cop.unimelb.edu.au.

 

NEW SCIENCE GALLERY FOR THE UNIVERSITY

Science Gallery Melbourne will be a bold new addition to the University of Melbourne and the City of Melbourne, exploring the collision of art and science, and playing a vital role in shifting our understanding of science, art and innovation. Part of the acclaimed Science Gallery International network, the Gallery will be a dynamic new model for engaging 15-25 year olds with science. One of only eight nodes worldwide, Science Gallery Melbourne will involve, inspire and transform curious minds through arts and science.

The University of Melbourne is creating what will be Australia’s leading innovation precinct. Science Gallery Melbourne will be located in the landmark location, the intersection of Swanston and Grattan Streets, a gateway between the University and the city.

Scheduled to open in 2020, Science Gallery Melbourne will:

  • Attract over 250,000 visitors per annum
  • Impact the careers and pathways for 15-25 year olds in arts and science
  • Draw on the excellence embedded in the University of Melbourne and its inspiring program of teaching, research and engagement
  • Attract a global community of scientists and contemporary artists

 

MADE POSSIBLE BY MELBOURNE

In November, we launched Made Possible by Melbourne, a free exhibition in the Melbourne CBD celebrating world-changing research by the University of Melbourne.

Made Possible by Melbourne highlights several ground-breaking solutions that have been developed to tackle some of the most pertinent global issues. Featured are those such as bio-fortified rice to improve the nutrition and health for many in developing rural communities, flexible solar cells that help ease the transition to green power, and new classroom designs to enhance the achievement of each student’s academic potential. And this is just to name a few.

Perhaps closer to home is the use of financial modelling techniques to more effectively combat obesity, by analysing related decision processes. Such research highlights, more than anything else, the sheer possibility of how creativity can stretch the bounds of academic application.

And it’s all been made possible by the University of Melbourne.

Check out the video highlights of the exhibition here!

 

Food That Doesn’t Waste Water

Water is life, the world’s most precious resource. Yet across rural Australia, irrigation systems covering an estimated 2.5 million hectares of land are in desperate need of modernisation. In the United States, the figure is 10 times as high. Traditionally it takes around two and a half tonnes of water to grow 1kg of corn. However, in-ground sensors and automated watering systems developed by the University of Melbourne are helping farmers produce more crops using just half the water.

Now ground-breaking technologies developed over 15 years of collaboration between the University of Melbourne and Melbourne-based company Rubicon to automate irrigation networks are meeting the challenge of growing more food sustainably across an ever-hungrier world – and saving precious water.

Experience the Made Possible by Melbourne exhibit for this project here.

Find out more about this amazing project here!

 

Robots with a Human Touch

Restoring movement and the sensations of everyday life

Anyone who has lost the use of an arm through amputation, stroke or paralysis, has had not just movement and control, but also those vital, tangible human sensations stolen away.

Prosthetic limbs, once awkward, uncomfortable and limited in function, have come a long way, particularly with the advent of 3D printing. They can easily be custom fitted and even purpose built for various sports, as the recent Rio Paralympics have shown. Many of the most expensive models can be programmed to perform a remarkably wide range of movements. But none have been able to restore the sense of touch.
Yet some dare to dream. And turn dream into reality. Researchers from th
e University of Melbourne, in collaboration with the University of Wollongong and St Vincent’s Hospital’s Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery, are developing a robotic arm that could help return not only full movement but, one day, sensation.

Explore the Made Possible by Melbourne experience for this project here.

Learn more about this incredible research here.

Melbourne Next Step

The NYSF Next Step programs for 2014 kicked off in Melbourne in March, with visits to NYSF Partners CSL Ltd, GSK and The University of Melbourne.

“The purpose of the Next Step visits is to provide exposure for students who might be interested in studying at specific universities that provide us with funding, or in careers such as those provided by our partner organisations,” says NYSF Director, Damien Pearce. “Being able to provide the students with these opportunities adds real value to the program.”

Students toured the two industrial labs and facilities, and gained valuable insights into the complexities of the processes associated with the development of commercial products.

Outside CSL

Students’ comments included:

“I was surprised to hear about the breadth of jobs available in the pharmaceutical industry. I also did not expect that the flu vaccine encompassed so many eggs to produce.”

“(I learned about …) the size of the biomedical industry in Australia.”

“… the strong engineering side to the company.”

“The tour was brilliant, to be able to suit up and go around to all the different stations and seeing the whole production run was fantastic.”

“I really enjoyed how much of the facility we were able to tour as well as finding out how the products worked. It was nice being able to see the science behind products I use everyday as an asthmatic.”

The visit to partner The University of Melbourne offered students a full day of lectures, lab visits and opportunities to inspect specific areas of the university, such as the genetics and microbiology labs.  There was also opportunity to do some hands-on activities, such as gram staining.

After the visit, students commented:

“I have always wanted to go to Melbourne Uni and this cemented this even further.”

“As a student that does not study physics I was astounded about how I found the presentation ‘From the Higgs Boson to the Bionic Eye’ so interesting, entertaining and engaging. I would attribute this to the absolute passion of the speaker and his excellence in communicating this, and I wish to thank Melbourne University for this experience. All of the seminars were incredibly interesting and certainly were the highlight of Next Step. Furthermore, I am now considering applying for Melbourne as my primary choice.”

UniMelb Next Step 2014 Alistair Chandler

“It was really good to see the facilities up close, Melbourne has always been where I wanted to study but it was good to see up close where I may want to study and also to see up close the job opportunities that come from it, it was all so interesting and pretty cool to get these opportunities that most people don’t have access to.”

“I would like to thank these financial partners and encourage them to continue to support such an amazing program. The allowing of us to tour their facilities and learn about their companies is just another generous thing they have done. This forum as well as the subsequent programs nurtures the future of science in Australia and allows us insight into field of science which we may not have considered before. Thank you so much for contributing as a financial partner, personally NYSF has been life changing and I would like future generations of scientists to experience it.”