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SKA: international technology project with Big Data capabilities
March 12, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is a collaborative international project to build the world’s largest radio telescope with a surveying ability 10 000 times faster than current technologies and 50 times more sensitive. Together with the MeerKAT, it will be a premier global science facility attracting leading astronomers, researchers and scientists to South Africa and inspiring interest in science and engineering.
With vast amount of data to process – 50 times as much data as the entire worldwide web – the SKA project requires computer science and data analytic skills which will contribute to Big Data, one of the fastest growing industries globally. Big Data is the analysis of high-volume data to uncover valuable insights and create value for businesses and governments (Smart Cities, Smart Electricity Grid, Smart Health Services), but there is a serious shortage of talent globally. SKA will develop these technology skills and is partnering with Cambridge University, ASTRON, IBM, Intel and CISCO, regarding the technology to be used by the SKA.
Join us as we hear from Prof Bernard Fanaroff, Project Director of SKA regarding the scope of the project in South Africa and the impact on science, engineering and Big Data analytics. Prof Fanaroff was recently awarded the Order of Mapungubwe (Silver) for his contribution to astronomy and dedication in putting South Africa on the map with the SKA Project and has aspirations that ‘the Square Kilometre Array will result in Nobel prizes being won by African scientists in Africa.’
About Dr Bernard Fanaroff
Dr Bernard Fanaroff is the Project Director of the South African SKA Project, a non-executive director of Eskom, a member of the National Broadband Advisory Council with a PhD in Radio Astronomy from Cambridge University. He was a trade unionist for 17 years and a member of the COSATU Central Executive Committee, before he was appointed Deputy Director General to the Office of President Mandela and as Head of the Reconstruction and Development Programme in 1994. He returned to astronomy in 2003 as part of the nascent SKA project.