Upcoming Asa Briggs Fellowship lectures

Asa Briggs Fellows Victor Leung, Mehita Iqani and Christopher Miller

Three Asa Briggs Visiting Fellows will be giving guest lectures at Sussex this autumn and they are available to book online now. Each lecture is by a prestigious international academic working alongside Sussex colleagues for the duration of their visit.

Internet of Things
Victor Leung, Professor of Advanced Telecommunications Engineering, University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada
Wednesday 6 September 12 noon, Chichester Lecture Theatre

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The Internet of Things (IoT) extends the Internet to connect not only computers and smart devices carried by people, but “things” with embedded sensors, actuators, and networking capabilities. IoT will enable many new services and applications such as smart grids, intelligent transportation, e-health and smart homes/buildings/offices/factories, which will be an integral part of the future smart cities. However, widespread deployment of IoT in society, especially in the context of smart cities, is challenged by a number of issues, most notably the utility, efficiency and security of IoT solutions. In this presentation, we shall focus on the first two of these issues. 

Victor C. M. Leung is a Professor and the holder of the TELUS Mobility Research Chair in Advanced Telecommunications Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia. His research interests are in the areas of wireless networks and mobile systems. He has co-authored more than 1,000 technical papers in international journals and conference proceedings, in addition to a number of edited books and book chapters in these areas. Several of his papers have been selected for best paper awards.

Mediated Consumption and Gender in the Global South: A Transnational Perspective
Mehita Iqani, Associate Professor in Media Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Wednesday 20 September, 6.30pm, Chowen Lecture Theatre

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The majority of countries in the world have been historically and systemically excluded from the prosperity brought about by globalised economic and financial systems. Yet those countries and their populations – the majority of whom remain trapped in poverty – are exposed to knowledge about the commodities, consumption practices and individualistic values that their more economically privileged counterparts enjoy due to the globalised media systems. This inherent paradox – the visibility of consumption in global media and the deprivation of all but the most basic material opportunities – requires theorization in the service of a broader social justice agenda.This talk will reflect on how gender in specific plays into the moralisation of “southern” consumption in media discourse.

Mehita Iqani is Associate Professor in Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. During her time at Sussex Professor Iqani is collaborating with Dr Simidele Dosekun on the project African Luxury: Aesthetics and Politics. The project moves beyond predominant views of Africa as a place to be ‘saved’, as well as more recent formulations of it as ‘rising,’ to focus on the visual and material cultures of luxury consumption – champagne, designer wear, glitzy shopping malls and so on – on the continent. 

The Final Frontier for Einstein's Theory of Gravity
Christopher Miller, Associate Professor, University of Michigan, USA
Wednesday 25 October, 6.30pm, Chowen Lecture Theatre

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In 1914, Einstein brought forth his foundations for General Relativity (GR) to explain gravity using the geometry of space and time. Einstein's GR ushered in the beginning of a new scientific paradigm shift for the science of the origin and development of the universe ("cosmology"). This is now a golden age, similar to the centuries around Plato, Copernicus and Newton, and we are privileged to be witnesses to this paradigm shift in real-time. All scientific paradigms go through a long period of intense testing, as the data and the scientific methods push the theory to its limits. A primary goal of cosmologists is to test GR to strengthen and harden the theory until it becomes a natural law. Einstein's original theory of GR has so far survived all tests against it. 

However, the Universe is vast and there are physical scales on which GR should apply, but which are also so large that it has been difficult to test. Consider clusters of galaxies, which are the largest gravitationally bound objects in the Universe. Clusters entrap galaxies on scales of tens of millions of light years (i.e. 100 times larger than our own Milky Way). Does GR still apply over such large distances in space-time? A consequence of GR is that matter/energy tell space-time how to geometrically curve. This curvature bends light and tells matter/energy how to move. New astronomical instrumentation is providing cosmologists the data to combine the bending of light with the dynamics of the trapped galaxies in clusters to test GR on the largest possible scales. The final frontier of general realtivity is within reach. Will Einstein again be proven correct? Or will these data open the door to a new shift in our cosmological paradigm?

Christopher Miller is Associate Professor at the University of Michigan. During his Fellowship Professor Miller will be collaborating with Professor Kathy Romer on the project Using Clusters of Galaxies to study the Dark Universe. The project will focus on the characterization of Dark Matter and Dark Energy using clusters of galaxies.



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Posted on behalf of: Sussex Research
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Last updated: Wednesday, 30 August 2017