The KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence (CoE) had an impressive presence at the Mediterranean Science Festival, the largest celebration of Science and Technology in Cyprus. The Mediterranean Science Festival took place at the Old Port Square in Limassol between 27 - 30 of April 2017. Its central theme was “Evolving with Science” and aimed to bring Science out of the labs and the classrooms in order attract the interest of the wider public.

 

Christina Orphanidou (Associate Researcher, KIOS Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence, University of Cyprus), made a resounding statement with her topic “My data is bigger than yours!” during the Cafés Scientifiques activity. It is a fact that Big Data have found their way into applications in most sciences, the economy, the industry and technology. These systems have already led to the development of autonomous cars and clinical diagnostic systems. Applications are increasing exponentially! But what exactly are Big Data? How big are they and how can they help us make better decisions? Can they become too big and swallow us? And most importantly, are her bigger than ours? Christina discussed all the above questions with the audience and gave simple answers as a way of helping the audience understand the complicated concept of Big Data.

 

Then, the clever drones of KIOS CoE came to deal with urgent incidents! Cameras are everywhere watching us, but who and how can analyse hours of video footage and identify possible dangers? With the use of embedded systems it is possible to analyse and extract this information in real time. The attendants could see and understand how this works, while intelligent quadcopters with embedded cameras demonstrated a real time, shape identification machine vision technique.

 

Finally, KIOS CoE could not be absent from the biggest Science Communication competition worldwide, FameLab. For the very first time, the judging committee of the competition included a member of KIOS CoE faculty, Maria M. Michael (Associate Professor, KIOS Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence, University of Cyprus). Maria was responsible for judging and evaluating how effective the contestants engaged and entertained the public by breaking down science, technology and engineering concepts into their three minute presentations.

 

FameLab was started in 2005 in the UK by Cheltenham Science Festival and has quickly become established as a diamond model for successfully identifying, training and mentoring scientists and engineers to share their enthusiasm for their subjects with the public. The objectives of the competition are directly coincident with the goals and aspirations of KIOS CoE, and this can be shown by the fact that Constantinos Timinis (Outreach Manager, KIOS Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence) and Louiza Sophocleous (Ph.D. student, KIOS Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence) were the winners of 2015 and 2016 respectively

 

Events like the Mediterranean Science Festival promote creativity, cultivate critical thinking, and primarily advertise science and the scientific community in the most efficient way. The "KIOS" is currently in the process of upgrading to an International Research Excellence Center in cooperation with the Imperial College of London, and one of the main objectives of this project is to upgrade scientific competitiveness in Cyprus. The participation of the Center in the Mediterranean Science Festival was a good step forward to this direction.

 

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