University of Sydney academics on tour for one night only

24 September 2018
After three sold-out seasons, Raising the Bar returns to Sydney on Wednesday 17 October. Join us as our academics take to Sydney's bars to talk heatwaves, happiness, artificial intelligence and much more.
Raising the Bar is getting me to speak about my research in a pub to a broader audience, with no slides or board to write down my formulas, it’s definitely taking me out of my comfort zone.
Dr Lamiae Azizi

Move over trivia night, it’s time to learn something new in Sydney’s bars as University of Sydney academics take their research out of the labs and lecture theatres, and into the city for Raising the Bar 2018.

Back for its fourth season, Raising the Bar Sydney will see 20 academics deliver 20 talks across ten bars in Surry Hills and the CBD on Wednesday 17 October. With talks starting at two different session times (6.30pm and 8pm), attendees will have the opportunity to take in two talks across the evening.

Tickets are now available for a wide range of talks including surviving heatwaves, the generational divide, Indigenous languages and the philosophy of happiness.

Dr Lamiae Azizi from the School of Mathematics and Statistics and Deputy Director of the Centre for Translational Data Science will step into Surly’s in Surry Hills to chat about artificial intelligence in healthcare and other industries and says she finds the concept equal parts fun and challenging.

“Raising the Bar is getting me to speak about my research in a pub to a broader audience, with no slides or board to write down my formulas, it’s definitely taking me out of my comfort zone.

“For my talk, everyone knows the role of a doctor in our society but not everyone understands that at the core of most technologies is maths. I hope I’m able to share with my audience the fascinating things myself and my peers are trying to do to better understand the world we live in and transform it for the best,” says Dr Azizi.

Raising the Bar is a popular worldwide initiative that started in New York and has since spread to Hong Kong, London and other Australian capital cities.

Tickets are free and available from Get in quick, talks are sure to sell out.

To help you pick, here’s a sneak peek of some of the talks, with plenty more to choose from.

The heat is on
Presented by Ollie Jay

Ollie Jay

8pm at Harpoon Harry
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We whinge about the humidity while seeking solace in climate-controlled rooms – but how much do we actually understand heat? Does 30 degrees feel the same to you as the next person?

Ollie Jay will turn up the heat on temperature and human health, address the elephant in the room (that’s climate change) and teach us how to stay cool without an air-conditioner.

Minority report
Presented by Dimitria Groutsis

Dr Dimitria Groutsis

6.30pm at Since I left you
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In Australia, there are more men in senior leadership positions named John than there are women. To add insult to injury, an analysis of 100 ASX directors in 2015 found only two women and 28 men were of a culturally diverse background.

Discussing these discrepancies is Dimitria Groutsis, who will explore how diversity can increase productivity and creativity and the simple steps we can take to increase leadership diversity.

The end of the world as we know it?
Presented by Dale Dominey-Howes

Professor Dale Dominey-Howes

6.30pm at Della Hyde
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Join geographer Dale Dominey-Howes as he examines how people process natural disasters. Does it still constitute a ‘disaster’ if it occurs in an unpopulated area and no-one is affected?

In answering this question, Dale will explore the difference between hazards and disasters, uncover the most catastrophic natural tragedies of all time and dissect the inextricable link between climate change and natural disasters.

Artificial unintelligent
Presented by Lamiae Azizi

Dr Lamiae Azizi

8pm at Surly's
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Artificial intelligence isn’t naturally intelligent. And the machines we’re building for manufacturing, healthcare and many other purposes aren’t actually smart – yet. This is where Lamiae Azizi comes in.

In order to improve robot performance, we need to teach machines to think and interact with the world around them. Lamiae will discuss what’s being done to develop the next generation of AI-based machines and the moral conundrums this may present.

Click here for the full list of talks. Tickets are free and available now.

Not sure which talk is right for you? Try our quiz 

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