I was delighted to have been given the opportunity for the two day 2018 Rosalind STEM conference at Newnham College at Cambridge University.

I felt that this was an eye opening opportunity for me to not only further my knowledge but to gain an insight into current topical issues.

For example, one of the lectures that I attended was “Can we refreeze the Arctic?” For the syndicate discussion, which followed after the lecture, we discussed methods to reduce the rate of global warming and the development of any new technology to help this. In this discussion we had to consider the costs and benefits but also people’s opinions and the impacts on regular people. Expert scientists suggest that the Arctic would have melted as soon as 2040! This is because the average person produces approximately 5 tonnes per year.

In addition to the discussion of climate change we also looked at ways of “Embracing mobility.” This lecture was conducted by Alex Kendall, a prosperous engineer and Cambridge graduate. Kendall specialises on car autonomy. His passion for this topic was delivered through his engaging lecture where we were told about his own mechanism for an automatic car. He also shared a fun fact which was that the first self-driving car was created in 1925! However, as nice as they idea sounds of having an automatic car there are many things we cannot overlook, for example who gets the blame if the car was to crash? What happens to taxi and Uber drivers?

Finally, my last and favorite lecture was “Can robots be creative?” We have already accepted the fact that some professions soon may be seized by robots — factory workers, couriers and even sports commentators. However, creative jobs were always considered to be safe. Why wouldn’t they be? After all, robots can’t duplicate the human flight of ideas….right?

Perhaps not. Maxim Orlovsky, neuroscientist and the founder of laboratory for cognitive architectures, forecasts a surge in robotic creativity. Robots are already showing vague attempts to be creative. There is a good chance that their potential will evolve over time.

Creativity is a boundless field, which can fit any number of players. Even in the pre-robotic age, Tesla’s discoveries were not competing against Einstein’s theories. Creative processes are based on synergy — the bigger the number of people (and maybe robots) that create something, wider opportunities open up for the future artists.

Overall, from this experience I realised that STEM has only really just started to develop and that we are far from the peak. It is the kind of field which has no limits where we can make anything possible and it’s a field which is suitable for anyone.

It was a great opportunity to meet so many unique students, engineers and many other people and an experience I would recommend to anyone and one which will won’t be forgotten.

Aleeyah Zuberi- 12GG