The Zooniverse

The two projects I participated in were studying explosions on the sun in the solar storm watch and analyzing real life cancer data using cell slider. I really enjoyed the concepts of the projects. I liked analyzing the cancer data It made me feel involved in something bigger than myself. I was involved in eradicating the dreadful disease once and for all. It is true that some may find this project very minimal and unnecessary but by looking at these slides we improve efficiency and leave more time for analysis.  I consider this a very useful and important venture. It may even spark curiosity among the users who then delve further into the topic of cancer. They may even wish to become more involved and get an education in the field. The bigger picture gives a sense of fulfillment and being a part of something extraordinary. The littlest things are sometimes the most important and by taking the time to look at the cells, it saves a chunk of time that the scientists can devote to figuring out a cure.

In the solar storm watch project was much more interactive than the cancer analysis. There was a training process the you had to go through that taught you about all the controls and what exactly you were looking for. Identifying what was considered a solar storm was not easy as the surface of the sun is very active. You also had to pinpoint the time when the storm started or was first seen. You are told that many people look at the same videos and each person’s data is analyzed to get the most accurate data possible. This was more complex than the cancer project as everything looked so similar, especially in the black and white videos. I felt more pressure when doing this project as I was never completely sure that I was identifying and classifying objects accurately.

From the two projects it can be seen that different projects require different degrees of participation and they have different degrees of difficulties and complexities. There are projects available for many interests and each one allows you to gain new knowledge on the topic. You get a small glimpse of what scientists and researchers do and I believe these projects are meant to excite the users, leading them  to do their own research on the topic and gain knowledge. I believe this site would be very useful in classrooms, to expose students to the different fields that exists in science. This site promotes the culture of ‘do-it-yourself’ science that is emerging in society today and I believe this should be encouraged. Many hands make light work and this approach can lead to new discoveries faster.

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One thought on “The Zooniverse

  1. You did a great job here of describing the tasks and also describing how you experienced them. Good set of details!

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