Hawley Selected as Oxford Scholar

Scott Hawley Headshot

Scott Hawley HeadshotDr. Scott Hawley, associate professor of Physics, has been accepted to participate in a program in Oxford, United Kingdom known as “Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities II” for the 2018 and 2019 summers. The program is hosted by the SCIO center (Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford). Hawley’s proposed research topic of “Christian Responses to the Ascendency of Artificial Intelligence” will involve collaborating with University of Oxford faculty and other Christian scholars from around the world to address challenges and opportunities posed by the increasing prevalence and power of Machine Learning (ML) systems and their impact on society.

Hawley began developing a passion for ML after attending a conference in 2014 where he identified key technologies likely to affect the careers of future students. Since then, he has worked with students applying ML techniques to solve problems related to acoustics and signal processing. He also maintains that ML has made him a better teacher. “There are many similarities between training AIs and training humans,” he said. The fields of Education and ML can benefit from these similarities.

The joint agreement between Belmont University and the other institutes and agencies will also involve supplementing existing Faith & Science initiatives at Belmont and will provide funding for an undergraduate student in Humanities to serve as Hawley’s research assistant and study abroad in Oxford. Students interested in the paid research assistant position should contact Dr. Hawley directly at scott.hawley@belmont.edu. Those interested must be majoring religion, philosophy, honors or computer science, graduating in 2019 or 2020.

The program is sponsored by a grant given by Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities II, a project run by Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford, the UK subsidiary of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, with funding by Templeton Religion Trust and The Blankemeyer Foundation.