Entrance hall of the ICMSPublic Events 2016

September

From tea to infinity: a story of randomised algorithms

Gareth Roberts, University of Warwick

Wednesday 7th September, 18:00 (Doors open at 17:30)
Newhaven Lecture Theatre, 15 South College Street

This lecture will describe the some of the remarkable properties of randomised algorithms as used in stochastic simulation and numerical integration. The story will begin with a famous randomised experiment to investigate whether Lady Ottoline, a tea connoisseur, really could detect whether milk was added to her cup before or after the tea itself. The lecture will then move on to consider the development of the classical tools of stochastic simulation, including Markov chain Monte Carlo. Finally it will consider some of the modern challenges and successes of the area.

This talk will be followed by an informal reception to which ticket holders are invited.

Tickets are free and available from Eventbrite



July

Eliminating infectious diseases – are some easier than others?

Deirdre Hollingsworth, University of Warwick

Tuesday 5th July, 17:30 (Doors open at 17:00)
Newhaven Lecture Theatre, 15 South College Street

Although only one infectious disease of humans has been eradicated (smallpox), there are global efforts to eliminate the suffering associated with a number of diseases around the world. These include diseases which used to be present in the more affluent parts of the world, but are now rarely seen – such as leprosy or intestinal worms - as well as those which particularly affect tropical regions, such as river blindness and sleeping sickness. Part of the motivation for these elimination campaigns is that they have been eliminated from some areas of the globe and therefore should be possible to eliminate in other areas. Mathematical models of the spread of these diseases are informing control strategies and can help us understand when and why elimination and eradication can be particularly hard. Using simple examples of the insights from mathematical models you will be shown how we evaluate control strategies and assess whether elimination may be possible.

Doors open 17:00. The talk will start at 17:30
Please note this is earlier than standard ICMS public lectures.

This talk will be followed by an informal reception to which ticket holders are invited.

Tickets are free and available from Eventbrite


What is the world we live in? Mysteries of computing

Alexei Miasnikov, Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey

Tuesday 12th July, 6pm (Doors open at 5.30pm)
Newhaven Lecture Theatre, 15 South College Street

For a long time physics was capturing the imagination of scientists in trying to resolve the major mysteries of the material world. Nowadays, with the digital world around us, it transpires that the foundations of computing is the most intriguing part of modern research. In this talk I would like to describe the most fundamental unresolved problems that cryptography and computation are facing now.

Doors open 17:30. The talk will start at 18:00

This talk will be followed by an informal reception to which ticket holders are invited.

Tickets are free and available from Eventbrite


When water waves act up: hydrodynamic laser and quantum analogues

Paul Milewski, University of Bath

Tuesday 19th July, 6pm (Doors open at 5.30pm)
Newhaven Lecture Theatre, 15 South College Street

Water waves have been studied for centuries and are an endless source of fascination and difficult mathematical problems. In this talk we discuss how some recent work has shown that water waves can mimic behavior of wave phenomena at two ends of the physics spectrum: extremely high energy lasers and quantum phenomena. We expect this second analogue to help discern which behaviours in quantum mechanics are truly unique to the quantum world.

This talk will be followed by an informal reception to which ticket holders are invited.

Tickets are free and available from Eventbrite.


Real and complex cubic curves

John Milnor, Stonybrook University

Video of this lecture can be viewed here

Wednesday 27th June, 6pm (Doors open at 5.30pm)
Newhaven Lecture Theatre, 15 South College Street

Cubic curves have fascinated mathematicians for more than 300 years, and continue to be important. As one example, Andrew Wiles's proof of Fermat's Last Theorem was based on a very deep study of cubic curves. The present lecture will try to give an elementary expositio of some basic properties, including a simple (and possibly new?) classification of real cubic curves.

Professor Milnor is one of only four mathematicians to have been awarded the Fields Medal, the Wolf Prize and the Abel Prize - and Wikipedia lists 14 things named after him! Further reading is available here.

This talk will be followed by an informal reception to which ticket holders are invited.

Tickets are free and available from Eventbrite.



June

Quantifying the value of flexibility in future lower carbon energy systems

 Goran Strbac, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College

Thursday 9th June, 6pm (Doors open at 5.30pm)
Newhaven Lecture Theatre, 15 South College Street

Addressing the challenge of degradation in asset utilisation in future low carbon energy systems, will require radially enhanced integration of energy infrastructures, including application of novel flexible technologies and solutions. Furthermore, there is very significant uncertainty regarding the future system evolution and which imposes very substantial challenges associated with developing planning strategies to ensure robustness. In this context, this talk will focus on assessing the value of flexible technologies through comprehensive system models that simultaneously balance long-term investment related decisions against short-term operation-related decisions across the entire system. This will also include application of advanced stochastic models for optimisation of system operation and planning under uncertainty and quantification of the option value of emerging technologies

This talk will be followed by an informal reception to which ticket holders are invited.

Tickets are free and available from Eventbrite.


Controlling Waves: 500 Million Years Ago to Tomorrow

 Ross McPhedran, University of Sydney

Wednesday 22nd June, 6pm (Doors open at 5.30pm)
Newhaven Lecture Theatre, 15 South College Street

This public lecture will describe two topics. The first of these is the impact of the evolution of image-forming eyes on the diversity of marine species around 500 million years ago, relying on what we can learn from comparison of the fossil records and existing species. The second concerns cloaking, the hiding of objects from detection by waves-i.e. the attainment of sorts of invisibility.

This talk will be followed by an informal reception to which ticket holders are invited.

Tickets are free and available from Eventbrite.



May

Symmetry in chemistry and engineering: Maxwell still going strong at 185

Patrick Fowler, Department of Chemistry, University of Sheffield

Tuesday 31st May, 6pm (Doors open at 5.30pm)
Newhaven Lecture Theatre, 15 South College Street

The ideas of James Clerk Maxwell, a giant of 19th century science, are still helping to make new links between research on structures as small as molecules or as big as bridges. When Maxwell's ideas are combined with consideration of symmetry, engineers, and chemists can learn something from each other about structures that don't fall down, toys, viruses and polyhedra that change shape, and materials that get fatter when stretched. This talk will discuss some of these developments, with a minimum of mathematics and a maximum of pictures.

This talk will be followed by an informal reception to which ticket holders are invited.

Tickets are free and available from Eventbrite.



April

Science Festival Logo

 

The ICMS Edinburgh International Science Festival Event 2016

Future Cities: do they all add up?

Sunday 3rd April 2016, 20.00pm

The Red Lecture Theatre, Summerhall

What will the cities of the future look like? How will people move around in them and dispose of their rubbish? These questions may be difficult but maths just might be able to give us some answers! Using advanced computer models, data displays and powerful graphical simulations to see what is currently happening in our cities, and might happen in the future, mathematicians can make an impact at the heart of the debate about future cities. 

Join Prof Chris Budd OBE, Dr Clémentine Cottineau1, Prof Peter Grindrod CBE, Prof Des Higham, Dr Nick McCullen and Dr Paul Shepherd to share an evening of lively debate about how cities will evolve in the future and why decisions and interventions should be based on quantitative, testable predictions. For more about our panellists' individual interests and links to their own web sites, see our Future Cities page.

Tickets are £8.50 (£6.50, £4.25) and available from the Edinburgh International Science Festival box office.

1There is a change to the panel listed in the Festival's printed programme. Dr Hannah Fry is no longer able to attend.



March

Physics meets biology in The Garden of Earthly Delights

Sarah A. Harris, School of Physics and Astronomy and Astbury Centre for Structural and Molecular Biology
University of Leeds

Tuesday 1st March, 6pm (Doors open at 5.30pm)
Newhaven Lecture Theatre, 15 South College Street

Theoretical physics can quantitatively describe a diverse range of inert materials, from high energy plasmas in fusion reactors to ultra-cold atoms at temperatures close to absolute zero. However, even with the most power supercomputers we are not currently able to predict how biological molecules, such as proteins and DNA, will interact with each other or how they will respond to an environmental change. I will discuss what makes the molecules that constitute living systems so difficult to understand, using computer simulations to visualise how the interplay between order and chaos at the molecular level gives rise to their complex behaviours. While modern supercomputers are used to perform the computations, an equivalent portrait of life on Earth as a balance between the tranquillity of Heaven and the tumults of Hell is expressed by the Garden of Earthly Delights, painted 500 years ago by Hieronymus Bosch.

Doors open 17:30. This talk will be followed by an informal reception to which ticket holders are invited.

Tickets are free and available from Eventbrite.


Applying game theory to livestock disease control

Louise Matthews, The Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
University of Glasgow

Wednesday 2nd March, 5.30pm
(Doors open at 5.00pm. Tea and coffee available)
Newhaven Lecture Theatre, 15 South College Street 

ICMS is delighted to be hosting a public lecture on behalf of the the Institute of Mathematics & its Applications. Dr Matthews will discuss the risks and benefits of using a game theoretical approach to veterinary epidemiology.

Tickets are free and available from Eventbrite.