ICMS Public Events 2019

2019 ICMS Public Events

SOLD OUT A public lecture by David Sumpter, University of Uppsala
18:00, Tuesday 2 April 2019

Algorithms are part of our lives. What we see on social media and in the news is decided by a piece of computer code. The Cambridge Analytica scandal, the spread of fake news and the idea that we are living in a filter bubble have all risen to prominence in recent years. I look closely at the maths behind these algorithms, I talked to the people who worked at Cambridge Analytica at the time of the scandal and I try to work out what we should and shouldn’t worry about. I also look at the rise of Artificial Intelligence. There is a lot to worry about algorithms in our lives, but we don’t always focus on the right things.

David Sumpter is Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Uppsala, Sweden. His research covers everything from the inner workings of fish schools and ant colonies, through social psychology and segregation in society, to machine learning and artificial intelligence. David has written two popular science books, Soccermatics (Bloomsbury, 2016) and Outnumbered (Bloomsbury, 2018).

This event is now SOLD OUT, you can add yourself to the waiting list Eventbrite Link

Doors open at 17.40. Talk begins at 18.00.


SOLD OUT A public lecture by Katie Steckles, Sheffield Hallam University, freelance maths communicator
18:00, Tuesday 5 March 2019

Mathematics is a huge and beautiful subject with broad applications, and yet it's some people's least favourite topic at school. In my career studying and talking about mathematics, I've faced some interesting challenges and communicated many different aspects of mathematics in a variety of ways. From busking in the street to demonstrating convergent series on prime-time TV, I'll chart my progress so far (with actual charts of course), and share some of my favourite mathematical demonstrations.

Katie Steckles is a mathematician based in Manchester, who gives talks and workshops and writes about mathematics. She finished her PhD in 2011, and since then has talked about maths in schools, at science festivals, on BBC radio and TV, at music festivals, as part of theatre shows and on the internet. She currently lectures part-time at Sheffield Hallam University, and is working on a set of popular maths/science books.

SOLD OUT A public lecture by Ruth King, University of Edinburgh
18:00, Tuesday 5 February 2019

The use of Bayesian statistics pervades nearly all areas of society. The basic underlying principle on which this relies (Bayes Theorem) can be expressed in a single statement – and paraphrasing can be thought of as “current beliefs/knowledge = past beliefs/knowledge x new information”.  In other words our current understanding can be regarded as an update of our previous understanding when we receive new information. For example, this is very much how our own brains understand new information – we interpret this new information in light of our experiences to date. In this talk we will discuss some of the underlying principles of Bayesian statistics and its associated history – from its “birth” relating to a simple statement of the Reverend Thomas Bayes published (post-humously) in 1763, to its subsequent fall in popularity with statisticians between the 1920-1980s before its big  resurgence in the 1980’s onwards in to the modern day – and the associated reasons. The importance of Bayesian statistics continues to increase with this principle being the foundation of much of Artificial Intelligence and beyond.

Ruth King obtained a PhD in Statistics in 2001 from the University of Bristol. She moved to Cambridge to take up a research associateship (2001-3) before obtaining an EPSRC postdoctoral fellowship in Mathematics (2003-5) and was simultaneously appointed as a lecturer in Statistics at the University of St Andrews also in 2003. Ruth remained in St Andrews for 12 years before moving to the University of Edinburgh in 2015 to become the Thomas Bayes' Chair of Statistics. Ruth was elected a fellow of the Learned Society of Wales in 2017; and the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2018.