School of Mathematics


General Audience Maths Edinburgh Seminars

Speakers from the School of Mathematics will explain their research to a general mathematical audience, including mature undergraduates, postgraduates, postdocs and staff. Each session will contain two 25 minutes talks.

This seminar series will be a great opportunity to:
- Get an idea about the research which is going on in the School
- Reinforce relationships between staff and students, and give our undergraduates an idea of "what it is like to be a mathematician"
Please, contact Francesca Iezzi, if you are interested in giving a talk.


Schedule for Autumn 2017

Tuesday 7th November 2017, 13:00-14:00, room 5323 (research seminar room)
Kostas Zygalakis
Bayesian Uncertainty Quantification in the Classification of High Dimensional Data

In this talk, we present a Bayesian framework for semi-supervised binary classification on graphs. We develop several Bayesian models through the construction of a Gaussian prior from the graph Laplacian. Connections to the Ginzburg-Landau model are also made through the notion of a push-forward of the Gaussian prior under the double-well thresholding. We introduce efficient MCMC methods designed for large data sets to effectively sample from the posterior distribution for large scale problems. Through a variety of numerical experiments, we demonstrate the ability to perform uncertainty quantification by sampling from the posterior distribution. In particular, we observe empirically that the posterior mean and variance aligns well with certain external notions of uncertainty.

Francisco Sobral
Models in trust-region algorithms

In this talk, we will show a very general version of a trust-region algorithm for unconstrained optimization problems. The idea is to extract only the important conditions that a model should have in order to successfully prove convergence of the algorithm. The described algorithm can then be used in a derivative-free implementation.



Tuesday 21st November 2017, 13:00-14:00, room 5323 (research seminar room)


Chris Dent
Famous quotes on energy systems modelling

Mathematical and computer modelling is widely used to support decisions in energy systems planning and in development of government energy policy. This talk will explore key issues in the use of modelling for decision support (with the help of a few experts from history), and give a flavour of what we at Edinburgh are doing about these.



Tuesday 5th December 2017, 13:00-14:00, room 5323 (research seminar room)


Jonathan Gair