GAMES -- General Audience Maths Edinburgh Seminar

Dates: October 10,   October 24,   November 7,   November 21;
Time: 1.05 -- 2.00pm;
Room: JCMB 6206.


In this seminar, speakers from Edinburgh explain their research to a general mathematical audience including final year undergraduate students, PhD students, postdocs and faculty from the School of Mathematics. We'll try to have a good mix of speakers coming from all the different research areas within the school. We'll typically have two talks of 25 minutes each.


  • Learn about the diverse research interests and projects within the school.
  • Learn/improve to give a understandable research talk to a general (mathematical) audience.

    Give a talk:

    Please contact the organisers if you are interested in giving a talk in the seminar
    (m (dot) kalck (at) ed (dot) ac (dot) uk ; m (dot) lanini (at) ed (dot) ac (dot) uk; k (dot) uda (at) ed (dot) ac (dot) uk.

    Mairi Walker (our Mathematics Engagement Officer) kindly offered support in preparing the talks.


    Monday October 10, 2016.

    13.05 - 13.30: Jacques Vanneste, Urban pollution and large deviations..

    13.35 - 14.00: Peter Richtárik, Stochastic reformulations of linear systems and fast stochastic algorithms.

    Monday October 24, 2016, (13.10 -- 13.45).

    13.10 - 13.40: Chris Sangwin, The pendulum plane and puzzling?

    Monday November 7, 2016.

    13.05 - 13.30: Jacques Fleuriot (School of Informatics), Interactive Theorem Proving = Mathematics ∩ Programming .

                            Abstract: In this talk, I will give a gentle introduction to computer-based
                            interactive theorem proving and present some arguments as to why it is
                            a rewarding activity that can blend the joys of mathematics and programming.

    13.35 - 14.00: Ruth King, Is your model a hidden Markov model? (and why does it matter?).

                            Abstract: Data are becoming increasingly complex as the quantity and quality
                            of data is continually increasing. In order to make sense of the data, and increase
                            our understanding of the underlying system, statistical models are often constructed
                            to represent the main underlying processes of the system under study. The models are
                            then fitted to the observed data which in turn provides insight into the system. I will
                            consider data that are recorded over a period of time, for example, stock market data,
                            health data (EEG monitoring) or GPS tracking data. For such data the observations are
                            not independent of each other but are serially correlated (i.e. the observation at time t
                            is related to the observation at time t-1). In this talk I will present the idea of hidden
                            Markov models (HMM), demonstrating their versatility to different systems and the
                            simplifications that can be obtained if we are able to express a model in HMM form.

    Monday November 21, 2016.

    13.10- 13.40: Ben Leimkuhler, Symplectic integrators for fun and profit..

                            Abstract: Symplectic integrators are numerical methods which `exactly’ preserve
                            an underpinning geometric structure associated to Hamiltonian systems. It has been
                            found that these elegant schemes allow more faithful reproduction of qualitative
                            properties and, for example, they are the go-to tool for simulating gravitational systems
                            (e.g. the future of the solar system) and to simulate trajectories in particle accelerators.
                            What is perhaps surprising is their profound influence on modern statistics and data science.
                            I will discuss some basic features of symplectic integrators and attempt to motivate
                            their widespread popularity.

    See GAMES in autumn 2015 and GAMES in spring 2016 for information about the seminar in previous terms including slides, notes and a video!

    Organisers: Martin Kalck, Martina Lanini. Kenneth Uda.