Course on writing Apps

One of the advantages of the mathematics sciences group being embedded in a wider school means that there are additional training opportunities. For example, last week Jim Bennet from Microsoft visited the University of Plymouth to show the new Xamarin.Forms product. This allows users to write cross-platform Apps for both the android and Iphone systems. The Apps could connect with the cloud and also use AI services in the cloud. There was also a workshop on the Internet of Things.

The visit was organized by Dr Nicholas Outram in Electrical Engineering. Although the visit was aimed at computing, there was a staff member from CMS and a student on the undergraduate maths program attending as well.

Later on on the year, there will be another visit from a person from Microsoft, who will explain the AI offerings in more detail.

The material presented at the event is here.

Research seminar

There are many tasks that at active researcher must do, such as reading relevant papers, in addition to actually performing the calculations required in the research. Another important way to keep current in a research area is to attend research seminars. Normally an external speaker will visit a research group and present a 1 hour talk followed by questions. (Often the research group will take the speaker to dinner afterwards, where there will be further discussion about the research and some general gossip.)

Recently Fernando Jimenez Alburquerque from Oxford University presented a seminar in the pure mathematics seminar at the CMS with the title: An introduction to variational integrators.

Abstract: In this talk we shall introduce the basic notions on geometric integration of mechanical systems, naturally described by Lagrangian/Hamiltonian dynamics. The numerical approximation of such dynamics, respecting its underlying geometrical aspects, represents a crucial challenge in modern geometric integration. Variational integrators [MaWe2001], class of geometric integrators that have received a lot of attention from the mathematical community in the last two decades, are a well-established example of numerical schemes that succeed in such a task, and moreover display a superior performance in some aspects than benchmark numerical integrators. We shall go over their definition and fundamental properties. Finally, we shall also introduce future challenges of variational integrators when approximating the dynamics of dissipative mechanical systems.

[MaWe2001] J.E.Marsden and M. West: “Discrete mechanics and variational integrators”, Acta Numerica 10, pp. 357-514, (2001).

The audience had members from the pure mathematics, theoretical physics and applied mathematics groups. The physics group was interested, because the techniques are similar to those in this paper.

Poster session for 3rd year projects

An important part of the final year in a mathematics degrees is working on an individual project. A topic and supervisor is chosen. The student does research into an area of mathematics, statistics, or physics that they are interested in. On Wednesday 8th May there was a poster session, where the students explained their work using a poster they had created. Staff members, other students and representatives from industry viewed the posters and then they asked questions.

Below is a partial list of topics of the posters:

  • Relativistic Charge Dynamics in Electromagnetic Fields
  • Elliptic Curves and Cryptography
  • Gravitational Waves
  • The Path Integral Formalism
  • Investigation of ONS Personal Well-being Data Using Data Visualisation and Data Mining Techniques
  • How Risk Theory is used within the Actuarial Profession
  • Statistical techniques for Financial Asset Management

Students who have identified a topic of particular interest have the opportunity to study it in a final year project. Students work individually and independently, with help and advice from a supervisor, on the chosen topic. The project is assessed through presentations and the preparation of a dissertation. This is a major piece of work and the project counts as two modules

The official description of the content of a third year student project.

Trigonometry proof

University of Plymouth 2nd year student Dhru Shah, BSc (Hons) Mathematics and Statistics, shows you how to prove that sine squared plus cosine squared equals one for an arbitrary angle, theta.

Techstars Startup Weekend Health and Wellbeing Plymouth

At the end of April there was a Techstars Startup weekend in Plymouth. The idea is that over a weekend, the attendees form into teams of 3 or 4 people to create a pitch to get funding for a start up company. There are a few talks from entrepreneurs and many short and extremely useful sessions from coaches and mentors.

Craig McNeile from CMS was a participant at the Techstars event, and he worked on a team to develop an idea of using AI in healthcare. There is very detailed description of the event in this blog post.

Stewart Noakes giving an excellent talk on how to approach public during customer validatio

On the Friday night, some people made a 1 minute pitch about an idea they had for a startup. Everyone votes on the ideas and teams are formed around the most popular pitches. The teams work together on developing their startup on Saturday and most of Sunday. Late on Sunday afternoon, the teams make a 5 minute pitch based on the development work they have done over the weekend. This was judged by members of the local tech. business community.

Two winners were chosen by the judges based on the final pitchs

The underlying philosophy of the process of creating the startup was based on the book below:

There are further events like this planned in the future. If you are thinking of forming your company around technology (or just wonder what is involved), they are great way to learn about the process.

Coursework on inventory management

One of the key modules in the second year is: Operational Research and Monte Carlo Methods. It is a practical course based on the use of mathematics for the planning of modern business. The module leader is Dr. Malgorzata Wojtys. To make the assessment as authentic as possible. One of the course-works is written by engineers and data scientists at Babcock International.

Babcock international provides bespoke, highly- skilled engineering support, underpinned by a deep understanding of technology integration, with a unique infrastructure.

The assessment is based on managing an inventory. The students are taught how to use the programming features of Excel to complete the exercises.