The Teaching Statistics Trust Lecture 2019

Yesterday, the annual teaching statistics trust seminar was held at the University of Plymouth.

The title of of the talk was: The purpose of statistics is insight not numbers
Speaker: Neil Sheldon, Chair of the Teaching Statistics Trust

In recent years, statistics teaching has seen a welcome move away from formulae and calculation. Especially with the rise of ‘big data’, numerical processing is increasingly being done with software, and it is becoming much more important for students to learn the art and science of interpretation. This development requires teachers to change focus too, shifting their emphasis from numbers to language.
As with many academic disciplines, statistics overlays everyday language with specialist meaning: one familiar example is the word ‘significant’ which means very different things in everyday use and in statistics. Research shows that parallel meanings such as this make it harder for students to understand technical concepts. Research also shows that teaching with a richer vocabulary can help to overcome this problem of understanding.
But statistics is more than just an academic discipline, it is a vital element of citizenship: we all need statistical understanding to make sense of the world around us. Yet statistical data are routinely misunderstood and misinterpreted in the media. In most cases the errors arise, not from the numbers themselves, but from the confused and inaccurate language used to comment on them. Clear language is essential to clear thought.
This lecture, drawing on numerous practical examples, will explore the ways in which careful use of language can help everyone – teachers, students and citizens – to understand statistics better, whether in formulating enquiries, interpreting data, or reaching trustworthy conclusions and communicating them effectively.


Graduation ceremony

Below is taken from a linkedin post by Dr. Martin Lavelle.

End of an era and start of another. Yesterday was the graduation ceremony for our Mathematics graduates. It was good to see them again and find out about their plans. Today was also the first induction session for our new students. Teaching proper starts next Monday.

Kolchin Seminar in Differential Algebra

Dr Daniel Robertz is invited to give a talk on his current research at the Kolchin Seminar in Differential Algebra on Friday 13 September 2019.
The American mathematician Ellis R. Kolchin (1916-1991) was among the founders of modern differential algebra and linear algebraic groups.
The Kolchin Seminar in Differential Algebras, which goes back to the 1960s, takes place at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and has been for decades a leading research seminar in differential and difference algebra.

Interact 2019

It is important that physicists do outreach, public engagement and science communication about their research. However, apart from giving popular talks about physics it is no clear what else can be done.

On 4 September 2019, STFC, IOP, SEPnet, RSC, RAS, Ogden Trust and UCLAN are organizing an engagement symposium for the physical sciences.

The event will cover

  • Evaluation and impact and REF 2021: How to do effective evaluation and demonstrate impact, sharing case studies, what worked for REF and what didn’t. Looking forward to REF 2021
  • Reaching under-served audiences: Working with the right  partners, raising  your skills and working with STEM influencers to reach low science capital audiences
  • Schools outreach: How to work with young audiences  and inspire them
  • Sharing best and worst practice in a safe space : Understanding your audience, reflective practice and what constitutes high-quality public engagement

Craig McNeile from Plymouth is attending the event.

Dirac Day 2019

The researchers at Plymouth doing research into lattice QCD use high performance computing resources from Dirac (DIstributed Research utilizing Advanced Computing) in the UK.

Every year the community using Dirac gets together for one day to showcase results. This year the one day event is in Leicester. There are three people attending from Plymouth:

  • Vincent Drach — talk on his work on Beyond the Standard Model
  • Gaurav Sinha Ray — poster about computing the masses of heavy hybrid mesons
  • Craig McNeile poster on computing the disconnected contribution to the muon’s g-2

Talk at statistics conference in Belfast

This week Dr. Yinghui Wei is attending the RSS 2019 Annual Conference conference in Belfast.

The RSS International Conference has established itself as the only conference in the UK for anyone interested in statistics and data science.Every year, over 600 statisticians and data scientists gather from all sectors and from over 30 countries to share information and network, attracted by a varied programme of talks and workshops.

From the conference web site

The title of her talk is: Estimating the correlation between bivariate survival endpoints with semi-competing risks

The research is done in collaboration with Lexy Sorrell and Małgorzata Wojtyś from the University of Plymouth.

British Universities Summer School in Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics.

It is a tradition for UK based graduate students researching in the area of theoretical particle physics to attend a summer school at the end of the first year. This year 49th British Universities Summer School in Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics (BUSSTEPP) was held in Glasgow.

This year Gaurav Sinha Ray from Plymouth attended BUSSTEPP.

The following courses were presented over the two week period:

Advanced Topics in QFT Johannes Henn (MPI Munich)
Phenomenology : Fabio Maltoni (Louvain/Bologna)
Beyond The Standard Model : Matthew McCullough (CERN/Cambridge)
AdS/CFT : Marco Meineri (Lausanne)
Cosmology : Clare Burrage (Nottingham)
Experimental Particle Physics : Andreas Korn (UCL)
Lattice Field Theory : Biagio Lucini (Swansea)
String Phenomenology : Eran Palti (MPI Munich)
Gravitational Waves : Martin Hendry (Glasgow)
Outreach and Science in the Public: Kate Shaw (Sussex)