Tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking

Professor of Theoretical Physics David McMullan was interviewed on BBC Radio Devon on Wednesday following the death of Professor Stephen Hawking. David spoke about his own experiences of giving a talk as a PhD student with Professor Hawking in the audience. He also discussed the enduring impact of some of Professor Hawking’s most enduring discoveries.

You can listen to the interview here.

Visit from researcher from the University of Rome

Professor Brunero Liseo from the University of Rome visited our Drs  Luciana Dalla Valle and Julian Stander to conduct research  on a project  entitled “High-Dimensional Bayesian Dependence Modelling
with Conditional Copulas” supported by a Royal Society grant.
One of the aims of the project is to use statistical models to providing a better understanding of how children’s eyes develop.  Because of the bad weather caused by Storm Emma, Brunero had to delay his return to Rome,  providing the team with an additional day to collaborate on the project.

Student nominated for Student Employee Of The Year

As well as studying some of our students also help with running Plymouth University. A particularly important role is that of student ambassador, which involves undertaking activities on open and applicant days and other activities.

Fyona Parker, who is a student ambassador at Plymouth University and is studying Mathematics with Education, has been nominated in the 2018 Student Employee Of The Year Awards!


Two new podcasts on statistics

The use of technology can help students learn mathematics. For example a short podcast can show a mathematical topic, which can be paused or the the key parts can be reviewed multiple times as required.

Dr. Julian Stander has just published, to our youtube channel, two new podcasts on the Binomial Distribution and Maximum Likelihood Estimation.


There are many other podcasts on our YouTube channel.


Big data talks at festival of research at Plymouth University

This week Plymouth University is running a festival of research. The week-long programme will showcase the work that is being carried out across the University and highlight how our research is making a difference in economic, environmental, social and cultural terms.

Tomorrow   Dr Luciana Dalla Valle  is presenting her research on sentiment  analysis on social media (e.g. Facebook), with other colleagues from our School Dr Marco Palomino and Dr Giovanni Masala. This event was arranged by the big data group at Plymouth University.

The program for the event is here.

See the video on facebook.


A new prime number has been discovered

The Guardian newspaper has reported that a new prime number has been recently discovered.  The new prime number is equal to two to the power of 77,232,917 and subtracting one.

The mathematics of prime numbers is taught in the first year module called: Mathematical Reasoning. Apart from the fundemental aspects of prime nunber to numbers, they are crucial to crystallography, and hence are important for national security and the internet.

A brief overview of the contents of the module are:

This module introduces the basic reasoning skills needed to develop and apply mathematical ideas. Clear logical thinking is central to the understanding of mathematics. The module explores fundamental properties of prime numbers, their random generation and use in modern cryptography.