Comprehensive Analysis of Innovate Activities in Science and Technology

Prof Li Zhang from Yunnan University, China, visited the University of Plymouth for a few months. Before she left, she presented a talk on her research in the statistics seminar.

Comprehensive Analysis of Innovate Activities in Science and Technology

Date/Time: Wednesday, 29 January 2020, 4pm,

Li Zhang, Yunnan University, China

The purpose of this research is to provide a set of statistical methods for administrative authority who organizes and evaluates innovate activities in science and technology. Statistical methods can be used to describe innovate activities, evaluate the innovators, and extract information from the large and sparse data, in order to help administrative authority to develop effective science and technology policy.

With a case study on the evaluation of 31 districts in China, this research includes the following aspects:

·         Establish an indicator system about innovate input, output and environment.

·         Describe the quantitative features of indicators by data visualization and summary statistics.

·         Create composite indicators to evaluate the innovate activities across 31 districts in China.

Theoretical Physics and Fireworks

The Theoretical Physics research group at the University of Plymouth has been supporting playwright Alex Robins who has been funded by the Arts Council to develop a play called Fireworks about particle physics and conspiracy theories. An interview with Alex and the director is here and this contains links to future performances in Ashburton, Exeter and Bodmin which will all be followed by a Q&A session with a member of our research group.

The photograph shows Prof. David McMullan with the author of the play Alex Robins, after a question and answer session after a performance of the play.

Christmas meeting of the High Power Laser User Community

It is very important for a scientific sub-field for the theorists and experimental groups to be able to talk together, so that both groups get to learn about new experimental and theoretical developments. This week the regular Christmas meeting at the Rutherford lab about high powered lasers was held. Three staff members and three postdocs from the University of Plymouth attended the meeting to discuss, either in talks, or informally over coffee their latest theoretical work on high powered lasers.

Official Launch of the University of Plymouth School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics (SECaM)

On the 4th December, there was the launch event for the new school of engineering, computing and mathematics. The members of the Mathematical Sciences community brought posters explaining their research into pure mathematics, statistics and data science, theoretical physics and applied mathematics. These disciplines are the theoretical foundation of engineering and much of computing. There was also a tour of the High Performance Computing facilities and a particle physics show in the Immersive Vision Theatre, run by members of our group. The official record of the event is here.

Visiting masters student from China

Kaili Wu, a masters student from Zhe-Jiang Gong Shang University in
China, is just finishing a 3 month visit to the Centre of Mathematical
Sciences at the University of Plymouth. She worked
with Dr. Craig McNeile on the project: Economics of Wind

She worked on obtaining predictions for the energy produced from
a Wind turbine using a neural network and an ARIMA model.
As part of the project, she used the High Performance Computing
Cluster at the University to do the statistical analysis.

Grant award

Dr Craig McNeile, Dr Phillip Buckhurst, and Dr Hetal Buckhurst
have been awarded £32,000 from the company Bausch and Lomb for the

A prospective multicenter, post market observation study to evaluate
rotational stability and visual actuity of the envista one-piece
hydrophobe acrylic toric IOL MX60ET following cataract surgery

Talk at Data Science Cornwall

Next week Craig McNeile is presenting a talk in Cornwall as part of the Data Science Cornwall group.

Using Supercomputers to Search for the Breakdown of the Standard Model of Particle Physics

Craig will give a short overview to some of the open questions in particle
physics. He will then discuses the use of High Performance Computing
(HPC) to solve the equations of QCD (one of the theories behind
nuclear physics), and how these calculations are required in searches
for novel fundamental physics theories. He will describe some of the HPC infrastructure, such as the HPC cluster at the University of Plymouth
and the national systems run by the Distributed Research utilizing
Advanced Computing (Dirac) consortium. He will talk about the size
of the data sets generated, and briefly touch on the role of visualisations.

Visit to the OR fair

One piece of mathematics that important to businesses is called operational research (OR), because it has a number of tools to help efficiently organize the production of goods for example. Every year the OR society organizes a careers fair in Birmingham, where students get to meet with employers. Today, the second year mathematics students went with some staff members from Plymouth to the OR career fair in Birmingham, inorder to help them prepare to apply for placements and jobs in the final year.

Paper accepted in the Biometrical Journal

The Oklahoma actor Will Rogers said “When the Okies left Oklahoma and moved to California, they raised the average intelligence level in both states.” This statement has led to the “Will Rogers phenomenon” which, in its basic form, takes place when an increase in the average value of each of two sets is achieved by moving an element from one set to another.  This leads to the conclusion that there has been an overall improvement, when in fact essentially nothing has changed. Versions of the Will Rogers phenomenon can occur in cancer epidemiology, especially when changes are made to the definition of cancer stages.

Julian Stander and his cousin Mark who is a scientist based in industry have just had a paper accepted for publication in the Biometrical Journal in which they discuss a method for correcting for the Will Rogers Phenomenon. The Standers apply their method to data from breast cancer patients and also explain how to take account of uncertainty associated with published survival rates.