LMS summer school

The post below was written by Edward Evans, a student just starting the third year of an undergraduate degree in mathematics at Plymouth University.
The LMS Summer School, held at the University of Manchester, consisted of six short lecture courses designed to give an introduction to areas of higher mathematics unlikely to have been encountered as part of a typical undergraduate mathematics degree.
The topics were fairly evenly split between pure and applied mathematics to reflect the varying interests of the participants. Accompanying each lecture course were group based problem sessions, giving us a chance to talk about and develop the concepts that had been discussed in the lectures. I found the discussion element of these sessions particularly enjoyable, owing to the diversity of the other participants’ interests (that is, I learned about a lot of exotic physical principles with cool names).
In addition to these more formal lecture courses, there were daily colloquia, again on a range of pure and applied mathematical topics. These were often more (mind-blowingly) difficult to follow and didn’t go into as much detail, but were extremely interesting nonetheless, with topics including the Radon transform (with applications in the reconstruction of CT scan images) and  Alexander Grothendieck’s Dessins d’Enfants” (a type of combinatorial graph which supposedly resembles a child’s drawing, hence the name).
Most days also included some sort of entertainment (live music etc.), organised by Dr. James Montaldi of Manchester University, and there were weekend excursions to the Museum of Science and Industry and to the Peak District.
After attending the summer school I’m certain I’d like to continue my study of mathematics after my undergraduate degree, and if you are thinking about doing the same then I’d highly recommend speaking to a lecturer about the summer school; I loved it!



Dirac day in Exeter

The people in the center of Mathematical Sciences at Plymouth University, who do research into lattice gauge theory, make extensive use of the high performance computers in Dirac (Distributed Research utilising Advanced Computing). DiRAC is the UK’s HPC facility for astrophysics, cosmology, nuclear physics and particle physics

Every year researchers, who use the resources from Dirac, come together for a one day meeting (called Dirac Day) to share research results and experiences. This year Dirac Day is in Exeter.

Craig McNeile is presenting a poster with the title:

Using parallel eigensolvers in lattice QCD calculations


Award for best paper in international journal

The article below was circulated on the Staff bulletin.

Dr Ben King and Dr Tom Heinzl, both Lecturers in Theoretical Physics, have received the 2016 Editor-in-Chief Choice Award from the journal High Power Laser Science and Engineering (HPL). Their paper Measuring vacuum polarization with high-power lasers (doi: 10.1017/hpl.2016.1) was commended for delivering ‘new and important results’, and the pair have been invited to collect the award and give a talk on their research at the 3rd International Symposium on High Power Laser Science and Engineering in Suzhou, China next year.


Sabbatical at CERN

The staff in the mathematical sciences at Plymouth University have a number of different components to their job descriptions. It is obviously important to be an excellent teacher, but another part of the job description is maintaining  international leadership in a research field. There are other hidden part of the job too , such as administration.

If external support can be found, staff can take a sabbatical, typically for a year,  at another institution, so that can concentrate on their research. Dr. Antonio Rago from CMS is visiting CERN for the year 2017-2018 to work on research full time. He is working in the theory division of CERN.