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 https://www.theprsd.co.uk/2019/12/10/science-and-conspiracy-collide-in-new-play-fireworks-by-alex-robins/ 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Royal Statistical Society was founded to address social problems
‘through the collection and classification of facts’, leading to many
developments in the collection of data, the
development of methods for analysing them, and the development of
statistics as a profession. Nearly 200 years later an explosion in
computational power has led, in turn, to an explosion in data. We
outline the challenges and the actions needed to exploit that
data for the public good, and to address the step change in statistical
skills and capacity development necessary to enable our vision of a
world where data are at the heart of understanding and decision-making.