Nuffield Bursary Student 2011: Silviana Ciurea-Ilcus

My name is Silviana Ciurea-Ilcus and I am a 2nd year IB student at Malvern College, Worcestershire. I undertook two projects within CoMPLEX, under Dr Lewis Griffin’s supervision, as part of the Nuffield Bursary I was awarded.

Multi-level, multi-component and organization complexity trends in the PhD research in CoMPLEX

The first project, a census of the work PhD students are undertaking or undertook within CoMPLEX, consisted of interviewing 10 PhD students working within CoMPLEX about their projects and plotting multi-level, multi-component and organization complexity diagrams comprising all the ten projects.


[download the first project report as .pdf]

Quantifying the orderliness of two-dimensional discrete sets of points

The second project’s aim was to find a measure for the orderliness of a discrete set of points, starting from the videos of the developing Drosophila notum, where the microchaete precursor cells are disposed in a progressing orderly pattern. The candidate measures for orderliness were, among others, the variance of the number of neighbours of each cell in the Voronoi diagram of the given set, the variance of the displacement of the points from a given line and lines parallel to it, the variance of the smallest, medium and largest angles in the Delaunay triangulation of the given set and the variance of the length of the edges in the Delaunay triangulation of the set.

The candidate measures were first tested on two images from a video showing the developing Drosophila notum in which the microchaete precursor cells were labelled; the first image was taken halfway through the development process, while the other was taken at the end of the development process. The (x,y) coordinates of the centres of the precursor cells were obtained and introduced into Mathematica or C++ programs, where the measures for orderliness were implemented.

Afterwards, having eliminated a few potential measures because they yielded a greater value of orderliness in the case of the first picture than they did for the second picture and considering the questions about the relative orderliness of two given discrete sets of points that rose on the course of the project, I chose 34 discrete sets of points, which I then plotted in Cartesian coordinates. I created a survey on the Internet where these pictures were grouped in pairs and asked people to evaluate the orderliness of the sets by saying which image was more ordered or whether they were both just as ordered.

The obtained data shall be compared to the measures of orderliness that the potential candidates yielded in the case of the images presented on the Internet, in order to see which measure is the most accurate. 


[download the second project report as .pdf]

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