Upcoming Events: UCL Women in Mathematical Sciences

12 November 2015: Speaker - Alison Etheridge

Title

The pain in the torus: modelling evolution in a spatial continuum

Abstract

Since the pioneering work of Fisher, Haldane and Wright at the beginning of the 20th Century, mathematics has played a central role in theoretical population genetics. One of the outstanding successes is Kingman’s coalescent. This process provides a simple and elegant description of the way in which individuals in a population are related to one another. It is based on the simplest possible model of inheritance and is parametrised in terms of a single number, the population size. However, in using the Kingman coalescent as a model of real populations, one does not substitute the actual census population size, but rather an ‘effective’ population size which somehow captures the evolutionary forces that are ommitted from the model. It is astonishing that this works; the effective population size is typically orders of magnitude different from the census population size. In order to understand the apparent universality of the Kingman coalescent, we need models that incorporate things like variable population size, natural selection and spatial and genetic structure. Some of these are well established, but, until recently, a satisfactory approach to populations evolving in a spatial continuum has proved surprisingly elusive. In this talk we describe a framework for modelling spatially distributed populations that was introduced in joint work with Nick Barton (IST Austria). As time permits we’ll not only describe the application to genetics, but also some of the intriguing mathematical properties of some of the resulting models.

Short Bio

Alison Etheridge is a Professor of Probability at the Magdalen College at the University of Oxford. Her particular areas of research have been in measure-valued processes; in theoretical population genetics; and in mathematical ecology. A recent focus has been on the genetics of spatially extended populations, where she has exploited and developed inextricable links with infinite-dimensional stochastic analysis. Her resolution of the so-called ‘pain in the torus’ is typical of her work in that it draws on ideas from diverse areas, from measure-valued processes to image analysis. The result is a flexible framework for modelling biological populations which combines ecology and genetics in a tractable way, while introducing a novel and mathematically interesting class of stochastic processes.

Schedule

Time Event Location
12:00-14:00 Women's lunch
Room 706, 25 Gordon Street
15:30 Coffee Room 102, 1-19 Torrington Place
16:00-17:00 Presentation Room 102, 1-19 Torrington Place
18:00 Drinks Room 102, 1-19 Torrington Place

1 May 2015: Speaker - Rachel McKendry

Title

Harnessing the power of mobile phones and big data for global health

Abstract

Worldwide many infections remain undiagnosed and untreated due to poor diagnostic tools at the point of care. Professor Rachel McKendry will present her research to create a new generation of mobile phone-connected diagnostic tests for infectious diseases. The widespread use of mobile phones could dramatically increase access to testing outside of hospital settings, particularly in developing countries. This research sets the foundations of a global early-warning system, linking the millions of symptoms that are self-reported on the web each day to mobile phone-connected tests, in real-time and with geographically-linked information. This research lies at the cutting edge of infectious diseases, nanotechnology, telecommunications, big data and public health.

Short Bio

Rachel McKendry is Professor of Biomedical Nanotechnology at UCL and holds a joint position at the London Centre for Nanotechnology and Division of Medicine. She is Director of i-sense, a national £11M EPSRC Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Early Warning Sensing Systems for Infectious Diseases and Director of Biomedicine and Life Sciences at the London Centre for Nanotechnology, UCL. Rachel has won several prestigious fellowships and awards including a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, Institute of Physics Paterson Media and a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award. Most recently, Rachel was awarded a Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award for her scientific achievements, suitability as a role model and proposal to launch a national competition to create mobile phone apps to inspire women to become leaders in STEM.

Date

Friday, 1 May 2015, 13.00-14.00.

Room

Room 102, 1-19 Torrington Place.

26 February 2015: Women's lunch

All female 4th year, MSc and PhD Students, Postdoctoral Fellows and Staff from the Department of Mathematics, Department of Statistical Science and CoMPLEX are warmly invited to attend. We will provide a delicious lunch in an informal, friendly environment. This is a great opportunity for female students to get to know each other and to meet leading female professionals in mathematical sciences such as statistics, mathematics, computer science etc.

Date

Thursday, 26th February 2015, 12.00-14.00.

Room

Room 102, Department of Statistical Science, 1-19 Torrington Place.

30 October 2014: Women's Lunch

All female 4th year, MSc and PhD Students, Postdoctoral Fellows and Staff from the Department of Mathematics, Department of Statistical Science and CoMPLEX are warmly invited to attend. We will provide a delicious lunch in an informal, friendly environment. This is a great opportunity for female students to get to know each other and to meet leading female professionals in mathematical sciences such as statistics, mathematics, computer science etc.

Date

Thursday, 30 October 2014, 12.00-14.00.

Room

Room 502, Department of Mathematics, 25 Gordon Street.