Michaelmas 2011 Termcard

All talks are to be held in the Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College, and will begin at 8.30pm with port and orange juice from 8.15pm. Talks are for members only; non-members may join at the door. There are more details about membership at our website, along with links to previously held talks. Details of social events will be published at the first meeting.

Monday, 10th October: Dr Piers Bursill-Hall (DPMMS):
God, as you know, is a Trinity woman
So you think you know about the world? And just because you’re a mathmo, you understand the world? How unlikely is that? This talk will be about how a bunch of mathmos noticed that they regularly talk to God (like all mathmos do) and this changed the course of history and created the modern world.

Monday, 24th October: Prof Zoubin Ghahramani (Dept. of Engineering):
Probabilistic Learning Machines and the Information Revolution
Information plays a central role in 21st century science, commerce and society. We have huge data sets of measurements collected from large-scale scientific experiments, exciting commercial opportunities arising from exploiting web-scale information, and vast stores of knowledge available to society on the internet. Probabilistic approaches for modelling uncertainty and learning from data are essential to the effective use of these vast stores of information. Modern probabilistic approaches to building learning machines are grounded in the mathematics of the 18th century Reverend Thomas Bayes. I will describe the foundations of this field and our recent work on stochastic processes and nonparametric statistics, along with examples of a number of applications to big data problems such as information retrieval, recommendation, genomic data analysis, financial prediction, and robotics.

Monday, 31st October: Prof Béla Bollobás, FRS (DPMMS, Trinity College):
Long Life Problems
The solution of a good mathematical problem often leads to new questions that are even deeper and more important than the original problem. In the talk I shall present some questions with close Trinity ties which arose about hundred years ago, have gone through several incarnations, and are still alive today. I shall also present the striking proof of a recent result concerning one of these questions.

Monday, 7th November: Prof Kevin Buzzard (Imperial College):
Think locally, act globally
Are there any rational solutions to x²+y²=-1? No, because there are no real solutions. How about x²+y²=3? Again the answer is no, but one way of showing this is by constructing a ‘local field’ — the 3-adic numbers — which contains the rationals as a dense subfield, and in which it’s easy to check that there are no solutions. It is far easier to solve equations in these local fields than in global fields such as the rationals, and conversely, sometimes solutions in all local fields can imply solutions in a global field too.

Monday, 21st November: Dr Natalia Berloff (DAMTP):
Superfluid states of matter: from superfluid helium to polariton condensates

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