This year, between the 1st and 4th August, the University of Kent hosted the annual Young Researchers in Mathematics (YRM) conference. Around 40 PhD students and post-docs attended from a variety of home and international institutions, some coming from as far as India to attend. True to the nature of the YRM, students gave talks in a wide range of mathematical areas, including differential geometry, mathematical physics, functional analysis, combinatorics, and algebra. These talks were organised into sessions and run in parallel.
The participants also had the opportunity to present their work at the poster competition for a chance to win a Maple licence and a £100 Springer book voucher. The judging panel, consisting of Keith Ball (Warwick), Jocelyne Ishak (PhD student, Kent), Steffen Krusch (Kent), and Fenny Smith (The British Society for the History of Mathematics), chose the three winners: Nick Rome (Bristol), Marina Jimenez-Muñoz (Kent), and Jonathan Hoseana (Queen Mary, London). The prizes were handed out during the conference dinner, which was held in a stunning location within the Cathedral grounds.
There were also 12 plenary and key note talks throughout the week from distinguished researchers across all areas of maths, as well as a very engaging public lecture given by Paul Sutcliffe (Durham) on the topic of “Tying Tornadoes in Knots” which provided links to physics, biology and chemistry. The public lecture attracted audience members from outside the mathematics department and invited some lively discussion afterwards.
As this conference is aimed at PhD and post-doc students, in addition to the academic talks there were also several general interest talks and workshops aimed at developing relevant skills and addressing other aspects of a young researcher’s career. Kelly Kuan (Kent) gave a workshop on how to navigate the different career options a finishing PhD student or post-doc student faces and Surak Perera (Maple) gave an interactive workshop on Maple. Fenny Smith (The British Society for the History of Mathematics) gave one of the general interest talks tracing the history of where our numbers come from and another general interest talk was given by PhD students Ellen Dowie, Marina Jimenez-Muñoz, and Ana Rojo-Echeburúa (Kent) who talked about the statistics of inequality in STEM with their presentation entitled: “Why do men get served beer while women get served wine?”.
The organising committee would like to thank all of the invited speakers and participants of the YRM2017 who made this event a success, as well as the supporters of this event: SIAM, LMS, Heilbronn Institute, NAG, EMS, ThinkTank Maths, IMA, Oxford University Press, and Kent Graduate School.