On the 18th and 19th June 2018, the University of Bath SIAM-IMA Student Chapter hosted the SIAM UKIE National Student Chapter Conference. This annual conference is organised by, and for, the SIAM Student chapters in the UK and Ireland. The 2018 edition was the 7th such event, the first hosted by the University of Bath, and the first to be held over two days. The conference brought together students working in all areas of applied and industrial mathematics, and related fields, from across the UK and Ireland. There were opportunities for students to showcase their research through a talk or a poster, and to hear talks by distinguished plenary speakers. The conference included 4 plenary talks, 29 contributed talks and 23 contributed posters, and was attended by 104 registered participants from 24 different institutions.
Attendees came from across the UK and Ireland, with representatives from France and Germany, ranging from undergraduates, through graduate students to post-docs and academics. A number of attendees were not mathematicians, but rather came from departments of architecture; physics; psychology; economics; and biomedical, mechanical, and civil engineering.
The conference featured four fantastic plenary talks from leading researchers. Nicole Spillane (École Polytechnique) described her work on Domain Decomposition Methods with Adaptive Multipreconditioning, beginning with an introduction to domain decomposition methods before moving on to describe adaptive multipreconditioning, a preconditioning method that combines the best parts of iterative and direct solvers. Our second plenary session was given by Marta Blangiardo (Imperial College London), who gave an overview of the methods, examples, and challenges in spatio-temporal statistics. We saw examples including tracking the changes in prostate cancer mortality rates across Spain, and exploring the correlation between high temperatures and mortality across the UK.
The first evening of the conference featured a poster session and wine reception with 23 posters, which included a wide variety of research, ranging from using topology to design frame structures for buildings to dynamically optimising clinical trials, via methods for high-order nonlinear PDEs, boundary layers on rotating discs, techniques for analysing RNA data in cancer, and modelling indoor wifi signals.
The second day of the conference featured talks from Ian Griffiths (University of Oxford & Princeton University) and Simon Chandler-Wilde (University of Reading). Ian spoke about his work applying fluid dynamics to industrial problems, such as the removal of arsenic from water supplies in Bangladesh and the manufacture of glass screens for smartphones. The conference was concluded with Simon Chandler-Wilde presenting his recent work, answering a long-standing open question. He gave a clear introduction to the analytic concepts involved in showing that the convergence of Galerkin methods for Laplace’s equation is not guaranteed on arbitrary Lipschitz domains.
In addition to the plenary talks, students from 15 universities presented their work through contributed talks. These talks covered mathematical topics which included strategies for the Prisoner’s dilemma, the predictability of the climate, the spreading of droplets, models for image registration, modelling biodegradable polymers, adaptive numerical methods for singular reaction-diffusion equations, models for simulating fingerprints, numerical simulation of scattering by ice crystals, and the simulation of individuals moving across a network, amongst many others. (See the details in the conference programme.)
All in all, the conference was a great success. The conference has grown in the number of attendees, the number of talks presented, and the number of days over which it was held. Many attendees enjoyed the conference enormously, with some commenting that they “all certainly had a great time”, they “really enjoyed the talks and meeting everyone” and that “the high level of organisation didn’t go unnoticed”.
Since the conference, we’ve put together a photo gallery of the event. If you want to keep up to date with future events organised by the University of Bath SIAM-IMA Student Chapter, you can see what we’re up to on the student chapter website.
The conference was very generously supported by grants from SIAM and the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications (IMA). The organisers also secured grants from the University of Bath’s Doctoral College, Institute for Mathematical Innovation, and Department of Mathematical Sciences, as well as industrial sponsorship from CFM, MyLife Digital, and Overleaf.