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Big Data Week

Anyone who’s a fan of data and bigness will be pleased to hear that 22-28 April is going to be Big Data Week. This  ‘global festival of data’ will take place in participating cities all over the world, including London, Sydney, Barcelona, Shanghai, Amsterdam, Chicago and Utrecht (we only have a MathsJam in one of those so far, but we’re working on it).

The aim of the week is to allow data scientists to work with businesses from different sectors to take advantage of the bigness of data these days – vast amounts of information collected using new technology, whose potential for future applications is mindblowing. One day we could even assemble a list of every sandwich anyone’s ever eaten. Planned events in Big Data Week will include meetups, networking events, hackathons, debates, discussions and data visualisation demos – and hopefully we’ll come out of it with more infographics than you’ve ever seen.

More information:

A date for the diary: Big Data Week at the Royal Statistical Society Website

Big Data Week official website

Principia Mathematica – THE MUSICAL

Principia Mathematica is Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead’s epic maths text which outlines the foundations of mathematics and logic, famously proves that 1+1=2 in 200 pages, and took so much re-writing it nearly sent them both mad in the process. It was also a hugely significant work, attempting to describe a set of axioms and inference rules in symbolic logic from which all mathematical truths could in principle be proven. While this goal was doomed to failure by the Incompleteness Theoreom of Gödel, the project was of great importance in the history of maths and philosophy.

If you haven’t heard of Principia, I recommend reading the excellent Logicomix, which tells the story of Russell’s life and the creation of the book; I also recommend attempting to read Principia Mathematica, although as far as I know, very few people have succeeded in this.

Anyway, the third and final volume of the book was published 100 years ago this year, and in celebration, as the title of this post has completely given away, theatre company The Conway Collective is putting on a musical written by Tyrone Landau and based on the book.

The world premiere of the musical is taking place on 20th February, at Conway Hall in London, and the event description notes that

The evening is scored for singers, dancers, musicians and philosophers.

It also requests that you “prepare to be astonished”, although frankly I’d be astonished if I weren’t astonished. Oh no, Russell’s paradox!

Further information:

Event information on the Conway Collective website

Eventbrite, for buying tickets

Facebook event

via Haggis the Sheep on Twitter

Undergraduate conference: Tomorrow’s Mathematicians Today 2013

Tomorrow’s Mathematicians Today 2013 is the second undergraduate mathematics conference to be hosted by the University of Greenwich Department of Mathematical Sciences, with support from the IMA and GCHQ, on Saturday 16 February 2013. Undergraduate students are encouraged to submit an abstract by 1pm on Friday 14 December for a talk on a mathematical topic of their choice. As well as a day of engaging student talks, a keynote lecture will be given by Professor Robin Wilson on ‘Leonhard Euler: Life, Labours and Legacy’. The website promises that

those going into research will gain experience of the process of conference submission, while those going into the workplace will gain valuable experience of professional practice and networking to enhance their CVs and career prospects. Speakers will additionally gain evidence of their professional skills. All delegates will gain insights into a wide range of mathematics of potential value in their future careers. It should be a wonderfully enjoyable day of inspiring mathematics.

I was involved in organising the first Tomorrow’s Mathematicians Today conference in 2010 and at the time I wrote a piece for Mathematics Today explaining why I felt students should attend such an event, which you can read as ‘Improving graduate skills through an undergraduate conference‘.

Registrations have already been received from eleven UK universities.

More information: Tomorrow’s Mathematicians Today.

What I did on my holidays, by Colin (aged 35 and a bit)

We’re all back from the big MathsJam weekend. We’ve got loads of material which we’ll start putting up once we’ve recovered our energies. Meanwhile, Colin Beveridge has sent in his report of the event.

Last weekend – as I’m sure all Aperiodical readers know – was the MathsJam annual gathering in Cheshire.

Now, I’ve always hated conferences. Loathed the bloody things. I resented travelling to them, resented preparing talks, resented the uncomfortable beds, the politics, the enforced niceness. I resented the nod-along-and-pretend-you-understand, the gabble-away-with-your-head-down-so-you-can-say-you-gave-a-talk, the questions-for-the-sake-of-advancing-pet-theories, the sessions that lasted weeks. I resented the trying-to-find-veggie-food-in-New-Orleans, the being-expected-to-show-up-for-everything, the having-to-keep-receipts, all of it.

I could have just stayed at my desk and played Tetris. But MathsJam is different.

We’re all off to MathsJam!

This organ’s benevolent editing triumvirate is making its way to a conference centre outside Crewe this weekend for our AGM, which happens to coincide this year with the big MathsJam conference. If you’re going as well, please do say hello, and if you’re not, keep an eye on each of our Twitter feed @aperiodical and the #MathsJam hashtag. We’re going to be trying to tweet along with most of what’s happening, as will most of the other 100 attendees, and we’re going to have some good posts lined up for the coming weeks based on what we see there.

Considering PhD research in mathematics in 2013? LMS Prospects in Mathematics meeting

The LMS Prospects in Mathematics meeting will take place in Manchester, 18-19 December 2012. This meeting is for people “considering applying for Ph.D. studies in Mathematics for entry in 2013”. Funding is available to provide accommodation for around 50 participants and to help cover their cost of travelling to Manchester. The conference website has further details and explains that

the conference has the goal to introduce the many and varied opportunities for research in mathematics that exist at universities in the UK. Speakers will share their passion about mathematical research by describing the type of questions they are working on, and will discuss where their research topic is being actively studied in the UK. Moreover, information about the Doctoral Training Centres in Mathematical Sciences and funding opportunities will be available.

More information:  LMS Prospects in Mathematics.

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