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Real world risks and extremes: correlation and quantification

8 April 2016
Organisers: Nick Watkins, Ariel Liebman, Colm Connaughton, Max Werner

In partnership with the London Mathematical Laboratory and the Institute of Physics

This workshop will be held at WBS London in the Shard not at the main University of Warwick campus in Coventry.

Scientific scope

The ShardExtreme events which occur rarely but have high impact are features of both natural and socio-technical systems. Examples include earthquakes, financial crises, hurricanes and large scale power failures. Governments, industry and scientists need to quantify extreme risks in order to manage the long term operation and cost of human systems. Modelling extreme events is intrinsically difficult because they are rare. This difficulty is exacerbated by the possibility of correlated or cascading extremes. Examples include repeated extreme floods, human-induced seismicity or the economic impact of the Fukushima disaster.

Considerable sophistication has been achieved in risk quantification in areas like finance, catastrophe modelling and climate science. A combination of approaches drawn from the mathematical, statistical and physical sciences are used but the quantification of correlated fluctuations remains thorny. From a physics perspective, correlated fluctuations become most interesting when they are non-Gaussian and long ranged but from a rigorous mathematical or statistical perspective, they are most tractable when they are Gaussian and short ranged. The real world is somewhere in between.

Within this problem space there are thus two axes: different methodological approaches versus the potential for coupling between different human and natural systems. The purpose of this meeting is to promote a high-level dialogue about correlated fluctuations across both these dimensions. It will offer academics, industry practitioners and policy-makers an opportunity to listen to, and engage with, leading experts whose expertise spans these worlds.

Invited speakers


The programme for the day can be found here.


All Warwick EPSRC Mathematics Symposium workshops are open to all interested parties within the mathematical sciences community in the UK and internationally, both in academia and, where appropriate, in industry.

There is no registration fee for this workshop although all prospective participants are required to register here [scroll down until you find the link for this workshop].

Registration deadline is Tuesday 29 March 2016.

The total number of participants may be limited by room capacity. In the event that the workshop is over-subscribed, the organisers will use their discretion when issuing invitations.

Poster presentations

There is the option to present a poster at the meeting for those who wish to do so. If you would like to bring a poster, please send an email to Hazel dot Higgens at warwick dot ac dot uk after you register to let her know.

Logistical information and financial support

The meeting will take place at WBS London in the Shard not at the main University of Warwick campus in Coventry. Access to the non-public areas of the Shard is by invitation only and further details will be provided to workshop participants ahead of time.

The EPSRC has provided limited funds to support expenses of workshop participants. Meeting participants travelling from far away can request support for overnight accommodation in London subject to approval from the organising committee. Participants staying over will be responsible for booking their own accommodation. Some possibilities can be found at the following links:

Please note that for those claiming reimbursement of their accommodation costs, the University of Warwick imposes a limit of £160 per night for London.

For further information contact Colm Connaughton (




Aerial photograph of Maths Houses

See also:
Mathematics Research Centre
Mathematical Interdisciplinary Research at Warwick (MIR@W)
Past Events 
Past Symposia 

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