Mathematics and Beyond
One day Symposium - Friday 7th July 2006
Mathematics offers many prime instances of curiosity-driven research leading on the one hand to outstanding intellectual achievements, and on the other to technological advances having enormous economic ramifications. A common-place example is the early development of computers, where arcane questions of formal proof in mathematical logic led to Alan Turing's theorems on automata and formal languages, via the wartime code-busting of the Enigma project all the way through to the development of the first electronic computers based on Von Neumann architecture; this story continues apace, with developments in number theory (the purest branch of pure mathematics) intimately related to questions of mathematical cryptography that are key ingredients of internet security and of central importance to the world's financial sector and security agencies.
The one day symposium, which takes place at the Warwick Mathematics Institute's magnificent purpose-designed and thoroughly stripey new Zeeman building, will illustrate these two aspects of modern mathematics, with talks on the fertile relation between curiosity-driven mathematical problems and many diverse areas of contemporary science.
There were plenary lectures, poster sessions and round table discussion. The symposium lasted for one day, with a buffet lunch and an evening reception, with ample opportunity throughout the day for formal and informal discussions.
Key topics to be covered included:
Systems Biology, Geometry and Symmetry, Beyond Fermat's Last Theorem, Fundamental Role of Mathematics in
International Scientific, Economic and Cultural Development.
Anyone interested was welcome (registration fee of £15, waived for some classes of participant).
Abstracts for poster sessions illustrated public importance of mathematics.
Professor David Rand, Professor Caroline Series, Dr Samir Siksek, Professor Ian Stewart FRS, Professor Miles Reid FRS.
See weblink for speakers' abstracts.
Our mathematical Grand Day Out had something to offer young and old alike; the first talks, given by celebrated expositors of popular math, introduced important ideas in current research in a way designed to be accessible to high school students or university entrants. These were complemented by poster sessions and hands-on activities such as math quizzes and puzzle sessions organised in partnership with the Further Math network <www.fmnetwork.org.uk>; and the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth <www.nagty.ac.uk>;. The afternoon's sessions included an introduction to the mathematics surrounding Wiles' famous proof of Fermat Last's Theorem, and to the prominent role that math is current playing in modern biological sciences.
9:00 – 10:00
Registration and coffee: Common room (or atrium)
10:00 - 11:00
Caroline Series: Indra's pearls: Geometry and Symmetry
11:30 - 12:30
Ian Stewart FRS: All the world's a network
12:30 - 2:00
Buffet lunch & poster sessions - common room
2:00 - 3:00
Samir Siksek: Beyond Fermat's last theorem
4:00 - 5:00
David Rand: Systems biology and its mathematical challenges
Wine reception - common room
Associated International Research Festival
AC21 3rd Biennial International Forum, July 4-6, 2006: See Research Festival link for further information on Symposia on Health Wealth & Nutrition, Nanotechnology, Mathematics and Beyond, Personalised Medicines, Global HE Research, Corporate Responsibility, Sustainable Manufacturing and English in Higher Education.
Image above reproduced by permission of The Geometry Center, University of Minnesota