August 2014: Summer antics
To thank Kate Barker for her outstanding contribution to the Department over the past year (as temporary Departmental Manager) and to warmly welcome David Scott back from his sabbatical, a number of staff and PhD students congregated at a local bar. Even though we are in the midst of summer vacation time, lots of us are still busy working and studying in the department on a regular basis. Here's some of our PhD students, enjoying a well-earned break at the pub!
May 2014: LSE Green Impact: Excellence Award received
The Department was very excited to be presented with an Excellence Award at this year's Green Impact Awards. Mathieu Dubois, one of our PhD students who has been instrumental in introducing sustainability into our degree curriculum, accepted the Award on the Department's behalf. The Award reflects the high level of involvement and green saving we have demonstrated.
In addition, Dave Scott, our Departmental Manager (currently on sabbatical leave), took the opportunity to discuss and demonstrate his 'green' beer which he is developing - there was no shortage of wannabe connoisseurs!
May 2014: Congratulations to Professor Martin Anthony who has won the award in the category “Sharing Expertise and Knowledge” in this year’s student led LSESU Teaching Excellence Awards.
Every year the LSE Students’ Union runs the LSE Teaching Awards. Students were free to individually nominate any member of staff and this year 450 members of staff were nominated. The LSESU Education Officer Rosie Coleman writes on her blog:
“Martin has been awarded this Teaching Prize because students wanted to thank Martin for his enthusiasm, generosity and compassionate approach to teaching complex mathematical concepts. Not only is Martin incredibly knowledgeable, nominations pointed to his ability to share this expertise using clear lectures, excellent additional resources, and a patient and coherent communication technique. Students appreciate his positive attitude to teaching, creating a safe and open classroom environment where no question is too small or silly to ask. Furthermore, many students referenced Martin’s skill at making mathematics relevant to the real world, giving background motivation for topics and taking time to approach problems from multiple different angles.” You can read full details about the awards and all of this year’s prizewinners on Rosie Coleman's blog.
May 2014: Mathematics student is LSE Volunteer of the year
Connor Russell, a third year undergraduate studying the BSc Mathematics and Economics was named the LSE Volunteer of the Year for his excellent work with IntoUniversity. The annual award is presented to an LSE student who has demonstrated exceptional dedication to volunteering. Jess Dunning, Volunteer Development Manager at IntoUniversity said, “We can’t praise Connor enough for his volunteering work with IntoUniversity. Connor has shown a high level of commitment to our opportunities and ethos during his three years as a Mentor, Academic Support Tutor, Ambassador and Buddy, contributing well over 100 volunteering hours. He really has gone above and beyond as an IntoUniversity volunteer. More on the LSE Careers Blog.
May 2014: Two One-Day Colloquia in Combinatorics 2014
The event, held across two days, with six speakers presenting at Queen Mary University of London on 14 May and a further six speakers presenting on 15 May at LSE, was attended by over 90 delegates; we all agreed it was a great success and already looking forward to next year's event. Further event details can be found here.
April 2014: Mathematics student wins first prize for best student paper at the APMOD 2014 conference.
MSc Applicable Mathematics student Frans de Ruiter attended the Applied Mathematical Optimization and Modelling (APMOD) conference at Warwick in April 2014 and won the first prize in the best student paper competition. Frans writes: “At this conference I presented our paper in which we introduced a new methodology to solve dynamic multistage decision problems when revealed data is inexact. As a student I was eligible for the best student paper competition. I have seen many more outstanding presentations given by other students. Therefore, I was very pleased that the jury not only shortlisted our paper, but also awarded it with the first prize in this competition. It was a great surprise to win this award as a Masters student, especially because this was my first conference presentation and I was the only MSc student among other PhD students. This paper is a result from my dissertation written at Tilburg University and is joint work with Aharon Ben-Tal (from Technion in Israel and widely regarded as one of the co-founders of the robust optimization research field) and my supervisors Dick den Hertog and Ruud Brekelmans. More on our methodology can be found in our paper, which is freely available online at: http://www.optimization-online.org/DB_HTML/2014/01/4198.html”
April 2014: Mathematics student tutoring success
Avision Ho, a third year undergraduate studying the BSc Mathematics and Economics is featured in LSE news as one of the school’s volunteer tutors, visiting his sixth form college every Wednesday afternoon to offer tutoring in the same way that LSE students helped him a few years before. He said “I volunteered on the LSE tutoring program because I wanted to give back. It also helps keep me grounded and reminds me that the opportunities I have received to study at LSE shouldn’t be taken for granted.” More on the LSE news page.
February 2014 - Tomorrow's Mathematicians Today
The Department is pleased to report that two of its undergraduate students presented papers at the Undergraduate Mathematics Conference “Tomorrow's Mathematicians Today” on 15 February 2014 at the University of Surrey. The conference was held by the Department of Mathematics of the University of Surrey, in conjunction with the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA).
Max Brozynski (BSc Mathematics with Economics) presented 'Isolating isomorphisms: making abstract algebra less abstract' and Karl Hallgren (BSc Mathematics and Economics) presented 'Counter-intuitive properties on infinite sets: Hilbert's investment strategies' and you can read their abstracts here. The conference is aimed at middle and final year undergraduates, either intending to stay in academia or planning to go into the workplace and gives participants the opportunity to learn about a wide range of Mathematics and have exciting exchanges of ideas. It also exposes undergraduate mathematicians to a conference experience, gives them the opportunity to present the results of research projects they have undertaken, and to obtain feedback from and have stimulating discussions with their peers and, Max says, it was “a great forum to discuss maths over copious amounts of coffee”.
Fraxinus – LSE staff member soundtracks online game
David Scott, Department Manager in Mathematics (but currently on a year’s sabbatical) and alumnus of International History, has recently written the music to soundtrack an online game. ‘Fraxinus’ is designed to help in the fight against dieback in ash trees, and Dave’s 7 minute ‘opus’ went live on the game last week. Fraxinus is a genetic puzzle game, developed by academic research institutions including The Sainsbury Laboratory and The John Innes Centre, and can be found here.
It has been likened to the popular Candy Crush game, but better for the planet, of course. Dave says that the musical remit was to produce something ambient and organic that would enhance gameplay without being a distraction. More of his music (under the name Biggtime Productions) can be found on his Soundcloud page. He can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.
"An Inductive Proof of Hex Uniqueness"
Samuel Clowes Huneke, an Alum of the MSc Applicable Mathematics 2011/12 programme, recently wrote an article on "An Inductive Proof of Hex Uniqueness" , published in the American Mathematical Monthly. The article is based on part of Samuel's dissertation, "A New Result in Annular Hex", supervised by Professor Steve Alpern. To read the article, please click here.
Festive fun in the Department - Most Elegant Snowflake Competition 2013
Our PhD students participated in a little light Christmas relief as the end of Michaelmas Term neared, creating the most fantastical paper snowflakes for our departmental grotto. Take a look at the competition and results here.
Further PhD success: congratulations to Alexey!
Adding to our glut of completions over the summer of 2013, we are now very pleased and proud to announce that Alexey Pokrovskiy has been awarded his PhD in Mathematics. Details of his thesis and supervisors can be found on the PhD "Roll of Honour". Congratulations Dr Pokrovskiy!
Haya Freedman Prize 2012/13
Congratulations to Marcello Rossi - winner of the Haya Freedman Prize for "Best Dissertation" 2012/13. To find out more about the Prize please click here.
Institute of Mathematics (IMA) International Conference
The first IMI International Conference will take place on 10-12 September 2014 at the Glasgow Caledonian University. Meena Kotecha, will co-chair the conference on "Barriers and Enablers to Learning Maths: Enhancing Learning and Teaching for All Learners". Full event details can be found here.
Cyril Offord Prize 2013
The Cyril Offord Prize 2013 for outstanding performance in Mathematics was awarded to Jasdeep Kochhar and presented to him by Head of Department Professor Jan van den Heuvel who congratulated Jasdeep on his excellent results which reflected his dedication to his studies during his time in the Mathematics Department. Full news item here.
ESRC Workshop on Algorithmic Game Theory
Professor Bernhard von Stengel organised an ESRC Workshop on 17-18 October 2013. 15 speakers presented over the course of two days on LSE campus. Full event details can be found here.
Welcome to Dr Christoph Czichowsky
The Mathematics Department extends a warm welcome to Dr. Christoph Czichowsky, a lecturer specialising in the field of financial mathematics. Christoph joined LSE in the beginning of September 2013 from the University of Vienna and we wish him a very happy time with us.
Congratulations to David, Tom and Neofytos
David Ferguson, Tom Lidbetter and Neofytos Rodosthenous have been awarded their PhDs in Mathematics. For details of his thesis title, supervisor, and the ever-growing list of PhD alumni of the department, please view our PhD "Roll of Honour". Congratulations Drs Ferguson, Lidbetter and Rodosthenous!
PhD alumni captains BBC Four Only Connect team to semi-finals
Dr Marianne Fairthorne, one of our PhD alumni who was awarded her doctorship in June 2011, captained her team, the 'Festival Fans' on BBC Four's show "Only Connect" in July 2013. The team had a colourful journey, scraping through the first round via the repechage. They bounced back to make it through to the semi-finals, sadly losing out to Team Celts on 22 July 2013 by four points (score 16 vs 20). Very well done to Marriane and well played Festival Fans!
Dr. Andy Lewis-Pye has won the Infographics photo award as part of the Royal Society's Picturing Science Competition, with his image, "Flowers of Segregation" (Credit: Dr Andy Lewis-Pye, with George Barmpalias and Richard Elwes from the University of Leeds). For an explanation of this image, please read below.
Flowers of Segregation
A major achievement of the Nobel prize winning economist Thomas Schelling was an elegant model of racial segregation, first described in 1969. The aim of the model was to understand the large scale segregation observed between black and white communities in large American cities.
For the first time we have rigorously analysed the model to get a deeper understanding of its interesting behaviour, such as situations where an increase in racial tolerance increases segregation. In the image, each disc illustrates a simulation of the model. The inner ring displays a large number of individuals of two types, given a random order and arranged in a circle. According to simple rules they then rearrange themselves into a more structured form, which is illustrated in the outer ring, The process by which this segregated configuration is reached being illustrated in the space between the inner and outer rings.