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Mathematics & Statistics, Lancaster University
Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Lancaster University
Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Lancaster University

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London Mathematical Society 150th Anniversary Hardy Lecture
Professor Nalini Joshi, University of Sydney
When applied mathematics collided with algebra
Lancaster University Management School, Lecture Theatre 3

Nonlinear integrable systems arose in applied mathematics and physics, when they were discovered as a possible resolution of the Fermi-Pasta-Ulam problem. More recently, it has been discovered that integrable systems (such as the Painlevé equations) arise from translations on affine Weyl groups, which are more familiar to algebraicists. I will explain how this amazing development gives rise to properties that all applied mathematicians should be able to master, through examples.

The 150th Anniversary Hardy Fellow, Nalini Joshi (University of Sydney), will visit Bath, Glasgow, Imperial College, Lancaster, Leeds, Loughborough, Kent and Oxford during the Special Hardy Lecture Tour in June and July 2015 before giving the 150th Anniversary Hardy Lecture in London on Friday 3 July.

Her research interests lie in non-linear differential and difference equations, with a particular focus on asymptotics and integrable systems such as the Painlevé equations.

The lecture is open to all. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.

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"I felt supported throughout my internship and would strongly recommend the internship programme to other students."

Jack Croft, MSci Computer Science and Mathematics

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Is India’s heatwave a freak event? Lancaster's Hugo Winter investigates: 

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The impact of our statistics research at +Lancaster University  has been singled out for recognition by +Nature News & Comment.

Statistician Professor Jonathan Tawn’s work focussed on the sinking of the MV Derbyshire more than 30 years ago and was critical in determining the conclusions of the High Court’s investigation into the tragedy.

Professor Tawn’s research identified that design standards for the strength of hatch covers of certain ocean-going carriers needed to be increased by 35%.

The new level was set as a worldwide mandatory standard in 2004. The change has impacted on the design of 1720 new carriers and strengthening for the 5830 carriers currently in service.

There have been no sinkings of ocean-going bulk carriers since the new design standards were introduced. Based on past evidence, more than 100 such sinkings would have been expected in the same period.

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The +Lancaster University Data Analysis Competition (LUDAC) is now open to all students - register by 2nd March. There are prizes totalling £500 available!

LUDAC is an open competition sponsored by +LancsUniSciTech to promote and exhibit student innovation in various data-related skills such as statistics, machine learning, programming, visualisation, and artificial and computational intelligence. The competition encourages the introduction of novel techniques to analyse, interpret and present data, as well as the application of well-established techniques to new datasets.

Student applications will be independently judged by a multidisciplinary technical panel, which also includes the data providers. Applications will be independently judged based on a number of criteria, including:

* Deriving new insights.
* Using novel analysis techniques.
* Applying well-established methods to new datasets.
* Rich but clear visual representations.

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Prizes for Masters and PhD students

Congratulations to our Masters and PhD students who have won University, Faculty and departmental prizes.

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New funding to probe impact of symmetry on rigidity of structures

The EPSRC have awarded Dr Bernd Schulze of the Geometric Rigidity research group £98,000 to examine the rigidity of symmetrical structures.

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Mathematics and Statistics at Lancaster has been ranked joint 5th in the UK, for overall research quality, in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). 

The REF measures the quality and impact of research conducted in universities and other higher education institutions in the UK, against international standards of excellence. 

Lancaster was one of a select group of universities to have at least 40% of its overall research activity classified as world-leading; the others being Oxford, Cambridge, Warwick, Imperial College and Bristol.

The percentage of our research publications classified as world-leading in originality, significance and rigour, was the fifth highest in the UK.

The impact of our research in the mathematical sciences was deemed to be a particular strength at Lancaster. With over three-quarters judged to be outstanding in reach and significance, we ranked third in the UK. 

Lancaster’s research has impacted the design of most of the UK’s sea flood defences; led to an increase in safety standards for ships; and informed food safety standards in New Zealand, leading to a halving in the number of cases of a certain form of food-poisoning. 

Prof Andrey Lazarev, Head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, said: “I am delighted at the strong showing of Mathematics and Statistics in REF2014. This undoubtedly confirms our strong and growing international reputation for high quality research.”

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Congratulations to Glen Martin and Neil Bennett who received their MSc Statistics prizes at the Science and Technology at Lancaster University graduation reception last week.

Glen received two prizes, the CETL prize for ‘excellence in learning’ and the Royal Statistical Society Student Prize for ‘outstanding performance’ on an accredited course.

Neil was awarded the Tessella Industrial prize for ‘best computational project’.
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