- Street Fighting Science: Simple models for complex problems
This month we'll have Edward Ross presenting Street Fighting Science. When fighting ignorance on the street your intricate simulations and detailed derivations won't be quick enough to help you. I'll show how bold approximations and simple models can give quick insight to everyday problems, and how rapidly solving everyday problems illuminates ideas in science. We will look at connecting ideas in airline economics, skydiving, photosynthesis, and the energy density of petrol. About the speaker: Edward Ross is a mathematical physicist by training and a Data Analyst by profession. He is co-organiser of the Melbourne Maths and Science meetup and is passionate about using data, big and small, to make better decisions.
- The Sceptical Data Scientist: Why we need to make Data Science Education real.
Talk Abstract: More and more decisions are data driven now - and that’s awesome! Much better than ideologically driven, or personality driven, or “whatever mood management’s in today” driven. But it does mean we want to be confident of our analyses. And there’s a tendency to have deep faith in data science. “Look! I did a calculation! It must be true!” Numbers don’t lie. And maths is reliable. But so much depends on the questions we ask, how we ask them, and how we test those results. So how do we create a generation of sceptical data scientists? Whose first approach to a result is to challenge it. To try to disprove it. We need to give them confidence in their skills, but teach them to doubt their own work. About the Speaker: Founder and Executive Director of the Australian Data Science Education Institute, Dr Linda McIver started out as an Academic with a PhD in Computer Science Education. When it became apparent that High School teaching was a lot more fun, Linda began a highly successful career at John Monash Science School, where she built innovative courses in Computational and Data Science for year 10 and year 11 students. Nominated one of the inaugural Superstars of STEM in 2017, Linda is passionate about creating authentic project experiences to motivate all students to become technologically and data literate. While Linda loves the classroom, it was rapidly becoming clear that teachers in the Australian School system were keen to embrace Data Science, but that there was a serious lack of resources to support that. That’s why Linda created ADSEI – to support Data Science in education. https://adsei.org/
- Deconstructing Lego
Title: Deconstructing Lego Speaker: Jonathan Scanlan The Talk: With a wide range of colours and a high degree of compatibility between the multitude of available parts, Lego has long been source of inspiration for children and adults alike. But just how flexible is it? In this light-hearted talk, we’ll get a measure of just how easy it is to collect and build, by applying mixed integer programming to a database of known Lego sets. About the speaker: Jonathan Scanlan holds a Master of Statistics and Operations Research from RMIT. Since graduating with distinction in 2015, he has been working in marketing technology (MarTech), primarily on projects that serve to both eliminate human effort and make data more accessible to the people who need it.
- The mathematical paradigm shift - optimisation or AI?
We're excited to have Evan Shellshear present The mathematical paradigm shift - optimisation or AI? In this talk we'll be presenting case studies highlighting the great paradigm shift in mathematics and computer science - machine learning vs optimisation. As marketing blurs the lines between these concepts, which one should you use and when? What's the difference? We'll also present some tips on when to use each with a focus on real life production ready apps. Bio: Dr Evan Shellshear is the Head of Analytics at Biarri and has a career spanning the globe. He began his PhD in mathematical economics in Germany at Bielefeld and then moved up to Sweden to work at the Fraunhofer Institute on HPC and optimisation. He moved back to Australia in 2015 and worked in many startups in the digital space focusing on data engineering and data analytics before his recent move to Biarri.
- Mathematical models of infectious disease transmission
Informing public health preparedness and response Speaker: Rob Moss Abstract: Did you know that Australia has a plan for protecting our population in response to a pandemic, and that many of the recommendations in that plan are informed by mathematical models? For almost a century, mathematical modelling has been used to help us understand how infectious diseases spread through populations, to predict their likely impact, and to help inform public health interventions. While the ever-increasing computing resources at our disposal in recent years have enabled the development of highly complex models, we can still obtain useful insights from simple models. In this talk, I will introduce some of the most common models used in infectious diseases epidemiology, demonstrate how they can be used to estimate the impact of different public health interventions, and show how they can be combined with data in near-real-time in order to generate epidemic forecasts. Speaker info: Dr Robert Moss is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at The University of Melbourne. Rob works at the University of Melbourne with James McCaw and Jodie McVernon. Rob uses mathematical models of biological systems (from sub-organ to population) to address questions concerning the dynamics of the biological system and how its behaviour can be influenced, whether by regulatory processes or interventions (both direct and indirect). To date, his research has comprised two distinct themes: (1) Methods for mitigating the burden of seasonal and pandemic influenza (including targeted antiviral distribution and epidemic forecasting); and (2) Understanding neurohumoral regulation of renal water and sodium excretion (with repercussions for whole-body homeostasis). In addition to these research interests, he is actively interested in broader issues related to model-driven science, including the dissemination of models (including source code, parameter sets, analysis scripts, etc), and effective communication of research outputs through the use of visualisations. http://prism.edu.au/staff/rob-moss/
- Cauchy-Schwartz: Addition and Inequality
Addition and Inequality The Cauchy-Schwarz inequality has had a major impact on mathematics and science since Augustin-Louis Cauchy first published the discrete version in 1821. Using only high school level algebra, this talk will begin with a proof of Cauchy’s inequality and then proceed to some applications that demonstrate its real power. About the speaker: Jonathan Scanlan holds a Master of Statistics and Operations Research from RMIT. Since graduating with distinction in 2015, he has been working in advertising technology (AdTech), primarily on projects that serve to eliminate existing dependencies on human effort. Note: The date is a small change from our usual pattern of last Wednesday of the month, on account of speaker availability.
- Mixup Melbourne: Tech and Creative End-of-Year Party
NOTE: This isn't a specific MMSM event, rather an event for the whole community in Melbourne, and the talk looks especially interesting. To attend, you'll need to buy a ticket via the link. You can RSVP here, but the only effect of that will be to let other MMSM members know you're planning to attend. Details below are copied from Ben Dechrai's announcement on the Buzzconf Meetup page, https://www.meetup.com/BuzzConf/events/256658976/ I hope to see some of you there! — Les. Details from Buzzconf: From just $15 (buy tickets at https://mixup.melbourne/), join the Melbourne tech and creative community for their fourth official end of year party! Mixup Melbourne starts with a welcome and celebration of the community, followed by an inspiring and intriguing talk from Sarah Spencer on Printing with Knitting Machines. The rest of the evening sees a generous bar tab and finger food, to see you through an enjoyable opportunity to network with friends, new and old. As with last year, we hope to have some exciting extras and giveaways. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/mixupmelbourne) for the latest information.
- Accelerating the Colonisation of Mars with General Purpose Factories
Small update: Les Kitchen will also slip in a quick run-down on BAMconf, which he attended last week, http://bamconf.com/ Title: Accelerating the Colonisation of Mars with General Purpose Factories Speaker: Paul McLaughlin Abstract: Paul is presenting a high level technical overview of general purpose factories and how they can be used to accelerate the colonisation of Mars. Part 1: General Purpose Factories Despite tremendous advances in computing capability, the fundamentals of manufacturing have changed very little since Henry Ford's first car plant. General purpose factories will offer the next leap in performance without being hardcoded to only build specific products. (e.g. a Tesla factory is limited to building cars). They will be programmed with general purpose machinery to offer flexibility for the end product. In Part 1 Paul will explore the technical foundations for building such a system and the advantages of this paradigm. Part 2: Accelerating the Colonisation of Mars The second space age is starting with SpaceX and many others, with the cost to orbit being vastly reduced. However, the fundamental cost of shipping cargo to Mars will remain expensive for the foreseeable future. In Part 2, Paul will explore how shipping general purpose factories (with the capability of self replication) reduces the cost of reproducing an industrial base on Mars. He will also discuss the major stages of colonisation. About the speaker: As co-founder, CEO, and CTO of SEEit, Paul custom built a technology stack from the ground up that combines virtual reality with industrial robots to create fully immersive experiences for clients that include Village Roadshow, a leading theme park in France, and Sweden's Lund University. Prior to this he was a junior partner at a venture capital firm, a strategy & operations management consultant, and a product manager for ABB. As founder and CTO of MADEit, his current focus is building a general purpose factory that combines his experience and skills in VR and robotics with AI.
- Let's discuss: Physics, Topology, Logic and Computation: A Rosetta Stone
Title: Let's discuss: Physics, Topology, Logic and Computation: A Rosetta Stone Speaker: Andy Kitchen Description: We review the ideas in the paper "Physics, Topology, Logic and Computation: A Rosetta Stone" by John Baez and Mike Stay. We explore how category theory can be used as an intermediate language that can help us translate ideas from from one area of science and mathematics to another. I've personally found this paper exciting and enlightening, so I hope I can share that feeling with you. Caveat: I'm not a category theorist, I only dabble, so I won't be able to answer any complicated questions. If you are a category theorist, please come along and help me out ;) My presentation won't assume any knowledge of category theory, but won't be super structured so bring your questions and discussion points to contribute! Paper can be downloaded here: https://arxiv.org/abs/0903.0340 [It's not necessary to read the paper before the meetup, but the link's here if you want to be better prepared to join the discussion.] Bio: Andy Kitchen is a AI researcher working for the Melbourne Startup, CCLabs. He loves thinking and learning about diverse subjects, such as computer science, Bayesian statistics, type theory, economics, neuroscience, philosophy and of course artificial intelligence and machine learning. He is an organiser of the ML/AI Meetup, http://mlai.melbourne/ or https://www.meetup.com/Machine-Learning-AI-Meetup/events/ you can tweet at him @auastro.
- MMSM Organizing Meeting
There's no talk scheduled for tonight. Instead, we're calling on members to come along, hang out, and help with planning and organizing MMSM this year (after a long summer break). We're after suggestions for how to line up speakers, and ideas about events we can run and areas of mathematics and science we can focus on. Hope to see you there! Bring your ideas!