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Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INI) podcast

Cambridge University

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Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INI) podcast

Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INI) podcast

Cambridge University

1
Followers
0
Plays
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About Us

The Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (UK) is an international research centre based in Cambridge, UK. A part of the University of Cambridge, it has been hosting research programmes on mathematical themes since July of 1992.Launched in March 2019, the INI podcast series aims to highlight the diverse people and explore the many interconnected topics linked to the Institute's activities. Interviewees may range from visiting academics and lecturers to mathematicians, other scientists, and prominent figures within the University of Cambridge and beyond. The podcast typically involves mathematical themes, but is specifically aimed at a general audience. The focus is on the subjects being interviewed and the social stories they have to tell, not just on the significance and details of the research they may be undertaking. We hope there is interest and inspiration here for everyone.

Latest Episodes

Cambridge Philosophical Society mini-series #1: an interview with Dr Francisco Sahli

In recent years, the generous support of the Cambridge Philosophical Society has allowed INI to further support the attendance of early career researchers in its programmes and workshops. This first of three interviews speaks to one such recipient: Dr Francisco Sahli. Francisco is a postdoctoral researcher in the field of computational cardiology at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and attended the 2019 programme "The fickle heart". Dan Aspel and Ciara Dangerfield speak to him about his experience of the Institute, the ensuing collaborations and the importance of funding for more junior members of the community. 00:00 - Welcome 00:55 - Introductions 01:50 - Attending “The Fickle Heart” programme, the mathematics of modelling the human heart 04:15 - Being an early career researcher at an INI workshop 07:45 - … and ensuing collaborations 08:30 - Favourite memories of time at INI 09:30 - The importance of funding: “Just the airplane ticket to go to Europe is pretty expensive from Chile” 11:58 - Future plans

14 min8 h ago
Comments
Cambridge Philosophical Society mini-series #1: an interview with Dr Francisco Sahli

"Art of INI" mini-series #1: what is the connection between mathematics and artwork?

In this first of an "Art of INI" miniseries, host Dan Aspel is joined by INI staff Barry Phipps (Curator of Art and Science) and David Abrahams (Director) to discuss whether the worlds of mathematics and art share common ground. The Isaac Newton Institute hosts many sculptures, drawings, paintings, carvings and other artworks, as well as more than 2,500 visiting mathematicians per year. But where do these two worlds collide? Are mathematics and art aspiring to the same goals? What interactions exist between the two? Can one inspire the other? 00:00 - Welcome 00:43 - Introductions 01:10 - INI and art: what’s the connection? 11:09 - The unconscious influence of art on mathematicians 13:34 - The similarities between art and maths 17:10 - Can maths ever have a “blank canvas”? 20:20 - Applying the thinking of one field to another 23:58 - Schools of maths, schools of art (“a hornet’s nest”) 27:32 - “Visualising” work 30:45 - The “Growth, form an self-organisation” programme 35:00 - Present artworks at INI 41:12 - … future artworks at INI

46 min8 h ago
Comments
"Art of INI" mini-series #1: what is the connection between mathematics and artwork?

INI Podcast #28: an interview with Professor Valerie Isham

In episode #28, Professor Valerie Isham (University College London) joins the podcast to discuss her wide-ranging involvement with the Newton Institute from 1993 to the present day. Topics touched upon include developments within the science of modeling pandemics, the challenges and surprising benefits of remote working and virtual meetings, and the pervasive fascination of probability and statistics. 00:00 - Welcome 00:45 - Introductions 03:29 - An extensive history with INI 07:00 - Progress in the science across a 30-year period, computational power 11:20 - Organising the Infectious Dynamics of Pandemics programme 14:10 - The challenges and positives of virtual activities 23:00 - Augmented lifespans and flexibility in online programmes 29:40 - The informal “friendly environment” of home working and video calls 31:45 - How has our mathematical knowledge of pandemics moved on since the 1990s? 35:35 - First discovering a love of maths 48:26 - Being drawn to probability and statistics 40:05 - Recommendations: “Plagues and Peoples” by William McNeill, “The Gene: An Intimate History"bySiddhartha Mukherjee, “The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius”byGraham Farmelo.

43 min8 h ago
Comments
INI Podcast #28: an interview with Professor Valerie Isham

INI Podcast #27: an interview with Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter

In episode #27, David Spiegelhalter joins the podcast to talk about a frenetic six months of risk communication, the pitfalls of "number theatre", why nobody should be "following the science", why he's glad he to be rid of "killer bacon sandwiches" and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the relationship between scientists, media and government. You can read more about David (and find details of his book "The Art of Statistics") here: http://www.statslab.cam.ac.uk/~david/ ; his podcast "Risky Talk" can be found here: https://riskytalk.libsyn.com/ 00:00 - Introduction 01:03 - “Risky Talk” 05:29 - A history with the Isaac Newton Institute 08:50 - COVID, and becoming a household name 10:56 - Recent interactions between science and the media 13:10 - “Following the science” (or not) 16:10 - Demands, stress, ranting and “number theatre” 17:10 - Blame and speculation 18:30 - No more “killer bacon sandwiches” 20:18 - The fear factor 22:50 - The “privileging” of COVID and its knock-on effects 24:55 - “an ecology of people that want to tell it like it is” 27:23 - The Art of Statistics 31:50 - Retirement, walking and stained glass panels

35 minOCT 8
Comments
INI Podcast #27: an interview with Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter

INI Podcast #26: an announcement from Simon Singh

Author, film-maker and physicist Simon Singh tells the podcast all about the new, free "Maths Masterclass Tutorials" initiative - which is accepting nominations for Year 8 and 11 pupils until 09 October 2020. To learn all about this opportunity, or to nominate your pupil or child, visit: https://talent-ed.uk/the-maths-masterclasses. To find out more about Simon Singh and his work, visit: https://simonsingh.net/

15 minOCT 5
Comments
INI Podcast #26: an announcement from Simon Singh

INI Podcast #25: interview with Professor Julia Gog

"Mathematical modelling has played an unprecedented role in informing public health policy on the control of the current COVID19 pandemic"... so we spoke to one of the most influential figures in that sphere: Professor Julia Gog. Julia is Professor of Mathematical Biology at the University of Cambridge, with a particular focus on pandemic influenza. She has spent the past six months working in and alongside UK government groups, such as the "Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies" and has concurrently been a co-Organiser of the INI programme "Infectious Dynamics of Pandemics" (the abstract of which provided the above quote). In her downtime she has been making plans for her recent Rosalind Franklin Award funding, enjoying some Twitter interactions with the Reverend Richard Coles and using a crack team of colleagues to win at the popular board game "Pandemic"... 00:00 - introduction 01:33 - an “absolutely bonkers year” 03:40 - operating virtually and in a reactive capacity 07:20...

34 minSEP 15
Comments
INI Podcast #25: interview with Professor Julia Gog

INI Podcast #24: interview with Professor Rebecca Hoyle

In this episode we speak to Professor Rebecca Hoyle about the relevance of study groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the thinking behind the Virtual Forum for Knowledge Exchange in Mathematical Sciences [V-KEMS] initiative. Rebecca is Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Southampton (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/maths/about/staff/rbh2c14.page), and her interdisciplinary work focuses on dynamical processes in biology and social science. You can find her on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/rebeccahoyle 00:00 - Introduction 02:00 - A short history of study groups 03:50 - … leading to V-KEMS 08:00 - The realities of virtual working 09:25 - Topics within recent virtual study groups 12:00 - What’s it like to attend a “virtual” study group, and who attends? 20:20 - Diverse research and psychological wellbeing 25:45 - Is a virtual experience a “real” experience? 32:00 - A “giant river of mathematics” 33:00 - Stand-up mathematics: “terrifying, but fun if you survive” 35:50 - Social media recommendations

37 minSEP 1
Comments
INI Podcast #24: interview with Professor Rebecca Hoyle

INI Podcast #23: interview with Dr Robin Thompson

In this episode we speak to Dr Robin Thompson about how data is being used to inform the mathematical models behind the models of COVID-19. Robin is a Junior Research Fellow in mathematical epidemiology at Christ Church, University of Oxford. Find out more about Robin’s work here https://www.robin-thompson.co.uk/ or follow him on twitter @RobinNThompson. If you’re interested in the topics covered check, out Robin’s Oxford Mathematics public lecture on mathematical models of infectious disease outbreaks here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6Hr69JH_wA 00:00 - episode description 00:50 - introductions 02:00 - types and uses of data within COVID-19 models 06:30 - types of statistical method 09:05 - issues with the current data 11:14 - how to cope with such deficiencies 15:55 - how to account for uncertainty 17:55 - is widespread testing important for improving model predictions 22:40 - explaining “RAMP” 25:30 - wrap-up recommendations 28:45 - how can mathematicians help with current modelling challenges 31:45 - contact details

33 minAUG 3
Comments
INI Podcast #23: interview with Dr Robin Thompson

INI Podcast #22: interview with Dr Kit Yates

In this episode we speak to Dr Kit Yates about the maths behind the models of COVID-19 that are being used to guide policy of the control of the pandemic. Kit is a senior lecturer at the University of Bath and author of ‘The Mathematics of Life and Death’. In particular if you are interested in our discussions check out Chapter 7 (‘Susceptible, Infective, Removed’) of his book. You can find out more about Kit’s work at his website https://kityates.com/ or follow him on twitter @Kit_Yates_Maths. 00:00 - episode description 01:40 - introductions 02:35 - the maths behind the COVID-19 pandemic, the SEIR model 09:40 - how to model the transmission process 17:40 - capturing uncertainty within the models 22:40 - reducing the reproduction number: responses and policies suggested by the models 25:40 - what is herd immunity? 30:10 - the key challenges facing modellers in this situation 35:40 - contact details and wrap-up recommendations 38:10 - what can mathematicians do to help?

41 minAUG 3
Comments
INI Podcast #22: interview with Dr Kit Yates

INI Podcast #21: interview with Ollie Jones and Kamilla Rekvényi

Early career researchers Ollie Jones (Birmingham) and Kamilla Rekvényi (Imperial) join the podcast to discuss life at an INI workshop, working alongside supervisors, promoting mathematics to the young via social media, and the ongoing struggle for gender balance. 00:00 – introductions 01:14 – first experience of an INI workshop 05:55 - the “supervisor chain” and importance of networking 08:10 – the use of social media in promoting mathematics to the young (+ #wordwednesdays) 13:10 – maths as a foreign language 15:30 – the struggle for gender balance

21 minFEB 4
Comments
INI Podcast #21: interview with Ollie Jones and Kamilla Rekvényi

Latest Episodes

Cambridge Philosophical Society mini-series #1: an interview with Dr Francisco Sahli

In recent years, the generous support of the Cambridge Philosophical Society has allowed INI to further support the attendance of early career researchers in its programmes and workshops. This first of three interviews speaks to one such recipient: Dr Francisco Sahli. Francisco is a postdoctoral researcher in the field of computational cardiology at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and attended the 2019 programme "The fickle heart". Dan Aspel and Ciara Dangerfield speak to him about his experience of the Institute, the ensuing collaborations and the importance of funding for more junior members of the community. 00:00 - Welcome 00:55 - Introductions 01:50 - Attending “The Fickle Heart” programme, the mathematics of modelling the human heart 04:15 - Being an early career researcher at an INI workshop 07:45 - … and ensuing collaborations 08:30 - Favourite memories of time at INI 09:30 - The importance of funding: “Just the airplane ticket to go to Europe is pretty expensive from Chile” 11:58 - Future plans

14 min8 h ago
Comments
Cambridge Philosophical Society mini-series #1: an interview with Dr Francisco Sahli

"Art of INI" mini-series #1: what is the connection between mathematics and artwork?

In this first of an "Art of INI" miniseries, host Dan Aspel is joined by INI staff Barry Phipps (Curator of Art and Science) and David Abrahams (Director) to discuss whether the worlds of mathematics and art share common ground. The Isaac Newton Institute hosts many sculptures, drawings, paintings, carvings and other artworks, as well as more than 2,500 visiting mathematicians per year. But where do these two worlds collide? Are mathematics and art aspiring to the same goals? What interactions exist between the two? Can one inspire the other? 00:00 - Welcome 00:43 - Introductions 01:10 - INI and art: what’s the connection? 11:09 - The unconscious influence of art on mathematicians 13:34 - The similarities between art and maths 17:10 - Can maths ever have a “blank canvas”? 20:20 - Applying the thinking of one field to another 23:58 - Schools of maths, schools of art (“a hornet’s nest”) 27:32 - “Visualising” work 30:45 - The “Growth, form an self-organisation” programme 35:00 - Present artworks at INI 41:12 - … future artworks at INI

46 min8 h ago
Comments
"Art of INI" mini-series #1: what is the connection between mathematics and artwork?

INI Podcast #28: an interview with Professor Valerie Isham

In episode #28, Professor Valerie Isham (University College London) joins the podcast to discuss her wide-ranging involvement with the Newton Institute from 1993 to the present day. Topics touched upon include developments within the science of modeling pandemics, the challenges and surprising benefits of remote working and virtual meetings, and the pervasive fascination of probability and statistics. 00:00 - Welcome 00:45 - Introductions 03:29 - An extensive history with INI 07:00 - Progress in the science across a 30-year period, computational power 11:20 - Organising the Infectious Dynamics of Pandemics programme 14:10 - The challenges and positives of virtual activities 23:00 - Augmented lifespans and flexibility in online programmes 29:40 - The informal “friendly environment” of home working and video calls 31:45 - How has our mathematical knowledge of pandemics moved on since the 1990s? 35:35 - First discovering a love of maths 48:26 - Being drawn to probability and statistics 40:05 - Recommendations: “Plagues and Peoples” by William McNeill, “The Gene: An Intimate History"bySiddhartha Mukherjee, “The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius”byGraham Farmelo.

43 min8 h ago
Comments
INI Podcast #28: an interview with Professor Valerie Isham

INI Podcast #27: an interview with Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter

In episode #27, David Spiegelhalter joins the podcast to talk about a frenetic six months of risk communication, the pitfalls of "number theatre", why nobody should be "following the science", why he's glad he to be rid of "killer bacon sandwiches" and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the relationship between scientists, media and government. You can read more about David (and find details of his book "The Art of Statistics") here: http://www.statslab.cam.ac.uk/~david/ ; his podcast "Risky Talk" can be found here: https://riskytalk.libsyn.com/ 00:00 - Introduction 01:03 - “Risky Talk” 05:29 - A history with the Isaac Newton Institute 08:50 - COVID, and becoming a household name 10:56 - Recent interactions between science and the media 13:10 - “Following the science” (or not) 16:10 - Demands, stress, ranting and “number theatre” 17:10 - Blame and speculation 18:30 - No more “killer bacon sandwiches” 20:18 - The fear factor 22:50 - The “privileging” of COVID and its knock-on effects 24:55 - “an ecology of people that want to tell it like it is” 27:23 - The Art of Statistics 31:50 - Retirement, walking and stained glass panels

35 minOCT 8
Comments
INI Podcast #27: an interview with Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter

INI Podcast #26: an announcement from Simon Singh

Author, film-maker and physicist Simon Singh tells the podcast all about the new, free "Maths Masterclass Tutorials" initiative - which is accepting nominations for Year 8 and 11 pupils until 09 October 2020. To learn all about this opportunity, or to nominate your pupil or child, visit: https://talent-ed.uk/the-maths-masterclasses. To find out more about Simon Singh and his work, visit: https://simonsingh.net/

15 minOCT 5
Comments
INI Podcast #26: an announcement from Simon Singh

INI Podcast #25: interview with Professor Julia Gog

"Mathematical modelling has played an unprecedented role in informing public health policy on the control of the current COVID19 pandemic"... so we spoke to one of the most influential figures in that sphere: Professor Julia Gog. Julia is Professor of Mathematical Biology at the University of Cambridge, with a particular focus on pandemic influenza. She has spent the past six months working in and alongside UK government groups, such as the "Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies" and has concurrently been a co-Organiser of the INI programme "Infectious Dynamics of Pandemics" (the abstract of which provided the above quote). In her downtime she has been making plans for her recent Rosalind Franklin Award funding, enjoying some Twitter interactions with the Reverend Richard Coles and using a crack team of colleagues to win at the popular board game "Pandemic"... 00:00 - introduction 01:33 - an “absolutely bonkers year” 03:40 - operating virtually and in a reactive capacity 07:20...

34 minSEP 15
Comments
INI Podcast #25: interview with Professor Julia Gog

INI Podcast #24: interview with Professor Rebecca Hoyle

In this episode we speak to Professor Rebecca Hoyle about the relevance of study groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the thinking behind the Virtual Forum for Knowledge Exchange in Mathematical Sciences [V-KEMS] initiative. Rebecca is Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Southampton (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/maths/about/staff/rbh2c14.page), and her interdisciplinary work focuses on dynamical processes in biology and social science. You can find her on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/rebeccahoyle 00:00 - Introduction 02:00 - A short history of study groups 03:50 - … leading to V-KEMS 08:00 - The realities of virtual working 09:25 - Topics within recent virtual study groups 12:00 - What’s it like to attend a “virtual” study group, and who attends? 20:20 - Diverse research and psychological wellbeing 25:45 - Is a virtual experience a “real” experience? 32:00 - A “giant river of mathematics” 33:00 - Stand-up mathematics: “terrifying, but fun if you survive” 35:50 - Social media recommendations

37 minSEP 1
Comments
INI Podcast #24: interview with Professor Rebecca Hoyle

INI Podcast #23: interview with Dr Robin Thompson

In this episode we speak to Dr Robin Thompson about how data is being used to inform the mathematical models behind the models of COVID-19. Robin is a Junior Research Fellow in mathematical epidemiology at Christ Church, University of Oxford. Find out more about Robin’s work here https://www.robin-thompson.co.uk/ or follow him on twitter @RobinNThompson. If you’re interested in the topics covered check, out Robin’s Oxford Mathematics public lecture on mathematical models of infectious disease outbreaks here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6Hr69JH_wA 00:00 - episode description 00:50 - introductions 02:00 - types and uses of data within COVID-19 models 06:30 - types of statistical method 09:05 - issues with the current data 11:14 - how to cope with such deficiencies 15:55 - how to account for uncertainty 17:55 - is widespread testing important for improving model predictions 22:40 - explaining “RAMP” 25:30 - wrap-up recommendations 28:45 - how can mathematicians help with current modelling challenges 31:45 - contact details

33 minAUG 3
Comments
INI Podcast #23: interview with Dr Robin Thompson

INI Podcast #22: interview with Dr Kit Yates

In this episode we speak to Dr Kit Yates about the maths behind the models of COVID-19 that are being used to guide policy of the control of the pandemic. Kit is a senior lecturer at the University of Bath and author of ‘The Mathematics of Life and Death’. In particular if you are interested in our discussions check out Chapter 7 (‘Susceptible, Infective, Removed’) of his book. You can find out more about Kit’s work at his website https://kityates.com/ or follow him on twitter @Kit_Yates_Maths. 00:00 - episode description 01:40 - introductions 02:35 - the maths behind the COVID-19 pandemic, the SEIR model 09:40 - how to model the transmission process 17:40 - capturing uncertainty within the models 22:40 - reducing the reproduction number: responses and policies suggested by the models 25:40 - what is herd immunity? 30:10 - the key challenges facing modellers in this situation 35:40 - contact details and wrap-up recommendations 38:10 - what can mathematicians do to help?

41 minAUG 3
Comments
INI Podcast #22: interview with Dr Kit Yates

INI Podcast #21: interview with Ollie Jones and Kamilla Rekvényi

Early career researchers Ollie Jones (Birmingham) and Kamilla Rekvényi (Imperial) join the podcast to discuss life at an INI workshop, working alongside supervisors, promoting mathematics to the young via social media, and the ongoing struggle for gender balance. 00:00 – introductions 01:14 – first experience of an INI workshop 05:55 - the “supervisor chain” and importance of networking 08:10 – the use of social media in promoting mathematics to the young (+ #wordwednesdays) 13:10 – maths as a foreign language 15:30 – the struggle for gender balance

21 minFEB 4
Comments
INI Podcast #21: interview with Ollie Jones and Kamilla Rekvényi
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