Termcard for Trinity Term 2014

April 29th – The 27 Lines and Other Stories

Nigel Hitchin In the 1860s it was discovered that a general cubic surface defined over the complex numbers has exactly 27 lines on it, and the configurations of these attracted a lot of attention. It was followed by similar statements relating to two families of algebraic curves. Why were these so interesting? It turns out that they can be characterized by properties derived from the three Dynkin diagrams E6,E7,E8 and that each age has its own mathematical manifestation of these, from the neolithic Scots to modern-day theoretical physicists. The talk will describe the multitude of interpretations of these basic mathematical objects.

May 6th – Selling Category Theory to the Masses: a tale of Food, Spiders and Google

Bob Coecke We will demonstrate the following. Category theory, usually conceived as some very abstract form of metamathematics, is present everywhere around us. Explicitly, we show how it provides a kindergarten version of quantum theory as well as a new process-based foundation of it, how it helps to automate quantum reasoning, and how it will help Google to understand sentences given the meaning of their words.

May 13th – Machine Learning and Sentiment Analysis, or How to find Happiness

Alex Davies Machine learning is a hot area at the moment — DeepMind gets bought by Google for 500 million, IBM’s Watson beats the world champion at Jeopardy and Siri is occasionally useful. This talk will give an introduction to machine learning through the example of sentiment analysis, the art of getting computers to understand human emotions in written text.

May 20th – Social!


May 27th – The Dark Matter Mystery and the Large Hadron Collider

Ben Allanach I shall describe the dark matter mystery, and we shall go on a speculative journey to solve it. Going back to the beginning of time, we shall witness the birth of a proton, following it through to the present day, where it ends up in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. We shall revisit the Higgs boson discovery from last year. Finally, we shall see show how the collisions between protons at CERN might give us vital clues to solve the dark matter mystery.

Join our mailing list so you don’t miss any events!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *