Research

Our new maths institute turns data into good decisions

"In order to assess the global effects of air pollution on health, there is a need for accurate estimates of exposure to air pollution for all populations, not just those areas where it has traditionally been monitored."

We have launched a new research institute to help businesses make decisions based on data analysis and mathematical modelling.

Day-to-day operations in almost all businesses generate data. However, many organisations do not have the in-house analytical skills to fully utilise the information within their own data.

The new Bath Institute for Mathematical Innovation (Bath IMI) combines data and context to develop powerful predictions. This enables companies to improve products, explain complex phenomena, optimise processes, and ultimately reduce costs.

To mark the launch, we are offering complimentary 1:1 sessions for local companies, focussing on how they collect, use and interpret the data they generate.

Dr Joanna Jordan, Manager of Bath IMI, said: “We work closely with Industry on short-term, fast turnaround solutions, as well as longer-term research projects. We’re offering an opportunity for companies to meet with members of our team and discuss their business during our launch. We are keen to explore how we might be able to work with them to help them make better use of their data, and to use it to enhance their business.”

One of the Bath IMI’s current projects is a collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO). The aim is to map exposures to air pollution on a global scale. The project is led by Dr Gavin Shaddick of the University’s Department of Mathematical Sciences.

Dr Shaddick said: “Air pollution is measured at many thousands of locations throughout the world. However, the vast majority are in Western Europe and North America and there is little monitoring in large parts of the world, notably Africa and South East Asia. In order to assess the global effects of air pollution on health, there is a need for accurate estimates of exposure to air pollution for all populations, not just those areas where it has traditionally been monitored.

“Working together with the World Health Organisation we are developing statistical models that combine data from monitoring sites with information from other sources, including satellites and chemical transport models. This research will result in the ability to produce accurate estimates of exposure to air pollution at high resolution over the entire world. This will allow a more accurate assessment of the health risks associated with air pollution.”

The findings to date were reported in Geneva at the WHO Global Platform on Air Quality and Health in August 2015. The WHO will use the results of this work to update its ambient air pollution database and work will then progress to the next stage; developing methods for visualising the results in order to make them accessible for informing policy.

Dr Joanna Jordan said: “This project with the World Health Organisation is just one example of the Bath IMI’s work, and clearly demonstrates the potential impact that mathematical research can have on industry and organisations.

“We’re really keen to work with companies of all sizes, from start-ups through to global enterprises”.

To attend the event or arrange a 1:1 session, either at the launch or a later date, please contact the Bath IMI Co-ordinator Dr Catrin Yeomans at imi@bath.ac.uk.

The Bath IMI launch takes place on Wednesday 28 October, from 2pm at the Bath Assembly Rooms. www.bath.ac.uk/imi/events

For media enquiries:

Rob Breckon
University Press Office
44 (0)1225 385798
44 (0) 7896274736