SAMBa was established in April with £4 million funding from EPSRC and £2 million funding from the University of Bath and will support a minimum of 50 postgraduate students to undertake PhDs over the next eight years. The launch was a vibrant event, showcasing the excellent research SAMBa will be part of, and the energy and the enthusiasm of the SAMBa team and the Department of Mathematical Sciences.
The event began with a welcome from Professor Jane Millar, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) which set the context of SAMBa within the other Doctoral Training activities at the University. The co-Directors of SAMBa, Professors Paul Milewski and Andreas Kyprianou then gave an overview of the SAMBa programme and described how people could get involved with activities such as the twice-yearly Integrative Think Tanks (ITTs) which will bring students, academics and industry together for one week in order to formulate problems that will lead to PhD projects and more.
The introduction was followed by six Ignite Talks from those involved in SAMBa. These talks consist of 20 slides, which automatically move on every 15 seconds. Finally, Dean of Science, Professor David Bird congratulated the SAMBa team on a successful start and thanked them for their hard work in setting up the Centre. The event ended with a drinks reception, with a chance for networking and to view posters showcasing the range of Doctoral Training activities across the University.
Professor Bird stated: “I have been a strong supporter of SAMBa ever since the initial outline bids were prepared over 18 months ago. It was a great pleasure to attend the SAMBa launch and to see the energy and enthusiasm of the participants, including external partners. I am confident that SAMBa will be a great success, attracting excellent students and providing them with an outstanding research training that spans traditional boundaries in Mathematics with projects that are highly relevant to a wide variety of real-world problems”
Professor Millar said: “it was great to see colleagues from across our CDTs and DTPs, and from industry present for the successful launch. The Ignite-style talks gave an impressive insight into the types of projects that SAMBa will be involved in - I especially liked the talk from SAMBa student Matt Parkinson on quantum mechanics! Congratulations to Susie, Andreas and Paul on SAMBa's achievements so far - I'm sure that the launch marks the start of many exciting developments to come."
SAMBa aims to train students across a range of mathematical areas, giving them a worldview that sees no separation between applied mathematics and statistics, preparation to work in the emerging areas of big models and big data and a equipping them with strong problem solving abilities. There will be strong links to industry through the Centre and many industrial partners were represented amongst the 100+ attendees, which also included representatives from departments across the University and EPSRC.
Nigel Brayshaw of Takeda, a current SAMBa partner, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the event. The Ignite talks were very entertaining and informative and I am really looking forward to being involved in the SAMBa programme over the next few years.”
It is hoped that there will be plenty more chances to showcase SAMBa and bring together interested parties over the next few years. Professor Kyprianou said: “It was great to see such a big turn out with such broad interest in the theme and outreach of SAMBa, we will be following up on many of the discussions from the event.” Professor Milewski added: “Getting SAMBa to this point would not have been possible without the hard work from many people in Mathematics and across the University. It was fantastic to both celebrate our success to date, and look forward to the future.”