The BUC series is funded by grants from the University of Bath’s International Relations Office, the Newton Fund and two Mexican institutions UNAM and CIMAT. It supports a series of workshops supporting greater collaboration between doctoral students and academic staff from the institutions involved. There is a strong focus on training for doctoral students.

The first BUC event included a short course and a conference chaired and delivered by PhD students. The short course was based on the use of Big Data and Statistics in Environmental Research. It was led by Dr Gavin Shaddick from Bath and Professor Jim Zidek from the University of British Columbia and included a series of lectures and practical hands-on computer labs.

SAMBa students Dorka Fekete and Matt Thomas were involved in the successful delivery of the event. They prepared some of the material for the course and ran the software training labs. There was a good turn out with 32 students and staff attending.

Along with Bath postdoctoral researcher Bati Şengül, PhD student Pite Satitkanitkul, and CIMAT PhD students, Dorka and Matt gave presentations based on their own research. Dorka presented her work on Fragmentation Processes and Matt his use of Data Assimilation techniques.

Dorka said: “My research is in fundamental probability theory but I was able to put the statistics training that SAMBa has given me to good use at the workshop. It was very rewarding to give students in Mexico the tools to carry out new research. My supervisor has strong links with CIMAT and I am hoping to return for a longer, research-focussed visit next year.”

Matt said: “Experiencing how to train others in using statistical techniques was an invaluable experience and will be beneficial to me as I continue my own research in statistics. It was also amazing to have the chance to visit CIMAT, which is a really vibrant and inspiring institution for mathematics.”

The second event in the BUC series, also comprising a short course and a PhD conference, takes place from 22 until 24 February in UNAM, Mexico City. This event will have the theme of Big Data. Further events in the series will be taking place in May, June and September 2016 in Mexico and Bath.