At the end of January, we were joined by partners Willis Towers Watson and Diamond Light Source to deliver our 9th Integrative Think Tank. This was our biggest event to date with 46 students from the Department of Mathematical Sciences participating.
ITTs are highly collaborative events, exploring applied challenges and reformulating them as a mathematical problem that could be addressed through a long-term research approach.
Pondering ice cream and hurricanes
During the week, participants explored challenges in environmental risk and advanced imaging with 13 teams investigating questions including:
- how to model the constituent shapes of ice cream as it melts and freezes
- how to effectively track particle velocities for 3D printing equipment
- how to determine risk measures for catastrophes
- how to design and develop physical, statistical, and stochastic models for hurricane tracks and volcanic activity
As a first year student, I wasn’t sure I would have anything to contribute. However, it turned out this was definitely not the case and I really enjoyed being part of a mixed team where everyone worked together. It was a rewarding experience that has given me great confidence with my future work. — Eileen Russell, SAMBa student
Successfully pursuing new ideas
Teams consisting of students, academics, and partners worked on these questions intensively during the week and SAMBa students presented their progress on Friday, having battled through snow and ice to reach the venue. Students will now write up the work into reports and the ideas from the week will be pursued as PhD projects, research proposals, reading courses, and more.
The ITT was a great experience for us. The students were very enthusiastic and the combination of different perspectives, skill sets and discussions over the course of the ITT yielded a number of very promising results and new avenues to tackle the problems we presented. We’re very keen to develop these ideas further and look forward to presenting new Diamond problems to a future ITT. — Paul Quinn, Diamond Light Source
The next Integrative Think Tank, ITT10, will take place in June 2019. If you’d like to find out more about the ITT model or participate in an ITT week, please contact the SAMBa Centre Manager, Dr Susie Douglas.