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Today's date is Thursday, November 26, 2020
Physics Seminars
 October 2018
Thursday 11
16:00 - SEMINAR - Mathematics and Statistics colloquium : Interface dynamics: new mechanisms of stabilization and destabilization and structure of flow fields More Information
Interfacial mixing and transport are non-equilibrium processes coupling kinetic to macroscopic scales. They occur in fluids, plasmas and materials, over celestial events to atoms. Grasping their fundamentals can advance a broad range of disciplines in science, mathematics, and engineering. This work focuses on the long- standing classical problem of stability of a phase boundary - a fluid interface that has a mass flow across it. We briefly review the recent advances and challenges in theoretical and experimental studies, present our general theoretical framework directly linking microscopic interfacial transport to macroscopic flow fields, for both inertial and accelerated dynamics, discover new mechanisms of the interface stabilization and destabilization, and chart perspectives for future research.
Tuesday 30
13:00 - SEMINAR - Lover or fighter: you can’t have it all : School of Human Sciences Seminar Series More Information
Bio: Leigh received his PhD from Nottingham University in 1986 and held a series of postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Liverpool until 1995 when he moved to UWA. He was awarded an ARC Federation Fellowship in 2004 and was elected to the Australian Academy in 2009. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal Behavioral Ecology, Editor of Advances in the Study of Behavior, and on the editorial board of Journal of Ethology.

Overview: Broadly my research focuses on the evolutionary process of sexual selection, and its effects on the evolution of animal form and function. Evolutionary theory is based on the fundamental assumption that organisms are constrained by a trade-off that limits the allocation of resources to different fitness enhancing traits. I will first give a general introduction to sexual selection, before briefly outline some theoretical models used to predict the evolution of male sexual traits in the face of allocation trade-offs. I will then provide some empirical studies that have sought to test these predictions.

 November 2018
Thursday 01
16:00 - SEMINAR - Mathematics and Statistics colloquium : Generalisations and variations of the Monty Hall Problem More Information
The Monty Hall problem is a probability puzzle based on an American television game show. Some generalisations of the original problem are considered here: - The probability distribution is generalised from equal likelihood to an arbitrary known prior distribution, with the number of doors changed to a general n. - Optimal decision rule among a class of randomised strategies is derived. - The behaviour of the host and its consequences are taken into account. - Variations and further generalisations are considered.
Thursday 15
8:45 - CONFERENCE - 2018 Australian Institute of Physics WA Postgraduate Conference Website | More Information
This year's Australian Institute of Physics WA Postgraduate Student Conference will be held at the University of Western Australia on Thursday the 15th of November.

This event is open to all WA students researching in physics or physics-related subjects and is the perfect opportunity for them to meet their peers from across the state and present their research in a friendly environment.

Register by 25th October 2018.
Thursday 22
16:00 - SEMINAR - Mathematics and Statistics colloquium : Nonlocal equations, atom dislocation dynamics in crystals, and chaotic orbits More Information
In this talk, we introduce some basics of nonlocal equations, with some applications in mind coming from physics and material sciences. In particular, the equation taken into account comes from a model, developed by Rudolf Peierls and Frank Nabarro, that describes the edge dislocation of atoms in an ideal crystal. Moreover, we present the construction of multibump, heteroclinic, homoclinic and chaotic trajectories, providing a symbolic dynamics in this framework.

 December 2018
Monday 03
8:00 - SYMPOSIUM - AMSI BioInfoSummer Symposium Website | More Information
Held over 5 days, AMSI BioInfoSummer is a key training event in Australia, that allows attendees to develop their bioinformatics skills, national networks and employability, and nurtures the collaborations between the mathematics, statistics and information technology disciplines. AMSI BioInfoSummer brings together Australian and international researchers from the mathematical, statistical and biological sciences to develop further applications of mathematics and statistics to bioinformatics and introduce students and early career researchers to state-of-the-art bioinformatics research. AMSI BioInfoSummer is funded jointly by the Department of Education and Traning and the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI). In 2018, AMSI BioInfoSummer will be hosted by the University of Western Australia in partnership with Murdoch University and Edith Cowan University.

This is the first time AMSI BioInfoSummer will be held in WA so we would appreciate your support in promoting this event. We are expecting 150 -200 attendees to the 2018 symposium.

10:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Advanced analytical work and skills needed in the corporate space : What does a corporate financial analyst do? More Information
This talk will look at some examples of advanced analytical work in the corporate space and the challenges operating in that environment can pose to a former academic. We’ll then look at some of the skills I believe are key to being successful as a data scientist in a commercial environment.

 February 2019
Thursday 21
16:00 - SEMINAR - Mathematics and Statistics colloquium : Particle modelling applied to industrial and biophysical problems More Information
Particle methods have capabilities that particularly suit numerical simulation of complex phenomena involved in industrial and biophysical application domains. The two core methods used in this talk are DEM (Discrete Element Method) and SPH (Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics). Coupling of these methods also provides powerful capabilities to model multiphase behaviour. Industrial application to crushing and grinding, mixing and water cooling will be presented. Coupling to biomechanical models allows simulation of humans interacting with their environment. Examples of elite swimming, diving, kayaking and skiing will be shown. The use of these methods to simulate digestion (from breakdown in the mouth through stomach) and intestines will also be discussed.

 April 2019
Wednesday 10
12:30 - PRESENTATION - Physics to fish with some whales on the side! Second International Indian Ocean Expedition 110°E repeat line : Prof. Lynnath Beckley presents on the month-long voyage that will repeat the 1960s Indian Ocean investigation. Website | More Information
In the 1960s, Australia made a significant contribution to the first International Indian Ocean Expedition. Now, nearly six decades later, a second Expedition is underway, and in May 2019 a multi-institutional team of 30 oceanographers will head offshore from Fremantle with the Australian Research Vessel Investigator to study the oceanography of the SE Indian Ocean. On this month-long voyage we will to repeat the 110°E line from the 1960s, examine multi-decadal change in the physics, chemistry and biology of the water column, investigate microbes and biogeochemistry especially related to nitrogen and study the pelagic food web from plankton through to mesopelagic lantern fishes. The voyage will also enable ground truthing of bio-optical quantities like sea surface colour recorded by satellites as well as an acoustic survey of whales. For comparison, some of our work will use the original techniques employed during the first Expedition but these will be supplemented by a host of modern techniques and electronic technology that will assist us in better understanding the pelagic ecosystem at the western edge of Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

 August 2019
Thursday 22
16:00 - SEMINAR - Mathematics and Statistics colloquium : Convex surfaces of constant Gauss curvature and partially free boundaries More Information
Consider a pair of parallel planes in and a strictly convex closed curve laying on one of the planes. Is there a convex hypersurface of constant Gauss curvature such that it is trapped between the planes, the curve is on its boundary, and the surface strikes the other plane at given constant angle? This problem can be viewed as a generalisation of the Alt-Caffarelli problem for the Gauss curvature case. In this talk we will discuss the existence of weak solutions and the regularity of the free boundary, which is the unknown part of the boundary of surface.

 September 2019
Friday 06
14:00 - SEMINAR - The Action Principle: From Virgil's Aeneid to Quantum Walks : Variational principles in physics break new ground More Information
Variational principles have proven to be surprisingly fertile in physics. The principle of stationary action originally arising out of a derivation of optics and mechanics, remains central in modern physics being applied to fluid mechanics, the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, and even string theory. In this talk we take a walkthrough of the various extensions of the principle encompassing many fields of physics before arriving at a new extension into the realm of discrete time quantum walks that in their continuous limit match the Dirac equation from quantum field theory.

16:00 - SEMINAR - Groups and Combinatorics Seminar: Stephen Glasby, 4pm Sep 06 in Weatherburn LT More Information
Speaker: Stephen Glasby (University of Western Australia)

Title: Evaluating and estimating sums

Time and place: 4pm Friday 06 Sep 2019, Weatherburn LT

Abstract: In this expository talk I will show how "finite calculus" and hypergeometric identities can be used to evaluate certain sums. Surprisingly, these techniques can be used to estimate sums over primes.
Thursday 19
16:00 - SEMINAR - Mathematics and Statistics colloquium : Mathematics and Suicide More Information
The Young Lives Matter Foundation (https://www.uwa.edu.au/institutes/young-lives-matter/home)  aims to leverage research expertise across UWA to address the leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year olds in Western Australia. The foundation will address this aim by developing improved predictors of risk of self-harm and by better understanding the ways in which individuals interact with a myriad of health services. A deliberate and explicit focus of YLM is to tackle these goals through doing research differently. A key component of this is through new approaches in mathematics. I will provide an overview of some of the pilot work we have conducted over the last 18 months. Through direct observational study at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital we have developed complex systems models of information transmission and patient flow within the health system. This has allowed us to evaluate system performance and identify key bottlenecks in the delivery of health services. A separate, data-driven, pilot study at Perth Clinic has developed machine learning algorithms which out-perform admission-based psychiatric evaluation for risk of self-harm.  This is joint work with Michael McCullough, Sean Hood, Andrew Page, David Lawrence, Binu Jayawardena, and Geoff Hooke.
Tuesday 24
13:00 - FREE LECTURE - Special Guest Lectures and Panel Discussion : Inactivity, Exercise and Cardiovascular System Website | More Information
"Vascular effects of physical (in)activity and insulin resistance: Mechanisms and implications" - Dr. Jaume Padilla is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and investigator at the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Missouri. His laboratory focuses on understanding the physiological and molecular mechanisms by which inactivity, obesity, and type 2 diabetes lead to an increased risk for vascular dysfunction and disease. Dr. Padilla’s research is integrative and incorporates in vitro cell and tissue culture models and studies in mice, pigs, and human patients, thus highlighting the translational nature of his work. His seminar will summarize some of his recent work related to mechanisms contributing to vascular insulin resistance and dysfunction in obesity and type 2 diabetes as well as describe the deleterious vascular consequences of excess inactivity and sitting.

"Training your arteries, vascular function with exercise training in healthy and clinical populations" - Maureen J MacDonald received her Honours BSc in Chemistry from Acadia University, Canada, in 1991 and her MSc (1993) and PhD (1998) in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo, Canada. After post-doctoral research fellowships at the University of British Columbia and the University of Western Ontario she started her academic career as a faculty member at Wilfrid Laurier University. Since 2000 she has been a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, where she is a full professor and is the Dean of Science. Dr. MacDonald the director of the Vascular Dynamics Laboratory and is an active member of the Exercise Metabolism Research Group in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster. Her research interests are in the area of exercise physiology with specialization in the application of ultrasound techniques to the assessment of the peripheral blood vessels. Most recently, together with her research team, she has been examining the impact of high intensity interval training on the blood vessels and heart in individuals with coronary artery disease and the use of heat therapy as an alternative to exercise training. She has directly supervised over 100 undergraduate and graduate students since her appointment in 2000 and was recently awarded the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Mentorship award in October 2018. Dr. MacDonald has been continually funded by The Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada since 2001, and currently is also funded by Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Dr. MacDonald is a member of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Physiological Society and the European College of Sports Science and. Two research leaves at Stanford University (July 2006-June 2007) and Loughborough University (July 2013-June 2014) provided Dr. MacDonald with international academic exposure and fostered lasting international research collaborations. She teaches a weekly high intensity interval training spinning class in the McMaster Fitness Facility and spends most of her free time at the arena watching her boys play hockey.

Panel Discussion 2:00-2:30 with Professor David Dunstan PhD David is Head of the Physical Activity laboratory at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne and is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Baker Fellow. He also holds the position of Professor within the Behaviour, Environment and Cognition Research Program at the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University. His research program encompasses the interdisciplinary cross-talk and integration of observational, experimental, mechanistic and intervention evidence on the role of sedentary behaviour and physical activity in the prevention and management of chronic diseases. He has published over 260 peer reviewed papers and in 2018 was included in the Clarivate list of the 1% of the most highly cited researchers globally. Over the past 15 years David has had extensive media interest in his research including interviews with National Public Radio, Wall Street Journal, CNN, The Economist, New Scientist, the New York Times and the LA Times.

 November 2019
Wednesday 27
13:00 - SEMINAR - Heat Therapy: An ancient practice to target modern diseases : School of Human Sciences, Seminar Series Website | More Information
Presentation Summary:Chronic heat exposure, in the form of saunas, hot water baths, and sweat lodges have been utilized in many cultures for thousands of years. While repetitive bouts of heat exposure is generally believed to be healthy, it is only recently that we are beginning to understand the full benefits of ‘heat therapy’ across the spectrum of human health. Passive heating results in a rise in body temperature and changes in cardiovascular hemodynamics, including altered shear patterns of blood flow. There is growing evidence that these responses to acute heat stress combine over repetitive sessions to provide a stress-resistant profile to counter inflammation and oxidative stress, as occurs with aging and chronic disease, as well as from acute damaging events such as ischemia-reperfusion injury. There is also growing evidence heat therapy can be used to target metabolic dysfunction in obesity and diabetes through improvements in insulin signaling in fat and muscle cells. This ancient therapy needs broader application to treat modern diseases, particularly in those not able to obtain the full benefits of exercise. Speaker Biography:Dr. Christopher Minson is the Kenneth and Kenda Singer Professor of Human Physiology. His research focuses on topics related to integrative cardiovascular physiology in humans. His lab investigates how we can use exposures to extreme environments to gain a healthy and resilient physiology. He is also involved in projects related to endocrine function in women, biomarkers of aging and the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and finding novel ways to improve thermal comfort and safely in work environments. He also works with elite athletes in the use of environmental stressors to improve performance.

 December 2019
Tuesday 10
10:00 - WORKSHOP - Quantum Simplicity: Introduction to Complexity Science in a Quantum World : A masterclass with Assistant Professor Mile Gu, Nanyang Technological University and UWA IAS Visiting Fellow. Website | More Information
Complexity and quantum science appear at first to be two fields that bear little relation. One deals with the science of the very large – seeking the understand how unexpected phenomena can emerge in vast systems consisting of many interacting components. Quantum theory, on the other hand, deals with particles at the microscopic level and is usually considered limited to the domain of individual photons and atoms. Yet, different as they appear, there is growing evidence that in interfacing ideas from quantum and complexity science, we may unveil new perspective in either both fields.In this masterclass, Mile Gu will first give a tutorial on computational mechanics, a branch of complexity science captures structure by building the simplest causal models of natural observations. He wll then illustrate how many processes that require complex classical models may be simulated by remarkably simple quantum devices and describe recent experiments to test this laboratory conditions. He will survey the potential consequences these developments, highlighting how the indicate that fundamental notions of structure, complexity, and even the arrow of time, may change when the quantum properties of information are taken account. He will then review recent experiments in, where many of these consequences are illustrated through photonic systems.

Mile Gu currently leads the quantum and complexity science initiative - which seeks to explore how quantum technologies can help us understand the science of complex systems (www.quantumcomplexity.org) and holds appointments with the Complexity Institute at Nanyang Technological University and the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. Gu’s past research span the areas of quantum information, complexity theory and optical quantum computation, and has been featured in Science and Natural suite Journals. Prior to his current appointment, Gu obtained his PhD at the University of Queensland, and spent three years as faculty at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences Tsinghua University under the China 1000 talents program.
Thursday 19
14:00 - PUBLIC LECTURE - Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium : A Tour of the Mandelbrot Set More Information
The beautiful and complicated Mandelbrot set has captivated mathematicians since the first computer images of the set were drawn in the 1970s and 1980s. In this talk we’ll take a walk around the infinite intricacies of the Mandelbrot set, exploring the spirals, finding Fibonacci, and answering the question every maths student wonders when they first meet the Mandelbrot set: why do we care about this pretty picture?

Cheese and wine to follow in the Maths common room.

 March 2020
Wednesday 04
16:00 - EVENT - Back to the Future with High Performance Computing : From the first supercomputer to the modern day - high performance computing More Information
The first super computer was built 60 years by UNIVAC and kick started the tussle between IO, memory, cpu, parallelism and the ever shrinking transistor. According to Wikipedia "In 1960 UNIVAC built the Livermore Atomic Research Computer (LARC), today considered among the first supercomputers, for the US Navy Research and Development Centre". Today’s central processing units (CPU) and graphics processing units (GPU) continue in the tradition of doubling the system performance roughly every 18 months (see Moore's observation). BUT it is a little like Back to the Future. The modern vector architectures are a scaled back version of those of the 80's and 90's. The massive parallelism harps back to the late 70's and early 80's. Modern networks linking these systems follow suit, oscillating between parallel and serial transport. This talk will cover some of the modern takes on these old principles and relate them back to computational methods and techniques. You might discover that your best scientific programmer is a physicist from a previous generation.
Thursday 05
16:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium : It's a wonderful life! - Reflections on the career of a mathematician More Information
Followed by Cheese and wine in Maths Common Room

Abstract: We all have our doubts off and on if life is really so wonderful. But that is not what I want to address here. Watching the Jimmy Stewart movie with this title, there was one scene which captured my imagination: the Guardian Angel shows George Bailey how the world would have been without him. Personally, I never had much need to know how the world would have looked without me. However, all other things equal, how would life have been if I had lived in a different time and place, would be something of interest to me! This is the stuff of movies and fairy tales. But at least it is possible to play this as an intellectual game. I was born and raised in Germany before WW II. After getting my Ph.D. in 1962, I married a fellow mathematician and we immigrated to the US one year later, where we taught at a university until our retirements, first at Ohio State and then at Binghamton University. What would life have been if I stayed in Germany, did not get married, were born fifty or one hundred years earlier, or were born in another country? Looking at actual and potential role models over the centuries helped me answer some of these questions. In essence, it got me back to the roots of what shaped my life.

 April 2020
Thursday 23
16:00 - PUBLIC LECTURE - Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium : An invitation to finite geometry Website | More Information
Finite geometry involves the study of finitely many objects -- points, lines, planes, etc -- in analogy with classical geometric language and concepts. The exciting aspect of finite geometry is that it often shares properties of the usual Euclidean geometry, yet the finite-ness of the geometry enables us to exchange information with cognate disciplines such as coding theory, design theory, and finite group theory. This talk is an introduction to the world of finite geometry.

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