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Today's date is Monday, October 26, 2020
Physics Seminars
 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.

 October 2020
Thursday 22
16:00 - PUBLIC LECTURE - Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium : Control of pedestrian flows: social dynamics beyond modelling Website | More Information
We propose a model-free approach to analyse the movement of pedestrians in experiments and simulations. Using concepts from control and analysis of complex dynamical systems we set up a scheme which allows us to identify dynamical unstable signatures in pedestrian flows. These signatures are the building blocks for crowd control and soft management of people. Our approach is entirely data driven and we provide a proof of concept by field and laboratory experiments. In addition, our approach provides, based on experimental observations, quantitative benchmarks to judge the quality of mathematical models for pedestrian motion.
Tuesday 27
13:00 - SEMINAR - Evaluating Auditory function in children with learning difficulties (Please note date change to 27 October, NOT 20th) : School of Human Sciences Seminar Series Website | More Information
Abstract: Children who experience poor academic performance at school have been d escribed as having learning difficulties (LD). These children are thought to show reduced performances in reading, written language and numeracy, and/or to be inactive and inefficient learners. Hearing is one of several factors thought to influence a child’s learning at school with students spending at least 45% of their classroom activities that require listening and 45 - 75% of their time in the classroom comprehending their teachers’ and classmates’ speech. Hearing impairment can include loss of hearing sensitivity and/or impaired auditory processing. While rates of peripheral hearing loss in the Australian primary school-aged population is estimated to be between 3.4% - 12.8%, rates of impaired auditory processing in this population are not available in Australia. Children with peripheral hearing loss and/or impaired auditory processing often show behaviours similar to those reported in children with LD, suggesting that LD and hearing impairment could be related in primary school child populations. This seminar will present the research that investigated LD and hearing impairment in a school-aged child population in the greater Brisbane region of Queensland, Australia.

Bio: Robyn is a lecturer in Audiology in School of Human Sciences. Robyn’s current area of research is auditory processing disorder and middle ear assessment in the paediatric population. In particular, Robyn is passionate about improving educational outcomes in children with learning difficulties who may have a hearing impairment. Robyn’s other research interests also include using simulated learning in clinical education and tele-audiology. Clinically, Robyn specialises in middle ear and Central Auditory Processing assessment and management in the paediatric population.

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