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Congratulations to our AMSI Vacation Research Scholars, Tobin South and Michael Ucci who received both of the prizes for the best presentation at the recent #AMSIConnect2018 conference.

It is an outstanding achievement for our students that have won all of the available prizes against a field of students from across the country!

University of Adelaide students Michael Ucci and Tobin South  Photo credit: Michael Fotopoulos

University of Adelaide students Michael Ucci and Tobin South
Photo credit: Michael Fotopoulos

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Congratulations to Mr Michael Hallam (supervisors Varghese and Baraglia) on being awarded the prestigious 2017 B H Neuman prize for the most outstanding student talk presented at the Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society.

More information:


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Title: Calculating optimal limits for transacting credit card customers
15:10 Fri 2 Mar, 2018 :: Horace Lamb 1022 :: Prof Peter Taylor :: University of Melbourne
Abstract: Credit card users can roughly be divided into `transactors’, who pay off their balance each month, and `revolvers’, who maintain an outstanding balance, on which they pay substantial interest. In this talk, we focus on modelling the behaviour of an individual transactor customer. Our motivation is to calculate an optimal credit limit from the bank’s point of view. This requires an expression for the expected outstanding balance at the end of a payment period. We establish a connection with the classical newsvendor model. Furthermore, we derive the Laplace transform of the outstanding balance, assuming that purchases are made according to a marked point process and that there is a simplified balance control policy which prevents all purchases in the rest of the payment period when the credit limit is exceeded. We then use the newsvendor model and our modified model to calculate bounds on the optimal credit limit for the more realistic balance control policy that accepts all purchases that do not exceed the limit. We illustrate our analysis using a compound Poisson process example and show that the optimal limit scales with the distribution of the purchasing process, while the probability of exceeding the optimal limit remains constant. Finally, we apply our model to some real credit card purchase data.

Title: Models, machine learning, and robotics: understanding biological networks
15:10 Fri 16 Mar, 2018 :: Horace Lamb 1022 :: Prof Steve Oliver :: University of Cambridge
Abstract: The availability of complete genome sequences has enabled the construction of computer models of metabolic networks that may be used to predict the impact of genetic mutations on growth and survival. Both logical and constraint-based models of the metabolic network of the model eukaryote, the ale yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, have been available for some time and are continually being improved by the research community. While such models are very successful at predicting the impact of deleting single genes, the prediction of the impact of higher order genetic interactions is a greater challenge. Initial studies of limited gene sets provided encouraging results. However, the availability of comprehensive experimental data for the interactions between genes involved in metabolism demonstrated that, while the models were able to predict the general properties of the genetic interaction network, their ability to predict interactions between specific pairs of metabolic genes was poor. I will examine the reasons for this poor performance and demonstrate ways of improving the accuracy of the models by exploiting the techniques of machine learning and robotics. The utility of these metabolic models rests on the firm foundations of genome sequencing data. However, there are two major problems with these kinds of network models – there is no dynamics, and they do not deal with the uncertain and incomplete nature of much biological data. To deal with these problems, we have developed the Flexible Nets (FNs) modelling formalism. FNs were inspired by Petri Nets and can deal with missing or uncertain data, incorporate both dynamics and regulation, and also have the potential for model predictive control of biotechnological processes.

Title TBA: 15:10 Fri 23 Mar, 2018 :: Horace Lamb 1022 :: A/Prof Stephan Tlllmann :: University of Sydney

Title TBA: 15:10 Fri 4 May, 2018 :: Horace Lamb 1022 :: Dr Anthony Licata :: Australian National University

Title TBA: 15:10 Fri 18 May, 2018 :: Horace Lamb 1022 :: Dr Robby Marangell :: University of Sydney

Title TBA: 15:10 Fri 25 May, 2018 :: Horace Lamb 1022 :: Dr Ngamta (Natalie) Thamwattana :: University of Wollongong

Title TBA: 15:10 Fri 1 Jun, 2018 :: Horace Lamb 1022 :: A/Prof Eduardo Altmann :: University of Sydney

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Congratulations to Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Yvonne Stokes, on being awarded the 2018 EO Tuck Medal for outstanding research and distinguished service to the field of Applied Mathematics. She is pictured with Professor Peter Taylor from the University of Melbourne. More information: Photo: Mark McGuinness

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Seminar 1: When: Friday, 16 /2/18 Ingkarni Wardli 5.57 3:10-4pm Speaker: Dr Guillermo Gomez, Centre for Cancer Biology, Uni SA Title: Active mechanical relaxation of adherens junctions in the vicinity of apoptotic cells facilitates cell extrusion by promoting epithelial topological transitions. Abstract: Cell extrusion allows the elimination of minorities of cells from the epithelium. Although […]

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Mark Girolami Chair of Statistics, Imperial College London, and The Alan Turing Institute presents: Stochastic Modelling of Urban Structure When: Monday 20 November, 11:10am Where: Engineering North N132 Abstract: // Urban systems are complex in nature and comprise of a large number of individuals that act according to utility, a measure of net benefit pertaining to […]

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When:Friday 27 Oct Where: Ingkarni Wardli B17 Presented by Dr Sophie Hautphenne, University of Melbourne Abstract: Markovian binary trees form a general and tractable class of continuous-time branching processes, which makes them well-suited for real-world applications. Thanks to their appealing probabilistic and computational features, these processes have proven to be an excellent modelling tool for […]

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Friday 13 October Ingkarni Wardli B17 Professor Mat Simpson, Queensland University of Technology Abstract: Scald burns from accidental exposure to hot liquids are the most common cause of burn injury in children. Over 2000 children are treated for accidental burn injuries in Australia each year. Despite the frequency of these injuries, basic questions about the […]

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This Friday, 11 August, we have a School Colloquium with Dr Robyn Araujo from Queensland University of Technology. The talk is in Ingkarni Wardli B17 at 15:10. Mathematics is Biology’s Next Microscope (Only Better!) Abstract: While mathematics has long been considered “an essential tool for physics”, the foundations of biology and the life sciences have […]

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The School of Mathematical Sciences has a long history of achievement in research and postgraduate education, and a reputation for providing a stimulating and supportive environment. The School is highly respected internationally for its research strengths in geometry, statistics, stochastic modelling and operations research, and dynamics, modelling and computation. Please see our Research pages, for […]

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