On Wednesday 2nd May, the Andrew Wiles Building hosted the 10th SIAM-IMA Oxford Student Chapter Conference. Forty Students from across eleven different universities, including our first ever international participants from Heidelberg, came together for a day of interesting and engaging talks spanning topics such as supermarket queues, insects’ feet and the sensory properties of fruit and vegetables
The day started with a talk from Dr Petra Vertes, MRC fellow in Bioinformatics at the Brain Mapping Unit Cambridge University, on Networks in Neuroscience, addressing open challenges in modelling the brain, including what the C. elegans worm can tell us about the link between brain networks and functionality.
The student sessions kicked-off next, staying initially with the realm of networks; with applications to optimising shopping queues, and identifying time-dependent communities within customer–product relationships. The second session moved towards problems in droplet modelling and exploring the forces that allow insects to stick to vertical surfaces. The morning session closed with Joe Bishop, Cardiff University, taking us through his analysis on the bending of bending of periodically perforated thin plates.
A brief pause for lunch was followed by the chance to peruse some excellent posters. The rest of the afternoon session brought together image reconstruction for medical imaging, the role of debonding and stretching in biogenic cellular structures, such as fruit and vegetables, Markov processes as models of polymer chains, finite element approximation for incompressible non-Newtonian fluids, and modelling droplet break-up after an oil spill, before Clint Wong, Oxford University, rounded off the student sessions with his model of fluid flow through vegetation.
Dr James Sprittles concluded the day with a talk on Nanoscale free surface flows, highlighting the computational challenges associated with simulating nanoscale interactions, and different approaches to overcome these challenges.
With a high calibre of talks throughout the day, it was up to attendees to decide the awards. Bernabe Gomez from Cardiff University won best poster for his research on predicting tsunamis whilst Danny Grove, also from Cardiff, was awarded best talk for his work on developing a numerical-analytical hybrid method for simulating droplet movement on non-homogeneous surfaces.
Tino Sulzer, president of the Oxford SIAM-IMA Student Chapter, praised everyone involved in the day; “The standard of both talks and posters was so high, not to mention the quality of research on display. The committee would like to especially thank both IMA and SIAM and our sponsors, G-research for the support they provided in helping make the conference happen.”
The participants noted the “the great atmosphere for discussions and informal conversations” as a highlight of the conference. The day ended with more discussions over pizza and drinks in the Common Room.