In an increasing way, mathematics is influencing the pace and the shape of innovation. This article introduces a team spearheading knowledge exchange from mathematical research for the benefit of academia and industry.
Such activities will give companies rapid access to cutting edge knowledge and help applying it to their professional context.
A prestigious example is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, where the complex algorithms provided verifiable calculations for a completely deconstructed shape of disruptive impact on contemporary architecture. Biometric algorithms on iris recognition in the United Arab Emirates verified more than 50 Million identities over the years, preventing an average of 250 illegal entrants per day based on an intelligent combination of cluster analysis and statistics. Mathematical algorithms by Google (i.e. the PageRank algorithm) allow to generate rapid and accurate search results in a very short time, and the IBM team in Watson even tries to remodel the reasoning of the human brain. Cluster analysis in medicine based on big data allows to derive correlations between environmental, demographic or behavioral patterns, providing solutions to cure or prevent diseases like cancer. Complex weather model simulate the consequences of our behavior with respect to the future on our plant.
Examples are countless. But they are gaining more and more relevance as increased compute power and the availability of big data provide frameworks for possibilities that were unimaginable in the 1980s. When I did a research project on auto-tuning regulators for aircraft in the 1990s, I used mathematics from the 1960s which remained unexploited at the time of invention, simply because technology didn't provide the frame-set for application. Today the collaboration of mathematics and technology opens doors for cure, commercial success, enhanced living conditions and more.
The Turing Gateway to Mathematics
An inspiring way for professionals who use mathematics to in industry and who want to explore complex challenges is to meet with the master-minds at the Turing Gateway to Mathematics (TGM) at the Isaac Newton Institute based at the University of Cambridge. The TGM is designed to bring individuals with a passion for math together to attend workshops and other events featuring insightful, notable speakers. Here are reasons why TGM has quickly established itself as a prominent intermediary for mathematical knowledge exchange since it was launched in 2013.
An Interchange of Knowledge and Ideas
As Turing Gateway to Mathematics's motto says, the organisation is a channel for the interchange of knowledge and ideas between academies and commercial users of modern mathematics. In other words, the initiative is designed to be a bridge between math experts and explorers. Learning opportunities through workshops and other events cover a broad range of knowledge concerning every aspect of math possible. The organisation is particularly helpful to financial and healthcare professionals.
Experience and Expertise
Turing Gateway to Mathematics stands out as a high profile research and knowledge exchange facility partly due to its support from the University of Cambridge, the world's second oldest English-speaking university, one of the biggest money-making colleges outside of the United States and a well respected campus for its high calibre staff and academics.
Chair of the TGM's advisory board is Peter Landrock, who has contributed to the development of data encryption methods and codes. He has been a research scientist for Cambridge University since the 1970s and has also taught at other prestigious campuses such as Oxford, Leuven and Princeton. Another notable board member is Dougal Goodman, OBE, who heads the Foundation for Science and Technology, a London-based forum for discussing engineering, science and technology policy issues.
The advisory board meets twice per year in Cambridge to discuss the TGM's overall development and strategies to broaden the access of mathematics to a wide range of people. Bringing together industry leaders, scientists, engineers and other math experts for workshops and other activities is a major focus of board members, who come from well known companies and universities from around the world.
Board members of TGM report to the director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, which is Professor David Abrahams, who took the position in October 2016. He previously served as Beyer Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Manchester and Science Director of the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS) in Edinburgh.
Five major programme themes have been developed by the TGM to showcase its diversity in covering the vast terrain of mathematics. These themes appear in training workshops and other projects that appeal to individuals who desire to expand their math skills. These mathematical programme themes apply to the following disciplines:
- Biology and Healthcare Systems
- Financial Services
- Environment and Energy
- Space and Security Sectors
- Big Data
The institute organises about 15-20 events per year. Some of the key initiatives the TGM has addressed in recent years include work with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Polynomial Optimisation in Space Engineering, Cyber Security Systems and Post-Quantum Research. Activities include training programmes, consultations, research programmes and projects. Some of the events scheduled for 2017 include:
- Algorithmic Trading: Perspectives from Mathematical Modelling
- Environmental Modelling in Industry Study Group
- IMA Conference on Inverse Problems from Theory to Application
These workshops aim to impact researchers and business leaders so that they can apply mathematical techniques and models to solve their problems and challenges. As a case study, BAE Systems attended a three-day workshop on the challenges that face companies that process and analyse time-varying data. It led to the company developing relationships with experts, allowing them to plan future collaboration.
The TGM invites organisations to become partners, which gives them access to a wealth of knowledge, plus a brand presence at TGM events. The institute offers three partnership levels (gold, silver, bronze) that start at £10,000 plus VAT in return for a one year commitment. Some of the benefits for a partner is they can associate with specific mathematical programme themes, public speaking opportunities and a chance to tap into the UK mathematical research community for networking and recruitment.
A significant promotional advantage to partnering with the TGM is that the organisation gets branded recognition on the TGM website as well as brand visibility in the quarterly newsletter and annual report. Partners are allowed attendance at each event and the annual dinner that is followed by an academic discussion. It's an ideal way to network and interact with some of the world's most educated math experts. It's a way to promote internships, search for quality talent and to make important contacts.
The Turing Gateway to Mathematics is steadily bringing together people from large and small organisations to share mathematical knowledge among industry professionals, public sector and academic researchers. The TGM has extensive access to leading mathematicians from around the world with deep knowledge of various mathematical disciplines and interfaces with organisations that provide expert speakers for workshops, seminars and other events. All activities are peer-reviewed by the advisory board to meet the high level of quality expected by the Isaac Newton Institute. For teams who come with a complex logical challenge, it's one of the most powerful pool of thinkers in the world with regard to the entire study of mathematics.
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