Monday, 26 June 2017

BioMaths Colloquium - 30/06/2017

BioMaths Colloquium Series - 2016/17

30 June 2017 - 3pm Maths Seminar Room

(room 224 Talbot Building 2nd floor)

Taming Nature Inspired Evolutionary Optimisation Algorithms

Dr Sean Walton

(Department of Computer ScienceSwansea University, UK) 

Image by Sean Walton

Our last BioMaths Colloquium Series for the 2016/17 academic year will feature a seminar by Dr Sean Walton from the Department of Computer Science at Swansea University (UK). Jon is a computer science lecturer, interested in mesh generation and optimisation algorithms, evolutionary optimisation algorithms and intelligent design, web development, and computer games design - for the latter he even founded a company, Pill Bug Interactive. He is particularly interested in optimisation of computer design and in harnessing the power of evolution to do so. Sean is part of the visual computation research group and is passionate also about teaching, especially of web development.

Can a computer automatically design a car, a boat or an aircraft?  This is a driving question at the heart of design optimisation.  Increasingly researchers are looking towards nature for inspiration to achieve this goal, making a computer evolve a car instead of designing it.

By its nature evolution is hard to control, which causes some problems when trying to use it to do a specific task.  What seems like a simple solution to a complex problem can quickly become difficult to use.  The inherit randomness means you can never be completely certain you’ll get a good design quickly enough.  This has led to complex adaptive algorithms which try to control mutation and survival rates from generation to generation to get the best design in the shortest time.  

In this talk I will give a brief overview of evolutionary optimisation algorithms, discuss the problems with them and suggest some potential solutions. 

The discussions will continue over biscuits and tea/coffee after the seminar. 
Hope to see many of you!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Biosciences Science Club Events 16 June 2017

Biosciences Science Club Series - Spring 2017
16 June 2017 - 1pm - Zoology Museum

Marine renewables risk: so what?

Dr Simon Jude

We are excited to host this week Dr Simon Jude, Lecturer at the Cranfield Institute for Resilient Futures at Cranfield University. His research focuses on the development and application of interdisciplinary approaches to investigate and improve environmental decision-making.  Marine environmental risks and decision-making form a key component of this work, with recent research projects investigating issues ranging from marine vertebrate interactions with wave and tidal developments, to cumulative effects assessment, and risk frameworks for use in marine licensing processes.  Simon also has practical experience of working in the offshore wind industry, which you will hear more about during the seminar.

Legal carbon reduction targets have triggered ambitious plans for large-scale deployment of ocean energy, with numerous wind, wave and tidal technologies under development by companies ranging from SMEs to multinationals.  This seminar will report on how these new forms of emergent technologies are associated with highly uncertain technological and environmental risks, which are posing significant challenges for the wave and tidal technology sector, its investors and regulators. Case studies from Simon’s research and practical experience of the offshore renewable energy sector will illustrate the wide-ranging risk management challenges - from device and technology failures, to the complex forms of environmental interactions with offshore renewables developments, and organisational and risk governance - that are proving problematic.  The need for strategies for managing and mitigating risks and exploiting potential opportunities will be considered.

Hope to see many of you - everyone most welcome to attend!