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What have mathematicians ever done for us?

24 October 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

This talk will discuss how mathematical and statistical thinking have been able to help in addressing real world questions, particularly within current ‘hot topics’ of energy security, climate resilience and wider public policy. It will take a very pragmatic definition of industrial mathematics as the application of mathematical and statistical thinking to questions outside research organisations. Indeed one key theme will be that it is important to move beyond the siloed disciplinary thinking that one too often sees.

Another key theme will be the need for coordinated design of system modelling, uncertainty treatment and use in decision support, with the goal of improved decision making in the real world (as opposed to optimal decision making in the world of the model, which is of indirect relevance to most applied questions!)

Prof Chris Dent has the unusual dual status of being a Chartered Engineer, and an academic in the School of Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh – indeed when he was recruited as an academic in Industrial Mathematics, the job advert required candidates to have had an effect on the world outside academia!

Chris’ research interests are in data and model-based decision support in energy, infrastructure and government. He has long experience of working with industry; including analysis underpinning the electricity capacity market for the National Grid ESO; Technical Lead on the National Digital Twin programme Climate Resilience Demonstrator; and a current knowledge exchange project with an internatonal consortium of power system operators.

Chris is a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute, a Fellow of the IET, IES and OR Society, and is Standards Officer for the IEEE Power and Energy Society Analytical Methods for Power Systems Committee.


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