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SAMBa Summer Conference 2018

Conference Photo 2017

SAMBa welcomes you to the second annual SAMBa Summer Conference, which will take place on Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th of June 2018. This page will be updated in the lead up to, and during the event, with plans (as they become concrete), titles, abstracts and slides.


Registration has now opened. Please click the button below to be redirected to the registration page.


Aims of the Conference

The conference is an opportunity for SAMBa students to showcase the vast range of statistical applied mathematics to members of the department, outside the department and at other Universities. SAMBa has students working across the spectrum of statistical applied mathematics, including statistics, probability, numerical analysis, fluid dynamics, mathematical biology, machine learning, high performance computing to name but a few. The conference is organised by the students, and contains talks and presentations by SAMBa students, as well as external speakers and students from other departments and institutions.

Useful Information

Organisers: Elizabeth Gray ( and Cameron Smith (
Location: Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Bath, BA2 7AY

If you have any questions about the conference, please feel free to email either Elizabeth or Cameron.

Provisional Timetable

Monday 25th June Tuesday 26th June
09:00 Registration
09:30 Joint Session with CSCT
10:00 Registration
10:30 Session 1
12:00 Photo and Lunch Lunch
13:00 Lightning Talks 8 Minute Talks
14:00 Coffee
14:30 Session 2 Coffee
15:00 Session 3
16:00 Poster Session
17:00 Wine and Nibbles
EVENING Conference Dinner

Titles and Abstracts

Session 1 - Monday 25th June - 10:30-12:00

Invited Speaker: Prof. David Silvester (Manchester University)

Title: Robust preconditioning of stochastic Galerkin approximation of nearly incompressible elasticity.

The locking of finite element approximations when solving nearly incompressible elasticity problems is a significant issue in the computational engineering world. In this talk we consider the linear elasticity problem with an uncertain spatially varying Young's modulus. The uncertainty is modelled with a finite set of parameters with prescribed probability distribution. We introduce a novel three-field mixed variational formulation of the PDE model and discuss its approximation by stochastic Galerkin mixed finite element techniques. The S-IFISS software used for computation is available online.

Student Speaker: Matt Griffith (Cohort 3 aligned)

Title: N/A


Student Speaker: Tom Pennington (Cohort 3)

Title: N/A


Session 2 - Monday 25th June - 14:30-16:00

Invited Speakers: Dr. Kirsty Hassall and Dr. Alice Milne (Rothamsted Research)

Title: Understanding variation in data: a brief tour through applications in agriculture.

Data are being generated in ever increasing amounts in many different applications at all spatial scales. Agriculture is no exception. However, it is often far from clear how data can be related back to scientific questions of interest. In this talk, we will describe a number of examples, where mathematics and statistics have been fundamental in the translation from "data" to "information". Examples will include the design of appropriate sample schemes to enable us to elucidate relationships between biological variables, how we can use sensor data to inform management zones in farmers' fields, using signal processing methods to understand complex variation and using Bayes Net modelling to operationalize the notion of soil health.

Student Speaker: Aoibheann Brady (Cohort 2)

Title: N/A


Student Speaker: Abigail Verschueren (Cohort 4 aligned)

Title: N/A


Session 3 - Tuesday 26th June - 15:00-16:30

Invited Speaker: Dr. Amanda Turner (Lancaster University)

Title: One-dimensional scaling limits in a planar random growth model.

Planar random growth processes occur widely in the physical world. Examples include diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA) for mineral deposition and the Eden model for biological cell growth. One of the curious features of these models is that although the models are constructed in an isotropic way, scaling limits appear to be anisotropic. In this talk, we construct a family of models in which randomly growing clusters can be represented as compositions of conformal mappings. We are able to show rigorously that for certain parameter choices, the scaling limits are anisotropic and we obtain shape theorems in this case. This contrasts with earlier work on related growth models in which the scaling limits are shown to be growing disks.

Student Speaker: Emma Horton (Cohort 3 aligned)

Title: Stochastic Analysis of the Neutron Transport Equation.

The neutron transport equation (NTE) describes the net movement of neutrons through an inhomogeneous fissile medium, such as a nuclear reactor. The nuclear fission processes in such reactors can be realised as branching processes, whose linear semigroups solve the NTE. In this talk I will describe the dynamics of the associated branching process, and give some results regarding the existence of the leading eigenvalue and eigenfunction of the NTE. I will also talk about different simulation techniques of the neutron transport process, which allow us to obtain these quantities numerically.

Student Speaker: Andrea Lelli (Cohort 2)

Title: N/A