Entrance hall of the ICMSPublic Events 2017


Cause or Effect? Looking Beyond Correlation

6pm, 6 April 2017
Newhaven Lecture Theatre
ICMS, 15 South College Street
Edinburgh, EH8 9AA
Admission is free but tickets should be reserved in advance via Eventbrite

A public lecture by
Peter Bühlmann, ETH Zürich

Is it a cause or an effect? This simple but fundamental question is often asked in society and science. Searching for the causes for a certain disease and quantifying their effects on the disease status is a long-standing problem in medical studies. Considering correlations among measured variables is insufficient for distinguishing cause from effect. The classical and well-developed framework for causal inference is based on randomised studies; with the drawback that they are often very expensive or even impossible to do due to ethical reasons. Recent approaches try to ``substitute in part'' the randomised studies by models, algorithms and statistical techniques. Although thought-provoking, they can be particularly attractive in nowadays Big Data settings.

Doors open at 17:30. The talk will be followed by an informal reception to which all ticket holders are invited.


Why is Life so Complicated? Can my Computer Help?

5.30pm, 10 April 2017
Anatomy Lecture Theatre
Summerhall, Edinburgh
Tickets are £8.50 (£6.50, £5.00) and available from the Edinburgh International Science Festival box office. 

An interactive presentation by
Sarah Harris, Leeds

Our contribution to the 2017 Edinburgh International Science Festival is a discussion of complex computer simulations and whether or not they can help us analyse our daily life.  Computer simulations are capable of generating massive amounts of data, but this needs to be processed and analysed before it becomes useful. Computational biophysicist Dr Sarah Harris argues that the need to find simple mathematical and physical theories to explain our observations is even stronger now than before the advent of computation. Join her for an overview of complex computer simulations and submit your own suggestions of how simulations could help sort out our complex lives.

After the main event you can try out some of the simulations for yourself and chat to Sarah and her team over refreshments in Summerhall's Library Gallery.




On Growth and Form and Mathematics, D’Arcy Thompson, 100 years on

6pm, 24 January 2017
Newhaven Lecture Theatre
ICMS, 15 South College Street
Edinburgh, EH8 9AA
Admission is free but tickets should be reserved in advance via Eventbrite.  This event is currently full but please add your name to the waiting list for cancellations via the booking form. We may be able to accommodate you at fairly short notice.

2017 sees the centenary of the publication of the founding work of mathematical biology. In On Growth and Form by D'Arcy Thompson explores the connections between mathematics and biological growth. It has become a highly influential work for many fields in the arts and sciences.

To mark the occasion we have invited Professor Alain Goriely, University of Oxford to give a public lecture on the importance of D'Arcy Thompson's work for contemporary mathematical biologists today.  The main talk will be prefaced by a short introduction to Thompson's life and wider interests by Dr Matthew Jarron, Curator of the D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum, University of Dundee. This event is timed to coincide with A Sketch of the Universe at the City Art Centre, Edinburgh, which showcases art acquired by the University of Dundee Museum Services for the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum. There will be many more events marking this centenary, which will be posted on the On Growth and Form 100 website when they are announced.