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Mathematics is fundamental in solving many ongoing problems across the environment and energy sectors. As well as helping to address research and technology challenges, the Newton Gateway to Mathematics is keen to develop more training activities. For instance, there are recognised mathematical skills gaps in the environmental sciences. In NERC's 2012 Most Wanted II Report for Postgraduate and Professional Skills, mathematics featured in three out of the top four most wanted skills - modelling, data management and numeracy.

Coming Up 

Challenges in Landscape Decision-making will take place on Wednesday 3rd July 2019. The numerous processes and interactions around landscapes, present significant challenges for stakeholders who need to make better evidence-based decisions, necessary for planning and management of the various landscape domains in the UK. Landscapes are always changing too - shaped by various interactions between geographical, climatic, socio-economic pressures and the dynamics of ecological systems. So making such decisions are often fraught with risk and complexity.

This workshop aims to set the scene on current decision-making approaches and help define policy-relevant areas where advances in mathematical and statistical modelling would be particularly valuable. It will be of interest to researchers from a number of areas including mathematics, statistics, environmental science, geography, ecology and biology, as well as stakeholders from government/public sector, business, and other organisations involved in urban planning, coastal/inland waters and land conservation and management.

    Next Generation Research and Modelling for Landscape Decisions will take place on Friday 2nd August. This event takes place at the end of the Mathematical and Statistical Challenges in Landscape Decision Making Research Programme. It aims to identify the novel approaches and tools developed during the Programme, which are particularly relevant for policy and practice, and to highlight what is required to make these new methods and tools more valuable for informing landscape decision-making.

    Previous Activities

    From Monday 8th April 2019 to Friday 12th April 2019, ESGI145 Mathematical Study Group took place. The study group  provided a unique opportunity for academics to work with industry to come up with new ideas and potential solutions for real problems. Academic participants with backgrounds in all areas of mathematics were welcomed and encouraged. Companies had the opportunity to present their challenges to leading mathematicians and benefit from practical solutions and insights.

    Managing Next Generation Energy Systems took place on Wednesday 1st May and featured a number of talks from academic researchers, as well as some from end users including transmission and distribution network operators. It provided an opportunity for those from industry and the public sector, to access state-of-the-art theory and methods for energy systems modeling, as well as to help foster links between the various communities.

    On Wednesday 27th February 2019 Mathematical Design for Solid Complex Materials took place as part of the INI Research Programme on The Mathematical Design of New Materials. This workshop aimed to highlight how mathematical modelling provides a rational way for understanding of complex materials properties and guiding the development strategy for such materials. Mathematical modelling forms the theoretical foundation for modern materials development. As well as being a descriptor for complex materials, such models are often the key to the discovery of the singular and unusual properties of the material. 
    Talks focused on the application of Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) in :

    • Medical devices
    • Energy
    • Robotics.

    On Wednesday 23rd January 2019, the Newton Gateway to Mathematics delivered 100% Renewables - Future Challenges in Energy Systems as part of the INI Research Programme on the Mathematics of Energy Systems. The energy systems area is highly multidisciplinary and requires the endeavours of mathematicians, statisticians, computational modellers, engineers and economists to address the challenges that exist. One of the most significant of these, is the management of energy flows in order to avoid billions of pounds of expenditure in network reinforcement. In this context, many of the present and emerging renewable resources pose both a challenge and an opportunity. The programme for the day included academic research talks, as well as end-user challenge type presentations from key players across the energy sector supply chain. 

    On 18th & 19th September 2018, TGM delivered a 2 day scoping meeting - Evidence Based Decisions for UK Landscapes - working with NERC (Natural Environment Research Council). Stakeholders involved in the management of, and future planning for, the various landscape domains in the UK have to take into consideration numerous processes, interactions and high levels of complexity. So how can they make better evidence based decisions? This workshop investigated new mathematical and statistical modelling techniques which can enable better evidence-based decisions to be made around UK landscapes. These need to be flexible enough to incorporate other models, whilst also taking into account many other highly complex factors across different landscapes. 

    On Friday 15th June 2018, the TGM delivered  Uncertainty Quantification for Complex Systems – Development in Theory and Methodologies. Uncertainty quantification (UQ) is a modern inter-disciplinary science that cuts across traditional research groups and combines statistics, numerical analysis and computational applied mathematics. UQ methodologies are useful for taking account of uncertainties when mathematical and computer models are used to describe real-world phenomena. This helps to better inform decisions, assess risk and formulate policies across multiple areas as diverse as climate modelling, manufacturing, energy, life sciences, finance, geosciences and more.

    This event took place as part of an INI Research Programme and featured a number of talks from academia as well as end users. It provided the opportunity for those from industry and the public sector, to access state-of-the-art theory and methods, as well as learning about best practice and helping to foster links between the various communities. It helped to further consolidate opportunities for collaboration between statisticians and applied mathematicians. 

    A short introductory talk provided an overview of the Uncertainty Quantification Research Programme. This was followed by a number of academic talks that reviewed progress made over the duration of the Programme, in relation to some of the key research. Two end-user sessions included talks from the environment and energy infrastructure sectors, where speakers described how uncertainty is managed at present in their organisations and the challenges they face.

    On Thursday 21st June 2018, Statistical Scalability for Streaming Data took place. Challenges in streaming data arise in numerous fields – consumer products, financial transactions, computer network traffic, transport and communications networks and energy systems are just some of them. As with statistical scaling generally, this requires an integrated approach.

    This workshop was part of the six month programme at the Isaac Newton Institute (INI) on Statistical Scalability and  took place towards the end of the Programme, so harnessed expertise from the research being undertaken. It  highlighted experience, expertise and challenges from a key stakeholders working in Exploration and Geology; Energy and Environment & Communications. 

    On Wednesday 14th - Thursday 15th March 2018, the TGM helped to deliver Algorithms and Software for Quantum Computers in partnership with the Knowledge Transfer Network. This aimed to initiate development of quantum computer algorithms and software by bringing together real-world problem owners, mathematicians, algorithm experts, and academic quantum computer hardware experts to explain what code developers need to know to create software, without getting bogged down in the underlying physics. Discussion was in sufficient detail to spark immediate cooperation and collaboration. 

    Management of Energy Networks took place from Tuesday 16th January 2018 to Wednesday 17th January 2018 in collaboration with the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences in Edinburgh. This workshop featured talks by industry and academic experts, and also intensive discussions.  It brought together industry specialists, together with mathematicians, economists and engineers,to identify scientific challenges and propose approaches to their solution.

    The TGM has facilitated 3 satellite workshops that were run as part of the Variational Methods and Effective Algorithms for Imaging and Vision Research Programme
    These took place on Thursday 28th September 2017 - Large-Scale Optimisation Algorithms and its Applications,  Friday 27th October 2017 - Application of Optimal Transport and Thursday 7th December 2017 - Machine Learning for Acquisition Systems

    On Monday 18th September, Mathematics of Sea Ice Phenomena - British Antarctic Survey Day took place. This event was only open to participants of the INI programme on Mathematics of Sea Ice Phenomena and consisedt of talks, posters, and discussions on topics relevant to sea ice in the Southern Ocean.

    On Monday 25th September 2017, the TGM delivered Future Developments in Climate Sea Ice Modelling. This one-day event, part of the Isaac Newton Institute Programme Mathematics of Sea Ice Phenomena, specifically addressed climate model representation of sea ice and also investigatde fundamental and applied issues in mathematical modelling of sea ice. In particular, it sought to identify future priorities for climate sea ice model development.

    On Tuesday 5th September, the TGM delivered Computational Challenges in Image Processing. This was an Open for Business event as part of the INI Programme on Variational Methods and Effective Algorithms for Imaging and Vision.The afternoon event highlighted both some of the challenges and potential novel solutions for computational image processing. Talks discussed possible new mathematical models which are needed to address the ever growing challenges in applications and technology, generating new demands that cannot be met by existing mathematical concepts and algorithms. Peter Fretwell from the British Antarctic Survey presented a talk on Imaging Whales from Space

    From 3rd-6th April 2017, in partnership with the Maths Foresees Network, the TGM delivered a 2nd Environmental Modelling Study Group. Over the course of four days, delegates explored challenges posed by companies operating in the environmental sector. Five industrial challenges were posed by three organisations: the Environment Agency, JBA Trust and Sweco. These challenges involved both broad and specific issues relating to the application of models to predict and analyse environmental events. Over the study group days, 55 mathematicians and environmental scientists worked to develop solutions (or partial solutions) to these challenges and regular updates were posted as the challenges were presented and the solutions were worked on. 

    On 10th February 2016, the TGM delivered a Computational and Data Challenges in Environmental Modelling workshop, in partnership with the Probability Uncertainty and Risk in the Environment (PURE) Knowledge Exchange Network, with contributions from SECURE and ReCoVER. The aim of this event was to discuss how the most recent developments in computer sciences and the availability of new environmental data may be harnessed to advance large environmental models, including models of climate change and natural disasters. The day focused on aspects of both models and data - with speakers from industry and academia covering a range of topics.

    In partnership with Maths Forsees and the PURE network, the TGM delivered an Environmental Modelling in Industry - Study Group related to the identified challenge of mitigating severe environmental events. This took place from 21st - 24th September 2015, and was sponsored by the Maths Foresees Network with input from the PURE network. Maths Foresees is a recently established network that forges strong ties between researchers in the applied mathematics community with researchers in selected strategic areas of the environmental science community and governmental agencies. The PURE Network is a national network bringing together researchers, industrialists and policy-makers in uncertainty and risk for natural hazards area, through collaborative working, knowledge exchange and the development of best practice.

    Water Waves Theories and the Marine Industries was an Open for Business workshop developed by the TGM as part of an INI programme. It took place on 30th July 2014 with a key aim to highlight how the theory of water waves can impact on technology developments and deployment within marine industries offshore renewable energy, oil and gas and shipping. Bringing together leading scientists from around the world, this event explored how new theories are being developed and highlighted the mathematical models which are being created to help test efficiencies.

    In April 2013, the TGM ran an Energy Systems Week workshop. This event originated from the 2010 Isaac Newton Institute (INI) programme Stochastic Processes in Communication Sciences. The workshop set out to address and make progress with some of the difficult problems now arising in large electrical energy networks. Leading researchers from multiple disciplines worked with industry and government bodies to investigate areas such as management of variability and uncertainty in systems energy systems.