Free public lecture: What do probability, disease and energy have in common?


Tuesday, 19 March: 5:30pm


The University of Adelaide, Napier G04 Lecture Theatre
No tickets or RSVP is required

Mathematics is, and will continue to be, vital to the functioning of modern society. We hear this often in the news, from our school teachers, lecturers and careers services at universities, and from numerous industries. However, even as maths students we found it hard to imagine going from the chalkboard, to making decisions within inherently complex, real-world problems. This talk is an opportunity to help bridge this gap. We will explore real world problems that we have encountered from the energy (Angus) and public health (Dennis) sectors, and show how mathematics is used to help make informed decisions in the face of uncertainty.

Angus Lewis and Dennis Lui are both PhD students at The University of Adelaide supported by ACEMS. Angus holds a Masters degree for which his thesis focussed on modelling electricity prices in South Australia. Dennis is also supported by Data 2 Decisions CRC. He is interested in using data to discover meaningful insights that have measurable impact in the greater community.

Lecture Topics:

Angus will talk about a problem, presented by ElectraNet at the 2018 Maths in Industry Study Group (MISG), of optimal planning of electricity grid infrastructure and valuing interconnectors, accounting for an increasing penetration of renewable energy sources. He will also briefly mention an array of other problems from the energy industry where maths is vital.

Dennis has been working on data from FluTracking, where registered users respond to a short survey online every week about whether they have influenza-like symptoms. He will explain how user reporting behaviour can be predicted based on their past reports, and can change based on their illness status. Their reporting behaviour can then be accounted for when estimating disease prevalence in the population. He will then briefly mention other instances where maths is vital in public health decisions.


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