# Applied Mathematics

## Thunderstorms in the present, past and future

- What do thunderstorms look like on the inside?
- Were they any different 30 to 50 thousand years ago?
- How might they change in the next 100 years as global temperatures continue to rise?

The presentation will start with how a thunderstorm looks in 3-D using radar technology and lightning mapping arrays. We will then travel tens of thousands of years into the past using chemistry analysis of cave stalactites in Texas to see how storms behaved as the climate underwent large shifts in temperature driven by glacial variability. I will end the talk with predictions of how lightning frequency may change over North America by the end of the century using numerical models run on supercomputers, and the potential impacts to humans and ecosystems.

## Large Systems of Interacting Particles and their Applications in Optimization

Large systems of interacting particles (or agents) are widely used to investigate self-organization and collective behavior. They frequently appear in modeling phenomena such as biological swarms, crowd dynamics, self-assembly of nanoparticles and opinion formation. Similar particle models are also used in metaheuristics, which provide empirically robust solutions to tackle hard optimization problems with fast algorithms. In this talk I will start with introducing some generic particle models and their underlying mean-field equations. Then we will focus on a specific particle model that belongs to the class of Consensus-Based Optimization (CBO) methods, and we show that it is able to perform essentially as good as ad hoc state of the art methods in challenging problems in signal processing and machine learning.

### Speaker Biography

Hui Huang, Ph.D., is currently a PIMS Postdoc at the University of Calgary under the supervision of Prof. Jinniao Qiu. Before moving to Calgary, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Chair for Applied Numerical Analysis at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Prior to being at TUM he was an Alan Mekler Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Mathematics at Simon Fraser University. In 2017, he received his PhD in Mathematics from Tsinghua University. His doctoral dissertation was conducted in consultations with Prof. Jian¬-Guo Liu from Duke University, where he studied as a joint PhD student from 2014 to 2016. His research has been focused on complex dynamical systems and their related kinetic equations.

Read more about Hui Huang on the PIMS Medium blog.

## Using Observations to Accurately and Efficiently Model Turbulent Flows: Parameter Recovery, Sensitivity Analysis, Nonlinear Data Assimilation Algorithms, and a Real-World Implementation.

One of the challenges of the accurate simulation of turbulent flows is that initial data is often incomplete. Data assimilation circumvents this issue by continually incorporating the observed data into the model. A new approach to data assimilation known as the Azouani-Olson-Titi algorithm (AOT) introduced a feedback control term to the 2D incompressible Navier-Stokes equations (NSE) in order to incorporate sparse measurements. The solution to the AOT algorithm applied to the 2D NSE was proven to converge exponentially to the true solution of the 2D NSE with respect to the given initial data. In this talk, we present our tests on the robustness, improvements, and implementation of the AOT algorithm, as well as generate new ideas based off of these investigations. First, we discuss the application of the AOT algorithm to the 2D NSE with an incorrect parameter and prove it still converges to the correct solution up to an error determined by the error in the parameters. This led to the development of a simple parameter recovery algorithm, whose convergence we recently proved in the setting of the Lorenz equations. The implementation of this algorithm led us to provide rigorous proofs that solutions to the corresponding sensitivity equations are in fact the Fréchet derivative of the solutions to the original equations. Next, we present a proof of the convergence of a nonlinear version of the AOT algorithm in the setting of the 2D NSE, where for a portion of time the convergence rate is proven to be double exponential. Finally, we implement the AOT algorithm in the large scale Model for Prediction Across Scales - Ocean model, a real-world climate model, and investigate the effectiveness of the AOT algorithm in recovering subgrid scale properties.

### Speaker Biography

Elizabeth Carlson, is a homeschooler turned math PhD! She grew up in Helena, MT, USA, where she also graduated from Carroll College with a Bachelor's in mathematics and minor in physics. She became interested in fluid dynamics as an undergraduate, and followed this interest through her graduate work at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in Lincoln, NE, USA, where she just earned my PhD in May 2021. Her research focus is in fluid dynamics, focusing on the well-posedness of systems of partial differential equations and numerical computations and analysis in fluid dynamics. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, playing piano, reading, and martial arts.

Read more about Elizabeth Carlson on our PIMS Medium blog here.

## Data accuracy for risk management in changing climate

The decade of the 2010s was the hottest yet in more than 150 years of global mean temperature measurements. The key climate change signatures include intensifying extreme events such as widespread droughts, flooding and heatwaves, severe impacts on human health, food security, ecology, and species biodiversity. Climate has been changing from ice-age and is expected to change in future, yet the rate of change is alarming. Data plays a crucial role in developing risk management, mitigation and adaptation strategies under changing climate conditions. This talk focuses on uncertainties in hydrological data and the subsequent effect on extreme events like floods, droughts and heatwaves. Projected changes along with apparent biases in the global climate models, tools available for understanding future climate, are discussed. Importance of understanding uncertainties in observations and simulations and the need to probabilistically evaluate simulations to identify those that agree with observations is emphasized. Finally, the effect of data accuracy and incorporating uncertainty in informed decisions and risk management strategies is highlighted through a case study.

### Speaker Biography

Chandra Rajulapati is a GWF-PIMS PDF, working with Dr. Simon Papalexiou at the Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS), University of Saskatchewan, on the Global Water Futures (GWF) project. She obtained her doctoral degree from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, India, under the supervision of Prof. Pradeep Mujumdar. Her research focuses on understanding historical and future changes in hydroclimatic variables like precipitation and temperature at different scales, estimating risk due to extreme events like floods, droughts and heatwaves, and developing sustainable water management systems, risk assessment, adaptation and mitigation strategies.

## The geometry of the spinning string

The development of quantum electrodynamics is one of the major achievements of theoretical physics and mathematics of the 20th century, called the "Jewel of physics" by Richard Feynman. This talk is not about that. Instead, I explain two of its basic ingredients - Feynman diagrams, and Spinor bundles - and then describe how these can be adapted to "electron-like" strings. This will lead us naturally to the Spinor bundle on loop space, which I will describe in some detail. An element of loop space, i.e. a smooth function from the circle into some fixed manifold, is supposed to represent a string at a fixed moment in time. I will then explain the notion of a fusion product (on this bundle), and argue that this is a manifestation of the principle of locality, which is ubiquitous in physics. If time permits, I will discuss some ongoing work, in collaboration with Matthias Ludewig, Darvin Mertsch, and Konrad Waldorf, where we describe how this fusive spinor bundle on loop space fits beautifully in the higher categorical framework of 2-vector bundles.

## The nonlinear eigenvalue problem: recent developments

Given a matrix-valued function F that depend nonlinearly on a single

parameter z, the basic nonlinear eigenvalue problem consists of finding complex scalars z for which F(z) is singular. Such problems arise in many areas of computational science and engineering, including acoustics, control theory, fluid mechanics and structural engineering.

In this talk we will discuss some interesting mathematical properties of

nonlinear eigenvalue problems and then present recently developed

algorithms for their numerical solution. Emphasis will be given to the linear algebra problems to be solved.

## Symmetry, bifurcation, and multi-agent decision-making

I will present nonlinear dynamics for distributed decision-making that derive from principles of symmetry and bifurcation. Inspired by studies of animal groups, including house-hunting honeybees and schooling fish, the nonlinear dynamics describe a group of interacting agents that can manage flexibility as well as stability in response to a changing environment.

Biography:

Naomi Ehrich Leonard is Edwin S. Wilsey Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and associated faculty in Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University. She is a MacArthur Fellow, and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, SIAM, IEEE, IFAC, and ASME. She received her BSE in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University and her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. Her research is in control and dynamics with application to multi-agent systems, mobile sensor networks, collective animal behavior, and human decision dynamics.

## Using mathematics to fight cancer

What can mathematics tell us about the treatment of cancer? In this talk I will present some of work that I have done in the modeling of tumor growth and treatment over the last fifteen years.

Cancer is a myriad of individual diseases, with the common feature that an individual's own cells have become malignant. Thus, the treatment of cancer poses great challenges, since an attack must be mounted against cells that are nearly identical to normal cells. Mathematical models that describe tumor growth in tissue, the immune response, and the administration of different therapies can suggest treatment strategies that optimize treatment efficacy and minimize negative side-effects.

However, the inherent complexity of the immune system and the spatial heterogeneity of human tissue gives rise to mathematical models that pose unique challenges for the mathematician. In this talk I will give a few examples of how doctors, immunologists, and mathematicians can work together to understand the development of the disease and to design effective treatments.

This talk is part of the PIMS Diversity in Mathematics Summer School and is intended for a general audience: no knowledge of biology or advanced mathematics will be assumed.

### Biography

A California native, Professor Radunskaya received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from Stanford University. She has been a faculty member in the Math Department Pomona College since 1994.

In her research, she specializes in ergodic theory, dynamical systems, and applications to various "real-world" problems. Some current research projects involve mathematical models of cancer immunotherapy, developing strategies for targeted drug delivery to the brain, and studying stochastic perturbations of dynamical systems.

Prior to her academic career, Professor Radunskaya worked extensively as a cellist and composer. Her music, described as "techno-clectic", combines traditional forms with improvisation, acoustic sounds with electronic, computer-generated, and found sounds, and abstract structures with narrative visual and sonic elements.

Contrary to popular belief, Professor Radunskaya thinks that anyone can succeed in mathematics, and she has committed herself to increasing the participation of women and underrepresented groups in the mathematical sciences.

She is currently the President of the Association for Women in Mathematics, and co-directs the EDGE (Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education) program, which won a "Mathematics Program that Makes a Difference" award from the American Mathematics Society in 2007, and a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) in 2015.

Professor Radunskaya was recently been elected as a Fellow of the American Math Society, and she is the recipient of several awards, including a WIG teaching award in 2012, and the 2017 AAAS Mentor award.

## BCData 2018 Career Panel

### Moderated Questions

- What was the first job you had after graduation and how did you get it?
- What do you like most/least about your current work?
- If you could go back in time and change one thing about your career choices what would you do?
- What advice do you have for the students in the audience looking for their first job?

### Speaker Bios

**Bernard Chan** is currently a data scientist at BuildDirect.com (BD), an e-commerce platform in flooring, tiles and other home improvement products. At BD, Bernard is part of the analytics team and he specializes in logistics related data problems such as freight rate and route planning. Prior to working at BD, Bernard was a applied mathematics researcher in dynamical systems and bifurcation theory.

**Soyean Kim** is a professional statistician (P.STAT) who is passionate about ethical use of data and algorithms to contribute to the betterment of society. She currently leads a team of data scientists at Technical Safety BC, a safety regulator in Canada. Her key contribution includes advancing ethics roadmap in predictive system and deployment of AI and machine learning to help safety inspection process. Her previous leadership roles include her tenure at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Fortis as a rate design manager. She is an advocate for “Data for Good” and a speaker on the topic of real world applications of AI. Her latest speaking engagement includes PAPIs in London, UK which is a series of international AI conferences, and BC Tech Summit in Vancouver.

**Michael Reid** received a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from UMBC before starting work as junior web developer for a US federal government consulting agency. After moving to Vancouver, he’s worked in software engineering at companies ranging from small consulting firms to Amazon Web Services. He recently co-founded Nautilus Technologies, a machine learning and data privacy startup in Vancouver.

**Parin Shah** is a Data Scientist at KPMG focused on solving machine learning and data engineering problems in the space of mining, gaming, insurance and social media. Previously, he spent 2.5 years helping develop the digital analytics practice for an e-commerce firm, Natural Wellbeing, where he worked on setting up data infrastructure, building consumer analytics models and website experimentation. Parin was a fellow at a UBC machine learning workshop and has an undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC) with a coursework concentrated in economics with statistics and computer science electives.

**Dr. Aanchan Mohan** is a machine learning scientist and software engineer at Synaptitude Brain Health. He is currently working on software and machine learning methods to encourage circadian regulation with the goal of improving an individual’s brain health. His current research interests include problems in natural language processing. Dr. Mohan has worked on Bayesian and deep learning methods applied to time series signals across multiple domains. He holds a PhD from McGill University where he focused on transfer learning and parameter sharing in acoustic models for speech recognition. He supervises students and actively publishes in the area of speech processing. He is a named co-inventor on two issued patents in the area of speech processing, and one filed patent in the area of wearable devices. He is a co-organizer of the AI in Production, and Natural Language Processing meetups in Vancouver.

- Read more about BCData 2018 Career Panel
- 1897 reads

## Quantifying Gerrymandering: A mathematician goes to court

Abstract: In October 2017, I found myself testifying for hours in a Federal court. I had not been arrested. Rather I was attempting to quantify gerrymandering using analysis which grew from asking if a surprising 2012 election was in fact surprising. It hinged on probing the geopolitical structure of North Carolina using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm. I will start at the beginning and describe the mathematical ideas involved in our analysis. And then explain some of the conclusions we have reached. The talk will be accessible to undergraduates. In fact, this project began as a sequence of undergraduate research projects and undergraduates continue to be involved to this day.

About the Niven Lecture: Ivan Niven was a famous number theorist and expositor; his textbooks have won numerous awards and have been translated into many languages. They are widely used to this day. Niven was born in Vancouver in 1915, earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees at UBC in 1934 and 1936 and his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1938. He was a faculty member at the University of Oregon since 1947 until his retirement in 1982. The annual Niven Lecture, held at UBC since 2005, is funded in part through a generous bequest from Ivan and Betty Niven to the UBC Mathematics Department.