Moyal Medallist 2014

Moyal Medallist 2014

Moyal Medal Professor Richard Brent

The 2014 Moyal Medallist is Professor Richard Brent FAA, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the Australian National University and Vice-Chancellor’s Visiting Fellow at the University of Newcastle. Prof. Brent will deliver the 2014 Moyal Lecture:

on Wednesday 15 OCTOBER 2014 at 7:00pm

Macquarie University: E7B T2 Lecture Theatre access via level 3 of building E7B

How to get there See M20 on campus map. Parking:- fees apply for casual parking (coins and credit cards accepted. W4, X3 and X4 car parks are designated for casula parking.

Title: Needles, haystacks and optimal designs


Solving a mathematical problem is often analogous to finding a needle in a haystack. We may know that the needle is there, but finding it by checking each bale of hay would take a very long time. The lecture will give examples from several areas of mathematics, including primality testing, finding bounds on Ramsey numbers, and finding almost-optimal designs. Primality testing involves testing if a (large) integer is prime. One of its applications is to the popular RSA public-key cryptosystem, which needs primes with several hundred digits to ensure its security. Ramsey numbers are related to the ‘party problem’. A small example to illustrate this is: if I invite six people to a party, then surely at least three will know each other, or at least three will not know each other. D-optimal designs are used in the design of experiments to maximise the amount of information that can be obtained from the experiment. Mathematically, they are n x n matrices whose elements are ±1 and whose determinant is maximal. Finding them is very much like finding a needle in a haystack, because for most positive integers n the chance that a random n x n matrix has maximal determinant is extremely small. Nevertheless, it is possible to find almost-optimal designs efficiently by a probabilisitic algorithm. The talk is followed by a complimentary light supper in the tearoom E6B 2.300 (Dept of Physics & Astronomy multi purpose room). All are welcome.  For more information, please contact Maths Dept Administrator, Christine Hale ( John Corbett Chair of the Moyal Medal Committee

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