News

Tears of Happiness - combining mathematics and art to highlight dry-eye syndrome

Dry- eye syndrome affects millions of people around the world. Caused by a decrease in the quantity and quality of tears, it leads to discomfort, dryness, a burning sensation in the eyes and even a loss of sight.

‘Tears of Happiness’ is the brainchild of Dr Vladimir Zubkov, researcher in the Oxford Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics (OCCAM), part of Oxford Mathematics. Vlad’s idea was to combine mathematics and art to focus on sufferers of the syndrome. Vlad has spent the last two years working in the field, modelling the syndrome and its potential solutions.

His inspiration was a fine art competition based on the themes of dry-eye syndrome. Over 800 artworks from around the world including Russia, Finland, USA, Argentina, and India have been submitted.  

Vlad says: “My collaborator, Professor. Anthony Bron from Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology in Oxford, told me a lot of interesting facts about human tears. For example a child does not produce tears during the first few months of its life. And during childhood we blink several times less that when we are adults. But the fact that amazed me the most is that crying is good for us! Tears are incredibly good for our eyes, something we should be happy about. Above all I hope that my research work will enable us to understand better how to treat dry-eye syndrome and that in particular this competition will shine a light on the issue”.

Details of the competition and some of the entries can be found at http://www.haptears.com/en/idea.html

 

Balazs Szendroi awarded Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship

Balazs Szendroi, University Lecturer in Mathematics and Fellow of St Peter's College, is one of seven newly appointed Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellows. The award will enable Balazs to pursue his research into cohomological Donaldson-Thomas theory: structures and examples.

New Building Construction: Progress Update 46

General

Cranes & Folk Lifts:- Fork lifts will assist with final clear away tasks.

Entrance:- The Gate 7 access has been reopened to vehicles and segregated pedestrian path.

Recent Works

Entrance:- Remaining final finishes.

Cladding:- Units left out for access (including crystal glass) have now been closed up.

Glass Atrium Roofs:- Complete with snagging.

Reconstituted Stone & Brise Soleil:- External Brise Soleil installations (louvred sun shade) are complete.

Ground Crystals: Complete with snagging.

Architectural Metalwork:- Hand in area posts. Column casings.

Waterproofing & Flat Roof:- Decking. Sedum replanting.

Mechanical & Electrical:- Commissioning has tested and balanced each system.

Internal Fitout:- North block snagging. The south building has had cleaning activities and final finishes being closed out.

Lecture Theatres:- All lecture theatres are largely installed.

Joinery:- Final finishes and snagging

External Works:- The main entrance road has been tarmaced with barriers. Penrose paving is ongoing. Gate 5 pavement crossover will be carried out once OCC permission has been granted.

Basement:- Largely finished.

Inspections:- As areas become complete, sections are being made available for inspections.

Recent Site Photos

New Building Construction: Progress Update 45

General

Cranes & Folk Lifts:- An occasional mobile crane will be brought in when required (incl. w.c. 29/7/2013).

Entrance:- The pedestrian and vehicle entrance has been moved from Gate 7 to the rear on Walton Street whilst final tarmac operations are carried out along the main access road.

Familiarisation:- A timetable at the end of July is in progress for system familiarisation.

Visits:- The final monthly Department tour took place on 19/7/2013.

Future works for July/August

Entrance:- Remaining final finishes to conclude.

Cladding:- Units left out for access (including crystal glass) have now been closed up.

Glass Atrium Roofs:- Complete with snagging ongoing.

Reconstituted Stone & Brise Soleil:- External Brise Soleil installations (louvred sun shade) are complete.

Ground Crystals: Mainly installed with remaining finishes to complete.

Architectural Metalwork:- Roof terrace balustrade glass is ongoing.

Waterproofing & Flat Roof:- Decking will follow balustrading.

Lifts:- The lift contractor Thyssen have installed all large lifts. Two platform lifts give access to the large and medium theatres and a stage lift to the large lecture theatre will give access to the stage.

Mechanical & Electrical:- Commissioning is ongoing that will test and balance each system.

Internal Fitout:- The north block is being desnagged. The south building is continuing upper level finals with furniture and shelving installation following closely behind.

Lecture Theatres:- All lecture theatres are largely installed with remaining finals to complete.

Joinery:- Timber balustrade panels installed to the south major atrium with finals to complete.

Smoke Curtains:- Smoke curtains have been installed in both the north & south atriums and entrance, with commissioning to complete. A smoke curtain, when deployed in the event of a fire, will direct smoke away from escape routes.

External Works:- Tarmac works are in progress along the main entrance road. Penrose paving is ongoing. Kerb laying and paving will now focus on remaining works to Gate 5.

Basement:- Largely finished with minor works to complete.

Inspections:- As areas become complete, sections are made available for inspections.

Recent Site Photos

Watch Marcus Du Sautoy lecture in Oxford

Marcus Du Sautoy, Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford, will be delivering a series of filmed public lectures on 05 and 06 September in the new Mathematical Institute building in Oxford covering a range of mathematical themes. Targeted at a general audience and students keen to pursue mathematics at university, the talks are free but require advance booking. Please contact Dyrol Lumbard (lumbard [-at-] maths [dot] ox [dot] ac [dot] uk).

Thursday 05 September, 13.00-14.30. The Music of the Primes: a talk about the Riemann Hypothesis and primes

Thursday 05 September 15.00-16.30. Symmetry: a talk based on his second book, 'Finding Moonshine'

Friday 06 September 13.00-14.30. The Secret Mathematicians: the connections between maths and the arts

Friday 06 September 15.00-16.30. The Irrational, the chaotic and incomplete: the mathematical limits of knowledge

Please note these lectures will be video-taped to air on a Japanese public television station (NHK) this autumn. By attending these lectures, you are giving NHK your consent to possibly appear on this television programme without any compensation or credit.

Convincing teenagers of the beauty of networks - watch the video

Dr. Mason Porter and his team of students and postdocs, together with new Hooke Research Fellow Heather Harrington have been visiting schools to teach students of ages 13-16 about the mathematics of networks.  

Marcus Du Sautoy to receive an honorary degree from the University of Liverpool

Marcus du Sautoy, Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford has been awarded an honourary degree by the University of Liverpool in recognition of his making mathematical sciences accessible to a wider audience. The honorary degree will be conferred during a week of ceremonies at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on Monday, 15 July.

Nick Trefethen, Frances Kirwan, Fernando Alday and Tom Sanders awarded LMS prizes for 2013

The winners of the London Mathematical Society Prizes for 2013 were announced at the Society meeting on 5 July 2013:

Professor Nick Trefethen has been awarded the Naylor Prize and Lectureship in Applied Mathematics on account of his exceptional contributions to Numerical Analysis and his undoubted ability to communicate this fascinating and central subject to a wider audience.

Professor Frances Kirwan is awarded a Senior Whitehead Prize for her work on geometric invariant theory and the geometry and topology of moduli spaces. Professor Kirwan has introduced many fundamental techniques and applied them to solve several outstanding problems, particularly involving moduli spaces of bundles.

Professor Fernando Alday is awarded a Whitehead Prize for his work on properties of supersymmetric gauge theory, and its connections with two dimensional conformal field theory and with string theory in anti-de-Sitter space.

Dr Tom Sanders is awarded a Whitehead Prize for his spectacular results in additive combinatorics and related areas. In particular he is recognised for his paper obtaining the best known upper bounds for sets of integers containing no 3-term arithmetic progressions, for his work dramatically improving bounds connected with Freiman's theorem on sets with small doubling, and for other results in additive combinatorics and harmonic analysis.

New Building Construction: Progress Update 44

General

Cranes & Fork Lifts:- An occasional mobile crane is being brought in when required.

Entrance:- The proposed closure of the access road from gate 7 with alternative access has been postponed to co-ordinate with neighbour/client requests and is now set to start on Monday 15th July with access reopening on Sunday 28th July.

Future works for July

Entrance:- Remaining glass adjacent to gutter and general finishes to conclude.

Cladding:- Units left out for access (including crystal glass) has now been closed up.

Glass Atrium Roofs:- The north atrium roof is complete. Copings and edge trims are ongoing.

Reconstituted Stone & Brise Soleil:- External Brise Soleil installations (louvred sun shade) are complete.

Ground Crystals: Now that the glass to the crystals is substantially complete the focus will be on closing the sides on the south crystal and service interfaces.

Architectural Metalwork:- Roof terrace balustrade brackets are now ready to receive glass.

Waterproofing & Flat Roof:- Decking followed by glass balustrading are due to commence.

Lifts:- The lift contractor Thyssen have installed all large lifts. 2 platform lifts are also installed.

A stage lift will be incorporated into the large lecture theatre.

Mechanical & Electrical:- Commissioning is ongoing that will test and balance each system.

Internal Fitout:- The north block is being thoroughly cleaned from the top working down the building with shelving and furniture also being installed. The south building is progressing with the upper floors, while the lower floors are more advanced with carpets being laid.

Lecture Theatres:- The Large Lecture Theatre has seating installed and will continue with wall panelling. The Medium Lecture Theatre is progressing with seating installation. The Small Lecture Theatre has been carpeted with wall panels installed and seating installed. The tiling and frame to glass partitioning to the main mezzanine area continues.

Joinery:- Timber balustrade panels are now largely installed to the south major atrium.

Smoke Curtains:- Smoke curtain boxes have been installed in the north and south atriums. A smoke curtain, when deployed in the event of a fire, will direct smoke away from escape routes.

External Works:- Tarmac to the west elevation is expected to take place on 28th /29th June. Penrose paving is expected to start during w.c. 1/7/2013. Kerb laying and paving have been progressing to all external areas.

Basement:- Floor painting activities are continuing to basement areas and metal doors installed.

Inspections:- As areas become complete, sections are made available for inspections.

Recent Site Photos

Latest research: accurate quantitative estimation of energy performance of residential buildings

Athanasios Tsanas in Oxford and Angeliki Xifara in Cardiff have developed an automatic tool which can accurately predict the needs for heating load and cooling load (thus, the required energy throughout the year) of a residential building when eight standard building parameters are provided (relative compactness, surface area, wall area, roof area, overall height, orientation, glazing area, glazing area distribution). The results are based on training a statistical machine learning algorithm using 768 diverse buildings.The research has created a useful tool for civil engineers and architects in their ongoing search for energy efficiency.

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