Research lectures, seminars and events
The events listed in this area are research seminars, workshops and lectures hosted by Durham University departments and research institutes. If you are not a member of the University, but wish to enquire about attending one of the events please contact the organiser or host department.
|October 2019||December 2019|
Events for 20 November 2019
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Approximate Bayesian Computation(ABC) has enabled us in recent years to use increasingly complex models to solve problems that were previously intractable. ABC methods can produce unreliable inference when they introduce high approximation bias into the posterior through careless specification of the ABC kernel. Additionally MCMC-ABC methods often suffer from the local trapping problem which causes poor mixing when the tolerance parameter is low. We propose an alternative ABC algorithm which we show can be used to reduce the approximation bias and provide immunity to local trapping by adaptively constructing the ABC kernel. We demonstrate the new algorithm on real data; calibrating a complex SEIR model to data from the Ebola outbreak of 2014 and estimating the pre intervention transmission rate of the disease.
Alfvénic waves have long been considered a leading participant in the transfer of energy around cool, magnetised stars’ atmospheres; potentially responsible for the heating of the Sun’s corona and the acceleration of the solar wind. In the early 2000’s, various self-consistent models of Alfvénic wave turbulence from photosphere to heliosphere were developed that supported the role of wave dissipation. However, it wasn’t until a few years later that Alfvénic waves were unambiguously observed in the Sun’s corona, both in spectroscopic and imaging data. Since then, we have begun to probe the properties of the Alfvénic waves; providing key constraints for the wave turbulence heating models and challenging some of the long-held paradigms that these models rely upon. Here, I will discuss how ground-based observations of the corona in the Infrared are helping to uncover the behaviour of Alfvenic waves and the implications for our understanding of energy transfer via Alfvénic waves.
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Imagine a world where we can think about moving a robotic arm and it happens. Play a video game by thinking about moving our arm or leg (without actually doing it). A pair of shoes that adapts to your fatigue. A situation in which you feel exhausted and your synthetic companion takes over the task following your commands. How close are we to use our bodily signals as a main stream interface? Science fiction or Virtual Reality? Or just a new but real possibility to interact with our digital world?
Daniela will present how studying the human, and with the help of technology and AI, we are able to enhance and extend the human capacities. We are a step closer to the bionic human, where biological and machine-made elements can provide additional powers to our capacities. Implications on our cognitive capacities and are behaviour will be also discussed.
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Seminar jointly organised by IMH and to be held at the Institute of Medical Humanities seminar room (CA201): Caedmon Building, Leazes Road, DH1 1SZ; on Hild & Bede site
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Language appears to be the most complex system of animal communication described to date. However, its precursors were present in the communication of our evolutionary ancestors and are likely shared by our modern ape cousins. All great apes, including humans, employ a rich repertoire of vocalizations, facial expressions, and gestures. Great ape gestural repertoires are particularly elaborate, with ape species employing over 80 different gesture types intentionally: that is towards a recipient with a specific goal in mind. Intentional usage allows us to ask not only what information is encoded in ape gestures, but what do apes mean when they use them. I will discuss our recent research on ape gesture, including work on human infants. I will also explore how we can define signals and meaning from the perspective of the ape signallers using them. By employing an ape-centric approach we may be better able to describe their communicative capacities.
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