2011 CMS Winter Meeting
Delta Chelsea Hotel, Toronto, December 10 - 12, 2011

Public Lectures

KUMAR MURTY, University of Toronto
The Tau of Ramanujan  [PDF]

The mathematical work of Srinivasa Ramanujan is striking for its originality and insight. But these very qualities also make it hard to understand. In this talk, we shall look at one aspect of Ramanujan's legacy and use it as a backdrop to more generally discuss creativity and discovery in mathematics.

CHRIS WILD, University of Auckland, New Zealand
The world through a bathroom window: Statistics as you’ve never seen it before  [PDF]

Statistical data provides us with windows we can use to look out upon our world and learn about it to inform our world views and decision making. These are not windows of plain glass, however, but of rippled glass – like many bathroom windows. What we see through them is never quite the way it really is. We get unfocussed, sometimes distorted views of reality. One prime cause is systematically biased observational schemes, like a distorting filter on a camera lens – something that sits between us and the reality we want to see, filtering the stream of data that we get to see. The second prime cause is sampling error or other random factors. Classical statistical inference provides us with tools to help us reason in the face of the uncertainties caused by the latter. This talk will consider all of these elements and provide a visual tour, via sequences of static and moving images, showing the effects of sampling and randomisation variation on what we see in our data, the resulting uncertainties in what we can conclude, and the big ideas of what we can do about it using modern computer-intensive techniques based on randomisation and the bootstrap.

Event Sponsors

Ryerson University York University AARMS: Atlantic Association for Research in the Mathematical Sciences Centre de recherches mathématiques Fields Institute MITACS Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences

Support from these sponsors is gratefully acknowledged.

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