Maximising Impact through Mathematics – and Having Fun Too!

Lunchtime Lecture

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Professor Kate Smith-Miles

Director, Monash Academy for Cross & Interdisciplinary Mathematical Applications (MAXIMA)

Mathematics holds the key to unlock many of the greatest challenges of our time. From improving food security, to reducing traffic congestion, and discovering hidden connections in gene networks, mathematical techniques are enabling solutions that will lead advances in the 21st century. In this talk, we will explore the breadth of mathematics that gives rise to these applications. We’ll discuss why mathematicians often consider their work to be as much of an art as a science, admired for its beauty and elegance as well as its important applications. Finally, we will look in detail at how mathematics can be used to accurately guess how old someone is based on a photo of their face. No more lying about your age!

About the Speaker:

Kate Smith-Miles is Professor of Applied Mathematics at Monash University, and inaugural Director of the Monash Academy for Cross & Interdisciplinary Mathematical Applications (MAXIMA). She was Head of the School of Mathematical Sciences at Monash from 2009-2014. She is an Australian Laureate Fellow, a member of the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts,  and is a member of the Federal Government’s Knowledge Nation 100 group. She is Chair of the Advisory Board for the AMSI Choose Maths program, aiming to encourage more female participation in mathematics. Kate is a Fellow of the Australian Mathematical Society, and Fellow of Engineers Australia. She was awarded the Australian Mathematical Society Medal in 2010 and the EO Tuck Medal from ANZIAM in 2017.  Her research outputs include over 240 publications on topics including optimisation, machine learning, time series analysis, and mathematical modelling of diverse processes ranging from neuroscience to manufacturing. Other interests include playing the cello in a community orchestra, and listening to her two musically talented children practise.