Skip to content Skip to navigation

MIGSAA Annual Student Colloquium 2018, Bayes Centre, Potterow, Edinburgh

Everyone is welcome to the 5th MIGSAA Annual Student Colloquium, to be held on Friday 21 September in The Bayes Center, Ground Floor Lecture Theatre, G.03.

As some of you might remember, it is an afternoon of talks intended for a broad mathematical audience. It is also a great opportunity to welcome the new cohort of MIGSAA students.

We have invited two great seakers: Magda Carr (University of Newcastle) and Diogo Oliveira e Silva (University of Birmingham).

The talks should be interesting to a wide audience, and everyone is very welcome to attend. If you wish to attend, can I also ask you to register on the Eventbrite page of the event? That would be much appreciated.

Schedule of the event

13.30: Registration and Coffee

14.00: Magda Carr, Fully Nonlinear Internal Solitary Waves

15.00: Coffee Break

15.30: Diogo Oliveira e Silva, Sphere Packings and the Uncertainty Principle

16.30: Wine Reception


LT Ground Floor G.03,

The Bayes Center,

47 Potterrow,



Magda Carr (Newcastle University)

Fully Nonlinear Internal Solitary Waves

Internal solitary waves (ISWs) are finite amplitude waves of permanent form that travel along density interfaces in stably stratified fluids. They owe their existence to an exact balance between non-linear wave steepening effects and linear wave dispersion. They are common in all stratified flows especially coastal seas, straits, fjords and the atmospheric boundary layer. In the ocean, they are a source of momentum and mixing that can (i) transport heat and nutrients vertically, (ii) resuspend sedimentary material and (iii) transport mass over large distances. They are subsequently of interest from both an environmental and offshore engineering point of view. A review of weakly non-linear Korteweg de Vries (KdV) theory and its limitations when investigating large amplitude ISWs will be given. Fully nonlinear numerical (contour advective pseudo-spectral) and experimental (sluice gate) techniques to model large amplitude ISWs will be presented. In particular investigation of (i) shear-induced instabilities in large amplitude ISWs, (ii) near bottom instabilities in the wave induced bottom boundary layer, and (iii) mode-2 wave characteristics will be explored.

Diogo Oliveira e Silva (University of Birmingham)

Sphere Packings and the Uncertainty Principle

The sphere packing problem asks for a densest packing of congruent solid spheres in d-dimensional Euclidean space R^d. Until very recently, optimal sphere packings were only known in dimensions 1, 2 and 3. On March 14, 2016, Maryna Viazovska announced a proof in dimension d=8 which stirred the world of mathematics. In this talk, we will give a brief survey of the sphere packing problem, highlight some of the analytic tools that have led to progress in the field, discuss some of the novel ingredients in Viazovska's proof, and establish some connections to related extremal problems in Fourier analysis.