Monday, 13 May 2019
Time Speaker Title Resources
15:45 to 16:45 Tanvi Jain The number `e'

One of the most widely used but lesser comprehended constants is the mathematical constant e. Starting with the definition, we discuss various aspects of this fascinating number. We also discuss its brief history and its occurrences in different contexts.

17:00 to 18:00 Maneesha Inamdar Stem Cells and the Future of Medicine

We are entering an era of personalized medicine where the way diseases are diagnosed and treated is changing fast. This is primarily due to fundamental knowledge gained in human biology and increasing cross disciplinary interactions in addressing questions relating to basic biology. The field of stem cell biology has advanced rapidly over the last two decades, after the first human embryonic stem cell lines were established. Diseases that were treated with drugs or seemed untreatable, are now being approached with stem cell therapy. For example, replacing insulin injections for diabetics with laboratory-grown pancreatic cells or treating Parkinson’s disease by replacing neurons rather than by administering drugs, will soon be a reality. Entire organs and body parts such as eyes, nose, kidney, etc. could be replaced in the near future. However these therapies are not yet approved as they are still experimental and need to be approached with caution. This lecture will give a simple overview of stem cells and how their applications could change the way we treat disease.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019
Time Speaker Title Resources
15:45 to 16:45 Suresh Nayak Algebra and Geometry in perspective

I will discuss some topics related to modular arithmetic, perspective drawings and projective geometry.

17:00 to 18:00 Nutan Limaye Theoretically Speaking: the why and how of efficient computation.
Theoretical Computer Science is a branch of study that deals with understanding computation and reasoning about computation. The following two questions are relevant when we try to understand computation: (i) given a certain amount of resources, what are the tasks that can be performed, (ii) given a task what is the minimum amount of resources needed to perform that task. Though these questions seem only to do with computation, many mathematical questions are closely related to them. In fact, theoretical computer science is viewed as a bridge between mathematics and computation. Over the years, both the fields have benefitted immensely by exchange of ideas.
 
In this talk we will study the close connection between algorithm design and discrete mathematics using three computational puzzles. We will design algorithms for solving the puzzles and analyze them using concepts from discrete mathematics such as recursions, graph theory and combinatorics. Finally, we will mention connections between some of the puzzles considered in this talk and practical problems closely related to them.

 

Wednesday, 15 May 2019
Time Speaker Title Resources
15:45 to 16:45 Rohini Balakrishnan From crickets to elephants: The behavioural ecology of animal acoustic communication

Many species on earth, including humans, communicate using sounds. These range from small insects such as crickets, probably the first to evolve acoustical signalling, to birds and elephants. Insects typically use long-distance acoustic signals to attract mates form a distance, as do many birds and mammals. The latter may however also use acoustic signals for territory maintenance, dominance or group cohesion. In this talk, I will illustrate different approaches, ranging from field observations and laboratory manipulations to theoretical modelling, that can be used to study different aspects of communication. I will focus on the problems of signal detection and localization in complex acoustic environments, such as small choruses of calling crickets to a rain forest dusk chorus. Mechanisms to minimise acoustic interference, both behavioural and physiological, will be explored. I will also highlight the functional significance of acoustic signals, including of birds and mammals.

17:00 to 18:00 Megha Patnaik Gender, Technology and STEM

This will be an interactive session covering the gendered experience of the use of technology and the historical path of technological development in mathematics and computing. We will also cover our own experiences as young women in STEM, and cultivate a set of shared experiences and find common themes, challenges and strategies to navigate our respective fields. 

Thursday, 16 May 2019
Time Speaker Title Resources
15:45 to 16:45 Attreyee Ghosh A Journey through the Interior of the Earth

Although we have made great strides in the exploration of the observable universe, our information regarding the Earth's interior is quite limited. While empty space makes it easier to study objects in distant galaxies, the solid rocks that constitute the Earth's body make it almost impossible to know what is happening even a mere few kms below the surface. So we need to rely on indirect methods in order to "see" and study the interior dynamics of the Earth. In this talk I will present what we know so far about the deep Earth processes and how these processes shape the face of the planet. I will also talk about the limitations that we face in studying these internal processes and some of the questions that are yet to be answered.

17:00 to 18:00 Divya Uma Art of deception: copying and cheating in the natural world

Lyrebirds mimic songs of other birds, as well as other sounds in their environment. Carrion flowers smell of rotten meat to attract its pollinators. Some spiders look and behave like ants to fool their predators.  In the natural world, mimicry systems provide dramatic examples of adaptation by natural selection. Mimics resemble their models to avoid predation, gain access to mates or other resources. Mimics can look, smell, sound, behave like their models or have strategies that include a combination of all these cues. In this talk, I will first illustrate some fascinating examples of mimicry in animals and plants. I will then specifically talk about ant mimicry in insects and spiders.

Friday, 17 May 2019
Time Speaker Title Resources
15:45 to 16:45 Preeti Aghalayam Mathematical modeling of chemical reactors

In this talk, I will present a methodology of mathematical modeling frequently used by chemical engineers. In applications ranging from the catalytic converters in automobiles that control tailpipe emissions to power plants that efficiently use coal to produce energy, an in-depth understanding of chemical reactions, and the rates at which they occur, is key. I will explain how the chemistry, that lies at the core of all such processes, contributes to overall mathematical behavior of the systems, with simple examples from my research. This talk is meant to be interactive so expect questions (& I welcome interruptions as well). 

17:00 to 18:00 Shubha Ramchandran Local water resource management in a City
India is rapidly urbanising.  The Indian landscape has a diversity of urban areas from the census town that still has rural governance to the metropolitan cities such as Mumbai and Delhi. It will not be a stretch to say that a critical pillar of this urbanisation – be it the birth of the small town or the growth of the large city – is groundwater.  Yet formal institutions’ imagination of urban water management has hardly recognised the importance of groundwater.  Water management challenges for urbanising India, of course, is not limited to this gap in recognising the role of groundwater – it goes beyond : in recognising all forms of local water resources (rainwater, lakes/tanks, wetlands etc), various options of what to do with the waste-water it generates and the role of communities and community action & practices, especially for demand management.  
 
In the above context, I will specifically be speaking about some of the practices for local water resource (rainwater, waste water, ground water, surface water) management  in and around Bengaluru
Saturday, 18 May 2019
Time Speaker Title Resources
14:00 to 17:00 Ashok Rupner Fun with hands-on science and mathematics

In my three hours talk / demonstrations I will show them how science is fun if we learn it through experiments and simple activities. I will cover how we use hands-on activities to make science and mathematics interesting and experiential. This also helps teachers design such simple activities for various topics during their classroom teaching. We have designed hands-on activities, models (we call them toys) using very inexpensive material, so that everyone can get the opportunity to learn in an interactive manner. We have made short films on how to make these models and uploaded it on YouTube on our channel (link below) which has over 78 million viewers, for 1100+ activities. We have also translated these videos in 22 different languages (Indian and foreign). Please see following links for the film and our website.

http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/toys.html

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT7EcU7rC44DiS3RkfZzZMg

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL-bh2FfASAJ1jLARhqrh6A?disable_polymer=true

In this workshop for participants I will demonstrate pumps, generators, motors, spinners, gliders, hundreds of activities in science and math’s all using paper, plastic bottles, straw, syringe tube and other very inexpensive material. While these toys may appear simple the science behind them is quite interesting and challenging. Once we get our hands dirty by making these toys the conceptual understanding of science behind these models becomes easy and natural. Levitating a pen in air, folding paper to learn geometry and making generators/ motors are some activities that unravel the science around us which is often explained in textbooks in very dry manner. If we can take all these toys inside our classrooms I am sure we can surely revolutionize the learning experience for students.

 

Monday, 20 May 2019
Time Speaker Title Resources
15:45 to 16:45 Rukmini Dey The Geometry of soap films -- minimal surfaces

We have all played with soap films during our childhood. Ever wondered the science and the mathematics behind them? This lecture will be about minimal surfaces which are idealized soap films and the beautiful mathematics behind them.

17:00 to 18:00 Swati Sircar Unknown identities of known shapes

Everyone knows what an equilateral triangle is. But what about an equiangular triangle? Which are the symmetric triangles? What is special about a cyclic kite? Why is a square also a rectangle? So, should equilateral triangles be also considered isosceles? The talk will explore many such questions and also how shapes are categorized. It will look at familiar shapes through the lens of symmetry (and more) and explore how they relate to each other.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019
Time Speaker Title Resources
15:45 to 16:45 Yogeshwaran Probability and sports.

Suppose a gambling game between two equally skilled players is stopped midway. How do we divide the prize money fairly between the players ? The problem was considered by Luca Pacioli in 1494 and after many wrong attempts, was settled by Pascal and Fermat in 17th century.  The solution also gave birth to probability theory. We will discuss the wrong and right solution to this question. Leaving many variants of the question as exercises, we will discuss one ingenious solution to a similar question in the context of modern-day sport - If only one player is to be declared as a winner  when the game is stopped, how do we determine the winner ?

17:00 to 18:00 Deepayam Sarkar An overview of the R programming environment

R is a popular language and environment for statistical computing and graphics that runs on a wide variety of platforms. In this talk, we give a high-level overview of R, and through relevant examples try to outline the features that have led to its popularity among data analysts.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019
Time Speaker Title Resources
15:45 to 16:45 Amit Apte Swimming in a sea of data

This talk will be an attempt to describe some of the basic ideas behind the terms such as 'big data' or 'data science' that are now being used in the context of almost all scientific fields. The main focus will be on discussing how a few simple ideas from linear algebra and statistics can go a long way in making sense of observational data.

17:00 to 18:00 Poonam Chandra Understanding the violent Universe and the critical role of Women Scientists

Universe is a violent place. Explosive events happen in our Universe of at ~every second, with each such event emitting energy equivalent to 100 billion stars. These explosions, named as supernovae and gamma-ray bursts, are critical to determine the evolution of galaxies and are responsible for the life we have on our Earth, as they provide the vital elements such as Carbon, Oxygen, Silicon, Iron  etc.,  critical for our survival. After the detection of a gamma-ray burst event associated with a gravitational wave event, now we also know that Gold and platinum, the luxuries of life, come from the merger of two neutron stars. We have now come a long way in understanding our Universe and  women scientists have critical role to play. 

Thursday, 23 May 2019
Time Speaker Title Resources
15:45 to 16:45 Amrita Muralidharan Improving quality of Mathematics learning in Primary classrooms

“The role that mathematics plays is mostly about thinking..” and “what mathematics offers is a way of doing things: to be able to solve mathematical problems, and more generally, to have the right attitude for problem solving and to be able to attack all kinds of problems in a systematic manner.”1

What would a curriculum which takes ‘a right attitude to problem-solving’ as the main aim of maths education look like? Can this start at the Primary level itself? We will take some examples from concepts at the primary school level to explore how this could be possible.

1 Position paper of the National Focus Group on Teaching of Mathematics. NCERT (2006)

17:00 to 18:00 Sujata Ghosh A road to the infinities: Some topics in set theory

In this talk we will delve into the concept of infinity and discuss about two protagonists in set theory, (i) the cardinal numbers which deal with measuring the size of infinity and comparing the sizes of infinite sets, and (ii) the ordinal numbers which deal with counting beyond infinity and providing means of exhausting the infinite sets.