The Mathematical Sciences Section organised the following events at the 2017 British Science Festival:

The million-dollar shuffle: symmetry and complexity
Many complex problems become easier when they have symmetries: finding a route is easier in a city with a grid of streets than in one with a chaotic layout. Colva Roney-Dougal explored how mathematics can be used to crack symmetrical problems, and showed that sometimes symmetry itself is the issue.

Drugs, condoms and the theory of experimentation
How do we develop drugs that prevent HIV transmission? The answers are clinical, political, personal and statistical. Yet not everyone “does statistics”, meaning their voices are lost in debates about research and treatment. Robert Cuffe helped attendees spot bluff masquerading as statistical expertise in science, with focus on HIV prevention.

President 2017: Dr. Colva Roney-Dougal, University of St Andrews
President 2016: Mr. Richard G.E. Pinch, Vice-President of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications
President 2015: Professor Kevin Glazebrook, Lancaster University
President 2014: Professor Peter McOwan, Queen Mary, University of London


Recorder: Professor Tony Mann, University of Greenwich
Treasurer: Mr. Peter Cooper
Publicity Officer: Dr. Katie Steckles