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Tuesday, 13 February 2018, 1:00PM - 2:00PM
Museum of London

Is a Mathematician a Robot?

Professor Chris Budd OBE


Download the lecture video here

Robotics is another of HM Government’s ‘eight great technologies’. Is it possible that in a few years we might have machines with artificial intelligence? 

In this lecture I will describe the mathematics of machine learning and explain its applications to robotics. In particular I will show how the modern ideas of deep learning allow a robot to make sense of the world it exists in, including the ideas behind speech and face recognition. I will also address the important (at least to mathematicians!) question of whether a robot will ever replace a mathematician.

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Gresham Professor of Geometry, Chris Budd OBE, is based at the University of Bath, where he is Professor of Applied Mathematics and Director of the Centre of Nonlinear Mechanics. He has a long history of engagement in the public understanding of science and mathematics through institutions such as the Royal Institution and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.

A graduate of the Universities of both Oxford and Cambridge, Professor Budd has held the position of Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Bath for over twenty years. His other current positions include Chair of Mathematics at the Royal Institution at Great Britain since 2000, and Professor of the Public Understanding of Mathematics at the ICMS, Edinburgh, since 2015.

Professor Budd’s broad research interests circle around interdisciplinary industrial and applied mathematics, and he has a particular interest in complex nonlinear problems arising in real applications. He has carried out a large volume of work in numerical weather prediction and data assimilation in close collaboration with the Met Office over the past ten years. His algorithms are now incorporated into the Met Office operational weather forecasting code where they have made a significant difference to their accuracy and received a Knowledge Transfer Award. He is also carrying out research on climate modelling using modern mathematical and computational methods and is actively involved in a number of international climate modelling networks, including CliMathNet which he co-directs and the Mathematics of Planet Earth programme. He also collaborates with the energy industry, the aerospace industry, the telecommunications industry and the food industry.

The advancement of the public understanding of and engagement in science and mathematics is a central element of Professor Budd’s career. He has been involved in developing successful programmes with young people through his positions at the Royal Institution and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. One of the most significant of these projects is the Bath Taps into Science Festival, a major hands-on science festival which has won many national prizes since its establishment in 2001. Professor Budd was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to science and mathematics education.

All of Professor Budd's past Gresham lectures can be accessed here.

Current Gresham Professor of Geometry

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