Queen Mary Mathematics Research Centre QUIPS Seminar (Queen Mary Internal Postgraduate Seminar) 
Programme for 2008
All talks are on Wednesday at 12pm in room 513 (Maths). Refreshments will be provided after the talks. Everyone is welcome.
Date  Speaker  Title 
8 Oct 2008 
E. R. Vaughan 
Vizing's Theorem and Related Topics 
15 Oct 2008 
No talk 

22 Oct 2008 
John Faben 
On the Complexity of Counting Modulo k 
29 Oct 2008 
Johanna Rämö 
Octonions 
12 Nov 2008 
Derek Patterson 
The Cone Condition and Generalised tDesigns 
19 Nov 2008 
No talk 

26 Nov 2008 
Adeel Farooq 
Coxeter generators for the baby monster 
3 Dec 2008 
Victor FalgasRavry 
Roth's theorem via discrete Fourier analysis 
10 Dec 2008 
Colin Reid 
From finite to profinite 
Date  Speaker  Title 
1 Feb 2008  Andrew Curtis  Tie Hard: An Introduction to the Mathematics of Neckties 
8 Feb 2008  Johanna Rämö  Solving the Rubik's cube 
15 Feb 2008  Sally Gatward  An introduction to Λtrees 
22 Feb 2008 
John Faben 
An introduction to complexity theory: P and NP 
29 Feb 2008 
No talk (leap year holiday) 

7 Mar 2008 
Saiful Islam 
Bayesian sample size determination using loss function plus cost function 
14 Mar 2008 
Ben Parker 
Who wants to be a statistician? 
Page maintained by E. R. Vaughan
Last update: Dec 8, 2008
Abstracts
Andrew Curtis. Tie Hard  An Introduction to the mathematics of neckties. 
This talk will be based on the work of two Cambridge mathematicians, Fink and Mao. They noticed that despite the myriad possibilities for different tie knots only four were in general usage. Rather than rely on trial and error to come up with new designs, they decided to use the power of mathematics to characterise and categorise all the possible knots. By making certain restrictions to exclude those which were aesthetically unappealing they were able to produce a further nine possibilities. The talk will involve a brief exposition of their methods and results. Neckties will be supplied for those of you wishing to try out some of the more recherche designs. Bruce Willis will not be appearing. (For more details see the poster.) 
Johanna Rämö. Solving the Rubik's cube. 
You will learn how to solve the Rubik's Cube. The algorithm uses basic group theory, and I will be talking about permutations, quotient groups, commutators and conjugation. But you do not need to know anything about group theory to be able to learn the algorithm. If you have a Rubik's Cube, bring it with you. 
Ben Parker. Who wants to be a statistician? 
Your chance to win huge prizes as we play “Who Wants to be a
Statistician?”. Can you see your way through the media myths that are
repeated every day in the press? Are 87.6% of statistics made up? Does
it matter? Can good statistics actually be useful? This game requires
very little mathematical background at all, so please come and play!
(Any resemblance to any other game shows entirely coincidental) 
Victor FalgasRavry. Roth's theorem via discrete Fourier analysis 
Szemerédi's celebrated theorem states that any subset of the
natural numbers with positive upper density contains arbitrarily long
arithmetic progressions. Diverse proofs for this fact have been found,
ranging from the purely combinatorial proof of Szemerédi (1975) to the
ergodictheoretical proof of Furstenberg (1977). More recently, Gowers
(2001) found a novel approach to the theorem using a mixture of discrete
Fourier analysis and combinatorics.
In this talk, I will run over the basics of discrete Fourier analysis and, following Gowers, prove a weak form of Roth's theorem (Szemerédi's theorem for arithmetic progressions of length 3) before describing further applications and refinements of the techniques thus developed. Essentially no prior knowledge of Fourier analysis or number theory will be assumed. 