Monday, April 18, 2011

Weeknote #36 (w/e 17/4/11)

A rather frantic month has unfortunately left the weeknotes at the bottom of the priority pile. However, teaching's now finished (apart from the small matter of honours projects to mark...), so now's the time to pick up all the loose ends.

At the end of last month we were in Brussels for the first BACTOCOM annual review. Until we receive the formal report from the European Commission, we can't say too much about this, but we all felt that it generally went very well.

Last week, both Jo Verran and I attended the Spring meeting of the Society for General Microbiology. I gave an invited lecture on "bacterial random search (BACTOCOM, basically) in the "Maths and Microbes" session, and Jo gave an open lecture in the evening, on biofilms. I was only able to stay for the first day, and would have liked to have seen more of what seemed like a very interesting conference. The next one is in York at the start of September, and I'll definitely try to get to that.

Last Tuesday we were treated to the rather surreal sight of Dolly Parton discussing the implications of one of our NanoInfoBio projects. Jo and her team were recently filmed by the BBC's One Show for a piece about their work on fungal deterioration of cine film, in association with the North West Film Archive. It went out last week, and was marvellous publicity for the project, the University, and the NWFA.

On Thursday we had the pleasure of hosting a public lecture by Ian Stewart. Ian and I met once or twice during my time at Warwick in the mid-1990s, but credit for his visit goes entirely to Naomi Jacobs, who set it all up via one of her many side projects. As well as being a well-respected catastrophe theorist, Ian is a world-renowned author and populariser of science and mathematics. He gave an excellent talk, based on his new book Mathematics of Life, a conjunction of subjects that is obviously close to the heart of many NIBbers.

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