"The inaugural lecture is a centuries-old tradition, a transition point in the career of an academic, recognizing leadership in their chosen field. I am proud to welcome such exceptional leaders to Manchester."
Professor Martin Schröder, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering.
Professor Gavin Brown, Professor of Machine Learning in the School of Computer Science
Title: Finding new ways to Think : Twenty Years in Machine Learning
Date: Wednesday 21st March, 17:30
Location: Kilburn Building Lecture Theatre 1.1, University of Manchester
Abstract: Machine Learning is changing the world. But it's still a young field, compared to the classical science and engineering disciplines. The exciting potential for the field has created a veritable sandstorm of new ideas and papers, increasing all the time.
Since I started my PhD in 1998, my time has focused on finding new ways to think, to see a clear path through that sandstorm. My team has found connections and built bridges that unify seemingly disparate parts of the literature - we've created principles, theories, and frameworks that simplify the field. This has enabled new directions, from stronger foundations. This lecture will review some highlights, where we've built bridges from deep learning to statistical feature selection, from there to computer architectures and reproducible research, and from medical drug trials to domestic violence.
Professor Konstantinos Theodoropoulos, School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science
Date: 4th May 2017, 15:00 - 17:30
Location: Room J17, Reynolds building.
Professor David Johnson, N8 Chair in Microbial Ecology School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Title: Life in Earth: Why soil biodiversity matters for ecosystem functioning
Date: Weds 15th Nov, 13:00
Location: Theatre D, Simon Building
Abstract: Soils are repositories for a huge abundance and vast diversity of organisms, which drive processes that sustain all other life on Earth. The last two decades have seen considerable advances in our understanding of the crucial functions played by soil organisms. Soils provide fascinating examples of how evolution has overcome the need for organisms to acquire energy and nutrients; provide protection from natural enemies; form intimate symbioses with other organisms; and resist human-driven perturbations.
In this lecture, I will provide some examples of the critical roles soil organisms play in regulating life-sustaining ecosystem processes, and illustrate how soil organisms are the ideal model systems to test ecological theory. Finally, I will argue that we must better understand 'Life in Earth' if we are to manage ecosystems, both to mitigate predicted changes in global climate and feed a rapidly increasing human population.