Beyond Part III

Young Researchers in Mathematics 2009

16-18 April 2009

Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge

The plenary lecture will be given by Prof David Spiegelhalter, who is Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at Cambridge and a senior scientist at the Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit. Prof Spiegelhalter is an ISI highly cited researcher and the 34th most-cited mathematical scientist in the world over the last ten years. He is well known for his entertaining lectures and the plenary lecture will be accessible to all participants of the conference. Check out his website Understanding Uncertainty. He will talk about

What is the use of probability and statistics in an uncertain world?

In an age that is obsessed with personal risk and scientific uncertainty, it would perhaps appear obvious that the disciplines of probability and statistics should be of central importance. And yet we frequently see misuse and misunderstanding of formal ways of analysing uncertainty, and general scepticism has not been helped by the apparent role of risk models in the recent collapse of the financial markets.
I shall look at some good and bad examples of current practice, and illustrate some tools that may help in the realistic communication of uncertainty.