Tag Archives: mathematics

Come and support our colleague: Professorial Lecture Series

Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution made by Professor Clemency Montelle and Professor Geoffrey Rodgers in the next presentation in the Professorial Lecture Series for 2019.

Date                Thursday 3 October, from 4.30 – 6.00pm

Venue             E14 – Engineering Core

I encourage all staff and postgraduate students to attend these lectures, to actively support our new professors, and to take the opportunity to appreciate the fantastic research being undertaken in parts of the university we may be less familiar with.

Extraordinary scientific exchanges between Europe and India in the 18th century

Presented by Professor Clemency Montelle

International collaboration makes for fruitful innovation, and historical studies show this isn’t just a modern phenomenon.  In November 1730, a young Portuguese astronomer named Pedro Da Silva travelled to India, bringing with him a copy of the 1727 reprint of Philippe de La Hire’s Tabulae astronomicae. Working in the court of Jayasiṃha, Emperor of Jaipur, in the subsequent years, da Silva and other Jesuit priests collaborated alongside Indian astronomers to produce versions of this work in Sanskrit.   I explore this fascinating case of transmission by comparing passages from the 1727 reprint in Latin and the subsequent Sanskrit translations and some of the surprising consequences of introducing new science to a contrasting culture of inquiry.

Research into earthquake engineering and hip replacement implants

Presented by Professor Geoffrey Rodgers

This talk will cover the closely related, yet seemingly disparate fields of earthquake engineering and biomedical engineering. Perhaps surprisingly, the finer details of research in both these fields can require a closely similar skill-set, despite the vastly different fields of application.

This talk will first cover recent research into novel energy dissipation and seismic damping devices, and their application to low-damage structures to improve the resilience of built environment. Implementation of these new structural design methods and devices, both locally within the Christchurch Rebuild, and internationally, will be covered.

This talk will also cover the use of ultrasonic sensors, video motion capture, and human gait analysis, to better understand the mechanics of hip replacement implants within the human body. This increased understanding of the in-service implant mechanics will help to design additional methods to diagnose impending Dysfunction of Osteo-Mechanics (DOOM) and potentially improve hip replacement implant designs.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Professor Ian Wright, Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Celebrating Fresh Thinking – Professorial Lecture Series

Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academe made by Professor Mathieu Sellier and Professor Greg O’Beirne in the next presentation in the Professorial Lecture Series for 2019.

Date :    Thursday, 5 September, from 4.30 – 6.30pm

Venue: E14 – Engineering Core

I encourage all staff and postgraduate students to attend this lecture, to actively support our new professors, and take the opportunity to appreciate the fantastic research being undertaken in parts of the university we may be less familiar with.

‘Moving the boundaries of fluid mechanics’  – Presented by Professor Mathieu Sellier

Abstract: Many flows encountered in our daily lives involve a moving boundary. The shape of a raindrop, for example, evolves as it falls through the air. Likewise, the free surface of a river deforms as it encounters obstacles. While the mathematical ingredients required to describe such flows have been known since the late 19th century and are encapsulated in the infamous Navier-Stokes equations, solving complex flows with a moving boundary or interface still poses significant challenges and provides stimulating cross-disciplinary research opportunities. The question at the centre of the research I will present is “if information about the evolution of a moving interface is available, can we indirectly infer unknown properties of the flow?” Such a question falls in the realm of inverse problems for which one knows the effect but is looking for the cause. Specifically, I will talk about how it is possible to estimate the fluid properties of lava just by looking at how it flows or what is the best way to rotate a pan to cook the perfect crêpe.

‘Speech, noise, and the Matrix’ – Presented by Professor Greg A. O’Beirne

People with hearing impairment or auditory processing problems find it harder than most to understand speech in background noise, or when parts of the speech signal are missing or distorted. Despite this, most hearing tests still present either pure tones or single words in quiet, and usually use expensive equipment to do it. 

To overcome these shortcomings and better assess the ability to communicate in challenging acoustic environments, my lab has produced a number of innovative adaptive tests of speech intelligibility and auditory processing. These include i) the UCAST-FW – a filtered word test for the diagnosis of auditory processing disorder; ii) internet-based Digit Triplet Tests to screen for sensorineural hearing loss in New Zealand English, Te Reo Māori, and Malay; and iii) the University of Canterbury Auditory-Visual Matrix Sentence Test – a speech-in-noise test in New Zealand English and Malay that allows rapid testing of adults and school-age children, including their ability to use visual cues to supplement the auditory signal.

I’ll discuss how permanent hearing impairment reduces speech clarity even when sounds are audible, and how the testing platform we’ve developed provides an integrated set of tools for improving hearing screening and speech testing in New Zealand, Australia, and south-east Asia.