Students from the Department of Mathematics experienced a weekend retreat at Cumberland Lodge at the end of February, co-organised by KCL MathSoc. This annual undergraduate event is designed to cover topics outside the usual Maths curriculum and features notable guest speakers from a variety of industries and expertise.
This year's theme was Artificial Intelligence (AI). Talks included:
- Executive Dean Michael Luck on trusted AI
- Irina Higgins from Google DeepMind on building Artificial General Intelligence
- Former Head of the Department of Mathematics Reimer Kühn on societies of brains and brains of societies
- Gopal Ramchurn from the University of Southampton on using AI to rate Premier League footballers in novel ways.
Taken together, the lectures presented a clear picture of the development of AI and machine learning, ranging from a clip of BBC's 1990 visionary documentary Hyperland to neural networks, and tree search mechanisms whereby AlphaGo was able to beat professional Go champion Lee Sedol in 2016.
Erica Tyson, from the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, gave a careers talk in which she emphasised the skills mathematics students acquire during their degree. These include logical and analytical problem solving and the ability to pursue solutions to a conclusion.
Gopal Ramchurn's talk on using AI to rate premier league footballers was a fitting sequel to a session that Cumberland Lodge's chief executive Ed Newell held on ethical leadership and dilemmas arising from sports sponsorship. This was followed by an evening of stand-up comedy, a display of general knowledge, and at least one staff-student match at the pool table.
You can find out more about KCL MathSoc, including upcoming events, on their Facebook page.