Digital innovation and Queen’s honours: News from the College

Here’s a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial.

From the grand final of a student innovation challenge, to royal recognition of a professor’s contributions to haematology, here is some quick-read news from across the College.

Digital innovation

The Venture Catalyst Challenge (VCC), run by Imperial Enterprise Lab and powered by Blenheim Chalcot, is the College’s largest entrepreneurial competition for students and alumni and its grand final has gone digital.

After an intense 7-week programme of workshops, mentoring and business coaching, 25 teams, divided into 5 themed tracks, pitched to expert panels in the competition’s heats in March. The winner of each track was awarded 10,000 and is now competing to win the 20,000 Grand Prize, announced on 26 June. All finalists’ pitches can be viewed on the Enterprise Lab website.

The public can also vote for their favourite semi-finalist pitch to win the 500 People’s Prize.

Growing network pains

‘Network science’ is a crucial tool for studying our interconnected world, for example when analysing epidemics, financial systems or social networks. However, there is often a mismatch between when the data was collected and when the data is used - such as data on Twitter interactions from 2009 being used to predict outcomes in 2020.

It was assumed that networks grow in a fixed manner over time, so that a larger future network would still reflect the dynamics of the earlier, smaller network. Now, researchers at Imperial have shown that this is not the case.

The team say scientists will need to refine their understanding of how the future evolution of networks is predicted, and are working to identify patterns of change as networks grow.

Read more in Physical Review Research: ‘Identifying time dependence in network growth’

Prestigious maths prize

Dr Ana Caraiani , from the Department of Mathematics, has won a European Mathematical Society (EMS) Prize. The prizes are awarded every four years to “young researchers not older than 35 years, of European nationality or working in Europe, in recognition of excellent contributions in mathematics.”

Dr Caraiani’s research interests include classical and p-adic Langlands programs, Shimura varieties, and arithmetic geometry. In addition to receiving the EMS Prize, Dr Caraiani will speak in a mini symposium entitled: A journey from pure to applied mathematics, organized by European Women in Mathematics.

Read more on the European Mathematical Society website.

Birthday honours

Professor Barbara Bain has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List for Australia, which are awarded as part of the Queen’s Official Birthday celebrations during the month of June.

Professor Bain was awarded Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division), "for significant services to medicine, and to medical education, particularly haematology".

The Honours List was announced on 8 June by the Governor-General of Australia, David Hurley, who commented: “This list recognises a group of outstanding Australians who have made a contribution to their community, to Australia globally or domestically. Their efforts have been noted by their peers, they’ve been nominated and assessed independently as worthy of recognition.”

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