3pm - 4pm
Wednesday 21 April 2021

Where fortune tellers go wrong and meteorologists succeed: how to predict the future

A seminar in the Applied Statistics Seminar Series designed to give undergraduate mathematics with statistics students a broader knowledge of the applications of statistics.

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Abstract

Throughout human history mankind has sought and valued predictions for the future. Soothsayers of the past and modern day scientists have been employed to provide governments with insight into what is to come. In this presentation I assert that perhaps the most successful predictions are made by meteorologists. I will describe the 3 components they use to forecast the future: an accurate dynamical model, an appropriate system of observations and a data assimilation procedure. Some common data assimilation methods are presented. The importance of all 3 aspects will be discussed in the context of meteorology. We’ll consider how they might apply in other contexts and ask what this might teach us about fields from pandemics to particle physics.  

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