Monday, 29 May 2023

Knowing the sequence of a pathogen can help us understand where it came from, how it is spreading and changing. These can then inform public health interventions and policies. I will use the following examples

- sequencing SARS-CoV-2 at different stages of the pandemic

- sequencing Japanese Encephalitis Virus during an outbreak of encephalitis in Assam

- challenges and usefulness of setting up sequencing in the local context In the talk I hope to make a case for the routine use of genomic tools in outbreak response and touch upon the steps we can take towards this.

Wednesday, 31 May 2023

We give a brief historical overview and discuss some interesting facts on infinite series with a special emphasis on divergent series.

Thursday, 01 June 2023

OpenAI's ChatGPT is one of the recent AI chatbots that has captured the imagination of users worldwide. I will aim to throw some light on the internal workings of chatbots like ChatGPT, what they do well, and what they tend to have trouble with. I will also briefly describe some of the research questions in this area, from the point of a view of a computer scientist working on speech and language technologies.

David Hilbert, one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century explained the counter intuitive nature of infinite sets through what is now known as the Hilbert’s paradox of the Grand Hotel. Through Hilbert’s paradox, we will discuss the paradise of infinities created by Cantor.

Sunday, 04 June 2023

In my three-hour talk and demonstrations, I will show them how science is fun if we learn it through experiments and simple activities. I will cover how we use hands-on activities to make science and mathematics interesting and experiential. This also helps participants design simple activities for various topics during their classroom teaching and learning process. We have designed hands-on activities and models (we call them toys) using very inexpensive materials so that everyone can get the opportunity to learn in an interactive manner.

In this session for participants, I will learn concepts of electricity and magnetism, generators, motors, spinners, air pressure, heat, area, perimeter, and many more concepts in mathematics using readily available materials such as plastic bottles, straws, syringe tubes, and other very inexpensive materials. While these toys may appear simple, the science and mathematics behind them are quite interesting and challenging. Once we get our hands dirty by making these toys, the conceptual understanding of the science and math behind them becomes easy and natural.

Monday, 05 June 2023

A cell biologist is surrounded by cells, small volumes of solutions, pipettes, fridges, sensitive reagents, centrifuges, microscopes, and more. What happens when one trades all of that for a pencil, or places themselves in a public space? I will share my experiences of pursuing science communication and public engagement in various modes and with various modalities.

Thursday, 08 June 2023

Many problems in combinatorics, graph theory, number theory, that \emph{a priori} have nothing whatsoever to do with probability, have been solved fully or partially by incorporating into them a suitable probability space. Examples include the problem of obtaining bounds on \emph{Ramsey numbers}, the problem of obtaining bounds on the size of a \emph{dominating set} of a graph, the problem of proving the existence of a \emph{sum-free subset} of a given size inside any given set etc. I shall demonstrate some such examples from the wonderful, and relatively recently discovered, world of \emph{probabilistic methods}, to illustrate how many such problems can be addressed using far neater and pithier arguments when probability is wielded as a tool judiciously.