Dr Simon Byrne


Simon Byrne

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Division: Department of Statistical Science
Organisation: University College London
Tags: Fellowship: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Fellowship: Previous Fellow, Researcher, University College London
Related theme: Mathematical sciences


Simon Byrne is an EPSRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Statistical Science. He completed his PhD in 2011 at the University of Cambridge Statistical Laboratory under the supervision of Professor A. Philip Dawid. Prior to this, he worked as a statistical analyst in the general insurance industry.

My Fellowship

Modern technology has enabled the collection of ever more detailed and numerous data, allowing scientists to build more detailed models. Correspondingly, the required calculations become increasingly complicated and computationally intensive. My research seeks to develop a geometric understanding of these problems, and develop new algorithmic approaches to solving them.

I will apply the mathematical tools and techniques of curvature, known as differential geometry, by interpreting the model as a smooth curved surface called a manifold-think of a rubber sheet that has been twisted, poked and pulled in different places. These computational difficulties then correspond to regions of this surface that are highly curved. I can then adapt various techniques that have been developed for related geometric problems, such as numerical Hamiltonian integrators, in order to construct efficient algorithms that twist, poke and pull this surface into a shape that is more amenable to computation.

This research will provide both theoretical developments on which other statisticians can build, as well as practical tools and techniques which applied researchers will be able to use. Such advances will help change our current 'data age' into a true 'information age'.