2023-24: Opening Symposium

Wednesday 4th October 2023 - Thursday 5th October 2023

All new PhD students in the mathematical sciences at SMSTC member institutions are encouraged to attend. There will be oportunities to learn about SMSTC modules on offer this year, hear presentations about aspects of life as a PhD student, and meet fellow PhD students from across Scotland.

Attendance is in person so that you can make the most of the social aspects of the programme. 

The SMSTC Opening Symposium for 2023-24 will be held at the Dewars Centre, Perth. Location & directions are available here: Dewars Centre Map 


There will be a charge for students attending this event. You should ask your department if they will cover the cost before registering. You should also confirm with your department that they will reimburse your travel costs, which you book yourself.


Accommodation will be reserved for the night of Wednesday 4th October only, for any participant that requires it. You will be asked if you require accommodation when you complete the sign-up form. Details of the accommodation provided will be emailed to you after the sign-up deadline has passed.

PROGRAMME (events are subject to change)


10.00 – 11.00

Registration and coffee

11.00 – 11.35

Welcome (Fraser Daly, SMSTC director)

11.35 – 12.20

The PhD process and how to get through it (Michela Ottobre)

12.20 – 12.40

Supplementary module: Riemann Surfaces (Ruadhaí Dervan, module leader)

12.40 – 13.30


13.30 – 14.15

Theme talk: Probability and Statistics (Mateusz Majka)

14.15 – 14.25

Royal Statistical Society (Fraser Daly)

14.25 – 15.00

Supplementary module and colloquium: History of Mathematics (Deborah Kent, module leader)



15.30 – 16.30




19.30 onwards

Dinner – Willows Restaurant, Perth


09.30 – 09.40

Welcome back / Q&A (Fraser Daly, SMSTC director)

09.40 – 09.45 

Supplementary module: Calculus of Variations (John Ball, module leader)

09.45 – 10.30

Theme talk: Analysis (Gabriel Barrenechea, theme head)

10.30 – 10.50

Supplementary module: Hopf Algebras (Andy Baker, module leader)

10.50 – 11.00

University and College Union (Hannah Dell)

11.00 – 11.30


11.30 – 12.15

Theme talk: Structure and Symmetry (Alessandro Sisto, acting theme head)

12.15 – 12.25

Edinburgh Mathematical Society (Rachel Norman, EMS president)

12.25 – 13.15


13.15 – 14.00

Theme talk: Applications of Mathematics (Richard Scott, theme head)

14.00 – 14.20

Supplementary module: Geometry of Gauge Fields (Lotte Hollands)

14.20 – 14.40

Supplementary module: Introduction to Geometric Group Theory (Alessandro Sisto, module leader)

14.40 – 14.50

What happens next? (Fraser Daly, SMSTC director)

14.50 onwards

Tea and departure

Sign-Up is required to confirm your attendance and inform us of any requirements. The form is open until 12.00 midday on Monday 25th September 2023. There are limited places so early sign-up is encouraged!