British Universities Film & Video Council

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Mathematics in the Real World: from Brain Tumours to Saving Marriages

Synopsis
Video recording of the Bakerian Prize Lecture given by Professor James Murray of Oxford University on 26/3/2009 at the RSA.

Practical mathematical models are becoming an accepted part of most medical and scientific disciplines. This lecture describes the modelling of two applications.

The prognosis for patients with high grade brain tumours is grim and the various treatment protocols such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy cannot effect a cure. A simple model using patient data and brain scans quantifies the spatio-temporal growth of brain tumours. Analysis of the model shows how difficult it is to decide on the tumour volume to be treated and shows why such treatments have so little success. The model simulations can estimate life expectancy for the patient and show how it might be possible to use a patient’s past record to quantify possible treatment efficacy.

The rise in divorce rates in developed countries is a widespread but poorly understood phenomenon. A simple but surprisingly predictive mathematical model, based on only a few parameters describing specific marital interaction patterns, has helped design new scientifically-based intervention strategies for troubled marriages which are proving encouragingly successful in clinical practice. In a 12 year longitudinal study on a large number of marriages the model has predicted divorce with an accuracy of 94%. (66 minutes)
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2009
Year of production
2009
Subjects
Social Studies; Mathematics; Medical sciences
Keywords
applied mathematics; brain tumours; divorce; mathematical modelling; statistical data modelling

Online availability

URI
http://royalsociety.org/page.asp?id=3093
Price
free
Delivery
Streamed

Credits

Contributor
James Murray

Production Company

Name

RSA

Email
general@rsa.org.uk
Web
http://www.thersa.org/ External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7930 5115
Fax
020 7839 5805
Address
8 John Adam Street
London
WC2N 6EZ
Notes
Full name: Royal Society for the Encouragements of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce

Distributor

Name

RSA Vision

Email
general@rsa.org.uk
Web
http://www.thersa.org/events/vision External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7930 5115
Address
8 John Adam Street
London
WC2N 6EZ
Notes
The RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce) hosts an ambitious programme of events that provide a platform for some of the world’s leading thinkers and encourage intelligent public debate of some of today’s most pressing social challenges. These events are available as live webcasts, streamed video or audio recordings, and podcasts. There is also a series of podcast interviews with Royal designers.

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