Category: Events

4Cs Science Communication Writing Competition – People’s Choice Award

by Clavance Lim, MSc Student in the Department of Computing

Translating words to numbers

As humans, one way in which we are unique is our ability to communicate with complex language (arguably, science students possess this skill too). In contrast, computers ‘think’ not in language, but in binary numbers. Instead of the decimal system we count with, which uses the ten unique digits ‘0’ to ‘9’, computers ‘think’ only in ‘0’s and ‘1’s. This is because their hardware is controlled by tiny switches, which turn electrical current on or off. As it is difficult to control electrical current at such a microscopic level (switches can be as small as only 10x the size of an atom!),

4Cs Science Communication Writing Competition – 1st Place

by Michelle Lin, MRes Student in the Department of Life Sciences

Cryptococcosis: The Silent Killer

The young patient presented to the hospital with a fever, headache, seizures, and both eyes bulging out of their sockets. Suspecting an infection, doctors first treated the boy with a common antibiotic, Penicillin, presumably to knock out whatever bacterial agent they believed was causing his symptoms.¹

With the boy’s condition failing to improve, doctors kept the boy hospitalized as they searched for a diagnosis and administered various antibiotic and antiviral medications.

As his hospital stay dragged on, the boys condition continued to deteriorate until, after 52 days of ineffective treatments in the hospital, the boy succumbed to his illness.

4Cs Science Communication Writing Competition – 2nd Place

by David Ho, PhD Student in the Department of Physics

A really strong magnet can dissolve Everything

One wrong thing everyone knows about the universe is “conservation of matter”. It seems obvious: if you have a chair, you can move it, or turn it around, and you still have one chair. If these were the only experiments you did, you might proclaim that the number of chairs in the universe always stays the same.

Of course, it doesn’t take much thought to counter this: with a hammer you can easily change the number of chairs in the universe. But if you collect every splinter of leftover wood, you’ll find the same amount before and after the destruction.

4Cs Science Communication Writing Competition – Joint 3rd Place

by Eva Kane, PhD Student in the Institute of Clinical Sciences

It is 23rd January 1922. Toronto is cold, and so are you. You stop at a tavern, hoping to warm your numbed hands. You take a seat next to two men, introduce yourself and settle down to thaw.

One identifies himself as Dr Charles Best. “And my mentor, Dr Frederick Banting”.

“You catch us on quite an evening. We’ve just changed the course of history! Have you heard of the fatal disease, diabetes?”

You have but are not well-versed.

“Within the pancreas are clumps of cells that, under a microscope, look different.

4Cs Science Communication Writing Competition – Joint 3rd Place

by Imanol Duran, MSc Student, Department of Life Sciences

Quarantine Connection – Grandma Calling

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

GRANDMA (with internet connection) GRANDSON (with a STEM degree)

ACT I. SCENE I. Spain. Each in their quarantine homes, awaiting the bending of the COVID-19 curve.

Grandma: Wait… I can’t see you, son. Grandson: Grandma, take the thumb off the screen (laughs). Yes, that’s it. Grandma: So what are those interesting things your mom told me about, you know, the ones to help uncle John’s lung cancer? (Accommodates in grandpa’s armchair, looking at the screen with the chin a bit too high). Grandson: They’re called senolytics, and are tiny molecules that target some specific cells in cancer.

CDT Networking Events – Round One

What a better way to kickstart the beginning of the new term if not with a new series of social events?

A CDT student-led committee has organised a schedule of “CDT Networking Events”, where students belonging to different CDT cohorts get to know each other in an informal setting. The first iteration of our CDT Networking events was held on Friday 17th of January in the EPSRC CDT Space. The events entail, in the first 30 minutes, an educational talk given by one of the EPSRC CDT students on a topic belonging to his\her research area. On the very first round, Alain Rossier (CDT Mathematics of Random Systems- Oxford Cohort) discussed about Maths and the game of Poker.

Lunchtime Yoga @ White City Campus

On the 22nd of May the first power yoga class for PG students took place at the Molecular Science Research Hub on the newly built White City Campus.

For the first Taster Session a small room was booked, because no one expected a huge demand. Instead nineteen people showed up to the first free yoga class of which quite a few did yoga for the first time!

Figure 1: Our first ever lesson had a great turnout for a tiny room.

At the beginning of the first yoga class the teacher asked everyone to introduce themselves and tell everyone what they are trying to get out of this class.

Summer Derby Day Party

There are many pitfalls that must be navigated as you work towards earning a PhD: one of the biggest is isolation. By its very nature, a PhD requires you to be researching something new and unique and when you’re at your desk trying to work out why the data looks weird, because it always looks weird, it can be easy to forget you’re not alone. That’s why events like the PhD Summer Party are so important. Thanks to the generosity of the Graduate School and the Bioengineering Department, every year, we’re afforded the opportunity to relax, make new friends outside of the lab, and live the student dream of free food and drink.

MRC LMS PhD Student Retreat 2019

On the morning of Friday June 14, unusually, we found ourselves amidst the Liverpool Street commuters’ rush as we headed into the heart of the financial district for the 2019 LMS PhD Student Retreat. Our destination was the imposing figure of the Gherkin. Going up to just beneath the top of the building, we took a few minutes to marvel at the panoramic views before the retreat’s ‘entrepreneurship’ theme was brought sharply into focus.

“What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?” Ben Mumby-Croft asked, as we began the morning workshop. Ben is director of the Imperial Enterprise Lab, which works to help students at Imperial College London innovate and launch new ideas for the market.

Life Beyond the PhD

I’m very grateful to Imperial College Graduate School for offering me a scholarship to attend the “Life Beyond the PhD” conference at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor. About 60 PhD students and early career researchers from 35 universities across the UK attended. I was honoured that I was representing Imperial College. Their research was not only in science but also in other fields such as history, art, sociology etc. It was great to meet people from so many different disciplines in such a relaxing and glamorous place situated in the heart of Windsor Great Park.

  • On the first day, we were given an extensive tour of the lodge.