NBIA Colloquium by David Sumpter on fish schools and football

From fish schools to football teamwork

I will start by talking about a wide range of studies of collective motion and decision-making of fish, birds and insects. Through detailed tracking and modelling of how individuals interact in groups, we can understand why group-living has evolved. Recently, we have produced models that pass a ‘Fish Turing Test’, so the modelled behaviour of fish is more or less indistinguishable from movement of real fish. I go on to look at similar studies of movement and strategy of football teams. Through detailed tracking of players' passing and shooting, we can reveal the answers to the true mysteries of life, such as how Sweden got to the quarter finals of the World Cup.

David Sumpter is Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Uppsala. Originally from London, but growing up in Scotland, he completed his doctorate in mathematics at Manchester, and held a Royal Society Fellowship at Oxford before heading to Sweden. His scientific research covers everything from the inner workings of fish schools and ant colonies, the passing networks of football teams, and segregation in society, to machine learning and artificial intelligence. He has written for many publications aimed at a broad readership. He was awarded the IMA’s Catherine Richards prize for communicating mathematics to a wider audience.

All are welcome!  Refreshments will be served after the talk.