CPMH Incubator 2020

Diane and Xinyue present at the incubator event

Attendees at the workshop on neural networks: from dynamical systems to psychology on 24 November 2017

Web photo

Participants in conversation at the Hormone Dynamics Workshop on 8 August 2017

Group photo

Attendees of the seed corn incubator event in Torquay on 25-26 July 2017

Beyond My Control theatre production at the Exeter Northcott Theatre

Professor Peter Challenor presenting at the Uncertainty Quantification Workshop in London on 19 January 2017

Actors developing a piece of theatre based around seizures, which was explored at the public involvement event on 2nd November 2016.

The BioDynamics Workshop was held at the University of Exeter in September 2016

Professor Mark Cook presenting at the Workshop on Transient Dynamics and Epilepsy

Professor Hinke Osinga presenting at the workshop on fast-slow systems

Launch event presenters:

Professor John Terry, Professor Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova and Professor Stafford Lightman (L-R)

The ferry boat journey to Café on the Exe for the invited speakers of the workshop on synchronization and oscillators with generalized coupling

Previous events

Here is a summary of some of the previous events that have taken place in association with the Centre:

3 - 4 February 2020: Seed corn incubator event (round 5)

The EPSRC Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare commenced its fifth round of seed corn projects in February 2020.

6 multidisciplinary research projects were funded, uniquely supporting collaborators from the University of Exeter, University of Birmingham, University of Bristol and Kings College London. Each project was awarded a budget of up to £10,000, and the purpose of the incubator event was to get the research teams together to refine project plans and kick-start the research.

The incubator event included talks and sessions from colleagues in research services, commercialisation and public engagement, with valuable input from members of the University of Exeter's public advisory group. This event was also unique as it included artists commissioned to visualise the aims and outouts of some of the project groups (projects typically take 6 months, so stay tuned for their creations)!

The following six seed corn projects were funded by the EPSRC:

2 - 6 September 2019: Dynamics Days Conference

The European Dynamics Days conference took place in Rostock, Germany, bringing together researchers from a wide range of backgrounds including physics, biology, engineering and mathematics for interdisciplinary research in nonlinear science.

It provided a European forum for developments in the theory and applications of nonlinear dynamics, and included a mini symposium organised by CPMH Investigator Jan Sieber on "Temporal Dissipative Solitons and Their Spectrum".

2 - 5 September 2019: ICTALS Conference

The International Conference for Technology and Analysis of Seizures 2019, was held at the Xfi building at The University of Exeter. The organising committee included CPMH members Mark Goodfellow, John Terry, Jen Creaser, Diane Fraser, Leandro Junges, Petroula Laiou, Marinho Lopes, James Rankin, Piotr Slowinski and Wessel Woldman.

This large-scale biennial event had the theme of 'The Epilepsy Journey: From first seizure to treatment and beyond', and attracted international speakers, charity and commercial partners, as well as people with lived experience of epilepsy (both patients and carers).

See the dedicated website here for more details.

8 - 12 July 2019: Equadiff Conference

The Equadiff conference was hosted by Leiden University in The Netherlands in 2019. The aim of the conference was to bring together world-wide experts from the broad areas of differential equations and dynamical systems, focussing both on theory and applications.

CPMH members attended and organised several mini-symposia:

Minisymposium - "Dynamics on and off networks" - Co-organised by Peter Ashwin

Minisymposium - "Delay differential equations" - Co-organised by Jan Sieber

Minisymposium - "Mathematical approaches to problems in healthcare" - Co-organised by Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova

13 - 17 July 2019: GECCO Conference

Several CPMH researchers attended the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference held in Prague, with talks and co-organised workshops including:

  • Co-organised Workshop on Evolutionary Algorithms for Problems with Uncertainty (EAPU)
    (Jonathan Fieldsend and Khulood Alyahya)
  • Co-organised Workshop on Visualisation in Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (VizGEC)
    (Jonathan Fieldsend)
  • Co-organised Workshop on Surrogate-Assisted Evolutionary Optimisation (SAEOpt)
    (Jonathan Fieldsend)
  • Talk/Proceedings: "A Feature Rich Distance-Based Many-Objective Visualisable Test Problem Generator" (Jonathan Fieldsend)
  • Talk/Proceedings: "Efficient Real-Time Hypervolume Estimation with Monotonically Reducing Error" (Jonathan Fieldsend)
  • Talk/Proceedings: "Visualising the Landscape of Multi-Objective Problems using Local Optima Networks" (Jonathan Fieldsend)
  • Talk/Proceedings: "Landscape Analysis Under Measurement Error" (Ozgur Akman, Khulood Alyahya, Jonathan Fieldsend)
  • Talk/Proceedings: "EMOCs: Evolutionary multi-objective optimisation for clinical scorecard generation" (Diane Fraser)

6 - 7 June 2019: Open and Reproducible Science Workshop

CPMH fellow Joana Viana organised this two-day workshop on Open and Reproducible Science in Exeter, aimed at Early Career Researchers from STEMM subjects from Exeter and other institutions. 

Science is facing a reproducibility crisis across STEMM subjects. Scientific knowledge moves forward by corroboration and advances faster when researchers spend less time pursuing false leads or testing hypothesis that have been previously proven wrong. Reproducibility and transparency are therefore crucial to scientific advance.

This workshop brought together early career researchers (ECRs) interested in reproducible and open science practices, with the aim of encouraging open science practices, such as careful study design and hypothesis testing and good coding practices. It also had the objective to inspire researchers to think of problems such as publication bias, p-hacking and hypothesising after results are known (Harking).

The two-day workshop consisted of a first day of talks from external speakers followed by a networking event and a second day of tutorials in tools such as GitLab, R and Open Research Framework. External speakers included Professor Marcus Munafo from the University of Bristol, Dr Jackie Thompson from the University of Bristol and University of Oxford, and Professor Chris Chambers from the University of Cardiff.

19 - 24 May 2019: SIAM Conference - mini symposiums

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics held the conference 'Applications of Dynamical Systems' in Utah, USA. CPMH Deputy Director Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova, MRC Skills Development Fellow Jen Creaser, Centre Fellow Chris Marcotte and Centre Investigators Vadim Biktashev and Jan Sieber attended.

Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova organised a mini symposium entitled: "Recent advances in multiple-timescale dynamics with applications to neural systems"

Jen Creaser organised a mini symposium entitled: "Neuronal excitability in the lenses of dynamical systems" as well as giving a talk on "Domino-like transient dynamics at seizure onset in epilepsy”.

Jan Sieber co-organised a mini symposium entitled: "Dynamical Systems Software", as well as giving a talk on "Buckling of Spherical Shells under Dynamically Increasing Pressure".

10 - 11 April 2019: Newton Gateway to Maths Workshop

Organised by Peter Ashwin of the CPMH, this workshop entitled 'Achieving impact in Healthcare: from Mathematics to Clinical Support Systems and Devices' took place over 2 days in Cambridge. Featuring talks and sessions from contributors from all five EPSRC Centres (Exeter, Cambridge, Liverpool, Imperial College, and the Universities of Glasgow, St. Andrews, Heroit-Watt and Sheffield), this interdisciplinary event focused on translating mathematical research into technological advances, as well as outreach and linkage with clinicians and end-user companies. It presented the opportunity to hear in detail about the project collaborations, research and outcomes from each Centre. The programme aimed not only to nurture the mathematical research associated with the Centres, but to engage end-users to ensure that best practice is spread as widely as possible.

The Programme featured talks from all five Centres. The themes of ‘Clinical Support Systems’, ‘Population Medicine ’ and ‘Mathematical Challenges” were explored. Talks covered a range of topics, including cross-methodology challenges for specific disease groups, cross-disease challenges for specific methodologies and machine learning customised for medical imaging.

This workshop also aimed to coordinate and consolidate the research agenda within the Maths for Healthcare space for the subsequent five years and scope out a proposal for a six month Research Programme on the Mathematics of Healthcare to be held at the Isaac Newton Institute.

The event was of interest to researchers, clinicians and healthcare technologists from biomedical imaging, mathematics, engineering, computer science, biology and medicine and presents the opportunity for knowledge exchange and networking between senior scientists with relevant individuals from industry and government.

4 April 2019: Multiple Criteria Decision Making Workshop

Co-organised by Khulood Alyahya, this workshop was a Researcher-Led Initiative funded by the University of Exeter Researcher Development and Research Culture team. The workshop was also supported by the Institute of Data Science and AI at the University of Exeter.

In many real-world problems, several conflicting criteria need to be optimized simultaneously. Therefore, it is crucial to properly structure and solve the problem with relevant tools for supporting a decision maker. The purpose of the workshop was to provide knowledge and basic concepts, an overview of different methods and tools in solving multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) problems.


MCDM methods and tools have been found to be useful in several such applications e.g. health care, education, environment, transportation, business, and production. Some features of these methods and tools are:

  • Preference elicitation and representation
  • Interactive multiobjective optimization or decision maker in the loop
  • Visualization
  • Aggregation/trade-off operators & algorithms
  • Fuzzy logic based decision-making techniques
  • Bayesian and other decision-making techniques
  • Interactive multiobjective optimization for (computationally) expensive problems
  • Hybridization of MCDM and evolutionary computation
  • MCDM and machine learning
  • MCDM for Big data
  • MCDM in real-world applications
  • Exploring and using cognitive capabilities in MCDM
  • Use of psychological tools to aid decision maker


The workshop included keynote talks from experts in the field of MCDM - Prof. Juergen Branke, Prof. Alessio Ishizaka and Dr David Walker. See more on the dedicated website here.

18 March - 26 April 2019: Huazhong Lecture Series

In the Spring, CPMH Deputy Director Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova gave six lectures to PhD students at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China. The lectures were delivered at the Mathematical Sciences Institute on Biomedical Modelling and Analysis.

24 - 25 January 2019: Seed corn incubator event (round 4)

The EPSRC Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare commenced its fourth round of seed corn projects in January 2019.

The Centre’s seed corn projects are multidisciplinary research projects that bring together researchers with complimentary expertise, to work on a research problem associated with the expertise of researchers within Centre. A budget of up to £10k is provided for essential consumables for each project.

The projects began with a seed corn incubator event held in Torquay, which brought together the research teams and other experts from the Univesity's commercial team, impact team, public engagement team, and Research Development Managers. The following three seed corn projects were funded by the EPSRC:

Developing a Method to Reliably Discriminate Physio-Pathological Dynamic Adrenal Hormone Profiles

A First Generation Mathedmatical Model Linking the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis (HPA) to the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis (HPG)

A Preclinical Drug Screening Protocol for the Detection of Off-Target Activity of Psychotropic Drugs for the Treatment of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Alzheimer's Disease

5 - 7 December 2018: Spiral Waves and Cardiac Arrhythmias

This workshop focused on connecting the clinic and mathematics. Organised by Yolanda Hill and Chris Marcotte, it included a public lecture on the 6th December, entitled "The beat goes on... how insights from mathematics and computation are helping us to understand the heartbeat", given by Professor Richard Clayton. This event was supported by the CPMH and the British Science Association.

8 - 12 October 2018: Workshop: "Nanoscale modelling of synaptic transmission, calcium dynamics and transduction”

Held at the Centro Di Riceerca Matematica (CRM) Ennio De Giorgi, Pisa, Italy, scientific committee member and main organiser Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova attended with Kyle Wedgwood.

The aim of the workshop was to provide introductory tutorials and discuss the application of mathematical modelling and analysis to the spatio-temporal dynamics of signalling pathways.

Advances in high-precision sensing and imaging have emphasised the spatio-temporal nature of information transfer through signal transduction pathways. The compartmentalisation of signalling molecules and the existence of micro-domains are now widely acknowledged as key features in cell signalling. To complement experimental observations of spatio-temporal dynamics, mathematical modelling and analysis have emerged as a powerful tool. Using modelling, one can not only recapitulate experimentally observed dynamics of signalling molecules, but also gain an understanding of the underlying mechanisms in order to generate experimentally testable predictions.

5 - 7 September 2018: 2nd International Neural Dynamics Summer School 2018

Held at the University of Bristol, CPMH Deputy Director Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova was the main organiser of the 3 day series of seminars and workshops.

24 November 2017: Workshop on neural networks: from dynamical systems to psychology

Networks are a highly topical subject for mathematical research in dynamical systems, where new challenges are being addressed, new methodologies developed and surprising connections uncovered. This workshop discussed recent research on the mathematical and computational modelling of neural-inspired dynamic networks, and explored connections to clinical-facing research.

Speakers included: Claire Postlethwaite (University of Auckland), Lorenzo Livi (University of Exeter), Juliane Britz (University of Fribourg), and Anke Karl (University of Exeter).

24 November 2017: Innovative Mathematical Modelling for Healthcare

This workshop was led by Peter Ashwin, with Jen Creaser and Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova.

8 August 2017: Hormone Dynamics Workshop

In August 2017 Dr Eder Zavala hosted a workshop on Hormone Dynamics in Pituitary and Adrenal Systems at the recently opened Living Systems Institute. The workshop's main purpose was to communicate how hormone levels change in time and to establish a dialogue to hear directly from people living with endocrine conditions. The workshop provided an insight into future research projects and invited the participants to provide feedback and consultation on the development of such projects. The talks were followed by a roundtable session and individual interviews.

Speakers included: Dr Paul Le Tissier (University of Edinburgh), Dr Jamie Walker (University of Exeter), Prof Stafford Lightman (University of Bristol) and Dr Eder Zavala (University of Exeter).

25-26 July 2017: Seed corn incubator event (round 2)

The EPSRC Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare commenced its second round of seed corn projects in July 2017.

The Centre’s seed corn projects are multidisciplinary research projects that bring together researchers with complimentary expertise, to work on a research problem associated with the expertise of researchers within Centre. A budget of up to £10k is provided for essential consumables for each project.

The projects began with a seed corn incubator event held on 25-26 July in Torquay, which brought together the research teams and other experts from the Univesity's commercial team, impact team, public engagement team, and Research Development Managers. Three seed corn projects were funded and a summary of each is provided in this news story.

11 - 14 July 2017: M2D (Models to Decisions) 1st Annual Conference on Decision Making Under Uncertainty, University of Exeter

Peter Challenor contributed to the session, 'The Role of Applied Mathematics in Models and Decision Making'.

May 2017: Mini symposia at the SIAM Conference

At the SIAM Conference on Dynamical Systems, held in Utah, USA, our research fellows organised four mini symposia on the following topics:

  • ‘Noise-Induced Transitions in Networks’ - Jennifer Creaser
  • 'Non-linear dynamics in endocrine systems’ - Margaritis Voliotis and Eder Zavala
  • 'Vortices in Excitable Media: Theory and Experiment’ - Vadim Biktashev
  • 'Quantitative Models of Neural Dynamics - Challenges and Limitations' - James Rankin and Piotr Slowinski

9 March 2017: Beyond My Control

Science met the theatre in this hugely successful interactive modelling performance about epilepsy, excitability and all things neurological. Over 300 people descend upon the Exeter Northcott Theatre to enjoy the production, which saw mathematicians at the University of Exeter abandon their computers and recreate complex brain networks using theatre improvisation techniques.

Initially we pondered whether the logical world of mathematics and the unpredictable world of theatre could really come together to help us see what’s really going on inside our heads, and the answer is a resounding yes!

The production explored just how much control we have over our brains and combined improvised scenes, verbatim testimony and top mathematical research in a unique theatrical experience engaging with epilepsy. Audience members got the chance to interact with the performance and were invited to ask questions and offer feedback at the end. Many visitors stayed on well after the show to find out more about the epilepsy research conducted at Exeter and quiz the mathematicians further.

The production will be taken into local schools during the week commencing 13 March and there are hopes for it to tour the country in the future. Watch this space!

Read a review of the performance by Emily Holyoake.

19 January 2017: Uncertainty Quantification Workshop

This one-day workshop was hosted jointly by the EPSRC Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare (University of Exeter) and EPSRC Centre for Mathematical Imaging in Healthcare (University of Cambridge). Over 40 delegates attended, a mixture of those working within the five EPSRC Centres for Mathematical Sciences in Healthcare, and those working in related areas.

The workshop acknowledged that the use of numerical modelling and mathematical analysis in healthcare and medicine is increasing and is starting to be used to guide treatment, and that as a consequence the importance of uncertainty quantification in this area is rising too. The workshop explored the use of uncertainty quantification in the context of the EPSRC Centres and examined the different approaches being used. Discussions took place about the implications for patients and new interventions, as well as how progress might be made.

Speakers included: Dr Gary Mirams (University of Nottingham), Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter (Winton Centre, University of Cambridge), Professor Peter Challenor (University of Exeter), Professor John Aston and Dr Carola Schönlieb (University of Cambridge), Dr Marta Garcia-Finana (University of Liverpool), Professor Mark Girolami (Imperial College London) and Dr Mark Tarplee (EPSRC Healthcare Technologies Manager).

2 November 2016: Public involvement event - Using dramatic arts to communicate how mathematics can help us explain seizures and epilepsy

This half day workshop brought together mathematicians, actors and members of the public to explore ideas around the development a piece of theatre which depicts what is happening in the brain during seizures. Eight people with lived experience of epilepsy took part in the workshop, and were invited to share their ideas and personal experiences to explore how this could be presented in a way that is anchored in real world experiences.

It is hoped that the theatre production will increase public understanding of epilepsy and reduce the stigma for people living with epilepsy, and also communicate how the Centre is using mathematics to understand brain activity during seizures with the aim of developing methods for early diagnosis of epilepsy and prediction of seizures. It is planned that the theatre production will be showcased live in schools and at public science festivals and via a web-based film in 2017.

7-9 September 2016: BioDynamics Workshop 2016

The third international BioDynamics Workshop was designed to bring together biologists, mathematicians, clinicians, physicists, and computer scientists who are interested in dynamics and networks in the biological and medical sciences. It provided an opportunity for scientists to present both methods and data in a multidisciplinary forum and hear how interdisciplinary collaborations can provide major conceptual advances in our understanding of complex biomedical systems. The workshop boasted an exciting list of keynote speakers, including Professor Nick Talbot FRS (University of Exeter), Professor Peter Hunter FRS (University of Auckland), Professor Gareth Leng FRSE (University of Edinburgh), Dr Greg Worrell (Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, United States), Professor Angela McLean FRS (University of Oxford), and Professor Philip Ingham FRS, (Nanyang Technological University).

Read a full report about the workshop by Dr Wessel Woldman.

6 September 2016: Workshop on Transient Dynamics and Epilepsy

The Workshop on Transient Dynamics and Epilepsy was organised by one of the Centre's Research Fellows, Jennifer Creaser. It was a popular event and a range of mathematicians, computational neuroscientists and clinicians attended. Speakers were Mark Cook and Philippa Karoly from University of Melbourne, David Liley from Swinburn University of Technology, Adam Zeman and Jennifer Creaser from the University of Exeter. The talks were followed by a discussion on identifying mathematical challenges to studying epilepsy chaired by John Terry.

26 May 2016: Workshop on fast-slow systems

This workshop coincided with the visit of Professor Bernd Krausopf and Professor Hinke Osinga to the Centre: both visitors presented research talks on aspects of nonlinear dynamics of fast-slow systems. In addition, Professor Vadim Biktashev gave a presentation about his work on the numerical and asymptotic calculations of the motion of scroll waves in cardiac tissue. The workshop enabled Centre members and associated researchers to explore the state of the art in fast-slow nonlinear dynamical systems, as well seeing their importance in dynamical models of cardiac disease.

26 April 2016: Centre launch event

The EPSRC Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare celebrated it's official launch on Tuesday 26 April at the RILD building.

The event began with an introduction and overview from Professor John Terry about the work the Centre will be doing. Professor Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova gave a presentation on the links between maths and personalised healthcare and Professor Stafford Lightman spoke about timing and stress response. After the talks, attendees spent some time networking with one another over a drinks reception and some nibbles. The successful event was well attended by a diverse audience with interests in the Centre.

For those that were unable to attend, you can watch an Echo 360 recording of the presentations (including slides) and view an album of photos from the event.

20-22 April 2016: Workshop on synchronization and oscillators with generalized coupling

The aim of this research workshop was to discuss the state of the art with regard to the effect of generalised coupling (or phase interaction) functions and the emergent patterns of synchrony in coupled oscillator networks, with a particular emphasis to connections in mathematical neuroscience. The workshop was partly sponsored by the EU Marie Curie project GECO (the fellowship of Dr Christian Bick), partly by the EPSRC EPSRC Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare.

The invited speakers were: R Borisyuk (Plymouth), O Burylko (Kiev), A Daffertshofer (VU Amsterdam), M Field (IC London), G Huguet (Barcelona), Y Maistrenko (Kiev/TU Berlin), E Martens (Copenhagen), G Medvedev (Drexel), O Omelchenko (WIAS Berlin), M Porter (Oxford), T Stankovski (Lancaster) M Wolfrum (WIAS Berlin). Approximately 30 participants attended. The topics covered ranged from general theoretical results on network structures and dynamics, through emergent behaviour of coupled oscillators to applications in neuroscience and biological rhythms. There was a meal for the invited speakers on the Wednesday evening at the Café on the Exe. Plenty of opportunities were provided for informal interactions between speakers and participants.

The schedule of speakers and abstracts are available here.

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