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Scientific Work Experience

From 15-16th January LML welcomed Rika Yoshitani and Yudai Yoshida from the Japanese School in London for a scientific work experience. On the first day the students were introduced to time series and learned to identify features such as trends and periodicities. They applied this knowledge to a simple pendulum experiment in which they recorded the periodic swinging motion using a high speed camera. From the recorded data they measured an acceleration due to gravity of 9.7m/s^2 — a surprisingly good value using a ball of plasticine on the end of a piece of string.

On the second day the students were introduced to networks. LML was fortunate to have Dr. Daisuke Shimaoka from UCL talk about his latest neuroscience research, in which he presented the state of the art in brain imaging. The day finished with a survey of empirical networks, ranging from foodwebs to school friendship networks.

Rika and Yudai were highly able and attentive students. They were also curious about the working life of scientists. Hopefully, LML was able to show them that scientific problem solving is not only intellectually engaging in itself, but also helps to organise our insights concerning the empirical regularities of the natural world.

The work experience would not have been possible without the initiative of LML’s external fellow, Dr. Yuzuru Sato, who liaised with the Japanese School in London, and Kumiko Sato, who provided language support for the students and was a constant reassuring presence throughout.

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