Zoomposium 16: 16 February 2021

Published: 11 February 2021

Dr MU NIU: Nonparametric regression on manifolds of point clouds and Modelling group animal movement' Dr GIORGOS GEORGIOU: 'THz Qubits for Quantum Nano-Electronics’' Dr MARIA CHIARA BRAIDOTTI: ‘Photonic waves for fundamental physical studies’

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Dr Mu Niu, School of Mathematics and Statistics 

'Nonparametric regression on manifolds of point clouds and Modelling group animal movement'

I joined the University as a Lecturer in Statistics in 2019. My research interests centre on (1) Gaussian processes on implicit manifolds embedded in point clouds, (2) Modelling group animal movement with behaviour switching. In many applications such as optimisation in drug design and image processing, the support of the data or the point cloud is concentrated on an unknown manifold. In environmental sciences, data may be collected in a spatial domain but restricted to a complex geographic feature. We develop a class of intrinsic Gaussian processes (GPs) for regression on manifolds. The key features of the intrinsic GP are to incorporate fully the intrinsic geometry of the spaces for inference while respecting the potentially complex boundary or interior constraints. In the second topic, we develop the method for modelling collective movement in continuous time with behavioural switching, motivated by simultaneous tracking of animals. Each individual in the group is at times attracted to a unobserved leading point. The behavioural state of each individual can switch between `following' and `independent'. This method is applied to model a group of simultaneously tracked reindeer.  

I am keen to collaborate with colleagues from ecology, computing, mathematics, medicine, environmental sciences and more general areas. 


Dr Giorgos Georgiou, James Watt School of Engineering

‘THz Qubits for Quantum Nano-Electronics’

My work is focused on high frequency quantum nano-electronics. More specifically, I am investigating the generation, detection and manipulation of flying qubits in 2-dimensional solid state systems. These electron qubits are normally generated using off-the-shelf RF electronics with a typical time duration of about ~100ps. My vision is to push the technology boundaries and generate qubits with 1ps time duration, i.e. THz qubits. The advantage of these high frequency qubits is twofold. Firstly, from a technological perspective, we can perform more quantum operations on the flying qubit while it travels. Additionally, from a fundamental research point of view the generation of picosecond electron wavefunctions can allow us to study real-time quantum mechanical effects.


Dr Maria Chiara Braidotti, School of Physics and Astronomy

‘Photonic waves for fundamental physical studies’

My research interests lie at the crossing of the fields of photonics and gravitation to investigate fundamental physical questions, as the amplification of waves from rotation, recently predicted both in optical systems and superconducting circuits. My expertise lies in photonic experiments and also in theoretical studies and numerical simulation of photonics systems and superfluids, or more in general electromagnetic systems. My research is highly interdisciplinary opening to the possibility of collaborations to anyone who has expertise and interests in (but not limited to!): 

  • Superconducting technology as for e.g. SC circuits 
  • Gravitational processes, both classical and at a quantum level 
  • Thermal waves  

Currently I am aiming at a fully funded fellowship and grants that would help me in carrying on my research vision.  


First published: 11 February 2021