Middlesex University Dubai Students met Dr. Amit Garg who visited the campus and gave a wonderful demonstration of the power of the human mind!
Dr. Amit is a Guiness World Record holder in mathematics, having set the record for the fastest time for calculation of a set of complex computational tasks involving large numbers.
The first part of the talk was a demonstration of this record breaking feat. He invited members of the audience to come on to the stage and come up with large numbers for specific computational tasks like multiplication and square roots. He went to compute these with nothing more than a pen and the drawing board and came up with the answers in times ranging from 5 seconds to 1.5 minutes. The most amazing feat was when he calculated the square root of 5 digit numbers in under 6 seconds. The answers were checked by a couple of volunteers who confirmed the results on the computer.
Dr. Amit then went on to talk about the use of applied mathematics in areas ranging from logistics to healthcare mainly as a tool to optimise processes and get the maximum efficiencies. The students were given a taste of the various kinds of problems that Dr. Amit had encountered over his 10 years of work as a consultant with various clients. The problems described ranged from optimal office locations to decisions on choosing the patient to receive a kidney for transplant. The optimisation process was described as also the trade-off between working for the ideal solution taking a significant amount of time and resources or choosing a quick but approximate solution. The talk ended with a quick question answer session where many queries were raised. One thing most of the audience wanted to know was how Dr. Amit did these calculations and how he did it so fast. He answered the questions patiently and also offered to guide them if anyone had any further questions. It was a truly inspiring talk.
The talk was arranged by Dr. Fehmida Hussain, Head of the Computer Engineering & Informatics (CEI) department at Middlesex University Dubai. She was assisted by Santhosh Menon, Madhumita Das, Jeni Pilling and Vanja Grdinic from the Marketing Department in organising the event.