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Seminar on Indices (22 Dec. 07)

SIMO (Malta Observatory for Sustainability Indicators) in collaboration with the Islands and Small States Institute will be organising a seminar on: "Constructing a Composite Index: Benefits and Pitfalls" at the University Gozo Centre, Xewkija Gozo on Saturday 22 December 2007 between 1100hrs and 1630hrs, with a break for lunch. 

Members of Staff and students wishing to attend are to contact Ms Isabelle Vella on tel: 21344879 to reserve a place.

1100hrs:     Talk by Ms Nadia Farrugia and Professor Lino Briguglio on Composite Indicators, followed by discussion
1230hrs:     Lunch Break
Presentations by MA (ISSS) students, followed by discussion
1400hrs:     The Economic Vulnerability Index
1430hrs:     The Economic Resilience Index
1500hrs:     Coffee Break
1530hrs:     The Environmental Sustainability Index
1400hrs:     The Human Development Index
1630hrs:     End of Seminar


03 December 2007

Aspects of Social Policy (20 Dec. 07)

The students at the Institute of Public Administration and Management are organizing a 5-paper seminar on: Aspects of Social Policy scheduled for Thursday 20 December 2007 between 0900hrs and 1100hrs at Mount St Joseph, Targa Gap, Mosta. All papers will be 20 minutes each, giving plenty of time for comment and discussion. Dr Frances Camilleri-Cassar will chair the proceedings.

All are welcome. Refreshments will be served.

Kindly contact Ms Charmaine Pace on: 2340 2726 or email


07 December 2007

Blood Donation Campaign (19-20 Dec. 07)

The blood donation campaign will be held on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th December, from 0900hrs to 1400hrs, in the room behind canteen. MMSA's SCOPH (Standing Committee on Public Health) in collaboration with MKSU, are putting up a stand outside canteen, to give potential donors all the necessary information about the blood donation campaign.

Blood donors should bring their ID card along with them.

Anybody interested can also become an organ donor by filling out the forms available on the stand.


12 December 2007

Mathematics Research Seminar (19 Dec. 07)

As a continuation of the ongoing series of mathematics research seminars, on Wednesday, 19th December, Dr. Peter Borg (Department of Mathematics, Junior College) will be giving a talk entitled ``Extremal t-intersecting sub-families of hereditary families''. Details are given below. Everybody is encouraged to attend.

Speaker: Dr Peter Borg
Date and time: Wednesday, 19th December, 1430hrs
Place: Room 307, Maths and Physics Building

In this talk, we present a result (obtained recently by the speaker) that vastly generalises the classical Erdős-Ko-Rado (EKR) Theorem and that is related to one of the central and most notorious problems in combinatorial mathematics, the Chvátal Conjecture (1974).

A family (collection) F of sets is said to be hereditary if any subset of any set in F is in F (e.g. the power set of a set, a matroid, the family of independent sets of a graph, etc.). A family A is said to be t-intersecting if any two sets in A intersect in at least t elements. A t-intersecting family is said to be trivial if there exists a fixed set of size t that is contained in every set of the family. We say that F has the t-EKR property if at least one of the largest t-intersecting sub-families of F is trivial.

The Chvátal Conjecture says that if H is a finite hereditary family then H has the 1-EKR property. The conjecture does not generalise for t > 1. The intractability of the problem arises from the complete absence of symmetry in hereditary families. The author considered the problem for uniform sub-families of hereditary families, i.e. sub-families whose sets are of equal size r (called r-sets). Let μ(H) be the minimum size of a maximal set in H (a set in H that is not a subset of any other set in H). The result obtained is that for any integer s there exists an integer n0(s,t) such that, for any hereditary H with μ(H) ≥ n0(s,t) and any r ≤ s, the family of r-sets of H has the t-EKR property. The condition μ(H) > n0(s,t) cannot be removed.


13 December 2007

The Square Kilometre Array (19 Dec. 07)

The Department of Physics is organising a talk entitled 'The Square Kilometre Array: A marriage between Science and Engineering' by Dr Kristian Zarb Adami. The talk will be held on 19th December 2007 at 1400hrs in Room 216 Mathematics and Physics Building.

Abstract: The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is the next generation radio telescope and promises to be the largest astronomical instrument for the next forty years. With an operating frequency of 0.1-25 GHz and a collecting area of 1,000,000 square metres, the SKA will be 50 times more sensitive than the current telescopes. With its huge field-of-view it will be able to survey the sky more than 10,000 times faster than any existing instrument. The SKA will be a machine that will transform the way we currently look at the universe. It is being built by an international group representing more than 15 countries. Europe, the USA, Australia, China and South Africa are all part of this global effort to build a cutting edge instrument for the 21st Century.

This symposium will highlight the key science drivers and engineering challenges of this telescope. More importantly we will focus on the current SKA demonstrators being built in Europe and around the world. The symposium will end with a discussion of the possible contributions that the University of Malta could offer to secure a central role within the SKA community.

Click here for further details.


12 December 2007

Caravaggio Lecture (18 Dec. 07)

Dr Finaldi, a leading Scholar and Art Historian will give a public lecture on Caravaggio on 18 December ...

The Department of History of Art within the Faculty of Arts at the University of Malta will be rounding up its programme of prestigious extra curricula cultural events for the current calendar year with a lecture by the leading art historian and scholar Dr Gabriele Finaldi. Dr Finaldi, who is the currently Deputy Director of the famous El Prado Museum, Madrid, will be talking on paintings by Caravaggio and of Caravaggist inspiration in the El Prado collection. His lecture will be a fitting conclusion to the celebrations marking the four hundredth anniversary of the great artist’s productive Maltese period.

Dr Finaldi’s lecture will be take place on Tuesday, 18 December, at 1815hrs, in the Erin Serracino-Inglott Hall, at the University of Malta. Art lovers, collectors and connoisseurs as well as, the general public are cordially invited to attend.

Dr Finaldi enjoys a great international reputation in the art historical world as a leading luminary on Italian and Spanish paintings. Before joining the El Prado Museum he was, for a number of years, Curator of Later Italian and Spanish Paintings, at the National Gallery, London. His book The Image of Christ (National Gallery, London, 2000) published to accompany a major exhibition at the National Gallery, has been hailed as a major work on the subject.

Dr Finaldi is the recipient of prestigious fellowships and is a welcome visiting professor to major universities and art institutions where his numerous publications are used as textbooks.

He has also curated a number of major exhibitions culminating in the great Tintoretto exhibition at the El Prado in January of 2007, considered as the largest exhibition of the 16th century Italian painter in the past 70 years and one of the most significant shows of his work outside his native Venice.

The caption to the attached photograph should read: Dr Gabriele Finaldi inaugurating the great Goya Exhibition at the El Prado Museum.


07 December 2007

The European and Turkish Insurance Markets (18 Dec. 07)

The Department of Statistics & Operations Research wishes to invite you to a talk:
"The European and Turkish Insurance Markets" by Ayse Seda Bulbul and Yelda Kaynak from Haccettepe University, Turkey

Part A:   The European Insurance Market in 2004 and 2005.
i.   Premium
ii.  Investment
iii. Market Operators

Part B:   Turkish Insurance Market, 2003-2007
i.   Where is the Turkish insurance sector now?
ii.  Individual pension system of Turkey
iii. Life and non-life insurance

Date:    Tuesday, 18th December 2007
Time:    1500hrs
Venue:  Rm 606 Maths & Physics Bldg.

All university members of staff and students are cordially invited to attend.

For more details visit the website.


07 December 2007

The Music Hall Affair in 1930s Malta (18 Dec. 07)

Dr Paul Knepper, University of Sheffield will be delivering a public lecture on 18 December 2007 at 1100hrs in Room 122, Old Humanities Building on Campus. The event is being sponsored by the Institute of Forensic Studies. 

In 1932, London newspapers scandalised Malta's cabarets with allegations of prostitution and white slavery. Maltese authorities responded with a police enquiry to show that English women who came to Malta as artistes were well-treated―and they were. But sexual exploitation of foreign and Maltese women employed as artistes and barmaids did occur, and this was the story no one wanted to talk about.  Rather than confront the impact of colonial rule on society, British and Maltese authorities spotlighted the immoral character of the women.


12 December 2007

Reading the Megaliths (17 Dec. 07)

The next talk in the “Literature and Comparison Research Seminar Series” will take place on Monday 17 December at 1800hrs in the Gateway Building, Hall E. The speaker will be Peter B Lloyd, who is the author of three books and a number of chapters in anthologies. These include Exegesis of the Matrix (2003) and his chapter “Glitches in the Matrix” in the popular anthology Taking the Red Pill: Science, Religion, and Philosophy in the Matrix. He recently organized the conference Metageum 07, which brought to Malta international experts working on multidisciplinary perspectives on Neolithic temples.

The following is the abstract for Peter B Lloyd’s talk:
Prehistoric megalithic structures are particularly interesting as they are artefacts of technically advanced cultures for which we have no written records. Different academic constituencies have their own idioms in which to read the stones. Archaeologists claim a privileged reading, but it is one that can exclude all reference to subjectivity. Artists, novelists, musicians and film-makers, read the stones in other idioms, and they bring to their reading a humanistic subjectivity. Neo-pagans read the stones differently again, and bring a sacred subjectivity to their reading. As a lithic 'text' for reading, prehistoric stone structures retain a potency that they have been given since their conscious rediscovery in the eighteenth century.

We may say that if the megalith builders could be transported through time and stand face-to-face before us, and speak in plain English, we would still have no idea what their intentions were, as their worldview would be so disconnected from ours, and we would have no common ground from which to build meaning. It is this intrinsic incomprehension that allows writers and film-makers to use ancient stone circles as a signifier of the absolute Other. Thus Stanley Kubrick, in 2001 A Space Odyssey/, could use the black monolith as a code for an unknowably alien mind. And Nigel Kneale, in his Quatermass film, could use Stonehenge as a code for an alien intelligence that crosses the unfathomable vastness of inter-galactic space in order to enjoy the scent of human bodies. Before these film-makers, Thomas Hardy could use the altar stone of Stonehenge as a place of symbolic sacrifice for Tess of the D'Urbevilles, to imply the alienness of primeval human emotion as seen by the rigid society of Victorian England.

Through these and other examples, Peter B. Lloyd’s paper will examine how megalithic structures have acquired their potent and uncanny ambiguity and how this is constructed in literature and film.


14 December 2007

Seeking Wisdom through Entertainment (14 Dec. 07)

"…a one-night stand that happened twice …"

Ever watched a movie and thought there was more to it but didn’t get the opportunity, or time, to discuss it further? Or maybe there was no one to speak to about it or who was interested in listening? Well here’s your opportunity to help us develop the idea of a movie forum for those people out there interested in both movies and discussion.

We will be holding a trial-run
next Friday 14th December
at 1915hrs
in the KSU Vodafone Common Room (Red Room)
and would like to see you and to get your feedback and improve this event before launching it next year .

The Film…

The movie to be screened first will be ‘Lantana’, with a brief introduction by Dr Gloria Lauri-Lucente (lecturer, movie expert and movie lover above all!). A thought provoking film that is touching and awe inspiring; an excellent script complimented by a great cast and superb directorship. Winner of the Australian Film Institute top awards, including best picture, best director, best actress, best actor, best supporting actress and, best supporting actor, it is a story of betrayal, loss, trust, love, deceit, marriage and mystery.

So come, bring your friends along and start your weekend with us. Help us get this idea rolling! And if that isn’t enticing enough … some light refreshments will also be served after.

See you there!



07 December 2007


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