The first part of this article is an informal introduction to the representation theory of the symmetric group, which is intended for the working mathematician who knows no representation theory. In the second part we explain, more generally, how representation theory can be used to study symplectic quotient singularities. Namely, one can use representation theory to decide when these singular spaces admit crepant resolutions.
Representation Theory and Symplectic Quotient Singularities
The effects of language frequency on adults knowledge of the Welsh plural s...
The effects of language frequency on adults knowledge of the Welsh plural system
The aim of this study was to investigate the role of quality and quantity of linguistic input (i.e. to what extent are individuals exposed to a language from different sources during their lives) on Welsh-English bilingual adults’ acquisition of the Welsh plural system. Previous research found differences between bilingual children from different language backgrounds. While it is possible to reduce the difference with an increase in exposure to the language, however, when the structures are complex how quickly (if at all) can any difference be reduced, especially when the system is used inconsistently across adults. However, to what extent these differences reduce is unclear, as no research has been conducted on individuals over age 11. The aim of the study was to assess Welsh-English bilingual adults’ abilities to create plural words in Welsh, in order to trace the extent the differences seen between children have reduced over time.
This leaf: the nature, origins and purposes of leaf colours
The state of the environment and the passage of time are reflected in the changing colours of the plants around us. Chlorophyll, the green pigment of leaves, captures the energy of sunlight that drives photosynthesis and powers the biosphere. The disappearance of chlorophyll from autumn leaves reveals the yellows and oranges of another family of plant pigments, the carotenoids. Carotenoids protect plants from stresses and are also responsible for the colours of many flowers and fruits. In autumn, the leaves of species such as maples make red and purple anthocyanins, which are members of a diverse family of pigments and defence chemicals. Plants use pigments to send signals to pollinators, dispersers and predators, among which are humans, who have a special physiological and psychological responsiveness to the plant chemistry that colours our world.
The learner’s voice: The experiences of adults learning Welsh in north Wale...
The learner’s voice: The experiences of adults learning Welsh in north Wales
This paper discusses an ambitious study of adult learners of Welsh in north Wales. Over 1,000 people have taken part in the project, which is studying the experiences of learners throughout the region over a period of three years. This is the most comprehensive study of its kind in the field. The work is led by the North Wales Welsh for Adults Centre and the ESRC Centre for Bilingualism Research at Bangor University. Between September 2008 and August 2010, two questionnaires were distributed to beginners on all north Wales providers’ courses. The results of those questionnaires are discussed below, including aspects such as the learners’ background, their reasons for learning Welsh, their experiences during their course and their satisfaction with the provision. The history of Welsh for Adults is outlined and the research is set in the context of language revitalization and planning in Wales and beyond.
The effect of language on physical rehabilitation: A study of the influence...
The effect of language on physical rehabilitation: A study of the influence of language on the effectiveness o...
In an area of Wales where 50% of the population is bilingual one community physical rehabilitation service had no Welsh-speaking therapists. An internationally standardised outcome measure was used to assess the effectiveness of rehabilitation in this area. This revealed that Welsh speaking patients had significantly poorer results from rehabilitation than non-Welsh speakers (p<0.05), while there was no significant difference where the therapists were bilingual. The results suggest that therapists’ ability to speak patients’ first language impacts on therapy effectiveness. The percentage of individuals who could speak Welsh referred (by health or social care professionals) was compared with the percentage of Welsh speakers which would have been anticipated given the percentage in the general population. Significantly fewer Welsh speakers were referred to the rehabilitation service than the anticipated percentage (p<0.001). Whilst this suggests professionals’ inability to speak Welsh may impact negatively on access to services for Welsh speakers, there may be other multifactorial psycho-social reasons to consider.
Welsh as a job requirement: An acceptable step from a liberal perspective?
Policies introduced to revive the prospects of minority languages have often been the source of substantial disquiet. At times, objections to these policies are expressed in moral terms, with certain measures being accused of transgressing normative principles such as individual freedom and equal opportunity. Given their nature, these moral objections pose interesting questions for liberals. Therefore, how should liberals respond? This article will explore this question by focusing on one controversial aspect of language policy in Wales: the steps taken to set Welsh-language requirements for some jobs in the public sector. This is a practice which has generated substantial debate, with opponents claiming that it undermines the liberal commitment to equality of opportunity in the field of employment and, in particular, transgresses the principle of appointing on the basis of merit. Do such arguments stand up to scrutiny? Do minority language requirements in the field of employment go beyond what liberals would consider acceptable, or can a coherent defence that is clearly rooted within a liberal framework be developed?
The sun's corona: A study of the structure of the sun's atmosphere
The knowledge we have about the sun’s corona is based on observations made from afar. It is impossible, therefore, to speculate about the three-dimensional structure of the corona directly. This article outlines the history of the study of the structure of the corona, and describes new techniques which for the first time enable us to know the structure of the corona in detail. A description is given of the change in the structure over the life cycle of the sun, together with new information about the connection between the magnetic field and coronal density and new results concerning the rotation rates of the corona. The results show that knowledge about the corona can be greatly increased by applying new tomography techniques, enabling and stimulating further studies of the corona in years to come.
The expansion of solar active regions into space
The Sun’s complex magnetic field permeates through the photosphere (the Sun’s surface) and into the corona (the Sun’s atmosphere). New magnetic fluxes arise from the photosphere in the form of closed loops which expand into the corona. This is a typical process of coronal active regions which creates and replenishes the coronal field. Magnetic field and plasma (energetic ionised gas) are transported through the corona and flow with the solar wind into the heliosphere (the region of space influenced by the Sun including the solar system). Transportation of this kind is seen during explosive events from the Sun. According to current thinking, the only transport of material from the closed field of active regions is through eruptive events, so in the absence of eruptions the active region plasma is isolated from the solar wind. This article presents evidence to the contrary. The observations show the first evidence of the direct, quiescent expansion of active region closed field into the extended corona without an eruption, thus forming an important part of the solar wind. The evidence is gained through the application of new image processing techniques to coronagraph observations. The observations are presented, and their implications are discussed in the context of the current model of Sun-heliospheric connections.
The geomorphology of Wales’s rivers: Today, yesterday and tomorrow
This paper presents a review of the fluvial geomorphology research undertaken on Wales’ rivers. As well as discussing trends seen in these studies, by firstly focussing on the work of geologists of the late nineteenth century, and by progressing through the development of geomorphology as a research field to the present interdisciplinary period, the fields that have received particular attention on Welsh rivers are discussed. These include the evolution of the mega-geomorphology of Wales, innovative process studies, the evolution of alluvial fluvial systems to short- and long-term climatic changes, and the response of Welsh rivers to anthropogenic activity.
This range of studies is a result of the nature of Welsh fluvial systems. Firstly, they display an evolutionary history including glacial periods and rejuvenation. Secondly, contemporary processes have created a wide range of channel types, including bedrock channels, gravel bed rivers, meandering, braided, stable and unstable channels. Thirdly, academic interest and pragmatic concerns regarding river management have led to a large body of work that has, in some cases, led to many reaches on Welsh rivers being classed as international archetypes. Gaps in our knowledge are also discussed. These include the need to increase our understanding of contemporary process and to continue the work done on alluvial response and evolution through using the latest techniques to constrain the chronology of fluvial system development. There is a need to extend the spatial scope of our studies to areas which have not received as much attention in the past such as the bedrock and mixed bedrock-alluvial channels of the north-west and the south Wales valleys.
A critical evaluation of the morality of international sport
In this paper we challenge the idea that nationalism in general, and sporting displays of nationalism in particular, are morally problematic. Whilst sporting displays of nationalism are often accompanied by ethnocentric and jingoistic tendencies, it does not follow that such competition is inherently problematic. By drawing on liberal nationalist philosophy, we argue that accepting and celebrating particular cultural and national ties represent a fundamental step towards encouraging an international and cosmopolitan mindset. Moreover, we argue that international sport has significant potential in stimulating meaningful cultural conversations, both within and between national communities.
Implications of changes in the age profiles of Welsh speakers
Aitchison and Carter’s analyses of the Census over the last decades have succeeded in making the main trends concerning the spatial distribution of Welsh known to everyone with an interest in the future of the language. Even so, some aspects remain unexamined. This paper is an attempt to give a different view of the trends by presenting a number of new analyses. In the first part, language production between 1991 and 2001 that is the effect of the education system, is examined. It is shown that the introduction of the National Curriculum in Gwent led to the biggest changes. In the second part, the geographical distribution of Welsh-speakers is looked at, especially those areas where more than 70% could speak Welsh. Some indices are introduced in order to quantify the situation and to explain the significance of those areas. Lastly, the implications of spatial distribution (or social network) to the use of Welsh is discussed by consideration of a little probability theory.
Ideology and aesthetics in the drama movement
This paper examines the background and underlying assumptions involved in a public debate between Dr Kate Roberts and Dr Thomas Parry which was conducted in the columns of the Genedl newspaper in the early nineteen thirties. The subject of the debate was the policy governing the selection of plays for the annual performance of the Bangor students’ Welsh Drama Society. Since its ground breaking production of Ifor Wiliams’s translation of A Dolls House in 1926 the annual Bangor drama production had come to be seen as an event of considerable importance in the programme of the Drama Movement in Wales. However, the author of the article suggests that analysis of the aesthetic and cultural assumptions of the two authors – themselves figures of central importance at the time – raises issues of wider importance than the Drama movement itself, which continue to affect academic and cultural debate today.