Hello SUMS members, Apologies again for the lateness. I was planning on sending this on the weekend. However, such tasks become difficult when one does not have access to a computer. Anyway, this week we have a talk. By Alex Hoare. On sexually transmitted infections among homosexual men. Since I cannot possibly give a description that gives this topic justice, Alex has kindly provided a (very long) abstract: "What is the Gay Matrix? Part 2 of A. Hoares guide to STIs: Analysing a syphilis epidemic among gay men using individual-based modeling Ladies and gentleman, prepare to replace your pure hats with a much more useful applied one ;). We shall shift from the intricate world of the p=np problem where you can win a million dollars, and go to the world of mathematical biology where you can help more than a million people (and also make millions of dollars, big pharma FTW‼). Just one of the many problems that we try and tackle is syphilis. Most developed nations have experienced a recent increase in syphilis infections, most notably in the gay male population. Australia is no different and has also witnessed a dramatic increase, which has prompted the planning of strategies to combat this epidemic. To help evaluate those strategies, we developed an individual-based model simulating syphilis transmission within the gay male population of Melbourne. We then use the model to simulate a number of intervention strategies to help reduce syphilis transmission. These include: modifying testing rates, focusing on specific at-risk groups, and contact-tracing. Which strategy works the best? Which one crashes and burns? Come along and find out!" I DID say it was long. But don’t worry, the talk won’t be too long. It will, however, be good. Talk: What is the Gay Matrix? Speaker: Alex Hoare Location: Carslaw 452 Date/Time: Wednesday, May 20, 1-2pm I hope to see you there! SUMS President.