PSU Mark
Eberly College of Science Mathematics Department

Meeting Details

For more information about this meeting, contact Leonid Berlyand, Mark Levi, Alexei Novikov.

Title:Using Mathematics to Understand Biological Function
Seminar:Applied Analysis Seminar
Speaker:Jim Keener, Mathematics Department, University of Utah
Recent advances in biology have resulted in an explosion of information about the parts of biological organisms. The much larger remaining challenge is to understand how those parts work together to function at the level of a cell or a multicellular organism. The purpose of this talk is to give an introduction to the fascinating world of Mathematical Physiology, that is, how mathematical thinking and modeling can give insight into the ways in which biological systems work. Specifically, the goal is to show how two fundamental processes, namely molecular diffusion and chemical reaction are exploited by living organisms to accomplish a variety of important tasks. Perhaps more importantly, I will show that there are common mathematical features (i.e., transferable principles) that underlie apparently disparate biological phenomena. Specific biological examples that I will discuss include endosomal protein sorting, bacterial quorum sensing, calcium signaling, and acid pumping into the stomach. The equations that are used to describe all of these quite different processes are of diffusion-advection-reaction type and have similar mathematical features, which is why/how mathematicians can get involved in this endeavor. The necessary background for this talks includes some knowledge of ordinary and partial differential equations, although not at a technical level.

Room Reservation Information

Room Number:MB114
Date:02 / 14 / 2012
Time:04:00pm - 05:00pm