2013  
Dr. Joseph Watkins Department of Mathematics & Interdisciplinary Program in Statistics University of Arizona Thursday OCTOBER 17, 2013 12:30pm1:30pm (Refreshments at 12:00pm) Kraemer Family Library 3rd Floor Apse 
Secrets From Deep Human History 
ABSTRACT: Spectacular advances in the technologies that produce genetic data and continued advancement in probability theory and statistical inference have combined to dramatically alter our understanding of deep human history. For example, the sequencing of ancient DNA from Neanderthal bones in Croatia and in Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains came with new inferential strategies that led to the finding of their genetic signatures in modern humans. In this talk, we will explore the extent to which similar events took place in Africa where we have not yet found any ancient human remains to be sequenced. Comparisons with primate genomes provide a second look at deep human history. Thus, we will spend a few minutes to introduce the steps our group is taking to examine how evolutionary pressures have impacted the human genome. 

Students are encouraged to participate! Event poster can be found HERE 

2012


Mathematics and the Ocean


ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Jerry L. Bona received his PhD in 1971 from Harvard University under supervision of Garrett Birkhoff and then worked at the Fluid Mechanics Research Institute at University of Essex. Subsequently he was faculty member at the University of Chicago, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Texas at Austin, before joining the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is wellknown for his contributions to the fields of fluid mechanics, partial differential equations and computational math and has been active in other branches of pure and applied mathematics, ocean engineering and economics. ABSTRACT: Describing various aspects of the Earth's oceans using mathematics goes back to the 17th century. Some of the world's greatest mathematicians and physicists have been involved in this enterprise. The lecture will begin with a cursory sketch of some of the more important milestones in the mathematics of the ocean. We will then move on to indicate briefly an example taken from water wave theory of how mathematical models are created. We then turn to some of the more spectacular applications of the theory. This will involve us in tsunami propagation, rogue waves and nearshore zone sand bars and beach protection, as time permits. Event poster can be found HERE 



2010


Dr. William L. Kath A video of this lecture 
Computational Modeling of Neurons 

ABSTRACT: With its approximately 100 billion neurons and 200 trillion connections, the human central nervous system is astoundingly complex. Nevertheless, experimental advances are rapidly revealing new insights about the workings of neurons and the networks in which they are connected. Simultaneously, computational models of neurons have grown swiftly in terms of both their capability and utility. When constrained by experimental data, such models greatly enhance the observations and provide tools to construct new experimentally testable predictions. In this talk I will describe how this twopronged approach has helped explain some of the function of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, a group of principal cells in a region of the brain that is important for the formation of new memories. The models and experiments indicate that these relatively large neurons integrate and process their inputs in a twostage manner, in that they first combine inputs in localized parts of the dendritic tree before making an ultimate determination whether or not to signal downstream neurons with an action potential. ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Bill Kath is a professor in the Departments of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics & Neurobiology and Physiology. From 20052010 he was the CoDirector of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems at Northwestern University. His research interests include computational neuroscience, nonlinear optics, linear and nonlinear wave propagation and nonlinear dynamics. He received the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1985, was elected a Fellow of the Optical Society of America in 2007, and elected a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in 2010. He has over 150 peer reviewed publication and 4 US patents. Event poster can be found HERE 

2009


Dr. Mark J. Ablowitz 
Extraordinary Waves: From Beaches to Lasers 

