May 8

Mathematics Colloquium

Chad Higdon-Topaz, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Macalester College will be giving a talk. See abstract and title above.

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
4:00 – 5:00 pm / CMC 206

Patterns, Swarms, and the Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics

From fish schools to zebra stripes to fluid waves, the world is full of patterns that form spontaneously. I will discuss natural pattern formation from the point of view of mathematical modeling highlighting how minimal models can effectively -- and perhaps surprisingly -- describe real pattern-forming phenomena. As an extended example, I will discuss biological aggregations, which are arguably some of the most common and least understood patterns in nature. More specifically, I will present work performed with undergraduate students on modeling locust swarms with high-dimensional systems of nonlinear differential equations.

Sponsored by Mathematics. Contact: Sue Jandro, x4360