November 1, 2018 at 11:50 pm

Mathematics Seminar | What’s Life? Nov. 1

Dr. Qiliang Wu, portrait

Dr. Qiliang Wu

The Undergraduate Mathematics Seminar series features Dr. Qiliang Wu discussing “What’s Life?” on Thursday, Nov. 1, from 5:15 to 6:10 p.m. in Morton 322.

Wu is Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Ohio University.

Abstract: If you are asked to give a definition of life, what would be your answer? With your definition, can you identify life on other worlds? Life might be too complicated to give a rigorous and convincing definition that satisfies everyone, which is one of the reasons why it is so fascinating. In this talk, we are not going to answer this ultimate question (sorry!), but we will talk about life phenomena that are more tractable—pattern formation. More specifically, we will focus on two topics: How do zebras get their stripes? How do cell membranes get their shapes and keep from bursting into pieces? Interesting mathematical models and analysis related to these topics will be introduced, including the reaction-diffusion model and calculus of variation technique.

Talks in this seminar series are designed to be accessible to undergraduate mathematics majors, but all are welcome to attend. See more about this seminar series.

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