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CAIMS 2017 – Public Lecture
July 18, 2017
Speaker: Chad Topaz, Williams College
Schools of fish, flocks of birds, herds of mammals, and even colonies of bacteria all show behavior we call ‘swarming’, but these groups are difficult to understand biologically and mathematically. I will give an overview of how social and biological interactions lead to swarming behavior. I will also discuss how mathematical modeling (describing the real world with mathematics) can be used to study locust swarms, which are the most massive and destructive swarms on Earth. Swarming is related to many phenomena of collective behavior in nature and society, where seemingly independent objects — like neurons, metronomes, and even people — start to act in the same way. This public lecture will be interactive and accessible; no technical knowledge is required.