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CAIMS/AARMS Public Lecture

Speaker: Chad Topaz,  Williams College
Time/room: Tuesday, July 18, at 5:15 Potter Auditorium, Rowe Building, Dalhousie University, Halifax

Followed by reception and poster session.

Title: Public lecture: Swarms, Models, and the Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics
Abstract: 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.

Biography. Professor of Mathematics Chad Topaz (A.B. Harvard, Ph.D. Northwestern) is an applied mathematician at Williams College. A versatile investigator, Chad examines problems in biology, chemistry, physics, and the social sciences through several lenses, including data science, modeling, analysis, topology, geometric dynamical systems, numerical simulation, and experiment… all with an eye towards understanding and predicting complex behavior. Passionate about scientific communication and discourse, Chad has delivered over 100 talks at colleges, universities, and scientific meetings, and has co-organized numerous interdisciplinary minisymposia and workshops on chemical reaction diffusion systems, biological swarming, agent-based models, and related topics. His honors include a New Directions Research Professorship at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (the first given to a liberal arts college faculty member), a Kavli Frontiers Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences, a Board of Trustees Award from Macalester College, and the 2013 Outstanding Paper Award of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Chad’s teaching career is built on an intense passion for human learning, scrupulous attention to learners’ needs and challenges, and the belief that education is both an art and a science. An avid follower of scholarly research in education studies and educational psychology, he has won UCLA’s Robert Sorgenfrey Distinguished Teaching Award in mathematics and Macalester College’s Rossmann Excellence in Teaching Award. One of Chad’s greatest fulfillments has been the melding of his teaching and research lives in the sphere of undergraduate research. He has advised nearly 100 capstone, independent study, honors, and summer research experiences, with over 40% of these for women and members of other underrepresented groups.

Mitacs and AARMS Partner to Support Internships between Academia and Industry

Mitacs, a national not-for-profit research and training organization, and AARMS have partnered to see graduate and postdoctoral researchers solve challenges using mathematical sciences in collaboration with industry and not-for-profit organizations.

More information about our new partnership is available here.




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AARMS-CMS Student Poster Award

AARMS is proud to sponsor a $1000 award for the best student poster presenter at the CMS Summer and Winter Meetings

Winners of the AARMS-CMS award are listed below:

  • Winter 2017 – Farinaz Forouzannia (University of Waterloo)
  • Winter 2016 – Emilia Alvarez (Concordia University)
  • Summer 2016 – Harry Richman (University of Michigan)
  • Winter 2015 – José Manuel Rodriguez Caballero (Université du Québec à Montréal)
  • Summer 2015 – Christopher Van Bommel (University of Victoria)
  • Winter 2014 – Alessio Sammartano (Purdue)
  • Summer 2014 – Marco Pérez (Université du Québec à Montréal)
  • Winter 2013 – Darcy Best (Lethbridge)
  • Summer 2013 – Svenja Huntemann (Dalhousie)
  • Winter 2012 – Behrang Forghani (Ottawa)
  • Summer 2012 – Alison Purdy (Regina)
  • Winter 2011 – Termeh Kousha (Ottawa)
  • Summer 2011 – Phillipe Gaudreau (Alberta, Capmus Saint-Jean)
  • Winter 2010 – Peter Bell (UBC)

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