Center for Applied Mathematics talk: ‘Modeling the Mechanics of Living Organisms’ is Wednesday

The CAM Colloquium Series introduces the University of St. Thomas community to a variety of problems, careers and professional activities involving applications of mathematics. The final presentation for fall 2007 is "Modeling the Mechanics of Living Organisms," presented by Dr. Magdalena Stolarska, assistant professor of mathematics at St. Thomas.

This colloquium will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, in 3M Auditorium, Owens Science Hall. Refreshments will be available at 2:45 p.m.

Stolarska gives this synopsis of her talk: "Living organisms are amazing in their complexity and function. However, the complexity makes their function extremely difficult to understand. Experiments can address only small components of a living organism’s internal machinery and, as a result, mathematical modeling is necessary to put the disparate experimental data together so that one can understand the big picture of how the organism works.

"In this talk I will discuss how mathematical modeling is used to understand living organisms. In particular, I will focus on modeling the growth and movement of single cells, vertebrate limb buds and cancerous tumors."

Stolarska joined the UST Mathematics Department in fall 2006 as an assistant professor. She was born in Poland but has lived in the United States for the majority of her life.

She received her B.S. (1997), M.S. (1999), and Ph.D. (2002) from the Department of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. Her dissertation work dealt with developing a numerical algorithm based on the level set method that simulates models of fatigue fracture.

As a postdoctoral associate at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, from 2002-2006, she changed her research direction and now focuses on mathematical modeling of the interaction of biochemical and biomechanical processes in tissues and single cells.

For more information on the CAM Colloquium Series, call (651) 962-5524 or visit the Center for Applied Mathematics Web site.