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NIMBioS Seminar Series

In conjunction with the interdisciplinary activities of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), a seminar series on topics in mathematical biology will be hosted at NIMBioS every other Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) in the Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd. Seminar speakers will focus on their research initiatives at the interface of mathematics and many areas of the life sciences. Light refreshments will be served in Room 205 beginning 30 minutes before each talk. Faculty and students from across the UT community are welcome to join us.

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. Shipman photo.

Speaker: Dr. Patrick Shipman, Mathematics, Colorado State Univ.

Time/Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 3:30 p.m.*

Location: Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.

Topic: Counterdiffusion in biological and atmospheric systems

Abstract: In topochemically organized, nanoparticulate experimental systems, vapor diffuses and convects to form spatially defined reaction zones. In these zones, a complex sequence of catalyzed proton-transfer, nucleation, growth, aggregation, hydration, charging processes, and turbulence produce rings, tubes, spirals, pulsing crystals, oscillating fronts and patterns such as Liesegang rings. We call these beautiful 3-dimensional structures microtornadoes, microstalagtites, and microhurricanes and make progress towards understanding the mechanisms of their formation with the aid of mathematical models. This analysis carries over to the study of similar structures in protein crystallization experiments and the formation of periodic structures in plants.

Dr. Patrick Shipman is an associate professor of mathematics at Colorado State University. He earned a PhD in mathematics at The University of Arizona in 2008, applying the modern theory of pattern formation and ideas from number theory to understand how biochemical and biomechanical mechanisms interact to form patterns, such as Fibonacci spirals, on plants. He was an NSF postdoctoral fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, in Leipzig, Germany and at the University of Maryland-College Park. His current research interests include nanoscale pattern formation, topological data analysis, models of nucleation and growth, and conformal maps.

*Join us for refreshments at 3 p.m.

Seminar Flyer (pdf)

For more information about this and other NIMBioS Seminars, visit

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NIMBioS is supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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