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NIMBioS Seminar Series

Species montage. 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. Seminar speakers will focus on their research initiatives at the interface of mathematics and many areas of the life sciences.

NIMBioS and the Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC) host a series of seminars on topics related to social complexity. DySoC/NIMBioS seminars are monthly on Mondays at 3:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

The Spatial Analysis Lab (SAL) at NIMBioS hosts a series of seminars focusing on the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) at UTK. The format is a casual brown bag lunch (12:15-1:15 p.m.) with a short talk, followed by a question and answer period.

Location (unless otherwise noted): Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd. Light refreshments will be served in Room 206 beginning 30 minutes before each talk (with the exception of SAL lunch-time seminars). Faculty and students from across the UT community are welcome to join us. The schedule will be supplemented as additional speakers are added.

Live-stream icon. Most seminars are live streamed and recorded.

Video Archive of Seminars
Archived Seminar Calendars:   2018   2017   2016   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010   2009

Date Speaker Topic
Upcoming Seminars
  April 2019
Apr 11
Thu 1-2:30
Krithi K. Karanth, Executive Director, Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore; Assoc. Conservation Scientist, Wildlife Conservation Society, New York; Adjunct Asst. Professor, Duke Univ. Living with Wildlife: Insights from conservation research, technology and education programs in India
Location: Toyota Auditorium (room 103), Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, 1640 Cumberland Ave.
Apr 16
Tue 12:40
Canceled due to travel cancellations.
Mary Ann Horn, Mathematics and Statistics, Case Western Reserve Univ.
Using mathematical modeling to understand the role of diacylglycerol (DAG) as a second messenger
Apr 25
Thu 3:30
Michele Gelfand, Psychology, Univ. of Maryland DySoC/NIMBioS Seminar. Rule makers, rule breakers: How tight and loose cultures wire our world.
Location: Strong Hall Auditorium 101
Sep 10
Tues 3:30
Jeremy Van Cleve, Biology, Univ. of Kentucky DySoC/NIMBioS Seminar. Topic: TBA
  Past Seminars – Spring 2019
  January 2019
Jan 22
Tues 3:30
Oleg Manaev, Political Science, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; DySoC Video icon. DySoC/NIMBioS Seminar. Reshaping social structure for legitimation of power in resurgent autocracy: The case of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine
  February 2019
Feb 1
Fri 12:15
Shuai Li, Civil and Environmental Engineering, UTK. Spatial Analysis Lab (SAL) at NIMBioS Brown Bag Seminar Series UAS@UTK: Drones for Research: Drones for civil engineering
Feb 14
Thu 3:30
Frans B. M. de Waal, Living Links, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory Univ., Atlanta, USA, and Utrecht Univ., the Netherlands DySoC/NIMBioS Seminar: Animal emotions and empathy
Location: Strong Hall Auditorium 101
  March 2019
Mar 25
Mon 3:30
Stephanie A. Bohon, Assoc. Director of the Center for the Study of Social Justice; Sociology, Univ. of Tennessee Video icon. DySoC/NIMBioS Seminar. Structural conditions of police-involved killings in the United States

Seminar Abstracts:

M. Gelfand photo. Time/Date: Thursday, April 25, 2019, 3:30 p.m.*
Location: Strong Hall Auditorium 101
Speaker: Michele Gelfand, Psychology, Univ. of Maryland
Topic: Rule makers, rule breakers: How tight and loose cultures wire our world.
Abstract: Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland Michele Gelfand will discuss her new book, Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World. Her pioneering research into cultural norms has been cited thousands of times in the academic press, and has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, Harvard Business Review, and on NPR, among other outlets. As a cultural psychologist, Dr. Gelfand takes us on an epic journey through human cultures, offering a startling new view of the world and ourselves. With a mix of brilliantly conceived studies and surprising on-the-ground discoveries, she shows that much of the diversity in the way we think and act derives from a key difference—how tightly or loosely we adhere to social norms. Why are clocks in Germany so accurate while those in Brazil are frequently wrong? Why do New Zealand's women have the highest number of sexual partners? Why are "Red" and "Blue" States really so divided? Why is the driver of a Jaguar more likely to run a red light than the driver of a plumber's van? Why does one spouse prize running a "tight ship" while the other refuses to "sweat the small stuff?" In search of a common answer, Gelfand has spent two decades conducting research in more than fifty countries. Across all age groups, family variations, social classes, businesses, states and nationalities, she's identified a primal pattern that can trigger cooperation or conflict. Her fascinating conclusion: behavior is highly influenced by the perception of threat. She discusses the tight-loose trade-off of order and openness and how it applies to everything from parenting to politics. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf).


M. Horn photo. Seminar is canceled due to travel cancellations.
Time/Date: 12:40 p.m. Tuesday, April 16.
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Mary Ann Horn, Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Case Western Reserve Univ.
Topic: Using mathematical modeling to understand the role of diacylglycerol (DAG) as a second messenger
Abstract: Diacylgylcerol (DAG) plays a key role in cellular signaling as a second messenger. In particular, it regulates a variety of cellular processes and the breakdown of the signaling pathway that involves DAG contributes to the development of a variety of diseases, including cancer. A mathematical model of the G-protein signaling pathway in RAW 264.7 macrophages downstream of P2Y6 activation by the ubiquitous signaling nucleotide uridine 5'-diphosphate is presented. The primary goal is to better understand the role of diacylglycerol in the signaling pathway and the underlying biological dynamics that cannot always be easily measured experimentally. The model is based on time-course measurements of P2Y6 surface receptors, inositol trisphosphate, cytosolic calcium, and with a particular focus on differential dynamics of multiple species of diacylglycerol. When using the canonical representation, the mathematical model predicted that key interactions were missing from the current pathway structure. Indeed, the model suggested that to accurately capture experimental observations, an additional branch to the signaling pathway needed to be incorporated, whereby an intracellular pool of diacylglycerol is immediately phosphorylated upon stimulation of an extracellular receptor for uridine 5'-diphosphate and subsequently used to aid replenishment of phosphatidylinositol. As a result of sensitivity analysis of the model parameters, predictions can be made regarding which of these parameters are the most sensitive to perturbations and are therefore most responsible for output uncertainty. (Joint work with Hannah Callender, Univ. of Portland, and the H. Alex Brown Lab, Vanderbilt.) Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf)

K. Karanth photo. Time/Date: 1-2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11
Location: Toyota Auditorium (room 103), Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, 1640 Cumberland Ave.
Speaker: Krithi K. Karanth, Director, Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore; Conservation Scientist, Wildlife Conservation Society, New York; Duke Univ.
Topic: Living with Wildlife: Insights from conservation research, technology and education programs in India
Abstract: Dr. Krithi Karanth has been involved in scientific research and conservation in Asia for the last 21 years focusing on the human dimensions of conservation. She has conducted macro-level studies assessing patterns of species distributions and extinctions, impacts of wildlife tourism, consequences of voluntary resettlement, land use change and understanding human-wildlife interactions. Her talk will focus on projects that have applied conservation science to understand and develop interventions addressing human-wildlife conflict, wildlife connectivity and education in India. She will share stories from Wild Seve, which services more than a half million people and has helped 13,500 families file and receive compensation for wildlife losses from the government; Wild Kaapi, a wildlife friendly certification program that launched the world's first wildlife friendly coffee company; and Wild Shale, a conservation education program being implemented in 300 schools in rural India. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf).

S. Bohon photo. Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. Monday, March 25
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Stephanie A. Bohon, Assoc. Director of the Center for the Study of Social Justice; Sociology, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville
Topic: Structural conditions of police-involved killings in the United States
Abstract: Police officers were responsible for the deaths of at least 1,146 U.S. residents in 2015, including 544 people of color. In our study, we contribute to ongoing debates about racial bias in police-involved violence by examining whether or not structural theories of racism explain police-involved deaths at the metropolitan area level. Using verified, crowd-sourced data on police-involved deaths, we analyze the metropolitan area conditions that predict police-involved killing of U.S. residents. We also test a power threat and a minority threat variant of an economic competition model to see which model is best and if these models better predict all deaths, minority deaths, white deaths, or black deaths at the hands of police. Our findings show that the size of the metropolitan black population relative to whites consistently predicts the expected count of killings and that a model that predicts Klan activity better explains these killings than other models we tested. Furthermore, our models better explain the killings of people of color than the killing of whites, suggesting that these are different phenomena, and while more police-involved killing occur in larger metropolitan areas, places with higher crimes rates have fewer expected police-involved killings. Click here for more information.
Video icon.Watch seminar online.

F. de Waal photo. Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. Thursday, February 14, 2019
Location: Strong Hall Auditorium 101
Speaker: Dr. Frans de Waal, Living Links, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory Univ., Atlanta, USA, and Utrecht Univ., the Netherlands
Topic: Animal emotions and empathy
Abstract: Emotions suffuse much of the language employed by students of animal behavior — from "social bonding" to "alarm calls" — yet are still regularly avoided as explicit topic in scientific discourse. Given the increasing interest of human psychology in the emotions, and the neuroscience on animal emotions such as fear and attachment, the taboo that has hampered animal research in this area is outdated. The main point is to separate emotions from feelings, which are the subjective experiences that accompany the emotions. Whereas science has no access to animal feelings, animal emotions are as observable and measurable (face, voice, physiology, neural activity) as human emotions. They are mental and bodily states that potentiate behavior appropriate to mostly social situations. I will discuss early ideas about animal emotions and draw upon research on empathy and the perception of emotions in primates to make the point that the study of animal emotions is a necessary complement to the study of behavior. Emotions are best viewed as the organizers of adaptive responses to environmental stimuli. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf).
This seminar was not streamed live or recorded for later viewing.

S. Li photo. Time/Date: 12:15 p.m. Friday, February 2, 2019
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Shuai Li, Civil and Environmental Engineering, UTK.
Topic: Spatial Analysis Lab (SAL) at NIMBioS Brown Bag Seminar Series UAS@UTK: Drones for Research: Drones for civil engineering
Abstract: The horizontal nature of civil engineering leads to some practical and creative applications of drones in the industry. Nearly all the life cycle stages of a construction project can benefit from deploying drones in the field. In this presentation, we will discuss two applications of drones in civil engineering. In the first application, the geo-referenced image acquired by a drone is aligned with virtual image generated from a three-dimensional building information model to expedite the facility inspection process. In the second application, ground penetrating radar is integrated with drones to survey a concrete bridge deck to detect, locate, and characterize structural defects. The challenges of using drones in these applications will also be discussed. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf).
This seminar was not streamed live or recorded for later viewing.

O. Manaev photo. Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 22
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Dr. Oleg Manaev, Political Science, DySoC, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville
Topic: Reshaping social structure for legitimation of power in resurgent autocracy: The case of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine
Abstract: This presentation provides a comparative analysis of reshaping that took place in the social structure of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine (the "Slavic triangle") following the Soviet collapse, with a particular focus on issues of inequality and polarization between the state and society. It argues that while purposeful change of social stratification became an effective mechanism used by the authorities to strengthen their own legitimacy (represented as natural social evolution), it also leads to growing corruption, poor governance, social tensions and conflict. In addition, the talk details both the similarities and significant differences that exist in the nature of inequality and its public perception in these countries. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf).
Video icon.Watch seminar online.


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NSF logo. 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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