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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: 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.

Most seminars are live streamed and recorded.

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

DySoC/NIMBioS Seminar. Reshaping social structure for legitimation of power in resurgent autocracy: The case of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine
Upcoming Seminars
Date Speaker Topic
Jan 22
Tuesday
Oleg Manaev, Political Science, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; DySoC
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: Topic TBA
  Past Seminars - Fall 2018
Date Speaker Topic
  August 2018
Aug 27
Monday
Todd Freeberg, Psychology, EEB, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; DySoC DySoC/NIMBioS Seminar: Songbird social psychology: Flock complexity affects Carolina chickadee behavior
  September 2018
Sep 4
Tuesday
Shandelle M. Henson, Mathematics, Biology, Andrews Univ., Berrien Springs, MI; Editor-in-Chief, Natural Resource Modeling Video icon. Climate change and tipping points for seabird colonies in the Pacific Northwest
Sep 14
Fri 12:15
Michael Buban, Air Resources Laboratory, Atmospheric Turbulence & Diffusion Division, NOAA SAL at NIMBioS Brown Bag Seminar Series, UAS@UTK: Drones for Research UAS@UTK: Drones for Research: NOAA UAS Research and Technology Program: Moving research UAS platforms into operations
Sep 18
Tuesday
Luc Doyen, Director of Research CNRS, GREThA, Univ. of Bordeaux, France Video icon. Tragedy of open ecosystems
Sep 24
Monday
Damian Ruck, Anthropology, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; DySoC Video icon. DySoC/NIMBioS Seminar: Cultural prerequisites for democracy and economic development
  October 2018
Oct 2
Tuesday
John Jungck, Biological Sciences, Univ. of Delaware Video icon. Exploring nanobiological structures with 3D nanotomography, 4D printing via self-assembly, and graph theory
Oct 15
Monday
Sergey Gavrilets, EEB, Mathematics, NIMBioS, UTK; DySoC Director; Anthropology, Oxford Univ. Video icon. DySoC/NIMBioS Seminar: Modeling the evolutionary origins and dynamics of social complexity
Oct 19
Fri 12:15
Yingkui Li, Geography, UTK. Spatial Analysis Lab (SAL) at NIMBioS Brown Bag Seminar Series UAS@UTK: Drones for Research: Mapping topography and surface processes using unmanned aircraft system and structure from motion
Oct 30
Tuesday
Olivia Prosper, Mathematics, Univ. of Kentucky Video icon. Spatial heterogeneity, host movement, and the transmission of mosquito-borne disease
  November 2018
Nov 2
Fri 12:15
Xiaopeng Zhao, Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering, UTK. Spatial Analysis Lab (SAL) at NIMBioS Brown Bag Seminar Series UAS@UTK: Drones for Research: Planar control of a quadcopter using Brain Machine Interface
Nov 12
Monday
Aleydis Van de Moortel, Classics, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; DySoC Video icon. DySoC/NIMBioS Seminar. Understanding the rise and decline of complex society at prehistoric Mitrou, Greece, through practice theory and human agency
Nov 27
Tuesday
Luis Melara, Mathematics, Shippensburg Univ.; Visiting Scholar, NIMBioS and Mathematics, Univ. of Tennessee Video icon. Optimal control of treatments for retinitis pigmentosa

Seminar Abstracts

L. Melara photo. Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 27
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Luis Melara, Mathematics, Shippensburg Univ.; Visiting Scholar, NIMBioS and Mathematics, Univ. of Tennessee.
Topic: Optimal Control of Treatments for Retinitis Pigmentosa
Abstract: Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a degenerative eye disease affecting millions of people worldwide. This presentation will discuss two treatments for RP: Rod-derived Cone Viability Factor (RdCVF) and Mesencephalic-Astrocyte-derived-Neurotrophic Factor (MANF). Both treatments rescue photoreceptors in the eye. We model the RdCVF and MANF treatments by mathematically representing them as optimal control problems. We also present a preliminary optimal control model for mixed treatments of RP developed from previous work. Numerical results are presented and discussed. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf).
Video icon.Watch seminar online.

A. Van de Moortel photo. Time/Date: 3:30 Monday, November 12
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Aleydis Van de Moortel, Classics, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; DySoC
Topic: Understanding the rise and decline of complex society at prehistoric Mitrou, Greece, through practice theory and human agency
Abstract: The 2004-2008 archaeological excavations carried out at the prehistoric settlement of Mitrou, central Greece, by a team from UT and the Greek Archaeological Service under co-directorship of the speaker, have led to the identification of a sequence of more than 60 occupational levels, spanning a period from the Early Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age (ca. 2400 - 900 BCE). Such a long, detailed, and uninterrupted sequence is unique in Greece and makes Mitrou an ideal site for studying major societal changes. Our work is contributing to the understanding of cycles of civilization, from the Early Bronze IIB Corridor House civilization to the simpler societies of the Early Bronze III and Middle Bronze periods; the rise of a visible political elite in the early part of the Late Bronze Age; the subjugation of Mitrou by an outside (palatial) power in Late Bronze IIIA; the revival of the settlement after the fall of the Mycenaean palaces; and the reversion to a simpler society at the end of the Late Bronze Age and in the Early Iron Age. In the absence of written records, interpretations of the dynamics of social complexity at Mitrou are based on physical remains. Practice theory and human agency have proven to be particularly fruitful venues, leading us to identify at one time a drastic change in social practices indicative of a population shift, and at other times instances when individuals subverted existing practices to construct a new ideology of power and elevate their own social status. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf).
Video icon.Watch seminar online.

X. Zhao photo. Time/Date: 12:15-1:15 p.m. Friday, November 2
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Xiaopeng Zhao, Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville
Topic: Planar control of a quadcopter using Brain Machine Interface
Abstract: Brain Machine interface (BMI) enables promising applications in neuroprosthesis and neurorehabilitation by controlling robotic devices based on the subject's intentions. In contrast to earlier techniques using sensorimotor rhythms, the method here intends to directly extract information of imagined body kinematics and thus can significantly reduce training time. We developed a BMI platform that controls a quadcopter using noninvasively acquired brain signals. Scalp electroencephalogram (EEG) signals of a user's imaginary movements are collected in real-time and translated by a computer to control a quadcopter along a designated path in a two-dimensional space. The BMI paradigm may be utilized in controlling neuroprosthetic limbs and neurorehabilitation devices. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer

O. Prosper  photo. Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 30
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Olivia Prosper , Mathematics, Univ. of Kentucky
Topic: Spatial heterogeneity, host movement, and the transmission of mosquito-borne disease
Abstract: The Ross-Macdonald framework, a suite of mathematical models for the transmission of mosquito-borne disease, made numerous simplifying assumptions including that transmission occurs in a homogeneous environment. Despite these assumptions, this modeling framework has been invaluable to the study of vector-borne disease and to informing public health policy. In recent years, more attention has been paid to the role of human movement in regions with spatially heterogeneous disease transmission. In this talk, I will introduce metapopulation frameworks for vector-borne disease, based on the Ross-Macdonald model, in which human movement connects discrete populations with different levels of malaria transmission. I will discuss properties of this model, compare these properties to the homogeneous case, and will discuss the implications for malaria control. Finally, I will present an approach for identifying the appropriate network structure for the metapopulation model, using either mobile phone or geographical data. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf).
Video icon.Watch seminar online.

Y. Li photo. Time/Date: 12:15-1:15 p.m. Friday, October 19
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Yingkui Li, Geography, UTK
Topic: Mapping topography and surface processes using unmanned aircraft system and structure from motion
Abstract: The recent development in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and structure from motion (SFM) provides a rapid, efficient, and low-cost means to map detailed topography and quantify earth surface processes in a much finer (up to cm-level) resolution. This presentation introduces the recent teaching and research activities associated with UAS and SFM in the Department of Geography, including the accuracy assessment of UAS-mapped topography based on the comparison with the topography generated using the terrestrial laser scanner, and the pros and cons of various software packages and web services in mapping various terrain features (such as ground surface, vegetation, and buildings), and the potential of using UAS and SFM to map the extent and extract the 3-D characteristics of Kudzu. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer

s. Gavrilets photo. Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. Monday, October 15
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Sergey Gavrilets, EEB, Mathematics, NIMBioS, UTK; DySoC Director; Anthropology, Oxford Univ.
Topic: Modeling the evolutionary origins and dynamics of social complexity
Abstract: It is now well recognized that understanding modern human behavior, psychology, culture, and certain economic and political processes is hardly possible without also considering factors and processes that were shaping our recent evolution. Deciphering the problems of human origins and subsequent social and cultural evolution requires a concerted effort of researchers from a diverse set of disciplines including biology, anthropology, psychology, economics, and history as well as mathematics and computational science. If we, as scientists, are successful in this endeavor, the societal impact will be enormous. I will illustrate some of my recent modeling work in this area. I will consider the collective action problem in heterogeneous groups, effects of identify fusion on self-sacrifice, the evolution of social norm internalization, and the joint dynamics of power inequality and cooperation. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf).
Video icon.Watch seminar online.

J. Jungck photo. Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 2
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: John R. Jungck, Director, Interdisciplinary Science Learning Center; Mathematics; Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Univ. of Delaware
Topic: Exploring nanobiological structures with 3D nanotomography, 4D printing via self-assembly, and graph theory
Abstract: We have been doing 3D X-Ray nanotomography of radiolarian tests and studying them geometrically and topologically. Also, we have been 4D printing via self-assembly icosahedral viral capsid models. I will bring along a variety of models that we have built to illustrate our work. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf).
Video icon.Watch seminar online.

UAS photo. SAL at NIMBioS Brown Bag Seminar Series, UAS@UTK: Drones for Research
Time/Date: 12:15 p.m. Friday, September 14, 2018
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Michael Buban, Air Resources Laboratory, Atmospheric Turbulence & Diffusion Division, NOAA
Topic: NOAA UAS Research and Technology Program: Moving research UAS platforms into operations
Abstract: NOAA's Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division (NOAA/ATDD) has been testing small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) platforms and instrumentation to make high-resolution measurements of thermodynamic properties of the Earth's lower boundary layer and surface for the past four years. The use of sUAS for atmospheric research provides unprecedented access to a heretofore undersampled region of the lower boundary layer. Flights on a routine basis over a variety of land-surface types in various seasons will allow improvements in weather forecast models. This presentation will cover NOAA/ATDD's most recent developments in evaluating meteorological sensors for suitability for use on its small UAS, calibrating the sensors to NIST-traceable standards, validating the sensors performance against other measurement systems, and assessing the value of small UAS airborne systems for monitoring weather conditions on a routine basis. Click here for more information.

L. Doyen photo. Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 18
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Luc Doyen, Director of Research CNRS, GREThA, Univ. of Bordeaux, France
Topic: Tragedy of Open Ecosystems
Abstract: This presentation investigates the role played by cooperation for the sustainable harvesting of an ecosystem. To achieve this, a bio-economic model based on multi-species dynamics with interspecific relationships and multi-agent catches is considered. A comparison between the non-cooperative and cooperative optimal strategies is carried out. Revisiting the Tragedy of Open Access and over-exploitation issues, it is first proved analytically how harvesting pressure is larger in the non-cooperative case for every species. Then it is examined to what extent gains from cooperation can also be derived for the state of the ecosystem. It turns out that cooperation clearly promotes the conservation of every species when the number of agents is high. When the number of agents remains limited, results are more complicated, especially if a species-by-species viewpoint is adopted. However, we identify two metrics involving the state of every species and accounting for their ecological interactions which exhibit gains from cooperation at the ecosystem scale in the general case. Numerical examples illustrate the mathematical findings. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf).
Video icon.Watch seminar online.

D. Ruck photo. Time/Date: 3:30 Monday, September 24
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Damian Ruck, Anthropology, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC)
Topic: Cultural prerequisites for democracy and economic development
Abstract: The World Values Survey (WVS) quantifies the cultural values of 109 nations that represent 95% of the world's population on all six inhabited continents. Using unsupervised statistical methods, we present two orthogonal cultural components (Openness and Secular-Rationality) that underlie these data. Using a multilevel time series model, we show that Openness and Secular-Rationality must generally be infused into the population of a country before it becomes economically developed. Moreover, these cultural values not only also predict future levels of democracy, but also predict future democratic stability. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf).
Video icon.Watch seminar online.

T. Freeberg photo. Time/Date: 3:30 Monday, August 27
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Todd Freeberg, Psychology, EEB, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC)
Topic: Songbird social psychology: Flock complexity affects Carolina chickadee behavior
Abstract: We have known for decades that animal behavior is influenced by the genetic and developmental backgrounds of individuals. In human behavior, it is also clear that the immediate social context of an individual powerfully influences her or his behavior. It is becoming increasingly clear that social context also plays an important role in non-human animal behavior. This presentation will outline a few of the experiments we have conducted recently on the vocal and problem-solving behavior of Carolina chickadees, a small songbird common to the southeastern United States. We have found that chickadee flock size and composition influence the complexity and use of calls by individuals, and also their ability to solve novel foraging problems. Our work provides support to the hypothesis that social complexity drives communicative complexity and may drive social intelligence. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf).

S. Henson photo. Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 4
Location: Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Speaker: Shandelle M. Henson, Mathematics, Biology, Andrews Univ., Berrien Springs, MI; Editor-in-Chief, Natural Resource Modeling
Topic: Climate change and tipping points for seabird colonies in the Pacific Northwest
Abstract: Changes in sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Northwest are associated with changes in reproductive and feeding tactics in colonial seabirds. Warm years in the El Niño–Southern Oscillation are associated with short-term "lifeboat" tactics such as egg cannibalism that are not sustainable over the long term. Mathematical models suggest that prolonged rises in sea surface temperature can create tipping points that allow colony collapse. Click here for more information. Seminar flyer (pdf).
Video icon.Watch seminar online.


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University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-3410
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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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