Physics and Astronomy Colloquium Schedule

Spring 2023 Colloquium Schedule

Thursdays at 1:45
This page will be updated throughout the semester.

If you would to join the Physics and Astronomy Department Colloquium email list, please send Yu Gong a note.

January 19th, 2023

Title: Data driven model discovery of the CAR T-cell killing dynamics of cancer

Speaker: Dr. Alex Brummer (in-person at RITA 387)


In the development of anti-cancer therapies, quantitative mathematical models of cellular interactions are pivotal tools for understanding treatment efficacy.   Conventional efforts to validate and interpret models of cancer cell growth and death hinge on first proposing a precise mathematical model, then analyzing experimental data in the context of that chosen model.  In this talk I will present an implementation of recently developed dynamical systems methods to instead discover the most explanatory mathematical model term-by-term.  I will highlight how the use of power series expansions plays an essential role in matching this modeling framework with experimental results.  These methods are used on in vitro experimental data of T-cells genetically engineered to target and kill patient-derived brain cancer cell lines. Our modeling predicts key aspects of the interaction dynamics of cancer cell and T-cell populations. Importantly, we show how the different mathematical models identified can be interpreted biologically in relation to different T-cell functional responses, whether individuals or pairs of T-cells are binding to cancer cells, and various growth models for either of the T-cell or cancer cell populations (e.g. Logistic and Allee models).

January 26th, 2023

Title: The Process and Benefits of an REU Experience

Speaker: Zeth Soppelt (in-person at RITA 387)


The purpose of this talk is to highlight my recent experience at the University of Hawaii’s Astronomy REU. REUs (Research Experience for Undergraduates) are highly competitive summer programs hosted by a myriad of institutions throughout the US and funded through the NSF (most typically). The knowledge, connections, and friends made during an REU are unmatched, and any undergraduate student would benefit immensely for this program. In this talk, I will be highlighting my research briefly, but I will go over in more detail the application process, the social aspect of an REU, the funding opportunities, and the demographics of my REU ‘class.’

February 2nd, 2023

Title: Electronic and molecular approaches for neural recording: deciphering the brain in space and time

Speaker: Dr. Dingchang Lin - Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering (via zoom)