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Baylor to Host the 2009 Fall Central Section Meeting of the American Mathematical Society

Oct. 14, 2009

Baylor University's Department of Math will host the American Mathematical Society's Central Section Meeting October 16-18 in the Baylor Sciences Building.

The three-day event will consist of plenary sessions with lectures delivered by four notable mathematicians as well as smaller breakout sessions and presentations. There are expected to be over 200 other mathematicians and researchers invited by the key speakers from around the country discussing different aspects of mathematics during the three day meeting.

Baylor University was chosen among several other competing universities for the opportunity to host the meeting. "It is a privileged event and we are happy to be chosen," said Dr. Robert Piziak, "it will be another five or six years before we are considered again."

One of the main speakers is Dr. Michael C. Reed, an expert in the field of applied mathematics and a professor at Duke University since 1972. Reed, who has written works for the AMS in the past such as "Why is Mathematical Biology so Hard?" and co-authored four volumes of "Methods of Modern Mathematical Physics "is scheduled to speak on Saturday, Oct. 17. His lecture is entitled Mathematics, Cell Metabolism and Public Health. His speech and his own invited speakers will cover the area of mathematical models of neuronal and metabolic mechanisms.

Reed and other mathematicians will speak mathematical models of various biological processes. Three researchers from the University of Florida will be discussing the spread of avian flu through applied mathematical modeling. Another group of researchers that morning from the University of Austin will discuss mathematical models that help predict the onset of seizures.

A frequent application of mathematics is modeling. Reed uses modeling to study neuronal and metabolic mechanisms in silico, or via computer. "Basically the mathematical model becomes the platform on which one can perform (quickly and inexpensively) biological experiments to answer biological questions," Reed mentioned in an interview. He then went on to explain that it would be difficult for a biologist to experiment with and measure cells without completely changing their makeup. By using these mathematical models, biologists then have the opportunity to safely conduct accurate experiments without altering the cells being studied.

In addition to Reed, three other featured speakers will deliver lectures at the conference. They include:

• Igor Rodnianski, assistant professor at Princeton University: Mathematics of General Relativity

• Alexander A. Kiselev, professor at the University of Wisconsin: Surface Quasi-Geostrophic Equation: A Review

• David Ben-Zvi, associate professor in the Geometry Research Group of the University of Texas: Representation Theory and Gauge Theory

The American Mathematical Society was formed in 1888 in order to further the interests of mathematics research and scholarships, and serves the national and international community through its meetings, publications, advocacy, and other programs. The next sectional meeting will be held in University Park, PA, whereas the next national meeting will be held in San Francisco, CA.

Friday OCT. 16

2:00-5:30pm: Special Sessions

5:40-6:30pm: Invited speaker: David Ben-Zvi (BSB B110)

Saturday OCT. 17

8:30-11:30am: Special Sessions

11:40-12:30pm: Invited speakers: Alexander A. Kiselev (BSB B110)

2:00-2:50pm: Invited Speakers: Michael C. Reed (BSB B110)

3:00-5:00pm: Special Sessions

5:10-6:00pm: Invited speaker: Igor Rodnianski (BSB B110)

6:30-8:00pm: Reception at the Hilton Hotel

Sunday OCT.18

9:00-12:30: Special Sessions

The Fall Central Section meeting of the AMS will be held at the Baylor Science Building

Contact: Lance Littlejohn, Chair of Mathematics - (254) 710-3165