Discipline of Mathematical Sciences Colloquium 2024

Date Speaker Presentation

2 April 2024
2:10 - 3:00 pm

Professor Shane G. Henderson

Cornell University

Professor Shane G. Henderson holds the Charles W. Lake, Jr. Chair in Productivity in the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering (ORIE) at Cornell University. His research interests include discrete-event simulation, simulation optimization, emergency services planning and transportation. He is the editor in chief of the open-access journal Stochastic Systems. He is an INFORMS Fellow and a co-recipient of the INFORMS Wagner Prize for his work on bike-sharing programs. He has served as Director of the School of ORIE, as Chair of the INFORMS Applied Probability Society, and as simulation area editor for Operations Research. He has previously held positions in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan and the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Auckland.

COVID-19 Modeling to Keep Cornell University Open Throughout the Pandemic

Unlike most universities, Cornell University reopened its Ithaca campus for in-person instruction in the Fall of 2020 during the COVID period and did so safely through the use of pooled testing. This decision and many others were guided by our mathematical modeling group. I'll discuss some of the questions we explored, the models we built, the data that informed our models, how we dealt with several central data issues including tremendous uncertainty in parameter choices for models, and how our outsized influence on Cornell COVID policy came about in the first place.

31 May 2024
2:00 - 3:00 pm

Lisette de Pillis

Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, California

Professor of Mathematics and Norman F. Sprague Professor of Life Sciences

Mathematical Modelling of Biological Systems - From Rabbits to Cancer

Mathematical models hold the keys to understanding some of the most interesting and complex phenomena in the natural world. In this talk, we will see examples of how to harness insights from known physical scenarios and the power of mathematical modeling to answer new questions that may at first appear intractable. Can the concept of an overflowing bathtub help us understand the dynamics of an epidemic? Can the interactions between a rabbit and a lynx give insight into how immune cells fight cancer? By making a few simplifying assumptions, we can draw parallels between natural systems that may appear radically different on the surface to unlock new levels of understanding in the world around us.

School of Computer and Mathematical Sciences

Tagged in Mathematical Sciences