Scientific

Using mathematics to fight cancer

Speaker: 
Ami Radunskaya
Date: 
Mon, Aug 13, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, University of British Columbia
Conference: 
Diversity in Mathematics
Abstract: 

What can mathematics tell us about the treatment of cancer? In this talk I will present some of work that I have done in the modeling of tumor growth and treatment over the last fifteen years.

Cancer is a myriad of individual diseases, with the common feature that an individual's own cells have become malignant. Thus, the treatment of cancer poses great challenges, since an attack must be mounted against cells that are nearly identical to normal cells. Mathematical models that describe tumor growth in tissue, the immune response, and the administration of different therapies can suggest treatment strategies that optimize treatment efficacy and minimize negative side-effects.

However, the inherent complexity of the immune system and the spatial heterogeneity of human tissue gives rise to mathematical models that pose unique challenges for the mathematician. In this talk I will give a few examples of how doctors, immunologists, and mathematicians can work together to understand the development of the disease and to design effective treatments.

This talk is part of the PIMS Diversity in Mathematics Summer School and is intended for a general audience: no knowledge of biology or advanced mathematics will be assumed.

Biography

A California native, Professor Radunskaya received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from Stanford University. She has been a faculty member in the Math Department Pomona College since 1994.

In her research, she specializes in ergodic theory, dynamical systems, and applications to various "real-world" problems. Some current research projects involve mathematical models of cancer immunotherapy, developing strategies for targeted drug delivery to the brain, and studying stochastic perturbations of dynamical systems.

Prior to her academic career, Professor Radunskaya worked extensively as a cellist and composer. Her music, described as "techno-clectic", combines traditional forms with improvisation, acoustic sounds with electronic, computer-generated, and found sounds, and abstract structures with narrative visual and sonic elements.

Contrary to popular belief, Professor Radunskaya thinks that anyone can succeed in mathematics, and she has committed herself to increasing the participation of women and underrepresented groups in the mathematical sciences.

She is currently the President of the Association for Women in Mathematics, and co-directs the EDGE (Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education) program, which won a "Mathematics Program that Makes a Difference" award from the American Mathematics Society in 2007, and a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) in 2015.

Professor Radunskaya was recently been elected as a Fellow of the American Math Society, and she is the recipient of several awards, including a WIG teaching award in 2012, and the 2017 AAAS Mentor award.

Class Numbers of Certain Quadratic Fields

Speaker: 
Kalyan Chakraborty
Date: 
Thu, Jul 5, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, University of Calgary
Conference: 
PIMS CRG in Explicit Methods for Abelian Varieties
Abstract: 
Class number of a number field is one of the fundamental and mysterious objects in algebraic number theory and related topics. I will discuss the class numbers of some quadratic fields. More precisely, I will discuss some results concerning the divisibility of the class numbers of certain families of real (respectively, imaginary) quadratic fields in both qualitative and quantitative aspects. I will also look at the 3-rank of the ideal class groups of certain imaginary quadratic fields. The talk will be based on some recent works done along with my collaborators.

BCData 2018 Career Panel

Speaker: 
Bernard Chan
Speaker: 
Soyean Kim
Speaker: 
Michael Reid
Speaker: 
Parin Shah
Speaker: 
Aanchan Mohan
Date: 
Wed, Jun 6, 2018
Location: 
KPMG, Vancouver
Conference: 
BCData 2018
Abstract: 

Moderated Questions

  1. What was the first job you had after graduation and how did you get it?
  2. What do you like most/least about your current work?
  3. If you could go back in time and change one thing about your career choices what would you do?
  4. What advice do you have for the students in the audience looking for their first job?

 

Speaker Bios

Bernard Chan is currently a data scientist at BuildDirect.com (BD), an e-commerce platform in flooring, tiles and other home improvement products. At BD, Bernard is part of the analytics team and he specializes in logistics related data problems such as freight rate and route planning. Prior to working at BD, Bernard was a applied mathematics researcher in dynamical systems and bifurcation theory.

 

Soyean Kim is a professional statistician (P.STAT) who is passionate about ethical use of data and algorithms to contribute to the betterment of society. She currently leads a team of data scientists at Technical Safety BC, a safety regulator in Canada. Her key contribution includes advancing ethics roadmap in predictive system and deployment of AI and machine learning to help safety inspection process. Her previous leadership roles include her tenure at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Fortis as a rate design manager. She is an advocate for “Data for Good” and a speaker on the topic of real world applications of AI. Her latest speaking engagement includes PAPIs in London, UK which is a series of international AI conferences, and BC Tech Summit in Vancouver.

 

Michael Reid received a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from UMBC before starting work as junior web developer for a US federal government consulting agency. After moving to Vancouver, he’s worked in software engineering at companies ranging from small consulting firms to Amazon Web Services. He recently co-founded Nautilus Technologies, a machine learning and data privacy startup in Vancouver.

 

Parin Shah is a Data Scientist at KPMG focused on solving machine learning and data engineering problems in the space of mining, gaming, insurance and social media. Previously, he spent 2.5 years helping develop the digital analytics practice for an e-commerce firm, Natural Wellbeing, where he worked on setting up data infrastructure, building consumer analytics models and website experimentation. Parin was a fellow at a UBC machine learning workshop and has an undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC) with a coursework concentrated in economics with statistics and computer science electives.

 

Dr. Aanchan Mohan is a machine learning scientist and software engineer at Synaptitude Brain Health. He is currently working on software and machine learning methods to encourage circadian regulation with the goal of improving an individual’s brain health. His current research interests include problems in natural language processing. Dr. Mohan has worked on Bayesian and deep learning methods applied to time series signals across multiple domains. He holds a PhD from McGill University where he focused on transfer learning and parameter sharing in acoustic models for speech recognition. He supervises students and actively publishes in the area of speech processing. He is a named co-inventor on two issued patents in the area of speech processing, and one filed patent in the area of wearable devices. He is a co-organizer of the AI in Production, and Natural Language Processing meetups in Vancouver.

Quantifying Gerrymandering: A mathematician goes to court

Speaker: 
Jonathan Christopher Mattingly
Date: 
Mon, May 28, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, University of British Columbia
Conference: 
2018 Niven Lecture
Abstract: 
Abstract: In October 2017, I found myself testifying for hours in a Federal court. I had not been arrested. Rather I was attempting to quantify gerrymandering using analysis which grew from asking if a surprising 2012 election was in fact surprising. It hinged on probing the geopolitical structure of North Carolina using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm. I will start at the beginning and describe the mathematical ideas involved in our analysis. And then explain some of the conclusions we have reached. The talk will be accessible to undergraduates. In fact, this project began as a sequence of undergraduate research projects and undergraduates continue to be involved to this day. About the Niven Lecture: Ivan Niven was a famous number theorist and expositor; his textbooks have won numerous awards and have been translated into many languages. They are widely used to this day. Niven was born in Vancouver in 1915, earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees at UBC in 1934 and 1936 and his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1938. He was a faculty member at the University of Oregon since 1947 until his retirement in 1982. The annual Niven Lecture, held at UBC since 2005, is funded in part through a generous bequest from Ivan and Betty Niven to the UBC Mathematics Department.

Sato-Tale groups and automorphy for nongeneric genus 2 curves

Speaker: 
Andrew Booker
Date: 
Thu, May 10, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, University of Calgary
Conference: 
PIMS CRG in Explicit Methods for Abelian Varieties
Abstract: 
I will describe recent joint work with Jeroen Sijsling, Drew Sutherland, John Voight and Dan Yasaki on genus 2 curves over Q. Our work has three primary goals: (1) produce an extensive table of genus 2 curves and their associated invariants; (2) explain the various Sato-Tate groups that arise in terms of functoriality; (3) prove at least one example of modularity for each nongeneric Sato-Tate group. Goal (1) was achieved in arXiv:1602.03715, with the data accessible inthe LMFDB, while goals (2) and (3) are in progress.

Repulsive-attractive models in collective behavior and applications

Speaker: 
José A. Carrillo
Date: 
Fri, Apr 6, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, Simon Fraser University
Conference: 
PIMS/CSC Distinguished Speaker
Abstract: 
We will discuss properties of solutions to aggregation-diffusion models appearing in many biological models such as cell adhesion, organogenesis and pattern formation. We will concentrate on typical behaviours encountered in systems of these equations assuming different interactions between species under a global volume constraint. BIO José A. Carrillo currently holds a Chair in Applied and Numerical Analysis at Imperial College London appointed in October 2012. He was formerly ICREA Research Professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona during the period 2003-2012. He was a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin 1998-2000. He held assistant and associate professor positions at the Universidad de Granada 1992-1998 and 2000-2003, where he also did his PhD. He served as chair of the Applied Mathematics Committee of the European Mathematical Society 2014-2017. His research field is Partial Differential Equations (PDEs). The modelling based on PDEs, their mathematical analysis, the numerical schemes, and their simulation in applications are his general topics of research. His expertise comprises long-time asymptotics, qualitative properties and numerical schemes for nonlinear diffusion, hydrodynamic, and kinetic equations in the modelling of collective behaviour of many-body systems such as rarefied gases, granular media, charge particle transport in semiconductors, or cell movement by chemotaxis. He was recognised with the SEMA prize (2003) and the GAMM Richard Von-Mises prize (2006) for young researchers. He was a recipient of a Wolfson Research Merit Award by the Royal Society 2012-2017.
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The Mathematics of Social Evolution

Speaker: 
Troy Day
Speaker: 
Dave McLeod
Date: 
Thu, Mar 22, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, University of Manitoba
Conference: 
PIMS-UManitoba Distinguished Lecture
Abstract: 
How social traits evolve remains an open question in evolutionary biology. Two traits of particular interest are altruism (where an individual incurs a cost to help others) and spite (where an individual incurs a cost to harm others). Both traits should be evolutionarily disadvantageous because any benefits arising from these behaviours are also available to “cheaters” who do not pay the cost of displaying altruism or spite themselves. In this talk I will show how stochasticity can sometimes reverse the direction of evolution and drive the emergence of these behaviours. I will start with an individual-based evolutionary model and then approximate it using a system of stochastic differential equations (SDEs). These SDEs are then be reduced to a single SDE on a “slow manifold” governing the evolutionary dynamics. A rather complete analysis of this SDE is then possible, showing exactly when and how stochasticity can drive the evolution of altruism and spite. Biography: Tryo Day is a Professor and former CRC in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Queen’s University. His research interests involve evolutionary theory, including the evolution of pathogen virulence, drug resistance, social traits, and epigenetic inheritance. Dr. Day is coauthor (with James Stewart) of the textbooks “Biocalculus: Calculus, Probability and Statistics for the Life Sciences”, and (with Sarah P. Otto) “A Biologist’s Guide to Mathematical Modeling”. He is an Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the AAAS, and is the recipient of a Killam Research Fellowship, a Steacie Fellowship, the CAIMS Research Prize, and the Steacie Prize.

Philosophy of Mathematics as a Design Science

Speaker: 
Jeremy Avigad
Date: 
Thu, Mar 15, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, University of Calgary
Conference: 
The Calgary Mathematics & Philosophy Lectures
Abstract: 
n the history of philosophy, much has been made of the disagreements between W. V. O. Quine and Rudolf Carnap on the nature of mathematical and scientific knowledge. But when the dust settles, the points of agreement are more substantial: mathematical and scientific reasoning are shaped by the rules of our language, and these rules are, in turn, adopted for pragmatic scientific reasons. In this talk, I will take this perspective seriously, and regard mathematics as a system of conventions and norms that is designed to help us make sense of the world and reason efficiently. Like any designed system, it can perform well or poorly, and the philosophy of mathematics has a role to play in helping us understand the general principles by which it serves its purposes well. To that end, I will consider models of mathematical language currently implemented in interactive theorem provers, which support the formalization and verification of mathematical theorems. Using these models, as well as reflection on ordinary mathematical practice, I will try to extract some insights as to how mathematical language works, and what makes it so effective.

Models for the Spread of Cholera

Speaker: 
Pauline van den Driessche
Date: 
Thu, Jan 18, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, University of Manitoba
Conference: 
PIMS-UManitoba Distinguished Lecture
Abstract: 
There have been several recent outbreaks of cholera (for example, in Haiti and Yemen), which is a bacterial disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It can be transmitted to humans directly by person-to-person contact or indirectly via contaminated water. Random mixing cholera models from the literature are first formulated and briefly analyzed. Heterogeneities in person-to-person contact are introduced, by means of a multigroup model, and then by means of a contact network model. Utilizing an interplay of analysis and linear algebra, various control strategies for cholera are suggested by these models. Pauline van den Driessche is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Victoria. Her research focuses on aspects of stability in biological models and matrix analysis. Current research projects include disease transmission models that are appropriate for influenza, cholera and Zika. Most models include control strategies (e.g., vaccination for influenza) and aim to address questions relevant for public health. Sign pattern matrices occur in these models, and the possible inertias of such patterns is a current interest.

Some specialization problems in Geometry and Number Theory

Speaker: 
Umberto Zannier
Date: 
Fri, Mar 2, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, University of British Columbia
Conference: 
PIMS-UBC Math Distinguished Colloquium
Abstract: 
We shall survey over the general issue of `specializations which preserve a property', for a parametrized family of algebraic varieties. We shall limit ourselves to a few examples. We shall start by recalling typical contexts like Bertini and Hilbert Irreducibility theorems, illustrating some new result. Then we shall jump to much more recent instances, related to algebraic families of abelian varieties. ** Please note, this video was recorded using an older in room system and has substantially diminished video quality.**
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