A journey in the use of mathematical models to gain insight into ecological and sociological phenomena

Speaker: Nancy Rodriguez

Date: Wed, Oct 18, 2023

Location: PIMS, University of British Columbia, Online

Conference: Mathematical Biology Seminar

Subject: Mathematics, Mathematical Biology

Class: Scientific


While mathematical models have classically been used in the study of physics and engineering, recently, they have become important tools in other fields such as biology, ecology, and sociology. In this talk I will discuss the use of partial differential equations and dynamical systems to shed light onto social and ecological phenomena. In the first part of this talk, we will focus on an Ecological application. For an efficient wildlife management plan, it is important that we understand (1) why animals move as they do and (2) what movement strategies are robust. I will discuss how reaction-advection-diffusion models can help us shed light into these two issues. The second part of the talk will focus on social applications. I will present a few models in the study of gentrification, urban crime, and protesting activity and discuss how theoretical and numerical analysis have provided intuition into these different social phenomena. Moreover, I will also point out the many benefits of utilizing a mathematical framework when data is not available.