Anomalous Diffusion of Microparticles in Biological Fluids

  • Speaker
  • Scott McKinley, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, Tulane University
Date & Time

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Simons Foundation Presidential Lectures are free public colloquia centered on four main themes: Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Neuroscience and Autism Science. These curated, high-level scientific talks feature leading scientists and mathematicians and are intended to foster discourse and drive discovery among the broader NYC-area research community. We invite anyone interested in the topic to join us for this weekly lecture series.
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The last 20 years have seen a revolution in tracking the movement of biological agents across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. An important observation from these studies is that the trajectories of living organisms are often poorly described by the classical model for random movement, Brownian motion. To paraphrase Tolstoy: Brownian diffusions are all alike, but every anomalous diffusion is anomalous in its own way. In this talk, Scott McKinley will survey these findings and highlight the mathematical and statistical challenges they pose. In the end, he will contemplate how statistically informed mathematical modeling could change the way experiments are conducted and potentially transform our understanding of how our bodies interact with viruses, bacteria, and more.

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About the Speaker

McKinley is an associate professor in the mathematics department at Tulane University. He studies stochastic processes and their applications to characterizing movement in biological systems. He attained his Ph.D. at the Ohio State University, working on theoretical aspects of stochastic partial differential equations. Since then, he has engaged in multiple collaborations with experimentalists who have collected data sets tracking the movement of organisms big and small.

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