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New Math Model Could Impact The Study Of Rapidly Evolving Diseases

Researchers at Florida State University have developed a computational model with the potential to change the way researchers approach population genetics and the spread of diseases that evolve quickly in response to different environments.

"This method is the first application of fractional calculus to population genetics," said Florida State University postdoctoral mathematician Somayeh Mashayekhi. It allows for variation in simulations designed to identify the origins of genetic variations in a species.

Population genetics came about in the early 1900s, explained Florida State University computational biologist Peter Beerli, and for nearly a century people mainly used frequency calculations to forecast the future. In the 1980s, however, British mathematician John Kingman came up with a retrospective way of looking at the history of a population by tracing sample individuals into the past.

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Alum takes on challenging supercomputer project

The unique process of accepting a new supercomputer is one of the most challenging projects a programmer may take on during a career. When the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility’s (OLCF’s) Verónica Melesse Vergara came to the United States from Ecuador in 2005, she never would have dreamed of being part of such an endeavor. But just last fall, she was.

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Undergrad Jack Keen awarded IDEA Grant

Jack Keen, a senior computational science student, has been awarded the Helen Louis Lee Undergraduate Research Award to study a Neuronal Model of the Anuran Auditory System. Keen will use the $4,000 award to study the duration, frequency and pitch of the mating calls of anurans (chorus frogs) in research that tests and evaluates the effects of specific concentrations of ions (sodium, calcium, potassium, etc.) on the auditory system. Ultimately, the research will help scholars understand the driving, genetic mechanisms of evolution and animal behavior.

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New model promotes entrepreneurship

For 63 years, economists have constructed theories that rely on the Solow model, a mathematical formula for the value of total production of national goods which separates the determinants of economic growth into increases in labor, capital and technical progress. Solow’s theoretical model equates economic growth with the sum of the values of goods produced on individual machines. The theoretical model has been criticized, however, as it requires impractical, convoluting restrictions, and presumes that rules that govern a portion of the model also apply to the entire model.

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New breast screening technology can spot hidden cancer tumours

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women, accounting for 25 % of all cancer cases worldwide. Much progress has been made in detecting breast tumours, and survival rates are relatively high compared to other forms of cancer.

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