Seminars are from 3:15-4:15 p.m. in the Mathematics Departement conference room (Simpson Tower F213).
Gustavo Borel Menezes, Pd.D. - October 20, 2010
Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering (Environmental Engineering), CSULA
"Groundwater Protection & Management through Multidisciplinary Research "
Groundwater is an important source of fresh water in the US. Nearly 25% of fresh water consumed in the U.S. is groundwater, and almost all of the rural population depends on groundwater for drinking and irrigation purposes. In the past years, the impact of human activities on groundwater has increased the concerns about the quality and depletion of this important resource. New waste reduction policies are helping to lower the amount of contaminants released into the environment through recycling, reuse and effective containment. However, large amounts of contaminants from different natural and human-related sources continue to reach groundwater sources. Thus, reducing the risk posed to the environment and human health largely depends on better understanding and modeling of contaminant fate and transport, as well as on the improvement and development of groundwater remediation and recharge technologies. This seminar will focus on the multidisciplinary aspects of groundwater quality management, including mathematics and modeling of groundwater flow, physicochemical processes impacting the movement of contaminant through aquifers and the development of biological, physical and chemical remediation technologies.
Ricardo Sanchez - November 3, 2010
MS Chemistry - Biochemistry Option (candidate), CSULA
"Using Computers to Locate Redox Micro Switches in Proteins "
Proteins can be switched on or off by oxidation and reduction through a process known as redox regulation. The protein amino acid that is most sensitive to redox regulation is cysteine. In an ideal situation, we would like to be able to predict the particular cysteines within proteins that constitute these micro switches. One approach is to use physical and chemical properties of redox-regulated proteins to develop an algorithm for prediction. Using a machine learning approach applied to proteins of known structure, we developed such an algorithm. The algorithm was incorporated into a software program called the Cysteine Oxidation Prediction Program (COPP). COPP uses molecular structure data from the Protein Data Bank to predict reversible cysteine thiol oxidation susceptibility in non-membrane proteins. In this seminar, we will discuss practical uses of COPP and proffer ideas on how to improve its accuracy.
Jehoshua (Shuki) Bruck , Ph.D. - November 17, 2010
Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Computation and Neural Systems
Professor of Electrical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
"Random Ideas about Biological Networks"
Why does the functioning of biological systems seem miraculous? One reason is that we do not know how to design systems that do what cells do, namely molecular computing. In contrast, we know how to design highly complex information systems. The fundamental reason for the successful evolution of information systems is the development of mathematical abstractions that enable efficient and robust design processes. In particular, Claude Shannon in his classical 1938 Master Thesis demonstrated that all Boolean functions can be computed by relay circuits, leading to the development of digital logic and resulting in computer chips with over a billion transistors. Motivated by the challenge of analyzing stochastic gene regulatory networks, we generalize the notion of logic design to probabilistic logic design. Specifically, we consider relay circuits where deterministic switches are replaced by probabilistic switches and present efficient algorithms for synthesizing networks that compute probability distributions.
Refreshments are available before the seminar.
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