James D. Murray (University of Oxford, Princeton University)
Mathematical Biology, Past, Present and Future: From Animal Coat Patterns to Morphogenetic Laws to Brain Tumours to Saving Marriages

I shall describe a Turing type reaction diffusion model which helped explain the diversity of animal coat patterns and then describe an experimentally verified morphogenetic model for biological pattern formation in development. I shall describe a surprisingly informative model, currently used medically, for quantifying the growth of brain tumours and enhancing imaging techniques which is used to estimate patient life expectancy and explain a major reason why some patients live longer than others. Finally I shall describe an example from the social sciences, which quantifies marital interaction which is used to predict divorce and has helped design a new scientific marital therapy which is currently in practice.

(The talk will be understandable to a general scientific, rather than primarily for a mathematical, audience.)