The Mathematical and Computational Challenges Posed by Complex Biological Networks

Friday, January 14, 2000 - 12:00pm - 12:40pm
Keller 3-180
Hans Othmer (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
During the last four decades, research on complex genetic, metabolic and ecological networks focused primarily on a reductionist approach, but it is now clear that this approach is inadequate; complex systems cannot be fully understood by dissecting them into their component pieces. In this talk we will describe some well-characterized examples of how the dynamics of complex networks in individuals are reflected in the collective behavior of populations, and we will discuss the role of spatial and temporal hierarchies in models of these systems. We will also describe some techniques that may be used to understand highly interconnected networks, and indicate what is lacking in our present toolkit.