Center for Applied Mathematics colloquium is April 11

Center for Applied Mathematics colloquium is April 11

Sean Ewen, a St. Thomas senior, will be the next speaker in the Center for Applied Mathematics' spring colloquium series. Ewen's presentation, "Dynamics of Potassium Channels in the Action Potential," begins at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in 3M Auditorium, Owens Science Hall.

The colloquium is free and open to the UST community. Come early for refreshments at 2:45 p.m.

These colloquia introduce the University of St. Thomas community to a variety of problems, careers and professional activities involving applications of mathematics.

Ewen's talk is described as follows:

The nervous system of a vertebrate animal transmits information with incredible speed. Signals must travel rapidly through a complicated network of specialized cells called neurons. Many neurons have cable-like membranes, called axons, that transmit information via the action potential, which re-amplifies the signal.

The axon carries electrical charges across the membrane aided by sodium and potassium ions entering and leaving the axon through specialized channels. The action potential consists of active changes in membrane voltage caused by the movement of sodium and potassium ions across the membrane.

Ewen will focus on details of the dynamics of potassium channels while also discussing the mechanism of the action potential and the basics of modeling potassium channel behavior. In addition, he will introduce the possibility of modeling action potentials as periodic waves.

This talk will be of interest to people who wish to gain insights into signal transmission in the nervous system and mathematical modeling of biological processes.

Mark your calendar for this upcoming CAM colloquium:

  • 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, "Future Health Insurance Costs – An Actuarial Perspective," led by Eric Barrette, University of Minnesota, and Nancy Barker Walczak, senior consultant at Reden and Anders.

For more information, call (651) 962-5524 or visit the Center for Applied Mathematics Web site.