This award provides participant supports for the Red Raider Minisymposium on Modeling in a Heterogeneous World, to be held on April 3-4 2020 in Texas Tech University, TX. The goal of the minisymposium is to bring together researchers with expertise in mathematical, computational and biological methods applied to heterogeneous systems, together with early career investigators working at the interface of mathematics and biology. A variety of distinguished and early career speakers will participate. Each speaker will give an hour-long talk followed by discussion, collaboration, and workshop activities. Both distinguished and early career speakers will focus on one of five areas: 1) spatial heterogeneity in ecological systems, 2) tumor heterogeneity, 3) stoichiometric heterogeneity, 4) heterogeneity in disease transmission, and 5) behavioral heterogeneity. Additionally, there will be a poster session on a variety of topics. The symposium will provide a unique opportunity to advance research in these fields, to promote collaborations, and to discover novel research directions. More information regarding this minisymposium can be found at

Research efforts at the interface of the fields of mathematics and biology have produced profound results that have deepened understanding of problems in ecology, epidemiology, oncology and sociobiology and contributed to the advancement of both fields. Application of mathematical models and methods have shed light on problems in various subfields of biology, and in turn, new mathematical methods and theories have been developed in response to the complex problems in biology. A growing arsenal of mathematical and computational methods and techniques are needed to study the current problems in biology that are critical to understanding the changing, heterogeneous world. While biological systems are complex compositions of multiple dynamical factors, many mathematical models are simplifications that may lack sufficient heterogeneity to address questions of current importance. As ecosystems continue to change, personal medicine advances, global temperatures shift, and organisms gain anti-microbial resistance, we need realistic models to account for individual, population and ecosystem heterogeneities, now more than ever. The minisymposum Modeling in a Heterogeneous World will enable researchers from different career stages working at the interface of mathematics and biology to meet and to discuss new and exciting methods and techniques for incorporating heterogeneity into realistic biological systems. These interactions and discussions will lay the groundwork for future research in this direction by identifying important open questions and fostering long-term collaborations. Topics presented and discussed will be mathematically significant, spanning dynamical systems theory, stochastic processes, optimal control theory, and game theory, as well as biologically significant, spanning population ecology, oncology, and epidemiology.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS)
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Junping Wang
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Texas Tech University
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