Math Modeling Seminar: Using Mathematical Modeling to Demystify Medusan Biomechanics

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math modeling seminar alexander hoover

Math Modeling Seminar
From Pacemaker to Vortex Ring: Using Mathematical Modeling to Demystify Medusan Biomechanics

Dr. Alexander Hoover
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
The University of Akron

You may attend this lecture in person at 2305 Gosnell Hall or virtually via Zoom.
If you’d like to attend virtually, you may register here for Zoom link.

For an organism to have a robust mode of locomotion, their neuromuscular organization must be adaptable in a constantly evolving environment. In jellyfish, this robustness emerges from the interaction of pacemakers with a motor nerve net that communicates directly with the musculature. A set of independently-firing pacemakers alter their firing frequency in response to environmental cues, forming a distributed mechanism to control a jellyfish's muscular contractions and gives insight into how the first multicellular organisms organized muscle-driven propulsion.
In this talk, we examine this biomechanical system with a model jellyfish bell immersed in a viscous fluid and use numerical simulations to describe the interplay between active muscle contraction, passive body elasticity, and fluid forces. We examine some of the biological paradoxes that eluded marine biologists, and how mathematical modeling can lend more insight into their unraveling.  We then use this model to explore the interplay between material and neural time scales present in medusan biomechanics and the emergence of neuromechanical wave resonance as an evolutionary design principle and constraint. The results here have many potential implications for the actuation and design of soft-body robotics and tissue-engineered pumps.

Speaker Bio:
Dr. Hoover is an Assistant Professor at the University of Akron in the Department of Mathematics. His research focuses on the interplay of fluids, mechanics, and behavior in organism pumping, flying and swimming. In particular, he is interested in how their interaction influence the production of efficient and robust mechanisms of fluid transport and locomotion. He is generally interested in mathematical biology, biofluids, computational modeling, and applied mathematics.
Read more here.

Intended Audience:
Undergraduates, graduates, and experts. Those with interest in the topic.

The Math Modeling Seminar will recur each week throughout the semester on the same day and time. Find out more about upcoming speakers on the Mathematical Modeling Seminar Series webpage.
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Nathan Cahill
Event Snapshot
When and Where
September 28, 2021
2:00 pm - 2:50 pm
Room/Location: 2305

This is an RIT Only Event

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