All Articles

KI-Net conference a success


In late March, Iowa State University’s Department of Mathematics hosted a 2017 KI-Net conference for faculty in mathematics and scientific disciplines.

“Kinetic Descriptions of Chemical and Biological Systems: Models, Analysis and Numerics” attracted mathematicians, chemists, physicists and other researchers from around the U.S. and also from Asia and Europe to review the latest advances in the development of mathematical modeling approaches and numerical methods for kinetic descriptions of evolution in physical, chemical, and biological systems.

KI-Net is an NSF research network in mathematical sciences focused on the kinetic description of emerging challenges in multiscale problems of natural sciences. It fosters cross-fertilization between math and science, providing an ideal platform to advance novel interdisciplinary approaches to solving key scientific challenges.

The conference was organized by Hailiang Liu, professor of mathematics, and Jim Evans, professor of physics and astronomy and a scientist at the Ames Laboratory. The goal of the conference was to provide an overview of current modeling strategies and newly developed techniques of analysis and numerics to capture the complex behavior produced by interacting biological species (flocking, swarming, territorial and trait selection,…), in reaction-diffusion systems (spontaneous oscillations, spatial pattern formation,…), etc. Some techniques used were related to classical kinetic theory and hydrodynamic treatments of fluids, and others to stochastic and non-equilibrium statistical mechanical models.

The lectures were accessible to graduate students, postdocs, and non-experts to familiarize them with central concepts and new directions in the field. Gleb Zhelezov, a graduate student in mathematics at the University of Arizona, was one of the attendees.

“It was really nice to meet so many people, and learn about new projects,” Zhelezov said. “My first and last conferences as a graduate student were at ISU – both through KI-Net – and both meetings were pivotal in my progress as a graduate student.”

Upcoming KI-Net conferences will be held at the University of Maryland (April 18-21), Columbia University (May 1-3), and the University of Texas, Austin (May 8-12). Go to the KI-Net website for more information.