Bifurcations in the era of big data: applications in cardiology and ecology
Thomas Bury (McGill University)
Tuesday September 22, 12-1pm
Zoom Link: https://mcgill.zoom.us/j/91589192037
Abstract:Numerous biological systems have the capacity to undergo abrupt transitions to an alternative dynamical regime as the result of crossing a bifurcation. In ecology, a lake may undergo a runaway algal bloom as excess nutrients are deposited; in medicine, a human heart may transition to a dangerous arrhythmia upon premature excitation; in epidemiology, a pandemic may rapidly emerge from a sufficiently infectious virus. Two fundamental questions are 1) can we determine the system-specific mechanisms that give rise to these bifurcations, and 2) can we predict them. In this talk, we discuss how the emergence of ‘big data’ can help with these endeavours, while providing examples from our research in cardiology and ecology. This talk is aimed at a general scientific audience and does not require prior understanding of bifurcations.