Moving Fast and Slow*: Feedforward and feedback control in insect locomotion

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I will describe mathematical models for running insects, from an energy-conserving biped, through a muscle-actuated hexapod driven by a neural central pattern generator, to a reduced phase-oscillator model that captures the dynamics of noisy gaits and impulsive perturbations. I will argue that both simple models and large simulations are necessary to understand biological systems, and end by describing some current experiments, which cry out for new and improved models.

Philip Holmes, Princeton University
Bowen Hall
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Room 222
Friday, March 13, 2015 - 3:30pm
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Speaker Bio

Since 1994 he has been Professor of Mechanics and Applied Mathematics at Princeton University, where he directed the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics until 1997, and again in 2010-11. He is an associated faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. In 1981 he was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Mathematics at the University of California , Berkeley. From 1981-86 he was Director of the Center for Applied Mathematics at Cornell. In 1985-86 he held the Chaire Aisenstadt of the Centre de Recherches Mathematiques, Universite de Montreal; in 1988-89 he was a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology and, in 1993-94, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994. In January 2000 he held a Visiting Professorship at the Paul Erdös Mathematical Center, Budapest, Hungary, and in 2001 he was elected an Honorary Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Dr Holmes teaches courses at all levels from freshman to advanced graduate, and conducts seminars in dynamics and applied mathematics. He helped Ingrid Daubechies develop 'Math Alive:' an applied mathematics course for non-science majors. He has published over 200 papers, articles and reviews. He has supervised 34 PhD. and 3 MSc theses, mentored 23 postdoctoral fellows, and he currently has three PhD students and two postdoctoral fellows working with him.