Past Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar

14 May 2015
Pierre Colinet

Despite many years of intensive research, the modeling of contact lines moving by spreading and/or evaporation still remains a subject of debate nowadays, even for the simplest case of a pure liquid on a smooth and homogeneous horizontal substrate. In addition to the inherent complexity of the topic (singularities, micro-macro matching, intricate coupling of many physical effects, …), this also stems from the relatively limited number of studies directly comparing theoretical and experimental results, with as few fitting parameters as possible. In this presentation, I will address various related questions, focusing on the physics invoked to regularize singularities at the microscale, and discussing the impact this has at the macroscale. Two opposite “minimalist” theories will be detailed: i) a classical paradigm, based on the disjoining pressure in combination with the spreading coefficient; ii) a new approach, invoking evaporation/condensation in combination with the Kelvin effect (dependence of saturation conditions upon interfacial curvature). Most notably, the latter effect enables resolving both viscous and thermal singularities altogether, without needing any other regularizing effects such as disjoining pressure, precursor films or slip length. Experimental results are also presented about evaporation-induced contact angles, to partly validate the first approach, although it is argued that reality might often lie in between these two extreme cases.

  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
7 May 2015
Graeme Wake

This talk covers two topics: (1) Phenotype change, where we consider the steady-fitness states, in a model developed by Korobeinikov and Dempsey (2014), in which the phenotype is modelled on a continuous scale providing a structured variable to quantify the phenotype state. This enables thresholds for survival/extinction to be established in terms of fitness.

Topic (2) looks at the steady-size distribution of an evolving cohort of cells, such as tumour cells in vitro, and therein establishes thresholds for growth or decay of the cohort. This is established using a new class of non-local (but linear) singular eigenvalue problems which have point spectra, like the traditional Sturm-Liouville problems.  The first eigenvalue gives the threshold required. But these problems are first order unless dispersion is added to incorporate random perturbations. But the same idea will apply here also.  Current work involves binary asymmetrical division of cells, simultaneous with growth. It has implications to cancer biology, helping biologists to conceptualise non-local effects and the part they may play in cancer. This is developed in Zaidi et al (2015).

Acknowledgement. The support of Gravida (NCGD) is gratefully acknowledged.


Korobeinikov A & Dempsey C. A continuous phenotype space model of RNA virus evolution within a host. Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering 11, (2014), 919-927.

Zaidi AA, van-Brunt B, & Wake GC. A model for asymmetrical cell division Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering (June 2015).

  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
30 April 2015
Jonathan Mestel

It is well known that low-Reynolds-number flows ($R_e\ll1$) have unique solutions, but this statement may not be true if complex solutions are permitted.

We begin by considering Stokes series, where a general steady velocity field is expanded as a power series in the Reynolds number. At each order, a linear problem determines the coefficient functions, providing an exact closed form representation of the solution for all Reynolds numbers. However, typically the convergence of this series is limited by singularities in the complex $R_e$ plane. 

We employ a generalised Pade approximant technique to continue analytically the solution outside the circle of convergence of the series. This identifies other solutions branches, some of them complex. These new solution branches can be followed as they boldly go where no flow has gone before. Sometimes these complex solution branches coalesce giving rise to real solution branches. It is shown that often, an unforced, nonlinear complex "eigensolution" exists, which implies a formal nonuniqueness, even for small and positive $R_e$.

Extensive reference will be made to Dean flow in a slowly curved pipe, but also to flows between concentric, differentially rotating spheres, and to convection in a slot. In addition, certain fundamental exact solutions are shown to possess extra complex solutions.

by Jonathan Mestel and Florencia Boshier


  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
5 March 2015
Vittoria Colizza (INSERM)

In today's interconnected world, the dissemination of an idea, a trend, a rumor through social networks, as well as the propagation of information or cyber-viruses through digital networks are all common phenomena. They are conceptually similar to the spread of infectious diseases among hosts, as common to all these phenomena is the dissemination of a spreading agent on a networked system. A large body of research has been produced in recent years to characterize the spread of epidemics on static connectivity patterns in a wide range of biological and socio-technical systems. In particular, understanding the mechanisms and conditions for widespread dissemination represents a crucial step for its prevention and control (e.g. in the case of diseases) or for its enhancement (e.g. in the case of viral marketing). This task is however further hindered by the temporal nature characterizing the activation of the connections shaping the networked system, for which data has recently become available. As an example, in networks of proximity contacts among individuals, connections represent sequences of contacts that are active for given periods of time. The time variation of contacts in a networked system may fundamentally alter the properties of spreading processes occurring on it, with respect to static networks, and affect the condition at which epidemics become possible. In this talk I will present a novel theoretical framework adopting a multi-layer perspective for the analytical understanding of the interplay between temporal networks and spreading dynamics. The framework is tested on a set of time-varying network models and empirical networks.

  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
19 February 2015
Chris Chong
This talk concerns the behavior of acoustic waves within various nonlinear materials.  As a prototypical example we consider a system of discrete particles that interact nonlinearly through a so-called Hertzian contact.  With the use of analytical, numerical and experimental approaches we study the formation of solitary waves, dispersive shocks, and discrete breathers.
  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
12 February 2015
Oliver Jensen

Abstract: Motivated loosely by the problem of carbon sequestration in underground aquifers, I will describe computations and analysis of one-sided two-dimensional convection of a solute in a fluid-saturated porous medium, focusing on the case in which the solute decays via a chemical reaction.   Scaling properties of the flow at high Rayleigh number are established and rationalized through an asymptotic model, that addresses the transient stability of a near-surface boundary layer and the structure of slender plumes that form beneath.  The boundary layer is shown to restrict the rate of solute transport to deep domains.  Knowledge of the plume structure enables slow erosion of the substrate of the reaction to be described in terms of a simplified free boundary problem.

Co-authors: KA Cliffe, H Power, DS Riley, TJ Ward


  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
5 February 2015
Samuel Isaacson

Particle-based stochastic reaction diffusion methods have become a 
popular approach for studying the behavior of cellular processes in 
which both spatial transport and noise in the chemical reaction process 
can be important. While the corresponding deterministic, mean-field 
models given by reaction-diffusion PDEs are well-established, there are 
a plethora of different stochastic models that have been used to study 
biological systems, along with a wide variety of proposed numerical 
solution methods.

In this talk I will motivate our interest in such methods by first 
summarizing several applications we have studied, focusing on how the 
complicated ultrastructure within cells, as reconstructed from X-ray CT 
images, might influence the dynamics of cellular processes. I will then 
introduce our attempt to rectify the major drawback to one of the most 
popular particle-based stochastic reaction-diffusion models, the lattice 
reaction-diffusion master equation (RDME). We propose a modified version 
of the RDME that converges in the continuum limit that the lattice 
spacing approaches zero to an appropriate spatially-continuous model. 
Time-permitting, I will discuss several questions related to calibrating 
parameters in the underlying spatially-continuous model.

  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
29 January 2015
Michael Dallaston, Jeevanjyoti Chakraborty, Roberta Minussi

In order:

1. Michael Dallaston, "Modelling channelization under ice shelves"

2. Jeevanjyoti Chakraborty, "Growth, elasticity, and diffusion in 
lithium-ion batteries"

3. Roberta Minussi, "Lattice Boltzmann modelling of the generation and 
propagation of action potential in neurons"

  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar