Past Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar

14 October 2021
12:00
Oliver O'Reilly

Further Information: 

Oliver M. O’Reilly is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at the University of California at Berkeley. 

Research interests:

Dynamics, Vibrations, Continuum Mechanics

Key publications:

To view a list of Professor O’Reilly’s publications, please visit the Dynamics Lab website.

Abstract

In this talk, I will discuss a wide range of mechanical systems,
including Hoberman’s sphere, Euler’s disk, a sliding cylinder, the
Dynabee, BB-8, and Littlewood’s hoop, and the research they inspired.
Studies of the dynamics of the cylinder ultimately led to a startup
company while studying Euler’s disk led to sponsored research with a
well-known motorcycle company.


This talk is primarily based on research performed with a number of
former students over the past three decades. including Prithvi Akella,
Antonio Bronars, Christopher Daily-Diamond, Evan Hemingway, Theresa
Honein, Patrick Kessler, Nathaniel Goldberg, Christine Gregg, Alyssa
Novelia, and Peter Varadi over the past three decades.

  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
17 June 2021
13:00
Sue Ann Campbell

Further Information: 

Synchronized activity of neurons is important for many aspects of brain function. Synchronization is affected by both network-level parameters, such as connectivity between neurons, and neuron-level parameters, such as firing rate. Many of these parameters are not static but may vary slowly in time. In this talk we focus on neuron-level parameters. Our work centres on the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which has been shown to modulate the firing properties of several types of neurons through its affect on potassium currents such as the muscarine-sensitive M-current.  In the brain, levels of acetylcholine change with activity.  For example, acetylcholine is higher during waking and REM sleep and lower during slow wave sleep. We will show how the M-current affects the bifurcation structure of a generic conductance-based neural model and how this determines synchronization properties of the model.  We then use phase-model analysis to study the effect of a slowly varying M-current on synchronization.  This is joint work with Victoria Booth, Xueying Wang and Isam Al-Darbasah.

Abstract

Synchronized activity of neurons is important for many aspects of brain function. Synchronization is affected by both network-level parameters, such as connectivity between neurons, and neuron-level parameters, such as firing rate. Many of these parameters are not static but may vary slowly in time. In this talk we focus on neuron-level parameters. Our work centres on the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which has been shown to modulate the firing properties of several types of neurons through its affect on potassium currents such as the muscarine-sensitive M-current.  In the brain, levels of acetylcholine change with activity.  For example, acetylcholine is higher during waking and REM sleep and lower during slow wave sleep. We will show how the M-current affects the bifurcation structure of a generic conductance-based neural model and how this determines synchronization properties of the model.  We then use phase-model analysis to study the effect of a slowly varying M-current on synchronization.  This is joint work with Victoria Booth, Xueying Wang and Isam Al-Darbasah

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  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
10 June 2021
13:00
Daniel Harris
Abstract

Understanding the motion of small bodies at a fluid interface has relevance to a range of natural systems and technological applications. In this talk, we discuss two systems where capillarity and fluid inertia govern the dynamics of millimetric particles at a fluid interface.

In the first part, we present a study of superhydrophobic spheres impacting a quiescent water bath.  Under certain conditions particles may rebound completely from the interface - an outcome we characterize in detail through a synthesis of experiments, modeling, and direct numerical simulation.  In the second half, we introduce a system wherein millimetric disks trapped at a fluid interface are vertically oscillated and spontaneously self-propel.  Such "capillary surfers" interact with each other via their collective wavefield and self-assemble into a myriad of cooperative dynamic states.  Our experimental observations are well captured by a first theoretical model for their dynamics, laying the foundation for future investigations of this highly tunable active system.

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  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
3 June 2021
12:00
Eva Antonopoulou & Hadrien Olivieri
Abstract

Eva Antonopoulou

Surfactants in drop-on-demand inkjet printing

The rapid development of new applications for inkjet printing and increasing complexity of the inks has created a demand for in silico optimisation of the ink jetting performance. Surfactants are often added to aqueous inks to modify the surface tension. However, the time-scales for drop formation in inkjet printing are short compared to the time-scales of the surfactant diffusion resulting a non-uniform surfactant distribution along the interface leading to surface tension gradients. We present both experiments and numerical simulations of inkjet break-up and drop formation in the presence of surfactants investigating both the surfactant transport on the interface and the influence of Marangoni forces on break-up dynamics. The numerical simulations were conducted using a modified version of the Lagrangian finite element developed by our previous work by including the solution for the transport equation for the surfactants over the free surface. During the initial phase of a “pull-push-pull” drive waveform, surfactants are concentrated at the front of the main drop with the trailing ligament being almost surfactant free. The resulting Marangoni stresses act to delay and can even prevent the break-off of the main drop from the ligament. We also examine and present some initial results on the effects of surfactants on the shape oscillations  of the main drop. Although there is little change to the oscillation frequency, the presence of surfactants significantly increases the rate of decay due to the rigidification of the surface, by modifying the internal flow within the droplet and enhancing the viscous dissipation.

Hadrien Oliveri

An optic ray theory for nerve durotaxis

During the development of the nervous system, neurons extend bundles of axons that grow and meet other neurons to form the neuronal network. Robust guidance mechanisms are needed for these bundles to migrate and reach their functional target. Directional information depends on external cues such as chemical or mechanical gradients. Unlike chemotaxis that has been extensively studied, the role and mechanism of durotaxis, the directed response to variations in substrate rigidity, remain unclear. We model bundle migration and guidance by rigidity gradients by using the theory of morphoelastic rods. We show that at a rigidity interface, the motion of axon bundles follows a simple behavior analogous to optic ray theory and obeys Snell’s law for refraction and reflection. We use this powerful analogy to demonstrate that axons can be guided by the equivalent of optical lenses and fibers created by regions of different stiffnesses.

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  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
27 May 2021
12:00
Jacco Snoeijer
Abstract

Soft elastic interfaces can strongly deform under the influence of external forces, and can even exhibit elastic singularities. Here we discuss two cases where such singularities occur. First, we describe surface creases that form under compression (or swelling) of an elastic medium. Second, we consider the elastocapillary ridges that form when a soft substrate is wetted by a liquid drop. Analytical descriptions are presented and compared to experiments. We reveal that, like for liquid interfaces, the surface tension of the solid is a key factor in shaping the surface, and determines the nature of the singularity.

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  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
20 May 2021
12:00
Abstract

The Wilson–Cowan population model of neural activity has greatly influenced our understanding of the mechanisms for the generation of brain rhythms and the emergence of structured brain activity. As well as the many insights that have been obtained from its mathematical analysis, it is now widely used in the computational neuroscience community for building large scale in silico brain networks that can incorporate the increasing amount of knowledge from the Human Connectome Project. In this talk, I will introduce a new neural population model in the spirit of that originally developed by Wilson and Cowan, albeit with the added advantage that it can account for the phenomena of event related synchronisation and de-synchronisation. This derived mean field model provides a dynamic description for the evolution of synchrony, as measured by the Kuramoto order parameter, in a large population of quadratic integrate-and-fire model neurons. As in the original Wilson–Cowan framework, the population firing rate is at the heart of our new model; however, in a significant departure from the sigmoidal firing rate function approach, the population firing rate is now obtained as a real-valued function of the complex valued population synchrony measure. To highlight the usefulness of this next generation Wilson–Cowan style model I will show how it can be deployed in a number of neurobiological contexts, providing understanding of the changes in power-spectra observed in EEG/MEG neuroimaging studies of motor-cortex during movement, insights into patterns of functional-connectivity observed during rest and their disruption by transcranial magnetic stimulation, and to describe wave propagation across cortex.

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  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
13 May 2021
12:00
Alex Wray
Abstract

Controlling film flows has long been a central target for fluid dynamicists due to its numerous applications, in fields from heat exchangers to biochemical recovery, to semiconductor manufacture. However, despite its significance in the literature, most analyses have focussed on the “forward” problem: what effect a given control has on the flow. Often these problems are already complex, incorporating the - generally multiphysical - interplay of hydrodynamic phenomena with the mechanism of control. Indeed, many systems still defy meaningful agreement between models and experiments.
 
The inverse problem - determining a suitable control scheme for producing a specified flow - is considerably harder, and much more computationally expensive (often involving thousands of calculations of the forward problem). Performing such calculations for the full Navier-Stokes problem is generally prohibitive.

We examine the use of electric fields as a control mechanism. Solving the forward problem involves deriving a low-order model that turns out to be accurate even deep into the shortwave regime. We show that the weakly-nonlinear problem is Kuramoto-Sivashinsky-like, allowing for greater analytical traction. The fully nonlinear problem can be solved numerically via the use of a rapid solver, enabling solution of both the forward and adjoint problems on sub-second timescales, allowing for both terminal and regulation optimal control studies to be implemented. Finally, we examine the feasibility of controlling direct numerical simulations using these techniques.

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  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
6 May 2021
12:00
to
13:30
Lorna Ayton
Abstract

Noise is generated in an aerodynamic setting when flow turbulence encounters a structural edge, such as at the sharp trailing edge of an aerofoil. The generation of this noise is unavoidable, however this talk addresses various ways in which it may be mitigated through altering the design of the edge. The alterations are inspired by natural silent fliers: owls. A short review of how trailing-edge noise is modelled will be given, followed by a discussion of two independent adaptations; serrations, and porosity. The mathematical impacts of the adaptations to the basic trailing-edge model will be presented, along with the physical implications they have on noise generation and control.

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  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
29 April 2021
12:00
Alice Thompson
Abstract

The propagation of a deformable air finger or bubble into a fluid-filled channel with an imposed pressure gradient was first studied by Saffman and Taylor. Assuming large aspect ratio channels, the flow can be depth-averaged and the free-boundary problem for steady propagation solved by conformal mapping. Famously, at zero surface tension, fingers of any width may exist, but the inclusion of vanishingly small surface tension selects symmetric fingers of discrete finger widths. At finite surface tension, Vanden-Broeck later showed that other families of 'exotic' states exist, but these states are all linearly unstable.

In this talk, I will discuss the related problem of air bubble propagation into rigid channels with axially-uniform, but non-rectangular, cross-sections. By including a centred constriction in the channel, multiple modes of propagation can be stabilised, including symmetric, asymmetric and oscillatory states, with a correspondingly rich bifurcation structure. These phenomena can be predicted via depth-averaged modelling, and also observed in our experiments, with quantitative agreement between the two in appropriate parameter regimes. This agreement provides insight into the physical mechanisms underlying the observed behaviour. I will outline our efforts to understand how the system dynamics is affected by the presence of nearby unstable solution branches acting as edge states. Finally, I will discuss how feedback control and control-based continuation could be used for direct experimental observation of stable or unstable modes.

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  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar
11 March 2021
12:30
Michael Brenner

Further Information: 

This final OCIAM seminar of the term takes place slightly later than usual at 12:30 

Abstract

Biological systems provide an inspiration for creating a new paradigm
for materials synthesis. What would it take to enable inanimate material
to acquire the properties of living things? A key difference between
living and synthetic materials is that the former are programmed to
behave as they do, through interactions, energy consumption and so
forth. The nature of the program is the result of billions of years of
evolution. Understanding and emulating this program in materials that
are synthesizable in the lab is a grand challenge. At its core is an
optimization problem: how do we choose the properties of material
components that we can create in the lab to carry out complex reactions?
I will discuss our (not-yet-terribly-successful efforts)  to date to
address this problem, by designing both equiliibrium and kinetic 
properties of materials, using a combination of statistical mechanics,
kinetic modeling and ideas from machine learning.

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  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar

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