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Comparing models of disturbance in applied dynamical systems

Abstract: Different choices for modeling disturbance to a dynamical system can lead to different predictions of future outcomes. For example, when modeling population growth, traditional techniques use a continuous disturbance to model removing part of the population. However, if the disturbance is relatively fast compared to the recovery period, we can choose to remove part of the population instantaneously in a type of impulsive differential equation that I like to call a flow-kick system. In this talk I'll introduce flow-kick systems and show that when maintaining a constant disturbance rate, flow-kick systems can have qualitatively different outcomes than their analogous continuous systems if the time between disturbances is large enough. I'll discuss some theory briefly but mainly focus on applications, including fires in savannas and human immune system reaction to reoccurring exposure to a virus.

Bio: Alanna Hoyer-Leitzel is an Associate Professor Mathematics at Mount Holyoke College. Her research in dynamical systems focuses on bifurcations and disturbance, with applications in physical, ecological, and biological systems. She likes cats, small dogs, and dabbling in fiber arts and gardening.

4:00pm talk in SMUD 206; 3:45pm refreshments in SMUD 208

Contact Info

Kathy Glista
(413) 542-2100
Please call the college operator at 413-542-2000 or e-mail info@amherst.edu if you require contact info @amherst.edu