During Academic year 2018-19, the CMSA will be hosting a Program on Mathematical Biology.
Just over a century ago, the biologist, mathematician and philologist D’Arcy Thompson wrote “On growth and form”. The book was a visionary synthesis of the geometric biology of form at the time. It also served as a call for mathematical and physical approaches to understanding the evolution and development of shape.
In the century since its publication, we have seen a revolution in biology following the discovery of the genetic code, which has uncovered the molecular and cellular basis for life, combined with the ability to probe the chemical, structural, and dynamical nature of molecules, cells, tissues and organs across scales. In parallel, we have seen a blossoming of our understanding of spatiotemporal patterning in physical systems, and a gradual unveiling of the complexity of physical form. And in mathematics and computation, there has been a revolution in terms of posing and solving problems at the intersection of computational geometry, statistics and inference. So, how far are we from realizing a descriptive, predictive and controllable theory of biological shape?
In Fall 2018, CMSA will focus on a program that aims at recent mathematical advances in describing shape using geometry and statistics in a biological context, while also considering a range of physical theories that can predict biological shape at scales ranging from macromolecular assemblies to whole organ systems
In the Fall of 2018, the CMSA will be hosting two workshops as part of this program. The Workshop on Morphometrics Morphogenesis and Mathematics will take place on October 22-26.