February 24, 2015
Lecture: Harry Swinney, “Emergence of Ordered Patterns in Physical, Chemical, and Biological Systems”
Tuesday, 7 p.m., Vollum lecture hall
From spatial patterns like the stripes on a zebra to temporal patterns like the rhythmic beating of the heart, patterns are ubiquitous in nature. Understanding how these patterns emerge is one of science’s most enduring mysteries. In this lecture, Professor Swinney will discuss how ordered patterns emerge as systems are driven away from thermodynamic equilibrium. While no general theory of pattern formation currently exists, new analysis techniques, experiments, and computational methods can provide general insights into pattern formation in a diversity of physical, chemical, and biological systems. Professor Swinney is the Sid Richardson Foundation Regents Chair of Physics and director of the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics at the University of Texas at Austin. He is one of the pioneering figures in the study of chaos theory and has played a leading role in the study of nonlinear dynamics over the past 40 years. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and his work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Moser Prize, the Richardson Medal, and the Boltzmann Medal. Sponsored by the Reed College Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.