Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar

Turbulence is everywhere in our daily life. The same turbulence in our blood vessels, coffee, rivers, etc. also exists in the universe over a vast range of length scales from planets to the large scale structure of the universe. The same physics of turbulence, including mixing, diffusion, dynamo amplification, applies to diverse astrophysical environments. This talk will introduce astrophysical turbulence and its power in connecting different astrophysical phenomena, from the most energetic explosions in the universe to our Sun.
Host: 
Clint Sprott
Speaker: Siyao Xu UW Department of Astronomy

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Tropical Cyclones (Hurricanes) are one of the most violent and dynamic storms on our planet. Each year an average of 80 tropical cyclones develop over the warm tropical oceans. Most of these storms spin harmlessly at sea. Others bring extreme winds, torrential rainfall and surges from the ocean ashore to devastating effect. Significant progress has been made in our ability to forecast the development and track of these storms over the last few decades. However, substantial challenges remain. Our ability to forecast the internal dynamics that drive the changes in storm intensity have not quite kept pace with other aspects of the forecast problem. Providing accurate and meaningful forecast information for an inherently chaotic system to the public is also a continuing challenge. This talk will explore recent advances in our understanding of these storms along with some remaining challenges related to the complex interactions between people and hurricanes.
Host: 
Clint Sprott
Speaker: Derrick Herndon Space Science and Engineering Center

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Theories about the emergence of human emotion have traditionally emphasized evolutionarily preserved, universal aspects of emotion or the functional and cultural adaptations of emotions. While these opposing views make different assumptions about the initial state of emotion in the brain, both theories devote little attention to or specification about potential processes for learning and developmental change. This colloquium will focus on the question of how brain and behavior are shaped and refined by children's early social and emotional experiences. To do so, I will describe recent research involving children who have experienced aberrant early life experiences. These include child abuse and neglect, children raised in extreme poverty, children raised in institutional settings, and children who have endured traumatic life experiences. Studies of these children provide new insights about the developmental processes underlying socio-emotional learning as well as shed light on the mechanisms through which children acquire emotions. In addition to these basic science questions, children raised in adverse environments are at increased risk for a variety of health, academic, and social problems. I will highlight ways in which research in this area can both address central issues in human development as well as hold tremendous promise for improving the health and well-being of children.
Host: 
Clint Sprott
Speaker: Seth Pollak UW Department of Psychology

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Orchids are the most diverse family of angiosperms, with more species than mammals, birds, and reptiles combined. Many ideas have been advanced to account for their extraordinary diversity, but they have – until quite recently – been impossible to test because we lacked a good phylogeny (family tree) for the orchids. My colleagues and I have now developed a well-resolved phylogeny for the orchids, based on large numbers of chloroplast genes, and I will show how we can use this phylogeny to identify the age and place of origin of the orchids, assess the role of different orchid traits in driving high rates of speciation, and reconstruct the geographic spread of orchids across the planet. I will also describe some of the remarkable aspects of the ecology of this endlessly fascinating group that have recently come to light, mention some of the notable aspects of orchid diversity in Wisconsin, and sketch some interesting scientific and conservation issues that should be explored in the future.
Host: 
Clint Sprott
Speaker: Tom Givnish UW Department of Botany

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
In this talk, I will present the role of side information, simulators, and GANs for learning with scarce data. In the first part, I will talk about the role of similarity graphs in recommendation systems. In the second part, the role of simulators and GANs will be discussed.
Host: 
Clint Sprott
Speaker: Kangwook Lee UW Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Climate health and population health are undeniably and inextricably linked. As healthcare institutions maintain a moral obligation to the healing of all the world's citizens, and healthcare being a significant, environmentally burdensome business, there exists a large motive and opportunity for "greening" healthcare. Even further, the operating room has been singled out as the most polluting and most energy-intensive part of the modern healthcare ecosystem. As the perioperative expert, this places a moral and economic obligation on anesthesiologists to improve environmental standards in the operating room. During this talk we will discuss the complex environmental and economic problems facing the healthcare industry and more specifically how "greening" the OR is the right choice for checkbooks and our environment alike.
Host: 
Clint Sprott
Speaker: Mike Ries UW Department of Anesthesiology

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
A conditional Gaussian nonlinear and non-Gaussian framework is developed and is applied to study data assimilation, uncertainty quantification and prediction of complex nonlinear turbulent dynamical systems. The talk will contain the following topics: recovering turbulent ocean flows, predicting non-Gaussian atmosphere phenomena including extreme events, solving the time evolution of high-dimensional probability density function, parameter estimation and recovering the hidden states in complex systems.
Host: 
Clint Sprott
Speaker: Nan Chen UW Department of Mathematics

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Unless we are colorblind or are in the dark, as soon as we look at any object, we know what color the object is. Simple, isn’t it? No, not really. The color we see is rarely just determined by the physical color, that is, the wavelength of visible light associated with that color. Other factors, such as the illuminating light, or the brightness surrounding a certain color, affect our perception of that color. Most striking, and useful, is understanding how the retina and the brain work together to interpret the color we see, and how they can be fooled by additive color mixing, which makes it possible to have color screens and displays. I will show the physical origin of all these phenomena and give live demos as I explain how they work. Bring your own eyes!

For more information: (1) watch TED talk: “Color: Physics and Perception” and (2) read book: PUPA Gilbert and W Haeberli “Physics in the Arts”, ISBN 9780123918789.
Host: 
Clint Sprott
Speaker: Pupa Gilbert UW Department of Physics

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)

Where do pathogens come from? Microbes are all around us, but infectious diseases arise from a tiny fraction of these diverse organisms. Research in my lab is aimed at uncovering the origin stories of pathogenic bacteria: the where, when, how and why of infectious disease emergence. Bacteria occupy incredibly diverse niches and adapt by a multiplicity of mechanisms. Pathogen origin stories reflect this ecological and evolutionary diversity, with our work and others’ showing that there are numerous paths to virulence. This presentation focuses on the origin story of a pathogen I started working on by accident, Staphylococcus saprophyticus. S. saprophyticus, which infects humans and animals, is able to move fluidly among diverse environments. This bacterium illustrates the intertwined ecologies of humans, animals, and the natural and built environments we share. In this presentation, I will share what we have learned about how S. saprophyticus evolved to cause disease.
Host: 
Clint Sprott
Speaker: Caitlin Pepperell UW Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
I will review the challenge(s) of meeting society’s energy needs and highlight how UW-Madison, as a Land Grant institution, the Wisconsin Energy Institute, and Great Lakes Bioenergy are addressing this challenge.
Host: 
Clint Sprott
Speaker: Tim Donohue UW Department of Bacteriology

 

Available Downloads:

Room and Building: 
4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)

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