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Research - Complex Systems

Virophysics

Researcher: Catherine Beauchemin

Virophysics: use of physical models to resolve the temporal and spatial dynamics of viral infections. Specifically, the development of realistic mathematical and computer models to capture and expalin the kinetics of virus infection spread within a cell culture (in vitro) or a host (in vivo). Apply physical models to accurately quantify the mode of action and efficacy of antiviral drugs and the phenotypic effect of virus mutations which confer drug resistance. Virus of primary interest: influenza, hepatitis C, dengue, and the respiratory syncitial virus.

To learn more about phymbie and to find out about current research within the group, please visit the phymbie website.

Statistical physics of complex systems

Researcher: Dr. Eric De Giuli

Statistical physics of complex systems: systems with many degrees of freedom can exhibit unexpected and dramatic emergent behaviour at large scales. For example, an elastic solid has a shear modulus while an atom does not. In my work I study such behaviour in specific systems and also propose general models that may describe universal phenomena observable in many systems. Current interest is in analytical techniques for topologically disordered systems, in particular amorphous matter, syntactic structures, and reaction networks.

Networks and nonlinear dynamics

Researcher: Dr. Sean P. Cornelius

I study how the structure and dynamics of large complex systems combine to create interesting emergent phenomena, especially cascading failures. Cascading processes underlie many negative outcomes in the built and natural world, ranging from power blackouts to cellular disorders. My research focuses on diagnosing the mechanisms behind this phenomenon in different application areas, and finding ways to control the dynamics of complex systems, steering them toward better outcomes. Current research topics include the elimination of invasive species in ecosystems and the design of "smart", self-healing infrastructure networks.