Mathematical Theoretical Biology Institute site

Research Director: Carlos Castillo-Chavez profile

Graduate Research Associate: Edgar Diaz personal page
MSTF Fellows: Aldo Arellano and Charles Starks;

At Institute waiting to be instructed

For five weeks (June 22 - July 24) we are going to be imbedded as teacher-researchers with the institute to learn about the research conducted by undergraduate and graduate students attending the yearly summer program. Every summer students accepted into the program receive mentoring, which it may extend into graduate school or post doctoral position as well as research experience developing models at the interface of the computational, mathematical and biological sciences. This summer from June 25 through June 28, MSTF fellows participating in this research group will attend the conference: Mitigating the Spread of A/H1N1: Lessons Learned from Past Outbreaks.

Health officials, Mathematicians, Biostaticians, and Researchers from Canada, Mexico and the United States will attend the four-day conference. Researchers presenting at the conference come from
from Purdue University, North Carolina State University, the Centers for Disease Control, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Entropy Research Institute, University of California at Los Angeles and Yale University.

Carlos Castillo-Chavez an ASU Regents’ Professor and the Joaquin Bustoz Jr. Professor of Mathematical Biology and
director of ASU's new Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the host. As quoted on ASU news, "North American cooperation is essential to ensure the well being and vitality of our region. Public health issues recognize no boundaries and must be addressed globally. ASU has close ties to groups in Mexico and Canada. It is only natural that we would bring them together on this important topic."

Carlos Castillo-Chavez was quoted on ASU news that the goal of the conference
"is to begin to expand the repertoire of scientific models that policymakers can use to test the impact of intervention efforts. It will take a global effort to contain a pandemic such as this. It will test not only our scientific capabilities, but our capacity to work together toward a common goal."

Speakers at the conference will present their findings on their most current research, as well as, on lessons learned from past outbreaks of the same influenza virus (Spanish flu 1918-1919.) Health officials from Toronto, ON, Ca responsible for monitoring the emergence and spread of the influenza virus A/H1N1 will present ways in which mathematical modeling has been actively brought into public health policy discussion in Ontario and illustrate the ways in which models have helped to inform policy makers on vaccination strategies and influenza testing.

Some of the questions to be addressed listed on ASU news are:

• What is the impact of mass transportation systems (air-traffic and other) on disease dynamics?
• What is our current state of preparedness?
• Does the region have enough vaccines and antiviral drugs?
• Is our current use/management of antiviral drugs sustainable?
• How can we use information technology to facilitate flu monitoring and surveillance in real time?
• How useful has past knowledge been in dealing with current outbreaks?

A demonstration of a mathematical model that may be used by public health organization and first responders to “test their plans and capabilities to respond to pandemic influenza” will be held at Arizona State University’s Decision Theater. This facility provides visualization, simulation and collaborative decision-making tools.

MTBI Research

"The Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute and Institute for Strengthening the Understanding of Mathematics and Science (MTBI/SUMS) supports the development of students through educational, research and mentorship activities from high school to the postdoctoral level. Its programs include intensive multiple-summer research training institutes, long-term support for its alumni, continuous research opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students and opportunities for national and international visitors."

Group Project:

The purpose of our group's research is to determine the optimum ratio of high aptitude to low aptitute students and its effect on achievement in a mathematics classroom. We seek to determine this ratio through a mathematical model. The model's initial parameters can be expanded or modified to alter the initial environment of our population.




We would like to acknowledge the following people who made our teacher-research experience possible.
Carlos Castillo-Chavez, MCMSC, Director.
Jose Flores, lecturer
Chris Kribs, lecturer
Naala Brewer, Technology lecturer
Edgar Diaz, Graduate Research Associate

External Links

Definition of Predator-Prey Model

Lotka-Volterra model by Alexei Sharov
Lotka-Volterra equation by mathworld

Visualizing a Continous Predator-Prey Model

Predator-prey population model by
Predator-prey model by mmartin