Birds, Bugs, and Bifurcations

event Wednesday, November 6, 2019
access_time 6:00 PM
room PHSC 1105
info Pizza will be served after the talk.

Abstract: Physical or biological systems governed by nonlinear differential equations can exhibit very complicated behavior. In this talk we will consider an ecological system consisting of bugs (or worms) and birds who prey on them. This system is described by a single ODE. The system exhibits interesting phenomena, in particular, it undergoes a bifurcation, i.e., a dramatic change of behavior of the solutions of the system. The system at hand has another unexpected property - it has has not only one but two stable equilibria (this is called bistability). Most amazingly, we will analyze the behavior of the system without ever solving a single differential equation! No background in differential equations or biology is needed to understand this talk.

For more information on this event, please contact Catherine Hall.