The mathematics of randomness inside a single cell

  • Date: 09/28/2009
Dr. David Thorsley, Research Associate
Department of Electrical Engineering
University of Washington

Calgary Place Tower (Shell)


Randomness pervades the biochemical processes that make up life at the cellular level; variations in the dynamic behaviour of cellular processes have been observed even if cells are genetically identical and located in identical environments.   Examples of stochastic phenomena inside the cell are numerous and stochastic modeling plays an important role in the design of novel synthetic cellular networks.  In this talk, I will describe basic mathematical techniques for the modeling, simulating, and analyzing stochastic biocircuits such as Markov processes, the Gillespie algorithm, and master equations.  With this background, I will then introduce some problems on the cutting edge of single-cell analysis and describe methods that scientists and engineers are developing to parsimoniously model biocircuits, estimate their states and parameters, and deal with the inherent uncertainty of the cellular environment.



Calgary Place Tower 1 (330 5th Avenue SW), Room 1104 and 1106

Other Information: 

The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences is grateful for the
support of Shell Canada Limited, Alberta Advanced Education and
Technology, and the University of Calgary for their support of this
series of lectures.