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Series: Other Talks

A discussion of the paper "RNA folding with soft constraints: reconciliation of probing data and thermodynamic secondary structure prediction" by Washietl et al (NAR, 2012).

Series: Other Talks

A discussion of the paper "Evaluation of the information content of RNA structure mapping data for secondary structure prediction" by Quarrier et al (RNA, 2010).

Series: Other Talks

Host: Daniel Goldman, School of Physics

Guided by direct experiments on many-legged animals, mathematical models and physical models (robots), we postulate a hierarchical family of control loops that necessarily include constraints of the body's mechanics. At the lowest end of this neuromechanical hierarchy, we hypothesize the primacy of mechanical feedback - neural clocks exciting tuned muscles acting through chosen skeletal postures. Control algorithms appear embedded in the form and skeleton of the animal itself. The control potential of muscles must be realized through complex, viscoelastic bodies. Bodies can absorb and redirect energy for transitions. Tails can be used as inertial control devices. On top of this physical layer reside sensory feedback driven reflexes that increase an animal's stability further and, at the highest level, environmental sensing that operates on a stride-to-stride timescale to direct the animal's body. Most importantly, locomotion requires an effective interaction with the environment. Understanding control requires understanding the coupling to environment. Amazing feet permit creatures such as geckos to climb up walls at over meter per second without using claws, glue or suction - just molecular forces using hairy toes. Fundamental principles of animal locomotion have inspired the design of self-clearing dry adhesives and autonomous legged robots such as the Ariel, Mecho-gecko, Sprawl, RHex, RiSE and Stickybot that can aid in search and rescue, inspection, detection and exploration.

Series: Other Talks

Host: Turgay Uzer, School of Physics

Joseph Ford saw beauty in "Chaos" and the potential for ``villainous chaos" to be used in a constructive manner. His ideas have proved prescient. The talk will focus mainly on how chaotic dynamics may have played a key constructive -- rather than destructive -- role in shaping certain features of the Kuiper belt: in particular, the formation and properties of binary objects in the transneptunian part of the Solar System. Kuiper belt binaries stand out from other known binary objects in having a range of peculiar orbital and physical properties which may, actually, be the fingerprint of chaos in the primordial Kuiper belt. Understanding how these remote binaries formed may shed light on the formation and evolution of the Solar System itself.

Series: Other Talks

Hosts: Michael Schatz and Predrag Cvitanovic, School of Physics

Georgia Tech Workshop on Hamiltonian Dynamics and Chaos:
Ground Control to Niels Bohr: Exploring Outer Space with Atomic Physics.
Workshop Committee:
Cristel Chandre: Cristel.Chandre@cpt.univ-mrs.fr, Chair;
Predrag Cvitanović: predrag@gatech.edu;
Rafael de la Llave: rll6@math.gatech.edu;
Mike Schatz: michael.schatz@physics.gatech.edu

Series: Other Talks

A discussion of the paper "Understanding the Errors of SHAPE-Directed RNA Structure Modeling" by Kladwang et al (2011).

Series: Other Talks

An undergraduate-accessible talk.

In this talk, I will try to give you an idea of how mathematicians manage to say anything meaningful about higher-dimensional spaces, and relate this to the recent proof of the Poincare conjecture that won the Millennium Prize of the Clay Institute. Besides bringing your enquiring minds, at least 50% of the audience needs to bring a belt for those articles will play a key role in our discussion.

Series: Other Talks

A discussion of the papers "Accurate SHAPE-directed RNA structure
determination" by Deigan et al (2008) and "SHAPE-directed RNA secondary
structure prediction" by Low and Weeks (2010).

Series: Other Talks

A discussion of the paper "Complete suboptimal folding of RNA and the stability of secondary structures" by Wuchty et al (1999).

Series: Other Talks

Workshop Theme: Submodular functions are discrete analogues of convex functions, arising in various fields of computer science and operations research. Since the seminal work of Jack Edmonds (1970), submodularity has long been recognized as a common structure of many efficiently solvable combinatorial optimization problems. Recent algorithmic developments in the past decade include combinatorial strongly polynomial algorithm for minimization, constant factor approximation algorithms for maximization, and efficient methods for learning submodular functions. In addition, submodular functions find novel applications in combinatorial auctions, machine learning, and social networks. This workshop aims at providing a forum for researchers from a variety of backgrounds for exchanging results, ideas, and problems on submodular optimization and its applications. The workshop will be held from March 19-22, 2012. For complete details and workshop program, please see
the website.