Fakultät für Physik

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Seminar: Stochastic Processes and Networks in Biology – Topics

If you want to give a presentation at the seminars, you should send your application to Professor Frey by e-mail (frey@lmu.de) no later than November 6, 2020. The application must contain your CV, transcript of records, and your top 3 topics of interest.

Note: All resources below are either free to access or can be accessed via the university library. See their website for more information.

  1. Stochastic Models for Bacterial Growth

    All organisms control the size of their cells. Recent theoretical and experimental work has shown that there are quantitative laws governing cell size and its dependence on growth rate. In this seminar talk you will investigate analytically solvable theoretical models.
  2. How Stem Cells Regulate their Population

    To keep us alive, renewal of cells is crucial. On top of that, stem cells are well known for its ability to turn into other cell types; meanwhile keeping its capacity of self-replication. In this seminar, we will understand how stem cells maintain their population using knowledge in population dynamics.
  3. Physical Limits of Concentration Sensing

    Cells react to biochemical cues in their environment, but what are the requirements to measure these cues? When zooming in on a biochemical receptor that detects the local density of biochemical molecules, the discrete nature of these molecules becomes apparent, in the form of molecule number fluctuations. These number fluctuations translate to a noisy receptor activity. In this seminar talk, you will investigate the physical limits where the measurement noise of bioreceptors begins to dominate over their measurement signal.
  4. Brownian Ratchet and Molecular Motors

    Nonequilibrium fluctuations in an isothermal medium and the anisotropic system can induce mechanical force and motion. Brownian ratchet is one of the paradigmatic examples of such phenomena. Within this seminar, we will consider how the concept of Brownian ratchet can be used to describe the movement of molecular motors along the biofilaments.
  5. How to Price Derivatives – The Black-Scholes Equation

    The Black-Scholes equation can be used to price any financial instrument deriving its value from an underlying asset. It has proven to be one of the most important tools for pricing derivatives including stock market volatility. Within this seminar we will derive the BS-equation using only a few assumptions and Ito calculus. No prior knowledge about financial instruments is required.
  6. How Randomness can Create Order – Fluctuation-Induced Phase Transitions

    Noise is usually thought of as a phenomenon which creates disorder. However, certain systems show the emergence of ordered states due to an interplay of noise and non-linear effects. In this talk you will study a toy model which exhibits such a noise induced phase transition. To do so, you have to rely on Langevin equations and their correspondence to Fokker-Planck equations.
  7. Active Matter and Boltzmann Ansatz

    Active matter is composed of large numbers of active agents, each of which can convert chemical energy to mechanical work. In the seminar, we consider how the equations of collective motion in an active matter system can be derived using the so-called Boltzmann ansatz.
  8. Nonequilibrium Self-Assembly Processes

    Self-assembly and self-organisation are two fundamental concepts used to explain the astonishing ability of natural systems to autonomously generate complex structures and patterns. Moreover, the artificial fabrication of complex nanostructures via self-assembly is assumed to be of great relevance for future technologies in medicine as well as in engineering. In this talk you will analyze a recently proposed generic model using concepts including Master equations and Fokker-Planck-equations.
  9. Diffusiophoresis: How Density Gradients Can Induce Motion in Unrelated Molecules

    Cells organize themselves in space and time by forming biochemical patterns and particle density gradients. In this seminar, you will investigate how density gradients can induce motion of other biomolecules without relying on specific interactions (in contrast to motor proteins that pull cargo). You will compare this phenomenon to osmosis.
  10. Infection Dynamics on Networks (WKB Method)

    Infection dynamics on networks are a timely topic. The nonlinear stochastic equations that are commonly used to model infection spread and exctinction are typically hard to solve analytically. You will get to know the basic mathematical framework of infection modeling and become acquainted with the use of powerful, generic methods for solving non-linear stochastic problems.
  11. Quantifying Irreversibility (Focus: KL-Divergence)

    The concept of thermodynamic irreversibility is fundamental for life. Irreversibility of a process is given by the distinguishability between the process and its time reversal, which in turn can be quantified using the Kullback-Leibler divergence or relative entropy. In this seminar talk, you will read about very recent methods that allow one to detect dissipative non-equilibrium processes even in partially hidden complex systems as they occur ubiquitously in biology.