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Location: New England Complex Systems Institute, 24 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge, MA

Date: Monday, September 23, 2005

Contact: web@necsi.org or 617-547-4100

Please join us at the New England Complex Systems Institute in Harvard Square to discuss complex physical, biological and social systems. This is an opportunity for open discussion of interests and research you are doing or would like to engage in. The setting is informal and comprised of local undergraduate & graduate students, postdocs and faculty from various disciplines interested in complex systems.


Friday, October 7, 2005
Speaker: Richard Metzler, NECSI and MIT

Title: Pattern Formation Through Birth and Death


I first present a simple model of one or more populations whose members
givebirth to new organisms that settle nearby, and die at a rate to keep the
population constant. This model exhibits coarsening (i.e., growth of
clusters) that leads to a steady state with fractal spatial stuctures
and other nontrivial properties. With populations of two or more species,
one observes phase separation.

The second part explores some of the biological implications of such a
spatial population structure, compared to a well-mixed population. Spatial
proximity leads to inbreeding, which has a strong impact on the fate of
recessive mutations, both beneficial and deleterious; the odds of fixation
for dominant mutations remain constant.

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