Coast to Coast Seminar Series

The Coast to Coast Seminar is an hour-long presentation given on a scientific topic and made accessible to audiences at a number of remote sites through collaboration technology. C2C seminars are held every two weeks throughout the academic year alternating between the West Coast and the East Coast of Canada.

The actual presentation is expected to be of high quality scientifically, yet accessible to a fairly general scientific audience. Accordingly, the seminars are widely advertised and attract audiences from various scientific fields, depending on the presenter’s topic.


The theme for the Fall 2011 Coast to Coast Seminar Series is "Modelling of Complex Systems". The coordinator of the series is Dr. Warren Hare, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Science, University of British Columbia.

For Fall 2011 we are using another issue of increasing importance: modelling of complex systems central to social welfare issues. Complex systems exhibit properties that are not obvious from their individual parts such as systems driven by social influences and human behaviour. They arise in many fields such as climate changes, life sciences, criminology research, urban dynamics, disease dynamics, and health services delivery. Many of the most pressing social problems of this century need to be studied as complex systems. In general, modelling of complex systems require interdisciplinary knowledge, sophisticated mathematics (modelling and optimization), computational techniques and a profound understanding of the issues and context of related problems.

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Past Presentations

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Michael Carter is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto and Director of the Centre for Research in Healthcare Engineering. He received his doctorate in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo in 1980. Since 1989, his research focus has been in the area of health care resource modeling with a variety of projects in hospitals, home care, rehab, long term care, medical labs and mental health institutions. He has supervised more than 160 engineering students in over 100 projects with healthcare institutions. He currently has 18 students (7 doctoral, 5 masters and 6 undergrad)...

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A better comprehension of animal movement is vital to interpreting key ecological and evolutionary processes such as the spatial-temporal patterns of resource selection, foraging behaviour, and predator-prey interactions. As human activities continually alter landscapes and influence the behaviour and movement patterns of organisms, a variety of pressing ecological and health issues are emerging, such as the spread of invasive species and infectious diseases. Hence, advances in our understanding of animal movement will have direct implications in several disciplines including landscape ecology, conservation biology, and wildlife...

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

External radiation is a primal modality in treating various cancers. The clinical outcome of the treatment directly relates to the radiation dose delivered to the patient. A fundamental question in treatment planning "can we produce better plans relying on the existing technology?" still remains unanswered, in large part due to the underlying complexity of the problem. We overview some optimization techniques that have the potential to improve the situation.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011


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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

In this talk I will study mathematical models for the movement of cells in aligned tissue. These cells are typically caner metastasis, which invade along fibre tracks into healthy tissue. A new MRI modality called DTI imaging (diffusion tensor imaging) can be used to measure the fibrous structure inside the brain (e.g. white matter tracks). I will discuss how transport equations and non-isotropic diffusion equations can be used to implement DTI data into the modeling of glioma growth.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

When modeling complex social systems many dimensions need to be considered. In this presentation, I argue that space, or geography, is one of those necessary dimensions. Beginning with a brief overview of "ecological" investigations that use spatially-referenced data but do not always map the data, I show the utility of mapping this information in a number of ways. First, I show how visualizing data allows for a clearer picture of your research area to emerge. Second, this is followed by the use of exploratory spatial data analysis and identifying the strength of spatial relationships. Third, I provide a brief overview of classical versus...

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