Student Colloquium talk by Professor Matthew Mizuhara ’12 of The College of New Jersey
Title: An Orchestra without a Conductor: The Mathematics of Synchronizing Fireflies
Abstract: In Amphawa, Thailand trees are lined with thousands of fireflies spontaneously flashing in near perfect unison. However, there is no “leader” driving this coordination. The Kuramoto model, a non-linear system of differential equations, describes the firefly flashes. Using numerical simulations, we can capture this spontaneous emergence of synchronization and explore other, new patterns which can arise. No background in differential equations is required to enjoy this talk!