Laboratory for New Media 13th Exhibition
‘The World where “1+1≠2” - An Encouragement of Mathematical Modelling’
Laboratory for New Media Permanent Exhibition periodically updates contents of exhibitions to introduce the various possibilities of expression provided by information science and technology.
Galileo wrote that “the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics,” and in keeping with this idea, innovative research into expressing the world’s complex phenomena using mathematics is being carried out in a wide range of areas. If the world we live in was simple enough to be expressed with equations like “1+1=2,” it would certainly make understanding phenomena, predicting the future, and solving problems much easier. However, our world seems so complex and disordered. This exhibition introduces some of the researchers taking on the challenge of shedding light on our complex world by using “mathematical modelling.”
Mission 1: Prevent the spread of infectious diseases
Suppose a pandemic crisis is swiftly approaching. If the spread of infectious diseases can be described with mathematical models, it should become possible to put in place preventive measures. However, there are a multitude of factors that need to be taken into consideration, such as the type of pathogens involved, transmission routes, climate, differences between individuals, etc. When trying to consider all of these factors, it becomes too complicated to figure out the essential characteristics of the spread of infectious diseases.
Collaborative researchers: Junichi Akita, Koji Iwayama, Chiyori Urabe, Keisuke Ejima, Fumiyuki Fujii, Naoya Fujiwara
Mission 2: Unlock the secrets of the brain
The human brain is a network of about 100 billion neurons. Taking lessons from chaotic phenomena found in the neurons, the “Brain with Chaotic Dynamics” was created by connecting 100 elements capable of carrying out the functions of neurons, and is able to imitate the workings of the human brain. It was created using real and simulated electronic circuits. By solving the “Let’s Make a Peaceful Zoo” problem, try to identify the humanlike behavior of the “Brain with Chaotic Dynamics.”
Collaborative researchers: Keita Tokuda, Shunsuke Horai, Yoshihiko Horio, Masato Ozawa
Mission 3: Reveal the ‘ultra’ abilities of bat sonar
Bats emit ultrasonic waves and then listen to the reflected waves to determine the direction and distance to objects. Using this ability called SONAR, bats can catch insects as small as mosquitoes while in flight. When considering bats as an acoustic system they seem very small, yet they have highly flexible and accurate signal processing abilities. If one could figure out how this ability of bats works, it could be utilized in engineering applications.
Collaborative researchers: Ikkyu Aihara, Shizuko Hiryu, Emyo Fujioka
Mission 4: Plan a treatment schedule
Recently, the number of patients who suffer from prostate cancer is increasing. A basic strategy for its treatment is to suppress the growth of cancer cells by medicine. But, we have to stop and restart the medicine several times because the cancer cells eventually acquire resistance to the medicine. The problem here is that there is no uniform treatment schedule that benefits every patient because the characteristics of cancer cell growth depend on each patient.
Collaborative researchers: Koji Iwayama, Taiji Suzuki, Gouhei Tanaka, Yoshito Hirata, Kai Morino
Mission 5: Detect early warning signals of complex diseases
Between the “healthy” and “disease” phases or states, there is an intermediate “pre-disease” phase. This is a borderline phase from which patients can still recover to the “healthy” state with an appropriate treatment, or the patients will rapidly develop to the disease state. Thus, it is crucial to detect this pre-disease state or tipping point so as to provide effective and early treatment of the disease. The key signal lies in gene activity. However, there are so many genes whose expressions dynamically fluctuate, and it is a difficult task to identify those genes related to the disease.
Collaborative researchers: Koji Iwayama, Luonan Chen, Rui Liu
Mission 6: Forecast aftershocks
A vast number of aftershocks occur following major earthquakes. Forecasting aftershocks is strongly required to reduce seismic risks. However, it is very difficult to accurately forecast aftershocks in the early stage, because there are so many aftershocks just after the main shock that it is not possible to detect them all. There is a need for more rapid forecast using mathematical modelling.
Collaborative researchers: Koji Iwayama, Takahiro Omi, Yosihiko Ogata
Mission 7: Synchronize with fireflies
Everyone has experienced situations where people who have been acting independently suddenly notice their actions have become synchronized. This phenomenon is frequently observed in the natural world also, and one of the prime examples of this is the synchronized light emissions of fireflies. Try to work out the system of synchronization by simulating the functions of fireflies using electronic circuits and setting them out in a variety of configurations.
Collaborative researchers: Daisuke Ito, Keiji Okumura, Hiroshi Kawakami, Keiko Kimoto, Akinori Tsuji
|Term||February 19 (Wed.), 2014 - September 1 (Mon.), 2014|
|Exhibitors||“Mathematical Theory for Modelling Complex Systems and its Transdisciplinary Applications in Science and Technology”
(FIRST, Aihara Innovative Mathematical Modelling Project)