Note: as I am not lecturing the course this year, this page is unofficial.
It may nevertheless be of use.
Click on the topics below to view or print files of the course material. The
printed sheets may be in HTML or Postscript format. If you are unable
to access any of the files mail me.
Bestiary and Background
- Course Syllabus
- The mole cricket summons his
mate by digging a resonant underground cavity and then chirping in it.
- The spruce budworm which periodically infests
Canadian forests has two, stable, spatially uniform population levels. An
infestation corresponds to a switch from the lower level to the higher.
- The clouded leopard and genet
are spotted, of course. But note how the tail is striped. The circumference is
too small to support azimuthal variation of the Turing eigenfunction.
- In contrast, the patterns on this python (and
lecturer) are fully two-dimensional.
- The Nile perch was introduced to Lake Victoria
in an attempt to increase fish yields. Since then, it has all but eradicated
several indigenous species of Cichlid fish, with devastating effects on local
fishing communities. These fish used to control a species of snail important in
the spread of Bilharzia, a fatal liver-fluke disease. The large oily perches
require smoking for preservation, which has resulted in the depletion of trees
for fuel. This ecological catastrophe illustrates how dangerous it can be to
neglect other species in population modelling.
- Hodgkin and Huxley were awarded a Nobel prize for their work on the
giant nerve axon of a squid. The process by which
an electrical impulse can be transmitted by nerve cells is well modelled by the
- The unique feeding mechanism of sponges suggests that they evolved
separately from other creatures. This enormous barrel
sponge could not rely solely on diffusion to transport nutrients. Rather,
it pumps large quantities of water through itself, using flagellae.
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Those on M3A21 and M4A21 take the same 2 hour paper, but those on the MSc course
take a 3 hour paper with an additional question.