February 2, 2023: Visiting Fellow Dr. Maria Chudnovsky

How can math help us understand the brain?  Introduction Western Academy Visiting Fellow Dr. Maria Chudnovsky

Neuroscientists use a branch of mathematics known as graph theory to further their understanding of how the brain works.  Graph theory is a field of mathematics that involves the study of networks, composed of individual units and the connections between them. Because the functions of the brain are thought to arise from the sophisticated web of connections between neurons, graph theory is a useful tool for helping researchers comprehend its complex structure. This mathematical approach may, as this article suggests, play a key role in shedding light on neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and schizophrenia.

A leading scholar in graph theory, Visiting Fellow Dr. Maria Chudnovsky (Princeton) shares considerable expertise with the Western Academy’s “Mathematics of Neural Networks” theme. While still a graduate student at Princeton University, Chudnovsky helped solve a long-standing problem in this field. This and other exceptional work compelled the MacArthur Foundation to honour her with a “genius grant” in 2012.  As Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, she continues to make significant contributions to the field. 

The ”Mathematics of Neural Networks” theme is developing new mathematical approaches to understanding neural activity.  So far, their research has helped to produce new developments about a rare neurological disorder that primarily affects young girls. Dr. Chudnovsky’s involvement in the “Neural Networks” theme promises to strengthen their work in graph theory, helping them to find new tools to apply for understanding the structure and function of the networks in the human brain.

Interested in learning more?  Join us for an exciting week of events, hosted in partnership with Western University's Department of Mathematics and the Association for Women in Mathematics (Western Chapter):

Events for February 7-9:

Western Academy Visiting Fellow Series:  Dr. Maria Chudnovsky (Princeton)

"Induced subgraphs and tree decompositions"

Tuesday, February 7, 2:30 pm

WIRB 3000

Dr. Sophie Spirkl (University of Waterloo)

"Chi-boundedness and eta-boundedness"

Wednesday, February 8, 2:30 pm

MC 107

The Association for Women in Mathematics (Western Chapter) Presents: 

A Coffee Hour with Dr. Maria Chudnovsky

Thursday, February 9, 1:30 pm

MC 204

Dr. Logan Crew (University of Waterloo)

"Chromatic symmetric functions:  How to study graphs using algebra, and vice-versa"

Thursday, February 9, 2:30 pm

MC 204