by Mark Peletier, CWI Amsterdam, Mark.Peletier@cwi.nl
During the month of June, Professor James Keener (University of Utah) http://www.math.utah.edu/~keener/ was an honorary visitor of the Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI) in Amsterdam.
Professor Keener is a specialist on mathematical aspects of physiology (see e.g. his book, in collaboration with James Sneyd, Mathematical Physiology, Springer, 1998). During his stay in Amsterdam he was actively involved in a variety of current research projects at the CWI (see http://dbs.cwi.nl:8080/cwwwi/owa/cwwwi.print_projects?ID=5), and also spawned a couple of new ones. As an example, a conversation with Frank Bruggeman (VU-Amsterdam) sparked a new research project on the relation between ultra-sensitivity, scaffolding, and diffusion in signal-transduction processes. As another example, combination of work that Professor Keener had started earlier, and interests present at the CWI, led to a collaborative project on mechanical aspects of biofilm growth.
In addition to these informal activities, Professor Keener presented a series of lectures entitled Cardiac Electrophysiology and Arrhythmias in which he gave a basic introduction to wave propagation in cardiac tissue, and analysed both the normal function and a number of well-known arrhythmias in terms of the spatial properties of the associated wave patterns. He was also a speaker at the first MAS Crossroads Colloquium Modelling and Analysis in the Life Sciences (June 7 2000, at the CWI-Amsterdam).