Dynamical Systems Seminars

Fall 2016

The Dynamical Systems seminar is held on Monday afternoons at 4:00 PM in MCS 148. Tea beforehand is at 3:45 PM in MCS 144.

- September 12: Jim Walsh (Oberlin College)

Title: Modeling glacial cycles: Periodic orbits in a discontinuous vector field

Abstract: Conceptual climate models provide an approach to understanding climate processes through a mathematical analysis of an approximation to reality. Recently, these models have also provided interesting examples of nonsmooth dynamical systems. We present a conceptual model of glacial cycles consisting of a system of three ordinary differential equations defining a discontinuous vector field. We use ad-hoc singular perturbation techniques to prove the existence of a large periodic orbit crossing the discontinuity boundary, provided the ice sheet edge moves sufficiently slowly relative to changes in the snow line and temperature. This orbit can be interpreted as an intrinsic cycling of the Earth's climate giving rise to alternating glaciations and deglaciations. Numerical explorations reveal the periodic orbit exists when the time constant for the ice sheet edge has more moderate values. - September 19: Patrick Cummings (BU)

Title: Modified Energy Functionals and the NLS Approximation for Water Waves

Abstract: We consider a model equation that captures important properties of the water wave equation. We discuss a new proof of the fact that wave packet solutions of this equation are approximated by the nonlinear Schr\"{o}dinger equation. This proof both simplifies and strengthens previous results of Wayne and Schneider so that the approximation holds for the full interval of existence of the approximate NLS solution rather than just a subinterval. Furthermore, the proof avoids the problems associated with inverting the normal form transform by working with a modified energy functional motivated by Craig and Hunter et. al. - September 26: Katherine
Kinnaird (Brown University)

Title: Structure-Based Comparisons for Sequential Data

Abstract: We present aligned hierarchies, a low-dimensional representation for sequential data streams. The aligned hierarchies encode all hierarchical decompositions of repeated elements from a high-dimensional and noisy sequential data stream in one object. These aligned hierarchies can be embedded into a classification space with a natural notion of distance. We motivate our discussion through the lens of Music Information Retrieval (MIR), constructing aligned hierarchies by finding, encoding, and synthesizing all repeated structure present in a song. For a data set of digitized scores, we conducted experiments addressing the fingerprint task, a song comparison task in MIR, that achieved perfect precision-recall values and provide a proof of concept for the aligned hierarchies.

We also introduce aligned sub-hierarchies and aligned sub-decompositions. Both derived from the aligned hierarchies, these structure based representations for songs can be embedded into classification spaces and can address additional MIR tasks. We will compare properties of the aligned hierarchies, aligned sub-hierarchies, and the aligned sub-decompositions. - October 3: Ryan Goh (BU)

Title: Pattern formation in the wake of external mechanisms

Abstract: Over the past few decades, much work has been done to understand how natural pattern-forming processes can be harnessed to form self-organized and self-regulated structures. In this talk, we discuss how techniques from dynamical systems and functional analysis can be used to study PDEs which model these phenomena, such as the Ginzburg-Landau, Cahn-Hilliard, and reaction-diffusion equations. We focus on pattern-forming fronts which are controlled by some external stimulus which progresses at fixed speed, rendering the medium unstable. In one-spatial dimension, we use heteroclinic bifurcation and blow-up techniques to study how such external mechanisms select patterns. We will then discuss how more abstract functional analytic techniques can be used to approach such problems in multi-spatial dimensions, where spatial dynamics becomes, in general, very difficult. - October 10: Holiday, No Seminar

- October 17: Vera Hur (UIUC)

Title: Wave breaking and modulational instability in full-dispersion shallow water models.

Abstract: In the 1960s, Benjamin and Feir, and Whitham, discovered that a Stokes wave would be unstable to long wavelength perturbations, provided that (the carrier wave number) x (the undisturbed water depth) > 1.363.... In the 1990s, Bridges and Mielke studied the corresponding spectral instability in a rigorous manner. But it leaves some important issues open, such as the spectrum away from the origin. The governing equations of the water wave problem are complicated. One may resort to simple approximate models to gain insights.

I will begin by Whitham's shallow water equation and the wave breaking conjecture, and move to the modulational instability index for small-amplitude periodic traveling waves, the effects of surface tension and constant vorticity. I will then discuss higher order corrections, extension to bidirectional propagation and two-dimensional surfaces. This is based on joint works with Jared Bronski (Illinois), Mat Johnson (Kansas), Ashish Pandey (Illinois), and Leeds Tao (UC Riverside). - October 24: Kelly
McQuighan (BU)

- October 31: Theo Vo (BU)

- November 7:

- November 14: Eric Cooper (BU)

- November 21:

- November 28: Arik Yochelis
(Ben-Gurion Univeresity of the Negev)

Title: From excitability to bistability and back: The story of finite wavenumber Hopf bifurcation

Abstract: Dissipative nonlinear waves arise in many systems that comprise non-equilibrium properties, such as action potentials, calcium waves, Belousov-Zhabotinsky chemical reaction, and electrochemical oscillations. Two variable Reaction-Diffusion models (e.g., FitzHugh-Nagumo), are frequently employed to scrutinize the generic features and also to distinguish between three universality classes: Oscillations that arise through a linear Hopf instability, excitability which gives rise upon nonlinear localized perturbations, to pulses via homoclinic (often Shil'nikov) connections to a rest state, and fronts that bi-asymptote to distinct uniform states. However, an extension to models with a larger number of variables, shows richer qualitative and counter intuitive dynamic behaviors, for example due to a finite wavenumber Hopf bifurcation that cannot arise otherwise. To show the intriguing properties of such PDEs, I will focus on two cases: (i) Extension of Shil'nikov to multi-pulse generation by a single localized perturbation and homoclinic snaking, and (ii) complex dynamics by actin waves at the dorsal (top) cell membrane, a.k.a., circular dorsal ruffles (CDR). - December 5: Sarah Iams (Harvard)

- December 12: Sergei
Kuksin (Universite Paris-Diderot (Paris 7))

### Directions to BU Math Dept.

### Speakers from previous years