Learn how mathematics may explain collective animal behavior at next Science Café Cleveland

Science Cafe Cleveland logoThe next Science Café Cleveland event will feature a talk titled “Moving as with one mind: Mathematical models for collective animal behavior” by Alethea Barbaro, assistant professor of mathematics.

If you have ever watched a flock of birds in the night sky or a school of fish in the ocean, you may have observed them all suddenly change direction in an identical way, almost as if they are one single organism or share a single mind. Have you wondered how they could possibly orchestrate such a complex and beautiful movement without the kind of planning or rehearsal that we think would normally be required to carry out such a maneuver?

This behavior is part of an entire spectrum of collective behavior in the animal kingdom. Mathematicians studying this phenomenon have dubbed it “flocking” or “swarming” and are interested in answering how and why such movements happen. This talk aims to get attendees thinking about how simple behavioral rules for an individual can give rise to complex dynamics when many organisms move together.

The event—sponsored by the Case Western Reserve University chapter of Sigma Xi, WCPN ideastream and the Market Garden Brewery—will take place Monday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Market Garden Brewery (1947 W. 25th St.).

Attendees are advised to arrive early, as past sessions have approached capacity.

More information about the event can be found at the Sigma Xi website.