#TCAA (The Counts And Amounts, September 21, 2019):

Is counting just a special case of measuring? Is any kind of measuring, & scaling, dimension dependent? Do lungs ‘have’ a non-integer dimension between 2 and 3? Can you list all the numbers between 0 and 1? Do both the size and number of cells/organelles change with biological growth? Is Euclidean geometry sufficient to describe things in nature? What does thickness ‘mean’? Is size a good indicator of  ‘the outer world’? How many times can one cell become another cell? ‘How’ do cells count? How determinate is that? Are evolved systems always robust? Do all dynamical systems, typically, have finite partitions? Where does end-state variety, then, come from? Why is the presence of mitochondria inside neurons spatially periodic? Are all noses proportionately similar? Must counting be happening at very small scales given the manifest proportions at the macro level? Is the link between cell type and its longevity understood? Do molecular motors walk in three dimensions? Might one, sometimes, see different statistics (say proportion of heads to tails) for different amounts of time? Will mathematics continue to take us beyond our intuitions? &, would we need to change our definition (& conception) of ordinary dimensions in the future? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions using concepts from cell biology (Dr. Sandhya Koushika, TIFR, Mumbai), & mathematics (Prof. Stefano Luzzatto, ICTP, Trieste).

Listen in…

SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TCAA show.

Dr. Sandhya Koushika (cell biology) is Associate Professor at the Department of Biological Sciences, School of Natural Sciences, at TIFR, Mumbai. She also worked at the NCBS-TIFR, Bangalore for six years before moving to TIFR Mumbai. Her key research interests are neurobiology, genetics, and cell biology. At her lab in TIFR, she directs research to study the process of cargo transport in neurons. Her research is driven towards identifying molecules and mechanisms that regulate the transport of two cargo – synaptic vesicles and mitochondria – using genetics, live imaging, & molecular and biochemical techniques. In addition, her group also develops technologies and mathematical models to attempt a more comprehensive understanding of this biological phenomena. Dr. Koushika completed her B.Sc. (Chemistry, 1990) & M.Sc. (Biochemistry, 1992) from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda. She then went to Brandeis University, USA, to complete her Ph.D. (1999) in Molecular and Cell Biology. Her research thesis was titled, ‘Identification of genes regulated by D. melanogaster neuron-specific ELAV protein’. She also worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Washington University School of Medicine, USA (1998-2005). Dr. Koushika is a member of multiple professional bodies such as, Society of Neuroscience, USA, American society of Cell Biology, & the Society of Mitochondrial Research and Medicine, India (as an executive council member). She has won multiple awards such as, Young Scientist Award (Boston, USA, 2014), DBT Overseas Associateship award (2008), & Fellowship from the McDonnell Center of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology (USA, 2000).

Prof. Stefano Luzzatto (mathematics) is Research Scientist at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy.  He has also taught at Imperial College, London (2000- 2009), University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, Manchester (2000), University of Warwick, UK (1995 – 1999), and Laboratoire de Probabilite, Université de Paris (Paris, 1995). Prof. Luzzatto has also held short term visiting positions at multiple universities & institutions, such as: University of Uppsala, Sweden (1998), IMPA, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2000 & 2005), Penn State University, USA (2006 & 2008), and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China (2007). His research interests are hyperbolicity and the existence and properties of physical measures, geometric integrability of tangent distributions, computer assisted results and rigorous numerical methods, & verification of hyperbolicity. Prof. Luzzatto completed his B.Sc. (Mathematics, 1987) from Warwick University (UK), and M.Sc. (Philosophy of Mathematics and Mathematics Education, 1989) from Marlboro College (USA). He then completed his Ph.D. in Dynamical Systems (1995) from  International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA, Trieste, Italy) and Instituto de Matematica Pura e Aplicada (IMPA, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). He has been published in international peer reviewed journals such as, Journal of Statistical Physics, Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems, & Philosophia Mathematica. Prof. Luzzatto is the founding member of London Dynamical Systems Group (2004), and has been a steering committee member of Probabilistic Methods in Dynamics, European Science Foundation (1998-2002).

Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.

#TCAA mentions: J. B. S. Haldane, Benoit Mandelbrot, & Jacob Palis, , among others.