Adopting gridMathematica to Explore Large-Scale Questions in Human Immunity
Troy Day is an assistant professor in mathematics and biology at
Queen's University. He investigates parasite-host relationships
throughout the animal kingdom, and is currently studying how flu
strains influence changes in the human immune system. In the wake of
SARS and shortages of flu vaccine, his work is leading to better
understanding of human immunostatus, which affects how susceptible we
are to flu and other pathogens.
A: My primary research interests are in developing mathematical theory
in evolutionary biology. One way to test this analytical theory is to
create virtual populations with Mathematica and then perform
various experimental manipulations on these populations to see what
happens. A main area that my lab is working in right now is
host-parasite co-evolution, and we can see whether or not populations
evolve the way we expect them to based on our simplified analytical
models by using these numerical experiments.
A: I don't have any one feature that is my favorite. What sold me
on Mathematica is the all-in-one computing environment--I can
do my computations, programming, and reporting without having to learn
other software programs or interface with other programs for different
tasks. That was a huge appeal. It's really very nice.
Mathematics and Biology
Mathematica User: 5 years
A: I do some computationally intensive experiments
with Mathematica and they can be quite time consuming,
especially when run on a single machine. I do expect to see
considerable time improvements, but even more than that,
gridMathematica will allow me to do things I wouldn't otherwise
do. With each additional condition I need to investigate, the
variables do not increase linearly--they start to explode. So I am
restricted from exploring big spaces, and gridMathematica will
enable me to do that.