Over the last several days (December 3-7) the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook University has been hosting a series of lectures on Nonequilibrium Physics in Biology and streaming the video talks over the Internet.
Stony Brook is where philanthropist Jim Simons taught math for a decade before starting his enormously successful hedge fund—and with his wife Marilyn, the Simons Foundation, which is now at the forefront of a revolution in science.
This week’s Simons Center talks on nonequilibrium physics in biology are also permanently linked as videos. It helps to know some fancy math in viewing them, but many of the presentations rely more on speaker charisma and images to drive home the salient points.
Among the more interesting presenters is Kim Sneppen, a professor of complex systems and biophysics at Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, who addresses the diversity of shapes in the biological world.
Sneppen says, “We are basically all doughnuts” and describes how we go from a sphere to a torus in his talk titled: “Theoretical Tool Bridging Cell Polarities with Development of Morphologies.”