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Keynote

Bio-inspired Networks: Sensors, Actuators, and Cells

Radhika Nagpal

Harvard University

Abstract: Networks are common throughout biology, from cells to humans. In such a network, simple individual behavior can lead to complex and useful collective behavior, magnifying the effect and ability of an individual. One challenge is understanding how such networks operate in nature and another is understanding how to leverage these principles to design robust networks of our own. These are large challenges, spanning many domains and requiring many forms of mathematics and analysis. In this talk I will present a few research projects in my group along this theme: how firefly synchronization can inspire the design of protocols in sensor networks, how distributed consensus in natural networks can inspire algorithms for modular robots, and lastly how we can use notions of networks to understand and uncover the way tissues self-assemble in the fruit fly wing. Although these systems show us some insights, there are still many open questions that remain to be tackled.

Bio: Radhika Nagpal is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University. She received her PhD degree in Computer Science from MIT, and spent a year as a research fellow at Harvard Medical School. She is a recipient of the 2005 Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship award, the 2007 NSF Career award and the 2010 Borg Early Career Award. Her research interests are biologically-inspired engineering principles for multi-agent systems and computational models in multicellular biology.
http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/ssr/
http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/~rad/

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