Seminar - Luca Scardovi

Friday, May 8, 2015 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)


Luca Scardovi, The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto


From Synchronization Analysis to Synchronization Control of Cellular Networks


Synchronization plays a fundamental role in emergent phenomena such as memory, intelligence and cellular regulation, amongst others. On the other hand, excessive synchronization can lead to harmful consequences, including neurological pathologies, collective motion in bacteria and locust swarms. It is therefore of interest to understand the principles behind the emergence of synchronous behavior and investigate solutions to control it. We approach the problem through the standard "open systems" paradigm of control theory, viewing the total system as an interconnection of input/output subsystems. Since, in biology, very limited quantitative information is available on the "internal dynamics'', we focus on classes of individually well-behaved subsystems rather than specific parameterized models, and we investigate how the more complex behaviors arise from the interconnection of the components. In the second part of the talk, motivated by recent interest in deep brain stimulation and its application to the treatment of neurological diseases, we will focus on synchronization control. In particular we will show that the proposed approach is well suited to study the effect of a feedback control loop on the level of synchronization and desynchronization of the network. The theory is illustrated and applied to models of genetic oscillators and neuronal networks.

Speaker's biography

Luca Scardovi received his Laurea degree and Ph.D. degree in Electronic and Computer Engineering from the University of Genoa, Italy, in 2001 and 2005 respectively. In 2005 he was Adjunct Professor at the University of Salento, Lecce, Italy. He held research associate positions at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Liège, Belgium (2005-2007) and at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University (2007-2009). From 2009 to 2011 he was an assistant professor at the Technische Universität München (TUM), Munich, Germany. He is presently an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. In 2014 he was the recipient of the Connaught New Researcher Award.

Invited by Professor Christopher Nielsen