Books & Bagels: Conversations on Interdisciplinary Research 8/27

Join us for our next Books & Bagels: Conversations on Interdisciplinary Research!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Graduate Student Lounge (Main 010A)
Basement of Main Building
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Brief introduction to current research by graduate students followed by a moderated discussion.
Audience participation is encouraged.
Lunch will be provided.


Cem Sahin & Mitchell D’Rozario
PhD Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering & PhD Candidate, Biological Sciences
College of Engineering & College of Arts and Sciences
“Of Flies, Mice and Humans: A Bioinformatic Approach”

Cem is a PhD student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He earned his undergraduate degree as a Computer Engineer at Drexel. He then joined the Drexel Wireless Systems Lab to continue his academic career as a graduate student. His research interests include wireless network security, embedded design, multimedia streaming, and engineering education. He is honored to be able to contribute to Mitch’s research.

Mitch is a PhD candidate in the Department of Biology. Before he came to Drexel, Mitch did his undergraduate work at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. He is interested in the role of a protein Daughterless in differentiated neurons and how this function is conserved in flies and mice. He recently began collaborating with Cem. Today they will talk about their work with bioinformatics, an interdisciplinary scientific field that develops methods for storing, retrieving, organizing and analyzing biological data. A major activity in bioinformatics is to develop software tools to generate useful biological knowledge.

Abstract: Our understanding of gene expression has changed dramatically over the past decade through technological improvements. High-throughput experiments generate large amount of genome-wide gene expression data that are curated in public archives. Reuse of public data can be very powerful, but there are obstacles in analyzing across different species. In our initial attempt, we have generated a tractable list of conserved targets of a transcription factor Da (and it’s homologue TCF4) in differentiated neurons in flies and human cell lines. We have further validated Da/TCF4 function in flies, mice and humans. These results suggest that TCF4 has a function in differentiated neurons across evolution.

Hossein Rastgoftar
PhD Candidate, Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics
College of Engineering
“Evolution of Multi Agent System as Continua”

Hossein is a PhD candidate in the Mechanical Engineering Department. He is currently finising his degree and looking for a postdoctoral position in the field of Dynamics and Control. Hossein has developed a new methodology for formation control in multi agent system based on principles of continuum mechanics. He is proud to have done most of his research with his former advisor, Dr. Sudhada Jayasuriya who passed away last month.

Abstract: The key idea of this research comes from the hypothesis that natural biological swarms do not perform peer-to-peer communication to sustain their group behavior as a collective. The group evolution is more likely based on what each individual agent perceives of its nearby agents behavior to control its own motion. However, most if not all of the work available on biologically inspired engineered swarms rely on inter-agent or peer-to-peer communication to shape group behavior such as formation keeping and formation reconfiguration. In this work, we have been able to develop a novel communication protocol for propagating an original motion strategy based on the so called Homogeneous maps.

Moderated by Dr. Jacob Russell, Associate Professor, Biology, College of Arts & Sciences

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