This month has involved a lot of travelling to take part in academic conferences. These are an important part of academic life – they give us a chance to learn from other scientists in the community and present results from our recent findings to share knowledge with them.
I first attended a one day workshop of the Mathematics in Life Sciences network. This was the second meeting of the recently formed network, which aims to bring together all mathematicians working on problems in biology. This particular meeting was focussed on advances in the understanding of neuroscience brought about through mathematics.
Following this, I travelled to South Korea to attend the annual meeting of the Organisation for Computational Neurosciences. At both of these meetings, I learned a great deal about how the brain transmits information across short and long ranges, the mechanisms behind memory formation and about how mathematics can help in developing artificial intelligence.
The work I presented at these meetings was based around my recently submitted article (and ongoing work) about how waves of electrical activity propagate across the brain. This work originally focussed on simplistic representations of nerve cells. Although simple models do not accurately reflect the inner working of true neurons, the principles which govern their behaviour should also be present in more complicated models, meaning that results should carry over. Alongside Daniele Avitabile and Josh Davis at the University of Nottingham, I am working on extending these ideas to more sophisticated neural representations, and in particular, ones that incorporate differences between individual cells. After landing back in London in around 10 hours, I shall travel to Nottingham to meet with my collaborators.