The 28th Annual STUDENT MATHEMATICS CONFERENCE at Moravian College
What can mathematical models tell us about losing and gaining weight?
Diana Thomas - Professor of Mathematics at Montclair State Univeristy and Director of the Center for Quantitative Obesity Research from Montclair State University
February 15, 2014
Abstract: Mathematical models can be applied to guide patients during weight loss, to understand longitudinal changes in populations in the absence of obesity related interventions, and to explain phenomena that is simply not well understood. In this presentation, I will show how our interdisciplinary team develops and implements models for clinical interventions, how we develop models to predict outcomes in the absence of a control population, and how models inform many of the myths and presumptions surrounding obesity. I will also describe a novel paradigm of undergraduate research where a team of biology, chemistry, nutrition, and mathematics majors collaborate to solve research problems at the interface of the disciplines. Finally, I will outline my own transition from mainstream research mathematics into an interdisciplinary team initiated career.
Biography: Diana Thomas, Ph.D. is a professor of mathematics and director of the Center for Quantitative Obesity Research at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Her research involves applications of mathematics to guide patient behavior during weight loss and prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Dr. Thomas' models combine data collected from clinical trials involving human body weight regulation stretching back over a century to arrive at mathematically driven conclusions. Some of the questions she is investigating are "Why do individuals not lose more weight during exercise?", "How can we objectively monitor diet in humans?", and "What explains differences in weight change between individuals?" Her work has been covered by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fitness Magazine, Good Housekeeping, CBS News, and ABC News. She currently serves as an editor of The Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Research and the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Dr. Thomas frequently collaborates on research projects with undergraduate students and was recently awarded the MAA-NJ Distinguished Teaching Award.
Health Professions Career Fair
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
As part of our 2013-2014 IN FOCUS program, Moravian College will be sponsoring a Health Professions Career Fair. The fair will highlight the numerous varied professionals who work together to provide health care services.
More information coming soon.