User talk:Ben G. Fitzpatrick

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  • What is the UBM Spider Project? Lauren M. Kelly 16:16, 15 January 2017 (EST)

Lauren: Dr. Martina Ramirez, Aimee Cruz, Bethy Woubeshet, Farah Srichandra, and I worked on detecting environmental stress in spiders by examining their webs. We photographed webs and processed the resulting images to see how uniform (or non-uniform) the webs were, looking at variability in web silk spacing. We did find that webs from Hahn Park (a relatively clean environment) were more uniform that those from Ballona (a relatively dirty environment).

Ben G. Fitzpatrick 12:56, 17 January 2017 (EST)

  • Russia recently unveiled images of its new intercontinental ballistic missile nicknamed "Satan 2." It's range exceeds 11,000km and it is claimed that it capable of wiping out a landmass the size of Texas. Russia claims this new missile has been designed to outmaneuver current anti-missile defense systems. My question is two-fold: 1) What are the characteristics of a missile like the "Satan 2" that would allow it to outmaneuver missile defense systems? (Is it undetectable? Too fast?...) and 2) What branch of mathematics is most commonly used by mathematicians when developing new missile defense technologies? Conor Keith 21:53, 16 January 2017 (EST)


From my limited experience in missile defense work, I'd say making missiles smaller is the number one best protection: makes them harder to hit. Shrinking electronics and more efficient chemistry allow that to happen. A more subtle defense against directed energy (laser, e.g.) is to spin the missile so the laser cannot maintain a fixed aimpoint to kill the missile.

Missile defense depends on a number of mathematical technologies. Time series analysis is very important, as dynamic tracking and prediction of trajectories is required to target and defeat a missile. Decision theory and optimization come into play when we have to sort out best approaches to defense.

Ben G. Fitzpatrick 13:04, 17 January 2017 (EST)

  • Does statistical analysis show that there is a large difference between biological systems under stress and biological systems not under stress? *Cameron M. Rehmani Seraji 00:00, 17 January 2017 (EST):


That's a big question, and sadly the real answer is "it depends." The nature and magnitude of the stressor is key. For the most part, the answer is "yes," biological systems do tend to respond to stresses. Think of your own heartrate at rest as opposed to sprinting or your physiological response to standing in a walk-in freezer without a coat.

Ben G. Fitzpatrick 13:09, 17 January 2017 (EST)

  • What was the most interesting or intriguing finding from looking into college drinking? And is there another field of social science that you would be interested in researching? Margaret J. Oneil 00:31, 19 January 2017 (EST)
  • While the course seems to focus on how mathematics can enhance studies in biology, do you think there are any ways that biology enhances mathematics? *Nika Vafadari 02:37, 19 January 2017 (EST):