The 49th meeting of the Society for Natural Philosophy

and an  IMA Participating Institutions Conference:

Coupled Processes in Continuum Mechanics Motivated by Biological Phenomena

Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
Oct. 7 - 9, 2011

This meeting, the 49th of the Society for Natural Philosophy, is devoted to an examination of open issues with respect to modeling biological phenomena by mathematical means that make use of continuum mechanics.  The focus is on coupled processes.  For example, hydrated soft tissue: bears load, swells, deswells, suffers damage, heals, grows and remodels.  In addition, depending on its biological function, such tissue may: allow interstitial transport of ionic species, be electrically excited, or support chemical reaction.  Continuum mechanics, broadly interpreted to include field theories of great generality, is fundamental to modeling such phenomena.  Mathematical issues that immediately arise include, but are not limited to: the whole range of fundamental PDE analyses, the underlying variational structure of the model, the treatment of dissipative phenomena, and the handling of multiple time and space scales. 

The meeting is being organized by:  Tom Pence (Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University), Baisheng Yan (Mathematics, Michigan State University) and Alan Wineman (Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan).  Please feel free to contact us if you have questions on the current status of the meeting.

The meeting will take place at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center on the campus of Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.


Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, University of Minnesota
Society for Natural Philosophy
College of Engineering, Michigan State University
Department of Mathematics, Michigan State University
National Science Foundation.

Meeting Format:
The meeting will begin at 2:00 in  the afternoon of Friday, October 7 and conclude at 12: 40 in the afternoon of Sunday, October 9.  Consistent with recent meetings of the Society for Natural Philosophy that have been held on college campuses in the U.S, there will be invited speakers and contributed round-table presentations. The invited speakers are: 

Peter Bates 
              Department of Mathematics,  Michigan State University
Carme Calderer        Department of Mathematics, University of Minnesota
Alain Goriely             Mathematical Institute, Oxford University
Gerald S. Manning    Emeritus -  Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rutgers Univesity
Anna Vainchtein       Department of Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh
Angela Violi              Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Jay R. Walton           Department of Mathematics, Texas A&M University

Here is the  full meeting programme.

The Clifford Ambrose Truesdell III Lecture:
The Society for Natural Philosophy is pleased to announce that Professor Gianfranco Capriz of the Università di Pisa will deliver the Truesdell Lecture.  The title of Professor Capriz's lecture is Myths in the Classical Field Theory.  This will be the fifth such lecture; the  first four Truesdell Lectures were delivered by: Walter Noll, James Serrin, Bernard Colemen, and Roger Fosdick, respectively. 

Round-Table Presenters:
We have received a number of submissions for  25 minute round-table presentations, decisions have been made as to which will be accepted, and the authors have been notified.   Accordingly, at the present time, further submissions are discouraged.  

The registration fee for SNP members is $25.   Non-members should pay both the $25 registration fee and the $30 one year membership dues.   Note that there is no cost for students to become members of the Society, ipso facto students may attend the meeting for $25.  The purpose of the registration fee is to cover light refreshments and an initial reception on Friday evening.  There will be a separate additional cost for the Saturday banquet.  

Please Register Here

The above link has both a credit card pay option, and an option to send a check to T. Pence.  The completion of the process results in a receipt, and also a request to "print your ticket" -  the latter of which is a consequence of the event computer server.  Be assured, you do not need to present a ticket to attend the meeting.  

Travel Support from the IMA:
Faculty members, students and employees of IMA Participating Institutions are eligible to apply for travel support from the IMA PI funds of their home institution.  Those interested should direct enquiries to the IMA directly or to the IMA representative of their home institution.

Travel Support for Young Scientists:
We have recently learned that we will be awarded a grant from the NSF to support the travel of  Ph.D. students and early career scientists (post-docs and non-tenured faculty) to this meeting.   Those interested in this possibility may direct email enquiries to Tom Pence ( and copy their emails to Baisheng Yan (  and Alan Wineman (   Please use subject line  "SNP Young Scientist query".

A block of rooms has been set aside at the Kellogg Center on the MSU campus until September 6, 2011.    Attendees may reserve these rooms by contacting the Kellogg Center directly ((800) 875-5090) and specifying group code SNP041511.  This will indicate that you are attending this meeting in order to obtain the negotiated rate of $94/night (+ tax).  After September 6 the hotel is likely to be full, although if rooms are available then the negotiated rate still applies if you use the group code.  The next closest hotel is the East Lansing Marriott.  

There are two natural possibilities for air travel:
In addition, Bishop International Airport (Flint) and Gerald R. Ford International Airport (Grand Rapids) are each about an hour away, and offer service to hubs other than Detroit.  Both the Flint option and the Grand Rapids option would require car rental.  

There is an East Lansing stop on the Amtrak line between Chicago and Toronto.
Attendees travelling by car from parts due west may wish to note that both the northern car ferry service  and the southern car ferry service across Lake Michigan are scheduled to remain  in operation through the weekend of the conference.   

Scientific Programme:

        Invited presentations:
Peter Bates  (Michigan State)                     Walk this way: Locomotion of kinesin along microtubules
Carme Calderer (U. Minnesota)                 Polyelectrolyte gels: Modeling, analysis and biological applications
Alain Goriely  (Oxford)                              Nonlinear elasticity and biology: Rotation, inversion, and perversion
Gerald S. Manning (Rutgers-Emeritus)       Counterion condensation on polyelectrolytes: Big effects from small causes
Anna Vainchtein  (U. Pittsburgh)                From discrete to continuum: kinetic relations and beyond
Angela Violi  (U. Michigan)                        Interactions of nanoparticles with biological systems
Jay R. Walton  (Texas A&M)                    Modeling inflammation and growth of an atherosclerotic lesion:  A coupled field problem on many time scales

        The Truesdell Lecture
Gianfranco Capriz (U. Pisa)                     Myths in the classical field theory

        Round-table talks
Seungik Baek (Michigan State)                On continuum mechanics formulations that model active cellular mechanosensing
Yi-chao Chen (U. Houston)                     Residual stress and the principle of optimal operation of arteries
Zi Chen  (Princeton)                                 Theory on bending and twisting of ribbons and multi-stability
Luis Dorfmann (Tufts)                              A constitutive model for active-passive transition of muscle fibers
Corina Drapaca (Penn State)                   Constitutive models of brain neuromechanics
Anurag Gupta (I.I.T. - Kanpur)                Evolution of incompatability during growth
Alireza S. Sarvestani (U. Maine-Orono)   Thermodynamics basis of rigidity sensing at biological interfaces
Arash Yavari (Georgia Tech)                    Riemannian geometry of bulk growth

An explicit time schedule for the talks is in the full meeting programme.

Society for Natural Philosophy
Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center
Michigan State University