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FAU’s Frontiers in Science Spring Lecture Series Begins with ‘Models of Conflict: What Equations Can Tell Us About People’

BOCA RATON, FL (January 9, 2009) – Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science will begin its 2009 Spring Frontiers in Science public lecture series with a presentation by Dr. Larry Liebovitch, associate dean of graduate studies and programs for the college.  Liebovitch will discuss “Models of Conflict: What Equations Can Tell Us About People,”  on Friday, January 16 at 3:30 p.m. in FAU’s General Classroom North building, Room 101, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.

In his presentation, Liebovitch will review mathematical models that describe how two “actors” behave in a conflict.   These actors could be anything from two individual people, two groups of people or even two nations.   In the model, the emotional state of each “actor” depends on its own state in isolation, its previous state, its inertia to change and how it responds to the other “actor.”  

“Mathematics, which have been used in physics to describe nature for 350 years, is now being used in biology to understand the chemical interactions between genes and proteins,” said Liebovitch. “This may be used in the future in psychology to help us understand the subtle and complex interactions between people.”

Liebovitch also will discuss the studies of situations where each person does the same or the opposite of the other person.   Additionally, this specific model also predicts how people will behave under certain circumstances and how the mathematics of this model is strikingly similar to the mathematics of how genes in DNA activate and repress each other.

This lecture is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and supported by FAU’s Lifelong Learning Society Endowed Professorship.

            The reception that follows the program is made possible by the Warren Lloyd Holtzman Seed Grant, a component of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley.

For more information, contact Patsy Jones at 561-297-1307 or


Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts ten colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye College of Business, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College,  the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.   

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