Igor Rivin will speak at the UIUC Mathematics in Science and Society Colloquium on April 3.
Title: Conformal matching of proteins
Abstract: The question of whether two proteins can bind, and how, is one of the canonical problems in molecular biology, where it is sometimes known as the protein docking problem. This question has, so far, been studied primarily by ad hoc methods (such as Monte Carlo simulation). In this talk I will discuss some ideas and work in progress (some joint with Joel Hass of UC Davis) on using discrete (and not so discrete) conformal geometry to attack the problem, and the interesting (to the speaker, anyhow) mathematical questions which arise.