Francesco Pancaldi


1.  What interested you in the doctoral program in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics at Notre Dame?

The multidisciplinary approach and diversity of expertise and backgrounds in its faculty group.

2.  What was the best part of the program?

The best parts of the program were the various activities (colloquiums, seminars, etc...) that allowed me to interact with different people in the department and many from other departments.

3.  Tell us about your doctoral thesis.

My doctoral thesis regards bacteria polarity in M.xanthus and fibrin network mechanics. The thesis explores two mathematical models to simulate these biological mechanisms.

4.  What are you working on now?

In the next year, I will keep working on the themes of my thesis and further developed the associated models. Furthermore, I plan to expand the use of Numerical Algebraic Geometry as a tool for mathematical modeling of biological problems.

5.  How did the program prepare you for your career?

The program prepared me providing not only a solid background in mathematics but also the ability to understand the biological subject of our model and incorporate their main characteristics in our algorithms.

6.  What are your career plans for the near future?

I have been offered a 1-year PostDoc position in the Physics Department at the University of Notre Dame with Dr. Dervis Can Vural's group. He is interested in expanding the ideas used in my thesis regarding the fibrin network model and numerical algebraic geometry and to apply them to more biological material in order to investigate their structural integrity.

7.  What advice would you give to students considering the program?
Keep an open mind regarding the classes to take during your first couple of years as they will provide you with the basic tools to use during your Ph.D. research. Also, keep interacting with all people in the department and collaborators in order to better develop your ability to use your research outside of your areas of expertise.