Computer Science Department Seminar

11:30AM-12:30PM, Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Prof. Harold Hastings, Hofstra University

Title: High-Performance Computational Modeling of Excitable Systems in Chemistry and Biology


Professor Hastings will present a "chalk talk" on the use of high performance computing to understand complex excitable systems in chemistry (the Belouzhov-Zhabotinsky reaction) and physiology (the cardiac electrical system), based on his work with research students at Hofstra, Professors Sabrina Sobel (Chemistry), James Glimm (Applied Mathematics, Stony Brook and director of much of their work on supercomputing) and Richard Field (Chemistry, University of Montana), and Dr. Steven J Evans (Cardiology, Beth Israel Medical Center).


Dr. Harold Hastings joined the Hofstra faculty in 1968 as Instructor of Mathematics, and was subsequently promoted to assistant, associate, and professor rank, in 1972, 1975, and 1981, respectively. Dr. Hastings has served as Chairperson of the Mathematics Department, as HCLAS Associate Dean for Budget and Planning, and as Speaker of the Faculty in addition to his current administrative position as Chairperson of Physics and Astronomy and Chairperson of Computer Science.

Dr. Hastings, the author of 100 research papers and three books, is an internationally known scientist and leader in dynamical systems and applications to biological, chemical and physiological systems. His research includes Hofstra undergraduates and high school students whenever possible and his publications frequently name these students as collaborators (including six of eleven publications since 2002). Dr. Hastings has served as Project Director on grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and most recently the Department of Energy; he is principal investigator and project director of Department of Energy funded Hofstra University Center for Condensed Matter Physics. Dr. Hastings played a leadership role in the development of a masters program in Medical Physics, which HCLAS plans to inaugurate in 2012.

Dr. Hastings has served on several major task forces, including the First-Year Task Force and the Medical School Curriculum Task Force, and he also co-directed two conferences for the Hofstra Cultural Center. Dr. Hastings is dedicated to his students and to his responsibility to train the next generation of young scientists; each year he accompanies teams of students to the New York State Sectional Meetings of the American Physical Society, where they present the results of their research. Many of his student teams have won awards, including a tie for first place in the undergraduate research poster competitions in 2007 and 2010.

For more information about this colloquium, please contact Habib M. Ammari at