San Marcos,
09:04 AM

Women in STEM: A Scientist and a Mathematician Walk into a Bar

Media Advisory by Margaret Chantung

In honor of International Women’s Day, on March 8 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. two female CSUSM professors, Drs. Amber Puha and Bianca Mothé, will walk into a bar—Wavelength Brewing Co. in Vista—to present topics related to their research.

But Wavelength Brewing Co. isn’t any local brew house. It’s the social hub for people interested in science. The brewery’s slogan, “Craft beer so good it Hz,” says it all. Hosting public science outreach events is standard fair at this Main Street establishment.

Held in conjunction with the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering, and hosted by the largest celebration of innovation and science education in Southern California, this event, free and open to the public, invites attendees to enjoy a beer and good scientific conversation.

Meet the Mathematician: Dr. Amber Puha

Presentation topic: From Queueing Theory to Modern Stochastic Network Models—A Mathematician's Perspective

Through probabilistic modeling, Professor of Mathematics Amber Puha studies the behavior of networks that people interact with daily. These include customer service systems such as call centers, computer and communication systems such as the Internet, transportation networks, hi-tech manufacturing operations, and even some cellular biological processes.

In her presentation, she will discuss how these networks feature queueing, inherent randomness and complex interactions, which can combine to impact the aggregate performance in unexpected ways. Puha, who aims to describe the behavior of such networks and determine optimal control protocols, will also discuss the complexities of modern applications which often require the development of new mathematical tools and techniques to achieve results. Her work is grant supported by the National Science Foundation Division of Mathematical Sciences.

Meet the Scientist: Dr. Bianca Mothé

Presentation topic: Vaccinology 101: Why Don’t We Have Successful Vaccines against Specific Pathogens?

Professor of Biological Sciences and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies Bianca Mothé’s areas of specialization are immunology and virology with research interests in designing novel vaccines for rapidly mutating pathogens.

In her presentation, she will discuss aspects of vaccine development, focusing on chronic diseases, including HIV and Tuberculosis, as well as how “new” pathogens derail paradigms of vaccine development, such as Zika. Her work is supported by the National Institutes of Health.