Biomathematician Named Chair of UB Department of Mathematics

Release Date: October 16, 1997

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Jonathon Bell, Ph.D., professor of mathematics at the University at Buffalo, has been named chair of the Department of Mathematics.

A member of the faculty since 1981, Bell was associate chair from 1985-87.

Previously, he was an assistant professor at Texas A & M University and held visiting positions at Oxford University's Institute for Mathematical Biology and at the National Institutes of Health.

Bell conducts research at the interface of mathematics and biology, developing mathematical models of biological mechanisms.

With colleagues at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Institute for Sensory Research at Syracuse University, he is exploring the sensation of touch by modeling phenomena that occur at the level of the skin's touch receptors.

So far, the researchers have developed a three-dimensional mathematical model of the Pacinian corpuscle, which transduces the sensation from the skin's surface to a nerve, which then sends electrical signals to the brain.

The work has been published in Mathematical Biosciences, Progress in Neurobiology and the Journal of Mathematical Biology.

Additional research interests of Bell's include other applications of diffusion theory, including pricing theory of financial derivatives and fluid transport through the skin.

Bell received his doctorate in applied mathematics from the University of California at Los Angeles.

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