Author: Joceline Lega

I am a professor of mathematics and public health at The University of Arizona. My research interests are in the general area of nonlinear dynamics, in particular the modeling of nonlinear phenomena. I have taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate mathematics courses, including freshman seminars, calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, dynamical systems, analysis, proofs, methods of applied mathematics, and pattern formation. For more information about me, please visit

How Cells Move in a Multicellular Organism

Answering the question of how cells move in a multicellular organism is interesting in itself but may also lead to important applications, such as a better understanding of how metastatic cancer actually spreads. Researchers at NIH, Rochester, and Penn State, have identified a new way for cells to move inside a three-dimensional matrix: by using the cell nucleus as a piston! The…

Soliton Turbulence

Understanding complex nonlinear behaviors such as turbulence or space-time disorder is a huge challenge. Being able to describe these phenomena in terms of interacting objects, such as particles, defects, or solitons, is conceptually pleasing and exciting. In an article that just appeared in Physical Review Letters, an international team of researchers reports the observation of “soliton turbulence” in sea surface height…

Robotic Swarm

Fish schools and bird swarms are amazing to look at. It is even more exciting to come up with an understanding of how thousands of entities, each of which is most likely only aware of its nearest neighbors, can self-organize into such large structures. My students and I are interested in this question from a dynamical systems and statistical physics perspective. One…

Research Funding Models

Below are three recent opinions on research funding models. Want a grant? First review someone else’s proposal, an account of an experiment at the National Science Foundation, which required that researchers submitting a proposal for funding agreed to review 7 proposals written by their competitors (July 2014). Politique de l’excellence en recherche, an opinion written by Comets (the ethics committee of…

Open Access

Below is a collection of links to sites sharing reports, opinions, and recommendations on open access.











Research Integrity

Below is a collection of links to sites sharing reports, opinions, and recommendations on research integrity. USA The Office of Research Integrity Research integrity page of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Extramural Research Integrity in Scientific Research: Creating an Environment That Promotes Responsible Conduct, from The National Academies Research Integrity Office, University of Arizona Canada Honesty, Accountability and Trust:…

On Getting Enough Sleep

The research article Sleep promotes branch-specific formation of dendritic spines after learning, published in the journal Science, describes how sleep promotes the retention of dendritic spines formed during learning, which in turn strengthens memory. News coverage of this work includes Sleep’s memory role discovered, published by BBC News, A Good Night’s Rest Boosts Learning, in Science Sifter, and the perspective Memories—getting wired during sleep in Science.