Mathematics Faculty: Heather Zinn Brooks

Heather Zinn Brooks, PhD, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, specializes in mathematical modeling of complex systems. Brooks earned both her Bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Utah. Before joining the faculty at Harvey Mudd, she held a CAM postdoctoral position in the Mathematics department at UCLA. She strives to create and communicate mathematics in a way that is exciting, relevant, and inclusive.

In her work, Brooks uses a combination of analytical and computational techniques to study phenomena in social and biological applications. She pairs tools from dynamical systems, differential equations, network theory, and stochastic processes with numerical simulation and data-driven computational techniques. She is especially enthusiastic about problems that involve the interplay of dynamics and structure. A few examples of this from her work include voltage fluctuations in ion channels, pattern formation of intracellular proteins, parasite spreading in animal grooming networks, and media impact on ideology in online social networks.

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