GRCC’s November Mathematics Seminar next Tuesday in Cook 213

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Tuesday, November 13, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in 213 Cook.

November’s seminar will be lead by former GRCC student Katrina Teunis. Ms. Teunis will discuss her research on mathematical patterns in the folding of RNA.

Recent research in mathematical biology includes areas such as genomics, biochemistry and cell biology, heart physiology, kidney function, and protein folding.  Everyone is welcome!

Refreshments will be served at 2:15 p.m.


The Math Behind the Foldability of RNA

“This summer I was given funding to do some undergraduate math research on the mathematical patterns in how RNA folds. RNA, much like DNA, is made up of four building blocks called nucleotides: Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine, and Uracil. These nucleotides form a string that likes to fold in on itself and bond together – Adenine with Uracil and Guanine with Cytosine. So, the order and number of nucleotides present will determine how many ways the string of RNA can fold. By assigning these properties to letters, we can study this in a general context. Doing this I was able to find several new ways of determining how many times a string will fold as well as how to build a string with a specific number of foldings. I was also able to find or strengthen connections between RNA and other areas of mathematics. In this talk, I will walk through how RNA folds, what I found in my research, and how RNA connects to other areas of mathematics. This research was funded by the Modified Student Summer Scholars Program from the Office of Undergraduate Research at Grand Valley State University.”

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