Streaks of Synthesis

The (developing) website of Jason M. Whyte, PhD.

I’m an Australian applied mathematician with varied analytical and computational interests, driven by applications.1

Why ‘Synthesis’?
I’m an inter-disciplinary researcher, always on the lookout for good ideas from other fields.

My projects have led to new methodologies and software.

People seem easily discouraged by maths. So, I aim to present my work in talks and posters in a manner that combines information with a memorable flourish.
Perhaps you saw my poster with a “jigsaw”, or the one with a 3D-printed error surface?2

My main research interests include3 aspects of:

Mathematical Biology

Biological modelling: I’ve considered biochemical systems and human biomarker concentration time series.
The broad question here is:
Ιf we can propose a model structure (collection of related models) to represent a physical system, can we control the system, or predict its behaviour?

Model structure analysis: success in modelling may be determined by the nature of the model structure we use. More data and better quality data may not remedy a study destined to fail due to undesirable model properties.
If estimation of model parameters leads to multiple values that are equally feasible, what does this mean?
(Hint: problems with reproducibility of results are possible. If alternative parameter estimates lead the model structure to produce dissimilar predictions, we cannot predict system behaviour with confidence.) However, we can anticipate this type of problem prior to data collection through interrogating the assumed model structure.

Emerging Chemical Pollutants

We could call these projects4 “Environmental Data Science”. Consider the PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances), which entered into widespread use. Some of these chemicals were then found to have adverse effects on human and environmental health. Regulators must now reactively manage this problem.
How can mathematics and statistics give regulators advance warning of tomorrow’s nightmares?
To gain a sense of the scale of the problem with PFAS “forever chemicals”: see this investigation by Tom Perkins, published in The Guardian on February 24th 2021.

  1. I also quite like footnotes.↩︎

  2. No? Perhaps I shall add them to the appropriate tab in the near future.↩︎

  3. sometimes unpopular↩︎

  4. at the Centre for Environmental and Economic Research, University of Melbourne↩︎