Andrea Bonito, assistant professor of mathematics at Texas A&M University, has been selected to receive a 2013 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award in support of his research on adaptive algorithms to effectively model cell locomotion.

Bonito's proposal, "Explicit Adaptive Methods for Coupled Problems," has been funded through the Division of Mathematical Sciences in the projected total amount of $405,412 beginning in September 2013 and continuing through August 2018. His work capitalizes on his expertise in numerical analysis and scientific computation, which he intends to use to develop more efficient and flexible mathematical algorithms to predict and understand cellular movement in a variety of bio-physical systems, with possible application in several biomedical areas.

"Understanding and effectively modeling cell locomotion has impact on several areas of bio-physics such as in embryonic development, tissue regeneration, immune response and wound healing in multi-cellular organisms," Bonito said. "In addition, the mathematical tools developed in this study will benefit strategic departments, such as energy, environment and material science."

Bonito received his doctorate in applied mathematics from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland in 2006 and completed postdoctoral work at the University of Maryland prior to joining the Texas A&M Department of Mathematics in 2008. In addition to his CAREER award, he currently is the sole principal investigator for another NSF grant and also is a co-PI with Texas A&M's multi-million-dollar Institute for Applied Mathematics and Computational Science (IAMCS), one of four international interdisciplinary scientific research centers established in 2008 by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia to initiate collaborative research on targeted problems facing Saudi Arabia and the world.

"Andrea Bonito is most deserving of this prestigious award," said Emil J. Straube, professor and head of the Department of Mathematics. "He is an outstanding applied mathematician whose work, which is already having a profound impact on numerical analysis of partial differential equations, is characterized by unusual breadth and depth. We are fortunate to have him on our faculty."

Bonito says efficiency and flexibility become increasingly critical when the problem involves multi-scale, multi-dimensional and multi-component phenomena -- the precise elements that characterize each of the complex areas he hopes to impact. He believes the solution lies in designing, analyzing and implementing adaptive algorithms -- an approach that is key in tackling some of the big-picture problems inherent in the diverse yet intertwined disciplines of science and engineering.

"Cell motion is an extremely complex process which could be triggered by a variety of different mechanisms," Bonito said. "Quite challenging, numerical methods relying on solid mathematical foundations will contribute to a better understanding of these fascinating mechanisms and their constructive interplay. In addition, this award gives me the opportunity to work with as well as confront young researchers with interesting and highly rewarding mathematical problems arising from biological systems."

The NSF CAREER Award was established to support junior faculty within the context of their overall career development, combining in a single program the support of research and education of the highest quality and in the broadest sense. Through this program, the NSF emphasizes the importance on the early development of academic careers dedicated to stimulating the discovery process in which the excitement of research is enhanced by inspired teaching and enthusiastic learning.

Click here to learn more about the NSF and the CAREER program.

For additional information about Bonito and his research, go to http://www.math.tamu.edu/~bonito/.

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Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Andrea Bonito, (559) 464-5814 or bonito@math.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

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