The Department of Mathematics at Virginia Tech

Henning S. Mortveit

Contact Information:

Email: henning.mortveit at
Phone: +1 540-231-5327
Office: 211C, Biocomplexity Institute

Mailing address:

Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory
1015 Life Science Circle
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Research Interests

A central part of my research involves dynamical processes on graphs. This is a natural way to describe or capture systems and phenomena ranging from flow of data packets over cognitive radio networks to disease spread on social contact graphs.

My research focuses on the mathematical properties of these systems and is rooted in the framework of discrete graph dynamical systems (GDS). The central theme in this work is inferring properties of their dynamics based on network structure, vertex function characteristics and the update method. Particular sub-classes of graph dynamical systems include sequential dynamical systems, which capture asynchronous processes, and generalized cellular automata which capture synchronous processes.

Graph dynamical systems are described more carefully on this page. Here you can also find links to some of my work. Parts of this have appeared in the book An introduction to Sequential Dynamical System. I am also interested in mathematical modeling based on graph dynamical systems. See my research page for more details.

Courses and Teaching

The last course I taught was 3134 Applied Combinatorics. For a list of other courses I have taught with copies of syllabi please see my teaching page.

In the past, I have given some of the lectures in the Math Department's 4974 course on mathematical modeling offered by Dr. Zietsman during the fall semester. Although not a course focus, this class serves as a very useful preparation for participating in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM), see below.

The Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM)

This is an annual competition organized by COMAP. It is open to undergraduate students worldwide, provided that one has not yet completed a bachelor (or higher) degree. More information is available on their web page here.

Several teams from Virginia Tech has competed since 2008, and they have done very well. The competition takes place in the beginning of February each year, and one competes in teams of up to three students. It starts on a Thursday at 8PM with deadline the following Monday at 8PM. The competition tests the team's problem solving skills involving mathematical modeling & analysis as well as implementations of solutions. A well-written report documenting the approach, assumptions and solution is handed in at the end of the competition along with a convincing "executive summary".

If you are interested in participating please contact me. We typically have one or two organizational meetings prior to the competition in December/January. This is usually announced via the undergraduate mailing list of the Department of Mathematics.

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