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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

January 25, 2013

Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth Cherry, Rochester Institute of Technology, College of Science

Title: Nonlinear Dynamics of Cardiac Arrhythmias

Abstract: The heart is an excitable system in which electrical waves normally propagate in a coordinated manner to produce an effective mechanical contraction. Rapid pacing can lead to the development of alternans, a period-doubling bifurcation in electrical response in which successive beats have long and short responses despite a constant pacing period. Alternans can develop into higher-order rhythms as well as spatiotemporally complex patterns that reflect large regions of dispersion in electrical response. These states disrupt synchrony and compromise the heart’s mechanical function; indeed, alternans has been observed clinically as a precursor to dangerous arrhythmias, including ventricular fibrillation. In this talk, we will show experimental examples of alternans, describe how alternans develops using a mathematical and computational approach, and discuss the nonlinear dynamics of several possible mechanisms for alternans as well as the conditions under which they are likely to be important in initiating dangerous cardiac arrhythmias.