Daniel Poll, a Ph.D. student, is an up and coming researcher in the world of mathematical biology. He received a B.S. in Mathematics from his local college, the University of Anchorage, Alaska, and continued on to complete a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Houston. He is currently working on his thesis with his advisor, Professor Kilpatrick of CU Boulder’s Applied Math Department. When asked to describe his research, he said:
“My research is focused in understanding working memory through neural field models. In particular, I focus on the working memory associated with spatial navigation, which may be how a mammal understands its location in an environment or how a monkey may recall the movement of objects on a screen. This can be modeled through what are called bump attractors, which are localized neural activity packets. Through these models, I study the underlying mechanisms and architectures to try to gain insight into how the mammal's brain may robustly perform spatial working memory tasks.”
In recent years, Poll has received two travel awards for attending conferences: the first in the April of 2015 for the UT Austin Conference on Learning and Memory, and the second this past July for the SIAM Conference on the Life Sciences. He has also received a tuition fellowship from the University of Houston for the past few years. and his research assistantship has been supported by NSF grants through his adviser. In his free time, Poll enjoys playing golf. Though he now only has the opportunity to play a few times a year, he still consistently scores around 90.