Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Summer School


Ying (Wendy) Zhang

Summer School

Class of 2003


Wendy has a B.S. in Applied Physics (Major) and International Finance (Minor) from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Her M.S in Theoretical Physics was awarded for a thesis entitled, “Computer Simulation of Atomic Spectrum under Electrical Field”. In the year after graduating she worked for Lucent Technologies in China and then spent a further year at the University of Notre Dame. At present, she is a graduate student working on biocomplexity at the Institute of Physics in Indiana University. One topic in her research group is “Multiscale Simulation of Avian Limb Development”, and for which she’s faced with challenges such as how to link together gene expression, signalling pathway, molecular/cellular interaction, statistic physical force/energy and embryonic limb development.

Project: 2D and 3D Substitution Model of Limb Growth

During development of the vertebrate limb, spatiotemporally regulated condensation of mesenchymal cells, followed by chondrogenesis, leads to a pattern of skeletal elements. This pattern is laid down in a proximodistal sequence that begins with a single element (‘stylopod’) attached directly to the body, followed by two parallel elements (‘zeugopod’), ana variable, usually greater, number of elements constituting the wrist and hand, or ankle and foot (‘autopod’). We have used a substitution model to simulate cartilage pattern formation during limb growth. We describe a one dimensional simulation, based on Shubin and Alberch’s branching and segmentation model (Shubin, et al., 1986); We have also devised a three dimensional substitution model to describe limb growth, cell differentiation and cartilage pattern formation, incorporating mechanical constraints. We plan to add neighbor dependent substitution to more accurately describe global behavior in this system.

Authors: Y Zhang, S Newman, G.A, Glazier

Favorite Three-Color Cellular Automaton

Rule Chosen: 2884904705219

Reason: This rule has bifurcation from 1 to 2 , then from 2 to three, like the cartilage pattern I want to simulate.

Additional Information

Zhang, W., S. Newman, J. Glazier, “3D Substitution Model for Limb Growth and Pattern Formation.” Presentation at NKS 2004, Boston, MA, 2004. [abstract] [materials]