Our mathematical understanding of biology from the physiological to ecosystem level has taken off in the last 30 years. Ecologists currently use this knowledge simply to describe natural systems and explain observations, but can we go a step further? Can we utilize our mathematical understanding of nature to design or engineer a better ecosystem? What would we want this better system to do for us and what would it look like? Can we actually optimize the system for these desired traits?
Eve's talk will provide a general overview of the Naturally Illinois Expo including: history of the Expo, the types of exhibits, composition of the audience (schools, general public), our goals, and improvements that have been made over the years.