Calina Copos

Calina Copos

calina copos

Applied Mathematics

University of California, Davis

MSB 2125

ccopos [at] math [dot] ucdavis [dot] edu


I am an applied mathematics graduate student at UC Davis. I am interested in a range of interdisciplinary topics that lie at the intersection of mathematics, biology, numerical methods, and high performance computing. I am very fortunate to work with amazing people on these projects: Prof. Bob Guy and Prof. John Owens.

Before moving to Davis, I taught high school mathematics at The Mathematics & Science High School at Clover Hill. I received a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics from University of Richmond. Over the years, my work has taken me to different parts of the world -- recently, I was a teaching assistant for a workshop hosted by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory on the island of Porquerolles.

| cv | LinkedIn

Research Interests

My research interests include mathematical biology, mathematical modeling, fluid dynamics and scientific and high performance computing.

I am interested in using physical laws to understand the mechanisms of cell locomotion. For example, I have derived equations for cellular mechanochemical forces inspired by the molecular actions of extension and contraction of the cell body and the interaction between the cell and its surrounding environment. I then apply these relations to reveal how these key molecular processes give rise to complex behaviors at the cellular level, such as how periodic cell shape changes drive cell locomotion. Such models, provide mechanistic explanations for processes that have been only considered from a biochemical standpoint. Besides mechanochemical models for cell locomotion, I have derived a mathematical model and fast numerical method for simulating a Newtonian fluid interacting with several elastic structures with time-dependent reorganization in a moving domain, used to describe the cell interior on timescales ranging from seconds to minutes.


Currently (Fall quarter 2016): teaching assistant for MAT17A: Calculus for Biology and Medicine.

Associate instructor for MAT17C: Calculus for Biology and Medicine (UC Davis, Summer session II 2015, Summer session II 2016). Teaching assistant for MAT17A (Fall quarter 2015 - Honors College course, Winter quarter 2016, Fall quarter 2016).

Teaching assistant for the California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS) program in the Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems Cluster (2013 -- 2016).

Selected Publications


Below are some resources for graduate students. While studying for the preliminary exams at Davis (Analysis and Applied Mathematics) I put together these two study guides:

| UCD analysis prelim study aids | UCD applied prelim study aids | Fluid dynamics course notes |

In 2010, I applied for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship program (NSF GRFP) and the Hertz Fellowship. My NSF application (successful) is below. The most helpful advice I was given was to make my essays clear and concise, as reviewers would likely spend only few minutes per application. The second most important advice I was given was to realize that the foundation was funding you (the researcher) and not the research topic.

| NSF application |

Last updated 11/22/2016.