Australian Mathematical Society
Mathematics Department at Macquarie University

AMS Medal George Szekeres Medal B H Neumann Prize

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50th Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society

Education Afternoon Talk


Steven Evans (University of California, Berkeley)


Why do We Age and Die?

(What contemporary probability theory has to say about senescence and mortality)


There is a great deal of statistical regularity in the way that multicellular organisms like humans age and die. One of the great challenges of evolutionary biology is to explain these patterns as a response to natural selection. I will discuss how some relatively simple ideas from probability theory shed light on this problem.