@phdthesis{7196,
abstract = {In this thesis we study certain mathematical aspects of evolution. The two primary forces that drive an evolutionary process are mutation and selection. Mutation generates new variants in a population. Selection chooses among the variants depending on the reproductive rates of individuals. Evolutionary processes are intrinsically random – a new mutation that is initially present in the population at low frequency can go extinct, even if it confers a reproductive advantage. The overall rate of evolution is largely determined by two quantities: the probability that an invading advantageous mutation spreads through the population (called fixation probability) and the time until it does so (called fixation time). Both those quantities crucially depend not only on the strength of the invading mutation but also on the population structure. In this thesis, we aim to understand how the underlying population structure affects the overall rate of evolution. Specifically, we study population structures that increase the fixation probability of advantageous mutants (called amplifiers of selection). Broadly speaking, our results are of three different types: We present various strong amplifiers, we identify regimes under which only limited amplification is feasible, and we propose population structures that provide different tradeoffs between high fixation probability and short fixation time.},
author = {Tkadlec, Josef},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {144},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{A role of graphs in evolutionary processes}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:7196},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{7258,
abstract = {Many flows encountered in nature and applications are characterized by a chaotic motion known as turbulence. Turbulent flows generate intense friction with pipe walls and are responsible for considerable amounts of energy losses at world scale. The nature of turbulent friction and techniques aimed at reducing it have been subject of extensive research over the last century, but no definite answer has been found yet. In this thesis we show that in pipes at moderate turbulent Reynolds numbers friction is better described by the power law first introduced by Blasius and not by the Prandtl–von Kármán formula. At higher Reynolds numbers, large scale motions gradually become more important in the flow and can be related to the change in scaling of friction. Next, we present a series of new techniques that can relaminarize turbulence by suppressing a key mechanism that regenerates it at walls, the lift–up effect. In addition, we investigate the process of turbulence decay in several experiments and discuss the drag reduction potential. Finally, we examine the behavior of friction under pulsating conditions inspired by the human heart cycle and we show that under such circumstances turbulent friction can be reduced to produce energy savings.},
author = {Scarselli, Davide},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {174},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{New approaches to reduce friction in turbulent pipe flow}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:7258},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{7460,
abstract = {Many methods for the reconstruction of shapes from sets of points produce ordered simplicial complexes, which are collections of vertices, edges, triangles, and their higher-dimensional analogues, called simplices, in which every simplex gets assigned a real value measuring its size. This thesis studies ordered simplicial complexes, with a focus on their topology, which reflects the connectedness of the represented shapes and the presence of holes. We are interested both in understanding better the structure of these complexes, as well as in developing algorithms for applications.
For the Delaunay triangulation, the most popular measure for a simplex is the radius of the smallest empty circumsphere. Based on it, we revisit Alpha and Wrap complexes and experimentally determine their probabilistic properties for random data. Also, we prove the existence of tri-partitions, propose algorithms to open and close holes, and extend the concepts from Euclidean to Bregman geometries.},
author = {Ölsböck, Katharina},
issn = {2663-337X},
keywords = {shape reconstruction, hole manipulation, ordered complexes, Alpha complex, Wrap complex, computational topology, Bregman geometry},
pages = {155},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{The hole system of triangulated shapes}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:7460},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{7514,
abstract = {We study the interacting homogeneous Bose gas in two spatial dimensions in the thermodynamic limit at fixed density. We shall be concerned with some mathematical aspects of this complicated problem in many-body quantum mechanics. More specifically, we consider the dilute limit where the scattering length of the interaction potential, which is a measure for the effective range of the potential, is small compared to the average distance between the particles. We are interested in a setting with positive (i.e., non-zero) temperature. After giving a survey of the relevant literature in the field, we provide some facts and examples to set expectations for the two-dimensional system. The crucial difference to the three-dimensional system is that there is no Bose–Einstein condensate at positive temperature due to the Hohenberg–Mermin–Wagner theorem. However, it turns out that an asymptotic formula for the free energy holds similarly to the three-dimensional case.
We motivate this formula by considering a toy model with δ interaction potential. By restricting this model Hamiltonian to certain trial states with a quasi-condensate we obtain an upper bound for the free energy that still has the quasi-condensate fraction as a free parameter. When minimizing over the quasi-condensate fraction, we obtain the Berezinskii–Kosterlitz–Thouless critical temperature for superfluidity, which plays an important role in our rigorous contribution. The mathematically rigorous result that we prove concerns the specific free energy in the dilute limit. We give upper and lower bounds on the free energy in terms of the free energy of the non-interacting system and a correction term coming from the interaction. Both bounds match and thus we obtain the leading term of an asymptotic approximation in the dilute limit, provided the thermal wavelength of the particles is of the same order (or larger) than the average distance between the particles. The remarkable feature of this result is its generality: the correction term depends on the interaction potential only through its scattering length and it holds for all nonnegative interaction potentials with finite scattering length that are measurable. In particular, this allows to model an interaction of hard disks.},
author = {Mayer, Simon},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {148},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{The free energy of a dilute two-dimensional Bose gas}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:7514},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{7525,
abstract = {The medial habenula (MHb) is an evolutionary conserved epithalamic structure important for the modulation of emotional memory. It is involved in regulation of anxiety, compulsive behavior, addiction (nicotinic and opioid), sexual and feeding behavior. MHb receives inputs from septal regions and projects exclusively to the interpeduncular nucleus (IPN). Distinct sub-regions of the septum project to different subnuclei of MHb: the bed nucleus of anterior commissure projects to dorsal MHb and the triangular septum projects to ventral MHb. Furthermore, the dorsal and ventral MHb project to the lateral and rostral/central IPN, respectively. Importantly, these projections have unique features of prominent co-release of different neurotransmitters and requirement of a peculiar type of calcium channel for release. In general, synaptic neurotransmission requires an activity-dependent influx of Ca2+ into the presynaptic terminal through voltage-gated calcium channels. The calcium channel family most commonly involved in neurotransmitter release comprises three members, P/Q-, N- and R-type with Cav2.1, Cav2.2 and Cav2.3 subunits, respectively. In contrast to most CNS synapses that mainly express Cav2.1 and/or Cav2.2, MHb terminals in the IPN exclusively express Cav2.3. In other parts of the brain, such as the hippocampus, Cav2.3 is mostly located to postsynaptic elements. This unusual presynaptic location of Cav2.3 in the MHb-IPN pathway implies unique mechanisms of glutamate release in this pathway. One potential example of such uniqueness is the facilitation of release by GABAB receptor (GBR) activation. Presynaptic GBRs usually inhibit the release of neurotransmitters by inhibiting presynaptic calcium channels. MHb shows the highest expression levels of GBR in the brain. GBRs comprise two subunits, GABAB1 (GB1) and GABAB2 (GB2), and are associated with auxiliary subunits, called potassium channel tetramerization domain containing proteins (KCTD) 8, 12, 12b and 16. Among these four subunits, KCTD12b is exclusively expressed in ventral MHb, and KCTD8 shows the strongest expression in the whole MHb among other brain regions, indicating that KCTD8 and KCTD12b may be involved in the unique mechanisms of neurotransmitter release mediated by Cav2.3 and regulated by GBRs in this pathway.
In the present study, we first verified that neurotransmission in both dorsal and ventral MHb-IPN pathways is mainly mediated by Cav2.3 using a selective blocker of R-type channels, SNX-482. We next found that baclofen, a GBR agonist, has facilitatory effects on release from ventral MHb terminal in rostral IPN, whereas it has inhibitory effects on release from dorsal MHb terminals in lateral IPN, indicating that KCTD12b expressed exclusively in ventral MHb may have a role in the facilitatory effects of GBR activation. In a heterologous expression system using HEK cells, we found that KCTD8 and KCTD12b but not KCTD12 directly bind with Cav2.3. Pre-embedding immunogold electron microscopy data show that Cav2.3 and KCTD12b are distributed most densely in presynaptic active zone in IPN with KCTD12b being present only in rostral/central but not lateral IPN, whereas GABAB, KCTD8 and KCTD12 are distributed most densely in perisynaptic sites with KCTD12 present more frequently in postsynaptic elements and only in rostral/central IPN. In freeze-fracture replica labelling, Cav2.3, KCTD8 and KCTD12b are co-localized with each other in the same active zone indicating that they may form complexes regulating vesicle release in rostral IPN.
On electrophysiological studies of wild type (WT) mice, we found that paired-pulse ratio in rostral IPN of KCTD12b knock-out (KO) mice is lower than those of WT and KCTD8 KO mice. Consistent with this finding, in mean variance analysis, release probability in rostral IPN of KCTD12b KO mice is higher than that of WT and KCTD8 KO mice. Although paired-pulse ratios are not different between WT and KCTD8 KO mice, the mean variance analysis revealed significantly lower release probability in rostral IPN of KCTD8 KO than WT mice. These results demonstrate bidirectional regulation of Cav2.3-mediated release by KCTD8 and KCTD12b without GBR activation in rostral IPN. Finally, we examined the baclofen effects in rostral IPN of KCTD8 and KCTD12b KO mice, and found the facilitation of release remained in both KO mice, indicating that the peculiar effects of the GBR activation in this pathway do not depend on the selective expression of these KCTD subunits in ventral MHb. However, we found that presynaptic potentiation of evoked EPSC amplitude by baclofen falls to baseline after washout faster in KCTD12b KO mice than WT, KCTD8 KO and KCTD8/12b double KO mice. This result indicates that KCTD12b is involved in sustained potentiation of vesicle release by GBR activation, whereas KCTD8 is involved in its termination in the absence of KCTD12b. Consistent with these functional findings, replica labelling revealed an increase in density of KCTD8, but not Cav2.3 or GBR at active zone in rostral IPN of KCTD12b KO mice compared with that of WT mice, suggesting that increased association of KCTD8 with Cav2.3 facilitates the release probability and termination of the GBR effect in the absence of KCTD12b.
In summary, our study provided new insights into the physiological roles of presynaptic Cav2.3, GBRs and their auxiliary subunits KCTDs at an evolutionary conserved neuronal circuit. Future studies will be required to identify the exact molecular mechanism underlying the GBR-mediated presynaptic potentiation on ventral MHb terminals. It remains to be determined whether the prominent presence of presynaptic KCTDs at active zone could exert similar neuromodulatory functions in different pathways of the brain.
},
author = {Bhandari, Pradeep},
issn = {2663-337X},
keywords = {Cav2.3, medial habenula (MHb), interpeduncular nucleus (IPN)},
pages = {79},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Localization and functional role of Cav2.3 in the medial habenula to interpeduncular nucleus pathway}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:7525},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{7629,
abstract = {This thesis is based on three main topics: In the first part, we study convergence of discrete gradient flow structures associated with regular finite-volume discretisations of Fokker-Planck equations. We show evolutionary I convergence of the discrete gradient flows to the L2-Wasserstein gradient flow corresponding to the solution of a Fokker-Planck
equation in arbitrary dimension d >= 1. Along the argument, we prove Mosco- and I-convergence results for discrete energy functionals, which are of independent interest for convergence of equivalent gradient flow structures in Hilbert spaces.
The second part investigates L2-Wasserstein flows on metric graph. The starting point is a Benamou-Brenier formula for the L2-Wasserstein distance, which is proved via a regularisation scheme for solutions of the continuity equation, adapted to the peculiar geometric structure of metric graphs. Based on those results, we show that the L2-Wasserstein space over a metric graph admits a gradient flow which may be identified as a solution of a Fokker-Planck equation.
In the third part, we focus again on the discrete gradient flows, already encountered in the first part. We propose a variational structure which extends the gradient flow structure to Markov chains violating the detailed-balance conditions. Using this structure, we characterise contraction estimates for the discrete heat flow in terms of convexity of
corresponding path-dependent energy functionals. In addition, we use this approach to derive several functional inequalities for said functionals.},
author = {Forkert, Dominik L},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {154},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Gradient flows in spaces of probability measures for finite-volume schemes, metric graphs and non-reversible Markov chains}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:7629},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{7680,
abstract = {Proteins and their complex dynamic interactions regulate cellular mechanisms from sensing and transducing extracellular signals, to mediating genetic responses, and sustaining or changing cell morphology. To manipulate these protein-protein interactions (PPIs) that govern the behavior and fate of cells, synthetically constructed, genetically encoded tools provide the means to precisely target proteins of interest (POIs), and control their subcellular localization and activity in vitro and in vivo. Ideal synthetic tools react to an orthogonal cue, i.e. a trigger that does not activate any other endogenous process, thereby allowing manipulation of the POI alone.
In optogenetics, naturally occurring photosensory domain from plants, algae and bacteria are re-purposed and genetically fused to POIs. Illumination with light of a specific wavelength triggers a conformational change that can mediate PPIs, such as dimerization or oligomerization. By using light as a trigger, these tools can be activated with high spatial and temporal precision, on subcellular and millisecond scales. Chemogenetic tools consist of protein domains that recognize and bind small molecules. By genetic fusion to POIs, these domains can mediate PPIs upon addition of their specific ligands, which are often synthetically designed to provide highly specific interactions and exhibit good bioavailability.
Most optogenetic tools to mediate PPIs are based on well-studied photoreceptors responding to red, blue or near-UV light, leaving a striking gap in the green band of the visible light spectrum. Among both optogenetic and chemogenetic tools, there is an abundance of methods to induce PPIs, but tools to disrupt them require UV illumination, rely on covalent linkage and subsequent enzymatic cleavage or initially result in protein clustering of unknown stoichiometry.
This work describes how the recently structurally and photochemically characterized green-light responsive cobalamin-binding domains (CBDs) from bacterial transcription factors were re-purposed to function as a green-light responsive optogenetic tool. In contrast to previously engineered optogenetic tools, CBDs do not induce PPI, but rather confer a PPI already upon expression, which can be rapidly disrupted by illumination. This was employed to mimic inhibition of constitutive activity of a growth factor receptor, and successfully implement for cell signalling in mammalian cells and in vivo to rescue development in zebrafish. This work further describes the development and application of a chemically induced de-dimerizer (CDD) based on a recently identified and structurally described bacterial oxyreductase. CDD forms a dimer upon expression in absence of its cofactor, the flavin derivative F420. Safety and of domain expression and ligand exposure are demonstrated in vitro and in vivo in zebrafish. The system is further applied to inhibit cell signalling output from a chimeric receptor upon F420 treatment.
CBDs and CDD expand the repertoire of synthetic tools by providing novel mechanisms of mediating PPIs, and by recognizing previously not utilized cues. In the future, they can readily be combined with existing synthetic tools to functionally manipulate PPIs in vitro and in vivo.},
author = {Kainrath, Stephanie},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {98},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Synthetic tools for optogenetic and chemogenetic inhibition of cellular signals}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:7680},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{7944,
abstract = {This thesis considers two examples of reconfiguration problems: flipping edges in edge-labelled triangulations of planar point sets and swapping labelled tokens placed on vertices of a graph. In both cases the studied structures – all the triangulations of a given point set or all token placements on a given graph – can be thought of as vertices of the so-called reconfiguration graph, in which two vertices are adjacent if the corresponding structures differ by a single elementary operation – by a flip of a diagonal in a triangulation or by a swap of tokens on adjacent vertices, respectively. We study the reconfiguration of one instance of a structure into another via (shortest) paths in the reconfiguration graph.
For triangulations of point sets in which each edge has a unique label and a flip transfers the label from the removed edge to the new edge, we prove a polynomial-time testable condition, called the Orbit Theorem, that characterizes when two triangulations of the same point set lie in the same connected component of the reconfiguration graph. The condition was first conjectured by Bose, Lubiw, Pathak and Verdonschot. We additionally provide a polynomial time algorithm that computes a reconfiguring flip sequence, if it exists. Our proof of the Orbit Theorem uses topological properties of a certain high-dimensional cell complex that has the usual reconfiguration graph as its 1-skeleton.
In the context of token swapping on a tree graph, we make partial progress on the problem of finding shortest reconfiguration sequences. We disprove the so-called Happy Leaf Conjecture and demonstrate the importance of swapping tokens that are already placed at the correct vertices. We also prove that a generalization of the problem to weighted coloured token swapping is NP-hard on trees but solvable in polynomial time on paths and stars.},
author = {Masárová, Zuzana},
isbn = {978-3-99078-005-3},
issn = {2663-337X},
keywords = {reconfiguration, reconfiguration graph, triangulations, flip, constrained triangulations, shellability, piecewise-linear balls, token swapping, trees, coloured weighted token swapping},
pages = {160},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Reconfiguration problems}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:7944},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{7996,
abstract = {Quantum computation enables the execution of algorithms that have exponential complexity. This might open the path towards the synthesis of new materials or medical drugs, optimization of transport or financial strategies etc., intractable on even the fastest classical computers. A quantum computer consists of interconnected two level quantum systems, called qubits, that satisfy DiVincezo’s criteria. Worldwide, there are ongoing efforts to find the qubit architecture which will unite quantum error correction compatible single and two qubit fidelities, long distance qubit to qubit coupling and
calability. Superconducting qubits have gone the furthest in this race, demonstrating an algorithm running on 53 coupled qubits, but still the fidelities are not even close to those required for realizing a single logical qubit. emiconductor qubits offer extremely good characteristics, but they are currently investigated across different platforms. Uniting those good characteristics into a single platform might be a big step towards the quantum computer realization.
Here we describe the implementation of a hole spin qubit hosted in a Ge hut wire double quantum dot. The high and tunable spin-orbit coupling together with a heavy hole state character is expected to allow fast spin manipulation and long coherence times. Furthermore large lever arms, for hut wire devices, should allow good coupling to superconducting resonators enabling efficient long distance spin to spin coupling and a sensitive gate reflectometry spin readout. The developed cryogenic setup (printed circuit board sample holders, filtering, high-frequency wiring) enabled us to perform low temperature spin dynamics experiments. Indeed, we measured the fastest single spin qubit Rabi frequencies reported so far, reaching 140 MHz, while the dephasing times of 130 ns oppose the long decoherence predictions. In order to further investigate this, a double quantum dot gate was connected directly to a lumped element
resonator which enabled gate reflectometry readout. The vanishing inter-dot transition signal, for increasing external magnetic field, revealed the spin nature of the measured quantity.},
author = {Kukucka, Josip},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {178},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Implementation of a hole spin qubit in Ge hut wires and dispersive spin sensing}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:7996},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{8032,
abstract = {Algorithms in computational 3-manifold topology typically take a triangulation as an input and return topological information about the underlying 3-manifold. However, extracting the desired information from a triangulation (e.g., evaluating an invariant) is often computationally very expensive. In recent years this complexity barrier has been successfully tackled in some cases by importing ideas from the theory of parameterized algorithms into the realm of 3-manifolds. Various computationally hard problems were shown to be efficiently solvable for input triangulations that are sufficiently “tree-like.”
In this thesis we focus on the key combinatorial parameter in the above context: we consider the treewidth of a compact, orientable 3-manifold, i.e., the smallest treewidth of the dual graph of any triangulation thereof. By building on the work of Scharlemann–Thompson and Scharlemann–Schultens–Saito on generalized Heegaard splittings, and on the work of Jaco–Rubinstein on layered triangulations, we establish quantitative relations between the treewidth and classical topological invariants of a 3-manifold. In particular, among other results, we show that the treewidth of a closed, orientable, irreducible, non-Haken 3-manifold is always within a constant factor of its Heegaard genus.},
author = {Huszár, Kristóf},
isbn = {978-3-99078-006-0},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {xviii+120},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Combinatorial width parameters for 3-dimensional manifolds}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:8032},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{8156,
abstract = {We present solutions to several problems originating from geometry and discrete mathematics: existence of equipartitions, maps without Tverberg multiple points, and inscribing quadrilaterals. Equivariant obstruction theory is the natural topological approach to these type of questions. However, for the specific problems we consider it had yielded only partial or no results. We get our results by complementing equivariant obstruction theory with other techniques from topology and geometry.},
author = {Avvakumov, Sergey},
pages = {119},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Topological methods in geometry and discrete mathematics}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:8156},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{8332,
abstract = {Designing and verifying concurrent programs is a notoriously challenging, time consuming, and error prone task, even for experts. This is due to the sheer number of possible interleavings of a concurrent program, all of which have to be tracked and accounted for in a formal proof. Inventing an inductive invariant that captures all interleavings of a low-level implementation is theoretically possible, but practically intractable. We develop a refinement-based verification framework that provides mechanisms to simplify proof construction by decomposing the verification task into smaller subtasks.
In a first line of work, we present a foundation for refinement reasoning over structured concurrent programs. We introduce layered concurrent programs as a compact notation to represent multi-layer refinement proofs. A layered concurrent program specifies a sequence of connected concurrent programs, from most concrete to most abstract, such that common parts of different programs are written exactly once. Each program in this sequence is expressed as structured concurrent program, i.e., a program over (potentially recursive) procedures, imperative control flow, gated atomic actions, structured parallelism, and asynchronous concurrency. This is in contrast to existing refinement-based verifiers, which represent concurrent systems as flat transition relations. We present a powerful refinement proof rule that decomposes refinement checking over structured programs into modular verification conditions. Refinement checking is supported by a new form of modular, parameterized invariants, called yield invariants, and a linear permission system to enhance local reasoning.
In a second line of work, we present two new reduction-based program transformations that target asynchronous programs. These transformations reduce the number of interleavings that need to be considered, thus reducing the complexity of invariants. Synchronization simplifies the verification of asynchronous programs by introducing the fiction, for proof purposes, that asynchronous operations complete synchronously. Synchronization summarizes an asynchronous computation as immediate atomic effect. Inductive sequentialization establishes sequential reductions that captures every behavior of the original program up to reordering of coarse-grained commutative actions. A sequential reduction of a concurrent program is easy to reason about since it corresponds to a simple execution of the program in an idealized synchronous environment, where processes act in a fixed order and at the same speed.
Our approach is implemented the CIVL verifier, which has been successfully used for the verification of several complex concurrent programs. In our methodology, the overall correctness of a program is established piecemeal by focusing on the invariant required for each refinement step separately. While the programmer does the creative work of specifying the chain of programs and the inductive invariant justifying each link in the chain, the tool automatically constructs the verification conditions underlying each refinement step.},
author = {Kragl, Bernhard},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {120},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Verifying concurrent programs: Refinement, synchronization, sequentialization}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:8332},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{8341,
abstract = {One of the most striking hallmarks of the eukaryotic cell is the presence of intracellular vesicles and organelles. Each of these membrane-enclosed compartments has a distinct composition of lipids and proteins, which is essential for accurate membrane traffic and homeostasis. Interestingly, their biochemical identities are achieved with the help
of small GTPases of the Rab family, which cycle between GDP- and GTP-bound forms on the selected membrane surface. While this activity switch is well understood for an individual protein, how Rab GTPases collectively transition between states to generate decisive signal propagation in space and time is unclear. In my PhD thesis, I present
in vitro reconstitution experiments with theoretical modeling to systematically study a minimal Rab5 activation network from bottom-up. We find that positive feedback based on known molecular interactions gives rise to bistable GTPase activity switching on system’s scale. Furthermore, we determine that collective transition near the critical
point is intrinsically stochastic and provide evidence that the inactive Rab5 abundance on the membrane can shape the network response. Finally, we demonstrate that collective switching can spread on the lipid bilayer as a traveling activation wave, representing a possible emergent activity pattern in endosomal maturation. Together, our
findings reveal new insights into the self-organization properties of signaling networks away from chemical equilibrium. Our work highlights the importance of systematic characterization of biochemical systems in well-defined physiological conditions. This way, we were able to answer long-standing open questions in the field and close the gap between regulatory processes on a molecular scale and emergent responses on system’s level.},
author = {Bezeljak, Urban},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {215},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{In vitro reconstitution of a Rab activation switch}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:8341},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{8366,
abstract = {Fabrication of curved shells plays an important role in modern design, industry, and science. Among their remarkable properties are, for example, aesthetics of organic shapes, ability to evenly distribute loads, or efficient flow separation. They find applications across vast length scales ranging from sky-scraper architecture to microscopic devices. But, at
the same time, the design of curved shells and their manufacturing process pose a variety of challenges. In this thesis, they are addressed from several perspectives. In particular, this thesis presents approaches based on the transformation of initially flat sheets into the target curved surfaces. This involves problems of interactive design of shells with nontrivial mechanical constraints, inverse design of complex structural materials, and data-driven modeling of delicate and time-dependent physical properties. At the same time, two newly-developed self-morphing mechanisms targeting flat-to-curved transformation are presented.
In architecture, doubly curved surfaces can be realized as cold bent glass panelizations. Originally flat glass panels are bent into frames and remain stressed. This is a cost-efficient fabrication approach compared to hot bending, when glass panels are shaped plastically. However such constructions are prone to breaking during bending, and it is highly
nontrivial to navigate the design space, keeping the panels fabricable and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. We introduce an interactive design system for cold bent glass façades, while previously even offline optimization for such scenarios has not been sufficiently developed. Our method is based on a deep learning approach providing quick
and high precision estimation of glass panel shape and stress while handling the shape
multimodality.
Fabrication of smaller objects of scales below 1 m, can also greatly benefit from shaping originally flat sheets. In this respect, we designed new self-morphing shell mechanisms transforming from an initial flat state to a doubly curved state with high precision and detail. Our so-called CurveUps demonstrate the encodement of the geometric information
into the shell. Furthermore, we explored the frontiers of programmable materials and showed how temporal information can additionally be encoded into a flat shell. This allows prescribing deformation sequences for doubly curved surfaces and, thus, facilitates self-collision avoidance enabling complex shapes and functionalities otherwise impossible.
Both of these methods include inverse design tools keeping the user in the design loop.},
author = {Guseinov, Ruslan},
isbn = {978-3-99078-010-7},
issn = {2663-337X},
keywords = {computer-aided design, shape modeling, self-morphing, mechanical engineering},
pages = {118},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Computational design of curved thin shells: From glass façades to programmable matter}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:8366},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{8390,
abstract = {Deep neural networks have established a new standard for data-dependent feature extraction pipelines in the Computer Vision literature. Despite their remarkable performance in the standard supervised learning scenario, i.e. when models are trained with labeled data and tested on samples that follow a similar distribution, neural networks have been shown to struggle with more advanced generalization abilities, such as transferring knowledge across visually different domains, or generalizing to new unseen combinations of known concepts. In this thesis we argue that, in contrast to the usual black-box behavior of neural networks, leveraging more structured internal representations is a promising direction
for tackling such problems. In particular, we focus on two forms of structure. First, we tackle modularity: We show that (i) compositional architectures are a natural tool for modeling reasoning tasks, in that they efficiently capture their combinatorial nature, which is key for generalizing beyond the compositions seen during training. We investigate how to to learn such models, both formally and experimentally, for the task of abstract visual reasoning. Then, we show that (ii) in some settings, modularity allows us to efficiently break down complex tasks into smaller, easier, modules, thereby improving computational efficiency; We study this behavior in the context of generative models for colorization, as well as for small objects detection. Secondly, we investigate the inherently layered structure of representations learned by neural networks, and analyze its role in the context of transfer learning and domain adaptation across visually
dissimilar domains. },
author = {Royer, Amélie},
isbn = {978-3-99078-007-7},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {197},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Leveraging structure in Computer Vision tasks for flexible Deep Learning models}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:8390},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{8358,
abstract = {During bacterial cell division, the tubulin-homolog FtsZ forms a ring-like structure at the center of the cell. This so-called Z-ring acts as a scaffold recruiting several division-related proteins to mid-cell and plays a key role in distributing proteins at the division site, a feature driven by the treadmilling motion of FtsZ filaments around the septum. What regulates the architecture, dynamics and stability of the Z-ring is still poorly understood, but FtsZ-associated proteins (Zaps) are known to play an important role.
Advances in fluorescence microscopy and in vitro reconstitution experiments have helped to shed light into some of the dynamic properties of these complex systems, but methods that allow to collect and analyze large quantitative data sets of the underlying polymer dynamics are still missing.
Here, using an in vitro reconstitution approach, we studied how different Zaps affect FtsZ filament dynamics and organization into large-scale patterns, giving special emphasis to the role of the well-conserved protein ZapA. For this purpose, we use high-resolution fluorescence microscopy combined with novel image analysis workfows to study pattern organization and polymerization dynamics of active filaments. We quantified the influence of Zaps on FtsZ on three diferent spatial scales: the large-scale organization of the membrane-bound filament network, the underlying
polymerization dynamics and the behavior of single molecules.
We found that ZapA cooperatively increases the spatial order of the filament network, binds only transiently to FtsZ filaments and has no effect on filament length and treadmilling velocity. Our data provides a model for how FtsZ-associated proteins can increase the precision and stability of the bacterial cell division machinery in a
switch-like manner, without compromising filament dynamics. Furthermore, we believe that our automated quantitative methods can be used to analyze a large variety of dynamic cytoskeletal systems, using standard time-lapse
movies of homogeneously labeled proteins obtained from experiments in vitro or even inside the living cell.
},
author = {Dos Santos Caldas, Paulo R},
isbn = {978-3-99078-009-1},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {135},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Organization and dynamics of treadmilling filaments in cytoskeletal networks of FtsZ and its crosslinkers}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:8358},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{7902,
abstract = {Mosaic genetic analysis has been widely used in different model organisms such as the fruit fly to study gene-function in a cell-autonomous or tissue-specific fashion. More recently, and less easily conducted, mosaic genetic analysis in mice has also been enabled with the ambition to shed light on human gene function and disease. These genetic tools are of particular interest, but not restricted to, the study of the brain. Notably, the MADM technology offers a genetic approach in mice to visualize and concomitantly manipulate small subsets of genetically defined cells at a clonal level and single cell resolution. MADM-based analysis has already advanced the study of genetic mechanisms regulating brain development and is expected that further MADM-based analysis of genetic alterations will continue to reveal important insights on the fundamental principles of development and disease to potentially assist in the development of new therapies or treatments.
In summary, this work completed and characterized the necessary genome-wide genetic tools to perform MADM-based analysis at single cell level of the vast majority of mouse genes in virtually any cell type and provided a protocol to perform lineage tracing using the novel MADM resource. Importantly, this work also explored and revealed novel aspects of biologically relevant events in an in vivo context, such as the chromosome-specific bias of chromatid sister segregation pattern, the generation of cell-type diversity in the cerebral cortex and in the cerebellum and finally, the relevance of the interplay between the cell-autonomous gene function and cell-non-autonomous (community) effects in radial glial progenitor lineage progression.
This work provides a foundation and opens the door to further elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal diversity and astrocyte generation.},
author = {Contreras, Ximena},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {214},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Genetic dissection of neural development in health and disease at single cell resolution}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:7902},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{8574,
abstract = {This thesis concerns itself with the interactions of evolutionary and ecological forces and the consequences on genetic diversity and the ultimate survival of populations. It is important to understand what signals processes
leave on the genome and what we can infer from such data, which is usually abundant but noisy. Furthermore, understanding how and when populations adapt or go extinct is important for practical purposes, such as the genetic management of populations, as well as for theoretical questions, since local adaptation can be the first step toward speciation.
In Chapter 2, we introduce the method of maximum entropy to approximate the demographic changes of a population in a simple setting, namely the logistic growth model with immigration. We show that this method is not only a powerful
tool in physics but can be gainfully applied in an ecological framework. We investigate how well it approximates the real
behavior of the system, and find that is does so, even in unexpected situations. Finally, we illustrate how it can model changing environments.
In Chapter 3, we analyze the co-evolution of allele frequencies and population sizes in an infinite island model.
We give conditions under which polygenic adaptation to a rare habitat is possible. The model we use is based on the diffusion approximation, considers eco-evolutionary feedback mechanisms (hard selection), and treats both
drift and environmental fluctuations explicitly. We also look at limiting scenarios, for which we derive analytical expressions.
In Chapter 4, we present a coalescent based simulation tool to obtain patterns of diversity in a spatially explicit subdivided population, in which the demographic history of each subpopulation can be specified. We compare
the results to existing predictions, and explore the relative importance of time and space under a variety of spatial arrangements and demographic histories, such as expansion and extinction.
In the last chapter, we give a brief outlook to further research. },
author = {Szep, Eniko},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {158},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Local adaptation in metapopulations}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:8574},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{8386,
abstract = {Form versus function is a long-standing debate in various design-related fields, such as architecture as well as graphic and industrial design. A good design that balances form and function often requires considerable human effort and collaboration among experts from different professional fields. Computational design tools provide a new paradigm for designing functional objects. In computational design, form and function are represented as mathematical
quantities, with the help of numerical and combinatorial algorithms, they can assist even novice users in designing versatile models that exhibit their desired functionality. This thesis presents three disparate research studies on the computational design of functional objects: The appearance of 3d print—we optimize the volumetric material distribution for faithfully replicating colored surface texture in 3d printing; the dynamic motion of mechanical structures—
our design system helps the novice user to retarget various mechanical templates with different functionality to complex 3d shapes; and a more abstract functionality, multistability—our algorithm automatically generates models that exhibit multiple stable target poses. For each of these cases, our computational design tools not only ensure the functionality of the results but also permit the user aesthetic freedom over the form. Moreover, fabrication constraints
were taken into account, which allow for the immediate creation of physical realization via 3D printing or laser cutting.},
author = {Zhang, Ran},
issn = {2663-337X},
pages = {148},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Structure-aware computational design and its application to 3D printable volume scattering, mechanism, and multistability}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:8386},
year = {2020},
}
@phdthesis{8589,
abstract = {The plant hormone auxin plays indispensable roles in plant growth and development. An essential level of regulation in auxin action is the directional auxin transport within cells. The establishment of auxin gradient in plant tissue has been attributed to local auxin biosynthesis and directional intercellular auxin transport, which both are controlled by various environmental and developmental signals. It is well established that asymmetric auxin distribution in cells is achieved by polarly localized PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin efflux transporters. Despite the initial insights into cellular mechanisms of PIN polarization obtained from the last decades, the molecular mechanism and specific regulators mediating PIN polarization remains elusive. In this thesis, we aim to find novel players in PIN subcellular polarity regulation during Arabidopsis development. We first characterize the physiological effect of piperonylic acid (PA) on Arabidopsis hypocotyl gravitropic bending and PIN polarization. Secondly, we reveal the importance of SCFTIR1/AFB auxin signaling pathway in shoot gravitropism bending termination. In addition, we also explore the role of myosin XI complex, and actin cytoskeleton in auxin feedback regulation on PIN polarity.
In Chapter 1, we give an overview of the current knowledge about PIN-mediated auxin fluxes in various plant tropic responses. In Chapter 2, we study the physiological effect of PA on shoot gravitropic bending. Our results show that PA treatment inhibits auxin-mediated PIN3 repolarization by interfering with PINOID and PIN3 phosphorylation status, ultimately leading to hyperbending hypocotyls. In Chapter 3, we provide evidence to show that the SCFTIR1/AFB nuclear auxin signaling pathway is crucial and required for auxin-mediated PIN3 repolarization and shoot gravitropic bending termination. In Chapter 4, we perform a phosphoproteomics approach and identify the motor protein Myosin XI and its binding protein, the MadB2 family, as an essential regulator of PIN polarity for auxin-canalization related developmetal processes. In Chapter 5, we demonstrate the vital role of actin cytoskeleton in auxin feedback on PIN polarity by regulating PIN subcellular trafficking.
Overall, the data presented in this PhD thesis brings novel insights into the PIN polar localization regulation that resulted in the (re)establishment of the polar auxin flow and gradient in response to environmental stimuli during plant development.},
author = {Han, Huibin},
pages = {164},
publisher = {IST Austria},
title = {{Novel insights into PIN polarity regulation during Arabidopsis development}},
doi = {10.15479/AT:ISTA:8589},
year = {2020},
}