Rodica Curtu

Associate Professor
PhD, University of Pittsburgh 2003

Contact information

Department of Mathematics
University of Iowa
14 MacLean Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1419

Phone: (319)-335-0744
Departmental fax: (319) 335-0627


Fall 2015

Office Hours: M W 10:30 AM - noon (Room 225F MLH), or by appointment


MATH-1000    First Year Seminar (MW 8:30 - 9:20 AM; Room 218 MLH)

MATH-5600    Nonlinear Dynamics with Numerical Methods (MWF 1:30 - 2:20 PM; Room 210 MLH)
      James D. Meiss - Differential Dynamical Systems (2007; SIAM)

MATH-6600    Ordinary Differential Equations I (MWF 12:30 - 1:20 PM; Room 210 MLH)
      John Hunter - Asymptotic analysis and singular perturbation theory (2004; pdf online); Y. Kuznetsov - Elements of applied bifurcation theory (2004; Springer); & Jack Carr - Applications of Centre Manifold Theory (1981; Springer)

                        (Students: please see ICON website for course announcements!)

Other Appointments

- Faculty of AMCS - Program in Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences (University of Iowa)
- Full member of the Delta Center - Development and Learning from Theory to Application

Mathematical Biology Group

We have an active group of faculty and students interested in Mathematical Biology. We organize weekly seminars and lunch meetings. If you are a student or a visitor at the University of Iowa interested in the topic, or you would just like to join us, let us know!

Sonia Kovalevsky Day

This is an event organized by the University of Iowa that seeks to engage young women through a variety of hands-on problem solving and learning activities. High school aged women, their educators, and parents or guardians are invited to a day-long program featuring workshops, talks, and panels of professionals, and opportunities for social interaction among those who share a passion for math. Here is a picture from the Sonia Kovalevsky Day 2012.

Conferences (Organizer / Member of the Scientific Committee)

March 10-12, 2014: Conference on
Nonlinear Dynamics and Stochastic Methods: From Neuroscience to Other Biological Applications

Program / Scientific Committee
November 24-26, 2014: 3rd International Conference on Complex Dynamical Systems: New Mathematical Concepts and Applications in Life Sciences, TOBB Economy and Technology University, Ankara, Turkey

June 8-10, 2015: 1-st International Conference on Mathematical Neuroscience, Antibes - Juan les Pins, France

Awards/ Funding

NSF IIS-1515678 (PI)
CRCNS: Collaborative Research: Dynamic Models of Human Auditory Perceptual Switching Informed by Large-Scale ECoG Recordings (9/01/2015-8/31/2018)

NSF BCS-1029082 (Co-PI)
The Emergence of Cognitive Flexibility in Neural-Behavioral Systems (10/01/2010-6/30/2016)

NSF DMS-1347717 (PI)
Nonlinear Dynamics and Stochastic Methods: From Neuroscience to Other Biological Applications (3/01/2014-2/28/2015)

NSF DMS-1025483 (Co-PI)
CMG Research: On the Quest for Power Laws in Floods: Developing Numerical and Analytical Tools (9/15/2010-8/31/2014)

2013 Simons Fellowship in Mathematics

2012 AWM-NSF Travel Award

2010 University of Iowa Presidential Faculty Fellowship Award


Mathematical and Computational Neuroscience
Mathematical Biology
Applied Dynamical Systems and Bifurcation Theory

I combine methods from nonlinear dynamical systems, pattern formation and bifurcation theory with numerical simulations to study how the dynamics of neuronal networks contributes to neural information processing. Previous projects include investigation of the existence of traveling and standing waves in a model for feature selectivity in local cortical circuits; analysis of a model for alternating visual patterns caused by ambiguous stimuli as reported in binocular rivalry and moving plaids; and existence of canard solutions in a neuronal competition model.

I have also collaborated with researchers from the Iowa Flood Center (Witold Krajewski and Ricardo Mantilla) for the development of a diagnostic framework of stream-flow dynamics with direct applications to prediction of flood conditions.

Recent projects include:
- model-based functional neuroimaging: probing the neural dynamics of response selection and inhibition (in collaboration with John Spencer)
- modeling of the unfolded protein response to endoplasmic reticulum stress (in collaboration with Tom Rutkowski)
- perceptual alternation and neuronal dynamics in auditory streaming (in collaboration with John Rinzel (New York University))
- dynamic models of human auditory perceptual switching informed by large-scale ECoG recordings (in collaboration with Bingni Wen Brunton (University of Washington) and Kirill Nourski (Neurosurgery and Human Brain Research Lab))



Graduate Students

Anh P Q Nguyen
Aarati Mahat

Morgan Fonley PhD 2015; Assistant Professor, Mathematics and Computer Science Department, Alma College, MI
Jeannine Abiva PhD 2013; Applied Mathematician, Brandman University - Chapman, USTARS
Danilo Diedrichs PhD 2012; Assistant Professor, Mathematics and Computer Science Department, Wheaton College, IL

Undergraduate Students

Guanyu Wang - URA (Outcome 2013: Graduate student, Mathematics, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University)

Maxwell Turner - VIGRE URA (Outcome 2011: Graduate student, Neuroscience, The University of Washington, Seattle, WA)

Sharniece Holland (Alabama State University) - McNair/SROP URA at UIowa;
Travis DeWitt - VIGRE URA (Outcome: Graduate student, Mathematics, University of Iowa, Iowa City)

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