December 2, 2003: Distinguished Lecturer Seminar, Speaker Prof. Tandy Warnow
Speaker: Prof. Tandy Warnow (University of Texas, Austin)
Title: Computational Challenges In Assembling The Tree Of Life

Date: Thursday December 4, 2003
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Room 1000 SEO

Phylogenetic trees, also known as evolutionary trees, model the evolution of biological species or genes from a common ancestor. Major advances in biology have been enabled by molecular systematics (the inference of evolution from molecular sequences), but accurate estimations of deep evolutionary histories are still difficult: data are not often sufficient in quality or quantity, and methods have not yet scaled up to handle dataset sizes such as will be needed to infer the Tree of Life. Worse still, the Tree of Life is clearly not a tree--but rather a reticulate network, due to the occurrence of speciating hybridization and horizontal transfer of genetic material. In this talk, she will discuss several of her research projects, which are collaborative with other computer scientists and biologists, and which are making some progress on these problems. In particular, she will talk about gene order phylogeny, reticulate evolution detection and representation, and large-scale phylogeny reconstruction.


Bhaskar DasGupta

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