Welcome to the 30 Years of Computational Biology@USC 2012

On March 30 – April 1, 2012, we will hold a computational biology symposium at USC to celebrate the 70th birthday of Professor Michael Waterman and the 60th birthday of Simon Tavaré, two prominent computational biologists.

In 1982 Michael, one of the originators of computational biology, came to USC. During his career, Michael has made numerous significant contributions in computational biology, including the dynamic programming algorithm for finding sequence homology, the algorithmic approach to RNA structure prediction, statistical methods behind BLAST and related biological database search tools, statistics of genome sequencing, algorithms for genome assembly including the Eulerian graph method, mathematics of phylogeny, statistical distributions of words and motifs in sequences, and many other mathematical or computational solutions to biological problems. Michael holds an Endowed Associates Chair at USC. He was named a Guggenheim Fellow and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1995, and he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2001. He is also an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the International Society of Computational Biology. In 2002 he received a Gairdner Foundation International Award and in 2005 he was elected to the the French Académie des Sciences. He received an honorary degree from the Tel Aviv University in 2011.

Simon joined USC in 1989. He is widely recognised as an influential figure in developing the interface between the mathematical sciences and the biological and medical sciences. He has made significant contributions to methodology for the analysis and interpretation of DNA sequence and related genomic data, and to bioinformatics. His contributions to population genetics include probabilistic and statistical aspects of coalescent theory, including the first full likelihood-based methods for the analysis of sequence variation data, and methods for ancestral inference. He has pioneered the use of evolutionary approaches to cancer, and the use of approximate Bayesian computation for inference in complex stochastic processes. Simon currently holds the George and Louise Kawamoto Chair in Biological Sciences. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, the Society of Biology, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Statistical Association. In 2009 he was elected as a Fellow of the United Kingdom's Academy of Medical Sciences and he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011.

Many prominent computational biologists have been trained at USC. including (in alphabetic order) Gary Churchill (Professor, Jackson Lab), Pavel Pevzner (Ronald R. Taylor Professor of Computer Science, Director of the NIH Center for Computational Mass Spectrometry, UCSD), Sophie Schbath (Director of Research, Unit of Mathematics, informatics and Genome, , INRA) and Martin Vingron (Director at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Head of Computational Molecular Biology Department, Member of German Academy of Natural Scientists), etc. The full lists of former postdocs and graduate students are available on our website.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: David Haussler (UCSC), Barry Honig (Columbia), Ron Shamir (Tel Aviv), Terry Speed(WEHI, Australia) and Wing H Wong (Stanford).

Supported By:
The USC Office of the Provost USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences