Where Is the Computer Science in Genomics?

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Lior Pachter

(CSE Distinguished Lecture Series)

Lior Pachter
Caltech
Monday, December 4, 2017, 11am
Room 1202, CSE Building

Where Is the Computer Science in Genomics?

Abstract:  Computer software has played a central role in the development of genomics during the past 50 years. However, it is less clear whether computer *science* has mattered for genomics, or whether genomics has led to new computer science. I’ll examine, via a series of examples, questions about whether recent “big data” developments in computer science and machine learning are relevant for genomics and medicine, and I’ll propose an answer to the question “will computer scientists cure cancer?”

Bio:  Lior Pachter was born in Ramat Gan, Israel, and grew up in Pretoria, South Africa where he attended Pretoria Boys High School. After receiving a B.S. in Mathematics from Caltech in 1994, He left for MIT where he was awarded a PhD in applied mathematics in 1999. He then moved to the University of California at Berkeley where he was a postdoctoral researcher (1999-2001), assistant professor (2001-2005), associate professor (2005-2009), and until 2017 the Raymond and Beverly Sackler professor of computational biology and professor of mathematics and molecular and cellular biology with a joint appointment in computer science. Since January 2017 he has been the Bren professor of computational biology at Caltech.

His research interests span the mathematical and biological sciences, and he has authored over 100 research articles in the areas of algorithms, combinatorics, comparative genomics, algebraic statistics, molecular biology and evolution. He has taught a wide range of courses in mathematics, computational biology and genomics. He has also been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, the Miller Professorship, and a Federal Laboratory Consortium award for the successful technology transfer of widely used sequence alignment software developed in his group.

Faculty Host: Pavel Pevzner