Finding mathematical models for the comparison of two genomes is a fundamental challenge in modern biology. Surprisingly, a very simple graph-theoretical model has produced a large number of theoretical results and has proven to be robust when analyzing real genomes. One practical question, which we will address, is whether large-scale mutations appear random or whether genomes have "fragile" regions, which are being mutated over and over during the course of species evolution.
Phillip Compeau is a Ph.D. candidate in the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Department of Mathematics. He researches the combinatorics of genome rearrangements and is passionate about the future of education, having co-created the first massive open online course (MOOC) in bioinformatics (http://coursera.org/course/bioinformatics) and co-founded Rosalind (http://rosalind.info), a platform for learning bioinformatics through problem solving.
Faculty Host: Klaus Sutner