The geometry of ultrametrics and trees

Carly Klivans


April 30,
refreshments at 3:45pm


Ultrametrics are metrics which satisfy d(ij) <= max {d(ik), d(jk)} for all triples ijk. These metrics arrise in various contexts including tropical geometry and clustering. Moreover, they are in correspondence to particular types of phylogenetic trees. I will discuss these motivations and the geometry of the space of all ultrametrics including why matching distances to trees is not so easy.

This talk is accesible to a general audience and all new ideas are joint with Lou Billera.

Speaker's Contact Info: cjk(at-sign)

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Combinatorics Seminar, Mathematics Department, MIT, sara(at-sign)

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