Sep 24 Leonid Chindelevitch

The patterns of life: analyzing biochemical networks

Abstract: In this talk, we are going to discuss biochemical networks and their mathematical analysis. Several approaches will be explained in detail, including S-systems, stoichiometric analysis and flux balance analysis. If time remains, we will talk about some cool applications, such as biofuel production, that follow as corollaries from these theoretical methods.

Oct 1 Alex Levin

RNAmutants: an algorithm for analyzing the RNA mutation landscape

Abstract: In recent years, biologists have started understanding the diverse and important role that RNA molecules play in the cell. They have discovered many types of non-coding RNA's and have attempted to study their function. A first step to understanding the function of an RNA molecule is to understand its secondary structure, and how this structure changes under mutations. We will describe a recent algorithm, RNAmutants, which is able to explore the mutation landscape of RNA much more efficiently than previous approaches. We will then discuss the fun computational experiments one can do using the software.

Oct 15 Po-Ru Loh

How Hard is NP-Hard?

Abstract: Mathematicians know that the traveling salesman problem is NP-complete, which oftentimes is equated with being "unsolvable." But what if you're a traveling salesman? "It's NP-complete" doesn't cut it when you have gas to buy and goods to sell.

In this talk, I'll discuss a few approximation algorithms and heuristics for attacking NP-hard problems. I'll also provide some demonstrations of how well (or poorly) they work.

Oct 29 George Tucker "Beep - bop - boop, oh no I've been kidnapped..."
Nov 5 Carol Hua Testing independence of regression errors with residuals as data
Nov 12 Jose Soto Max-Min relations in combinatorial optimization
Nov 19 Mayank Varia Elliptic curve and lattice-based cryptography
Dec 3 Rosalie Belanger-Rioux An adaptive Newton's method for root solving