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NIMBioS Seminar Series

In conjunction with the interdisciplinary activities of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), a seminar series on topics in mathematical biology will be hosted at NIMBioS every other Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) in the Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd. Seminar speakers will focus on their research initiatives at the interface of mathematics and many areas of the life sciences. Light refreshments will be served in Room 205 beginning 30 minutes before each talk. Faculty and students from across the UT community are welcome to join us.

W. Wheeler photo.

Speaker: Dr. Ward Wheeler, Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, NY, NY; NIMBioS Postdoctoral Fellows Invited Distinguished Visitor
Time/Date: Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 3:30*
Location: Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Topic: Improvements in tree and network alignment algorithms
Abstract: Tree-Alignment (sensu Sankoff) has been known to be NP-hard for some time. Recent improvements in both the quality (in terms of optimality score) and time complexity of heuristic approaches to this problem are discussed in the context of soft-wired networks. The effectiveness of these approaches to both simulated and real data sets are discussed.

Dr. Ward Wheeler is Curator-in-Charge of the American Museum of Natural History Science Computing Facility and professor of the Richard Guilder Graduate School. His research focuses on systematic theory and its application to the historical relationships among and within a number of metazoan lineages. He has developed theory and algorithms to interpret evolutionary patterns from multiple sources of phylogenetic information including anatomy, behavior, and a diversity of genomic information. His laboratory at the AMNH reconstructs evolutionary graphs to study how metazoan taxa and their anatomy and genomes have evolved over the past 500 million years. Wheeler develops software and hardware tools that are put to use in the museum’s quest to link extinct lineages with the genomes, morphology, and behavior of species that survive today. Wheeler joined the Museum in 1989 and has authored over 150 scientific publications and books, including a general textbook of systematics. He has also authored software packages and has been awarded a US patent in DNA sequence analysis.

*Join us for refreshments at 3 p.m.

Seminar Flyer (pdf)

This seminar will not be live-streamed, but will be recorded for later viewing on NIMBioS' YouTube channel.

For more information about this and other NIMBioS Seminars, visit

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NIMBioS is supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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