Joint Colloquium Distinguished Lecture Series

Computational and Mathematical Challenges Involved in Estimation of Evolutionary Histories

photo of Tandy Warnow Wednesday, February 6, 2008
306 Soda Hall (HP Auditorium)
4:00 - 5:00 pm

Tandy Warnow
University of Texas at Austin


The inference of evolutionary history presents enormous computational and mathematical challenges, but these are particularly exacerbated when dealing with very large datasets (containing thousands of sequences) or when sequences evolve under complex models of evolution. In this talk, I will describe some of the recent progress in large-scale phylogenetics. In particular, I will talk about recent progress on simultaneous estimation of multiple sequence alignments and phylogenies, and the estimation of evolutionary histories of languages.

Related Link: CIPRES project webpage


Tandy Warnow is Professor of Computer Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research combines mathematics, computer science, and statistics to develop improved models and algorithms for reconstructing complex and large-scale evolutionary histories in both biology and historical linguistics. She has served on several national and international boards, including the International Society for Computational Biology, and was the Co-Director of the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics at the University of Texas at Austin. Tandy received the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award in 1994, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Award in Science and Engineering in 1996. She is currently focusing her efforts on the CIPRES Project (, Cyber-Infrastructure for Phylogenetic Research), which is an NSF-funded project to help build a national computational infrastructure for large-scale phylogenetic reconstruction.

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