2005 VIGRE Graduate Student Travel Fund Recipients
The 9th Annual International Conference on Research in Computational Molecular Biology (RECOMB), which took place in Cambridge, Massachusetts in May of 2005, featured 8 keynote speakers, and approximately 40 shorter talks based on the content of contributed papers. The keynote speakers — all scientists at the top of their field — tended to be broader, more biological in focus, and designef to point the community toward the most important unresolved problems. The contributed paper talks, all given by one or more of the papers’ authors, were more focused and typically quite technical. Topics addressed in the contributed paper talks included
- Inference of protein-protein interaction networks.
- Use of microarrays for novel transcript detection, DNA copy number aberrations, and regulatory element targets.
- RNA-RNA interaction prediction, and identification of miRNA targets.
- Multiple sequence alignment.
- Inference for phylogenetic trees and networks (which permit biologically relevant non-tree topologies).
- Protein identification by mass spectrometry.
- Gene prediction using multiple genomes.
- Computational inference of gene function.
- Sequence-based prediction of protein structure.
- Inference of regulatory networks, transcription factor targets, and binding site motifs.
- Inference of haplotypes.
I attended the Graybill Conference 2005. The theme of the conference was “Statistics in Information Technology” and there was an accompanying one day course: “Information Theory and Statistics.” Both took place June 1-3 and were hosted by the Department of Statistics, Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
The course took place on the first day and was taught by Bin Yu and Mark Hansen. I am working with Bin Yu on statistical issues arising in the field of neuroscience, particularly entropy estimation. Since entropy is one of the central ideas of information theory the short course was very valuable to me and my research. In addition to the information content of the course, I was also able to meet other students and workers in statistics and computer science interested in the applications of information theory to statistics.
The talks touched many different areas including computer network measurements and statistical learning. In addition, researchers from other fields, such as astronomy and robotics, brought to attention statistical issues arising in their respective fields. The new ideas, techniques, and problems of current research illuminated by the speakers stirred up thoughts of my own. Hopefully this will help in my research and the formation of a thesis topic.
I thank the VIGRE Program for giving me this opportunity.