News Archives

[Colloquium] Biological Models with Combinatorial Spaces

February 21, 2013

Watch Colloquium: 

M4V file (639 MB)

  • Date: Thursday, February 21, 2013 
  • Time: 11:00 am — 11:50 am 
  • Place: Mechanical Engineering 218

Bonnie Kirkpatrick
University of British Columbia
Post-doctoral Researcher 

Probabilistic models are common in biology. Many of the successful models have been readily tractable, leaving calculations on models with a combinatorial-sized state space as an open problem. This talk examines two kinds of models with combinatorial state spaces: continuous-time and discrete-time Markov chains. These models are applied to two problems: RNA folding pathways and family genetics. While the applications are disparate topics in biology, they are related via their models, the statistical quantities of interest, and in some cases the computational techniques used to calculate those quantities.


Bio: Bonnie Kirkpatrick is from Montana, a state where the population density is one person per square mile. She attended Montana State University for her undergraduate degree in computer science, before moving to California. Once there, she completed her doctoral dissertation on “Algorithms for Human Genetics” under the supervision of Richard M. Karp and received her Ph.D. in computer science. Now she is at the University of British Columbia doing post-doctoral work with Anne Condon in the Department of Computer Science.