Sebastien Roch, Assistant Professor, Math, UW-Madison
Date and Time: Jan 29, 2013 (12:30 PM)
Location: Orchard room (3280) at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery Building
Among the many popular techniques for reconstructing evolutionary trees from molecular sequences, so-called distance-matrix methods are typically the fastest. This speed stems from a straightforward, intuitive approach: repeated merging of the closest clusters of sequences. However, unlike more elaborate techniques such as maximum likelihood, distance-matrix methods only exploit empirical correlations between pairs of sequences. This limited use of the data is often cited as a serious weakness. In this talk, I will discuss surprising theoretical results shedding some light on this question.