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  • Bits and Biology

  • Wednesday, September 12, 2018 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM EDT
    The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
    Princeton University

    Workshop Organizer: William Bialek, Princeton University and The Graduate Center, CUNY

    Much of the business of life is about the transmission and processing of information, but it is less clear what the full mathematical structure of information theory teaches us about the mechanisms at work in living systems. We use the 70th anniversary of Shannon\u2019s foundational papers as an opportunity to address this question, across all scales from the folding of individual protein molecules to the dynamics of learning. We will explore the amount of information that is conveyed in these different processes, and the nature of its representation, using information theory as a tool for the characterization of biological systems. More deeply, we will explore examples where optimization of information transmission has been used as a principle from which aspects of biological function can be derived. Presentations will start with pedagogical background, and there will be ample opportunity for discussion.

    Lectures will be held in the Science Center (Room 4102)
    The Graduate Center is located at 365 Fifth Avenue, between 34th and 35th Streets, in Manhattan


    Wednesday 12 September 2018

    • 2:30 PM Science of information meets the life sciences: Overview and results
      \tWojciech Szpankowski, Purdue University
    • 4:00 PM Coffee
    • 4:30 PM Coded string reconstruction: From substrings to traces
      \tOlgica Milenkovic, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign


    Thursday 13 September 2018

    • 9:30 AM Coffee and bagels
    • 10:00 AM Persistent copying in biological systems
      \tTom Ouldridge, Imperial College London
    • 11:30 AM Coffee
    • 12:00 PM Optimal cellular information transmission
      \tPieter Rein ten Wolde, AMOLF
    • 1:30 PM Lunch
    • 2:30 PM Mathematical techniques for analyses of single cell transcriptomic data
      \tAnath Grama, Purdue University
    • 4:00 PM Coffee
    • 4:30 PM Three principles of data Science: Predictability, computability, and stability (PCS)
      \tBin Yu, University of California at Berkeley


    Friday 14 September 2018

    • 9:30 AM Coffee and bagels
    • 10:00 AM Relating theories of neural coding using the information bottleneck
      \tMatthew Chalk, IST Austria
    • 11:30 AM Coffee
    • 12:00 PM Decoding the brain\u2019s Enigma
      \tIlya Nemenman, Emory University
    • 1:30 PM Lunch
    • 2:30 PM Geometry of the natural olfactory space
      \tTatyana Sharpee, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
    • 4:00 PM Coffee
    • 4:30 PM Outlook: Information theoretic principles for biological networks
      \tWilliam Bialek, Princeton University and The Graduate Center


    Sponsored by the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, and by the CUNY doctoral programs in Physics and Biology.
    Supported in part by the Center for the Science of Information, an NSF Science and Technology Center, and by the Center for the Physics of Biological Function, a joint effort of The Graduate Center and Princeton University.



    Associated Files

    Event Flyer (PDF)

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