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Maximum likelihood in phylogenetics: Relating combinatorial and variational distances on trees

Mathematical Physics & Probability

Speaker: Sebastien Roch, University of Wisconsin
Location: 3106 MSB
Start time: Wed, Apr 16 2014, 4:10PM

I will describe recent results on a deep connection between a well-studied phase transition in Markov random fields on trees and two important problems in evolutionary biology: the inference of ancestral molecular sequences and the estimation of large phylogenies using maximum likelihood. No biology background will be assumed. This is joint work with A. Sly.