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Michael Waterman

University Professor, USC Associates Chair in Natural Sciences, and Professor of Biological Sciences, Computer Science and Mathematics

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-2408
Office: RRI 403E

Personal Website


M.S. , Michigan State University
Ph.D. , Michigan State University
B.S. , Oregon State University
M.S. , Oregon State University

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Professor Waterman studies molecular sequence data using computational approaches. His work concentrates on the creation and application of mathematics, statistics and computer science to molecular biology, particularly to DNA, RNA, and protein sequence data. Professor Waterman is the co-developer of the Smith-Waterman algorithm for sequence comparison and of the Lander-Waterman formulas for physical mapping and sequencing.

Research Keywords

sequence comparison, Smith-Waterman algorithm, alignment statistics, Lander-Waterman formulas, De Bruijn DNA sequence assembly, RNA secondary structure, alignment-free sequence analysis

Research Specialties

Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, Probability and Statistics, Combinatorics

Honors and Awards

Doctor Philosophiae Honoris Causa, Southern Denmark University, 2013-  
Foreign Member - Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2013-  
National Academy Member, Member, National Academy of Engineering (NAE), 2/9/2012-  
Doctor Philosophiae Honoris Causa, Tel Aviv University, 2011-  
Foreign Member, French Academy of Sciences, 2005-  
USC University Professor, 1998-  
American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow, 1995-  
USC Endowed Chair, USC Associates Chair in Natural Sciences, 10/1991-  
Dan David Prize, The Future, 2015-2016   
People‚Äôs Republic of China Friendship Award, 2013  
USC Presidential Medallion, 2008  
Gairdner Foundation International Award, 2002  
National Academy Member, National Academy of Sciences, 2001  
Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient, 1995-1996  

Service to the Profession

Professional Memberships

Member, French Academy of Sciences, 2005-  
Member, National Academy of Sciences, 2001-  
Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1995-  
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