Colloquium Spring 2001
Martin Luther King Day, University Holiday
Cold atoms in optical lattices
Department of Physics; University of California; Berkeley,
Deep South African Gold Mines as Natural Laboratories for Studying Earthquake Physics
Department of Earth Sciences; University of Southern California
The Search for Stellar Mass Black Holes
Dr. Ann Esin
Special Event: On March 20, 2001, Stephen Hawking will present a public lecture "The Universe in a Nutshell" at USC. The lecture is sponsored by the CIT-USC Center for Theoretical Physics.
Technological advances in molecular biology have made it possible to sur- vey genome-wide DNA sequence variation in natural populations. These data include restriction fragment length polymorphisms, microsatellite repeats, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and complete DNA sequences of particular loci. The analysis and interpretation of the patterns of variation seen in such data is complicated by the fact that the sampled chromosomes share a common ancestry, thus making the data highly dependent. To make matters worse, the nature of this common ancestry is not known precisely and therefore needs to be modeled. Since the early 80s, population geneti- cists have used the coalescent as a stochastic description of the ancestry of a sample of chromosomes, and there is now an extensive literature on infer- ence and estimation for such processes. In this talk I will give an overview of coalescent methods, touching on a number of applications including infer- ence about the age of mutations and the hunt for disease genes using linkage disequilibrium mapping .