Colloquium Spring 2001



January 15

Martin Luther King Day, University Holiday

January 22

Spintronics: Electronics for the 21st Century
Dr. Stuart A. Wolf
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

January 29

Cold atoms in optical lattices
David Weiss
Department of Physics; University of California; Berkeley,

February 5

Deep South African Gold Mines as Natural Laboratories for Studying Earthquake Physics
Tom Jordan
Department of Earth Sciences; University of Southern California

February 12

The Search for Stellar Mass Black Holes
Dr. Ann Esin

March 5

Solar neutrinos: where we are, where we are going.
John Bahcall
Institute for Advanced Study

March 12

Spring Break

March 19

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.

March 26

Current state of plasma physics research
Cynthia Kieras Phillips
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Princeton University

April 2

Molecules and superfluid helium droplets
Andrey Vilesov
Department of Chemistry University of Southern California

April 9

Open date

April 16

Title to be announced
Shoko Sakai
Division of Astronomy UCLA

April 23

Interpreting genomic polymorphism data: what history has to tell us
Simon Tavare'
Department of Biology And
Department of Mathematics University of Southern California


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 .

  • Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • University of Southern California
  • 825 Bloom Walk
  • ACB 439
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0484