Michael S Waterman

Michael Waterman is University Professor Emeritus at the University of Southern California and Distinguished Research Professor at University of Virginia. He came to USC in 1982 after positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Idaho State University. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Oregon State University, and a PhD in Statistics and Probability from Michigan State University. He has held visiting positions at the University of Hawaii (1979-80), the University of California at San Francisco (1982), Mt. Sinai Medical School (1988), Chalmers University (2000), and in 2000-2001 he held the Aisenstadt Chair at University of Montreal. At the beginning of 2020, he became University Professor Emeritus at the University of Southern California and was appointed Distinguished Research Professor at University of Virginia.

Michael Waterman was named a Guggenheim Fellow (1995). He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1995), the National Academy of Sciences (2001) and the National Academy of Engineering (2012). Also he is a elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1990), Institute of Mathematical Statistics (1991), Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (2009), International Society of Computational Biology (2009) and National Academy of Inventors (2018). In fall 2000 he became the first Fellow of Celera Genomics. Waterman received a Gairdner Foundation International Award (2002), the Friendship Award from the Chinese government (2013) and the Dan David Prize(2015). He is an elected Foreign Member of the French Académie des Sciences (2005) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2013). He received Doctor Philosophiae Honors Causia from Tel Aviv University (2011) and Southern Denmark University (2013). In 2020 Waterman was awarded the Walter Benter Prize in Applied Mathematics.

During 2003-2008, Professor Waterman held a 5-year term as Faculty Master of Parkside International Residence College at USC. PIRC is a residential college that is home to over 600 undergraduates and serves as a center for internationally oriented cultural, academic and social events.

From May 2008 to May 2014, in addition to his USC appointment Michael Waterman became Chair Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing.  He led a team of distinguished scientists which collectively worked to enhance Tsinghua’s programs in bioinformatics and computational biology. He was Cao Xingcheng Chair Professor at Tsinghua University (2008-2017) and Distinguished Professor at Fudan University in Shanghai (2014-2019). Tsinghua Photos

Michael Waterman is a founding editor of Journal of Computational Biology and is on the editorial board of several journals. He is the author of Introduction to Computational Biology: Maps, Sequences and Genomes and is a co-author of the text Computational Genome Analysis: An Introduction. Also with Istrail and Pevzner in 1997 he began the international conference Research in Computational Biology (RECOMB).

Professor Waterman works in the area of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, concentrating on the creation and application of mathematics, statistics and computer science to molecular biology, particularly to DNA, RNA and protein sequence data. He is the co-developer of the Smith-Waterman algorithm for sequence comparison and of the Lander-Waterman formula for physical mapping. His paper with Idury in 1995 introduced the use of Eulerian and De Bruijn graphs for sequence assembly. Beginning in 2002 he took alignment-free sequence analysis in a new direction.


Michael S Waterman

University of Southern California
University Park Campus
1050 Childs Way
Building: RRI
Los Angeles, California 90089-2910