Michael Waterman

University Professor Emeritus
Email msw@usc.edu

Research & Practice Areas

Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, Probability and Statistics, Combinatorics


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

    • Doctor Philosophiae Honoris Causa, Southern Denmark University, 2013
    • Foreign Member – Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2013
    • National Academy Member, Member, National Academy of Engineering (NAE), 2012/02/09
    • 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, 1991/10
    • Dan David Prize, The Future, 2015-2016
    • People’s 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
  • Professional Memberships

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