The talk will begin with a quick survey of the field of bioinformatics and the kind of challenges confronting mathematicians and computer scientists who may be interested in contributing to this exciting field. The remainder of the talk will be devoted to the problem of fragment reassembly. There are currently no reliable laboratory techniques for identifying nucleotide sequences of stretches of DNA beyond a few hundred base pairs. Before genomic DNA can be sequenced, therefore, it must first be broken into measurable fragments. How can we reconstruct a large sequence of DNA given a collection of known short subsequences? One well-utilized experimental technique leads to a graph for which we need to solve a hamiltonian path problem, while another, less well-known technique leads to a different graph that presents us with an eulerian path problem.
Lunch will be provided at 12:00 (in Humanities 019), and a discussion session for students will follow the talk (in Steinmetz 237).