Computer Science Seminar on Tuesday, April 2

Computer Science Seminar
Tanya Berger-Wolf
University of Illinois at Chicago
Tuesday, April 2
12:45 – 1:45 pm
Stuart Building, Room 111

Behavioral ecology is the study of the ecological and evolutionary basis for animal behavior. Recent advances in data collection technology, such as GPS and other mobile sensors, high definition cameras, satellite images, and genotyping, have brought this field (and many other areas of field biology) into the era of big data. Such data offer the promise of answering some of the big questions about why animals do what they do, among other things.

Unfortunately, in the domain of behavioral ecology and population dynamics, our ability to analyze data lags substantially behind our ability to collect it. In this talk I will show how computational approaches can be part of every stage of the scientific process of understanding animal sociality, from data collection (identifying individual animals from photographs by stripes and spots) to hypothesis formulation (by designing a novel computational framework for analysis of dynamic social networks).

Tanya Berger-Wolf is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she heads the Computational Population Biology Lab. Her research interests are in applications of computational techniques to problems in population biology of plants, animals, and humans, from genetics to social interactions. Dr. Berger-Wolf has received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002. She spent some time as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of New Mexico working in computational phylogenetics and at the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) doing research in computational epidemiology. She has received numerous awards for her research and mentoring, including the US National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2008 and the UIC Mentor of the Year (2009) and Graduate Mentor (2012) awards.