Seminar Event Detail

Student AIM Seminar

Date:  Friday, October 27, 2017
Location:  1084 East Hall (4:10 PM to 5:00 PM)

Title:  An introduction to coalescent theory

Abstract:   Since the success of the human genome project in sequencing the entire human genome in 2003, the costs associated with sequencing have fallen dramatically. In the last 10 years they have outpaced Moore's law (a decrease in cost of a factor of 2 every 2 years). As a result, methods from the originally highly theoretical field of population genetics can be verified and applied to real world populations to make inferences about population structures, selection, recombination rates, etc.

In this talk, I will introduce the site frequency spectrum, or SFS (the distribution of allele frequencies for a set of genetic loci). I will then introduce two models which can be used to generate an expected SFS, the Wright-Fisher model and Kingman's coalescent. I will discuss the benefits and drawbacks to both models as well as the coalescent's ability to approximate Wright-Fisher. Time permitting, I will then discuss a basic case of Ewens' sampling formula and its proof.

This talk will be accessible to all graduate students.


Speaker:  Andrew Melfi
Institution:  University of Michigan

Event Organizer:   Audra McMillan


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