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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

Life under the lens Event

10:00 - 11:50
26 May 2015
Building 2, Lecture Theatre 2043 Highfield Campus University of Southampton SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this event, please email Steven Glautier at .

Event details

Upcoming talk on computational modelling, sex, and "unsupervised learning of patterns ... through a simple and neurally plausible primitive."

Abstract: Applying the algorithmic point of view to the natural, life, and social sciences often results in unexpected insights and progress in central problems, a mode of research that has been described as ``the lens of computation.''  I will focus on examples in the life sciences, from joint work with Erick Chastain, Costis Daskalakis, Adi Livnat, Umesh Vazirani, Santosh Vempala, and Albert Wu:  Evolution of a population through sexual reproduction can be rethought of as a repeated game between genes played through the multiplicative weight updates algorithm.  In an infinite population, when selection acts not on genes alone but on pairs of genes, fixation can take exponentially many generations.  And unsupervised learning of patterns can be achieved spontaneously through a simple and neurally plausible primitive. 


This is the third of a series of SIRDF seminars organized by colleagues in Psychology, Maths, S3RI, and Economics. These seminars aim to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in the application of computer and mathematical modelling to problems of behaviour and cognition. Please pass on this advertisement to interested parties and if you would like to be notified of future dates please email either Prof. Erik Rhwshle ( or Dr. Steven Glautier (

Speaker information

Professor Christos Papadimitriou,UC Berkley, USA,Christos H. Papadimitriou is the C. Lester Hogan Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley. Before joining Berkeley in 1996, he taught at Harvard, MIT, NTU Athens, Stanford, and UCSD. He has written five textbooks and many articles on algorithms and complexity, and their applications to optimization, databases, control, AI, robotics, economics, game theory, the Internet, evolution, and brain science. He holds a PhD from Princeton, and seven honorary doctorates. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the US, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering. He has also written three novels: “Turing”, “Logicomix” (with Apostolos Doxiadis) and “Independence” (in Greek).

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