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Probability and Discrete Mathematics in Mathematical Biology
(14 March - 10 June 2011)

Organizing Committee · Visitors and Participants · Overview · Posters · Activities · Venue · Funding for Students/Young Scientists


 Organizing Committee






 Visitors and Participants





The mathematical modelling and analysis of biological systems is becoming ever more important. The range of applications includes topics as diverse as models of population growth and epidemics, metabolic networks, coalescent models in genetics, and spatial models of interaction between species. We have witnessed the development of a number of new mathematical approaches, including mean-field limit approximations, random graph and percolation techniques, the use of super-processes, multiple collision coalescents and the theory of continuum trees. In all of these, probability theory plays a central role. In this program, we place particular emphasis on stochastic processes as models in ecology, and especially on the part which both population genetics and network structure play in their behaviour.

Many of these models involve large and complex structures of interacting particles, with complicated temporal and spatial evolution. This makes it necessary to achieve a better qualitative and quantitative understanding of such systems. For example, in the context of epidemics, we need to predict as accurately as possible the potential course as well as the mode of spread of a disease, so as to take effective measures against it. This information can play a critical role in the context of global threats such as avian influenza, SARS or HIV. Similarly, in ecology, we need to understand the effects of interactions between species, in order better to protect those that are endangered, and thus to sustain and enhance bio-diversity in nature. With this background in mind, the program aims to bring together people actively involved in different aspects of mathematical biology, to exchange ideas and to further promote the development of the field. Since many of the models of interest have characteristics similar to those encountered in other disciplines, such as discrete mathematics, statistical physics and computer science, members of these communities are warmly encouraged to participate.



March Poster

May Poster




Discrete Mathematics and Probability in Population Biology and Genetics

21 Mar - 1 Apr 2011

  • Tutorials: 21 - 25 Mar 2011
    Speakers (5hr each):
    Alison Etheridge (University of Oxford)
    Modelling evolution of spatially distributed populations

    Steve Evans (University of California at Berkeley)
    Metagenomics and metrics on spaces of probability measures

    Elchanan Mossel (University of California at Berkeley)
    Reconstruction of Markov processes and networks in phylogenetics and genetics

  • Workshop: 28 Mar - 1 Apr 2011
    Speakers: Matthias Birkner (Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz), Jochen Blath (Berlin Institute of Technology), Bob Griffiths (University of Oxford), Martin Hutzenthaler (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich), Goetz Kersting (Goethe University Frankfurt), Peter Pfaffelhuber (University of Freiburg), Jason Schweinsberg (University of California at San Diego), Anton Wakolbinger (Goethe University Frankfurt).


Discrete Mathematics and Probability in Networks and Population Biology

2 - 13 May 2011

  • Tutorials: 2 - 6 May 2011
    Speakers (5hr each):
    Chris Cannings (University of Sheffield)
    Evolutionary conflict theory

    Persi Diaconis (Stanford University)
    Limits of graphs and networks

    Rick Durrett (Duke University)
    Cancer modeling

    Susan Holmes (Stanford University)
    Phylogeny, trees and the human microbiome

  • Workshop: 9 - 13 May 2011
    Speakers: Homayoun Bagheri (University of Zürich), Tom Britton (Stockholm University), Chris Cannings (University of Sheffield), Valerie Isham (University College London), Nicolas Lanchier (Arizona State University), Sylvie Méléard (École Polytechnique), Martin Möhle (University of Tübingen), Phil Pollett (University of Queensland), Mick Roberts (Massey University), Viet Chi Tran (Université Lille 1).

The remaining time will be devoted to collaborative research, informal seminars on topics of current interest, and other related activities.

Students and researchers who are interested in attending these activities and who do not require financial aid are requested to complete the online registration form.

The following do not need to register:

  • Those invited to participate.
  • Those applying for financial support.





 Funding for Students/Young Scientists


The Institute for Mathematical Sciences has limited funds to cover living expenses for students or young scientists interested in participating in the program. We regret that only successful applicants will be notified. Applications will be considered from 15 Dec 2010 and decisions made on a rolling basis, for as long as funds remain available. Application form is available in (MSWord|PDF|PS) format for download.


For enquiries, please email us at ims(AT)


Organizing Committee · Visitors and Participants · Overview · Posters · Activities · Venue · Funding for Students/Young Scientists

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