School Seminars and Colloquia

The Mathematics of Recessive Diseases in Closed Communities

FREE PUBLIC LECTURE: The Nineteenth Behrend Memorial Lecture

by Andrew Conway

Date: Tue 4th October 2005
Time: 5:30 PM
Location: Theatre A, Richard Berry Building, The Uninversity of Melbourne

Abstract: Mathematical models are frequently used to help in understanding diseases, which is the first step in curing or mitigating these diseased. I will show examples of these models for recessive diseases. Firstly I shall discuss the probabilities of having the disease, and quantitatively discuss the effects of having relatives as parents. I will then discuss some general techniques for discovering the gene or genes responsible for a disease, and then look at the particular case of recessive diseases in closed communities, and how their genetics can be used to help discovery.

About the speaker:
Andrew Conway did a B.Sc. (Hons), B.E. (Hons) and a Ph.D. in Mathematics (Statistical Mechanics) at the University of Melbourne, followed by second Ph.D. at Stanford University (Helicopter navigation via GPS). After work in the computer science department at the University of Bordeaux, and the Biochemistry department at Stanford University, Andrew started a company, Silicon Genetics, which made software for biologists trying to understand and cure diseases. In 2004 Agilent Technologies bought Silicon Genetics and Andrew returned to Australia as a freelance scientist.

Andrew has been written about in journals like "BusinessWeek", "Popular Mechanics", and "the Age", and has appeared on Television on "Beyond 2000" and "Scientific American Frontiers". He has won a variety of contests, including being the leader of the winning team of the 1992 ACM international computer programming contest, and the 1995 AUVS unmanned aerial vehicles contest.

For More Information: For further information contact the Department of Mathematics and Statistics on (03) 8344 7887.