Photo: Sylvain Crouzet

I am a Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I belong to the Probability Group and Applied Mathematics Group. I am also a member of the Institute for Foundations of Data Science (IFDS), I have an affiliate appointment in the Department of Statistics and I am affiliated with the Theory of Computing Group in the Department of Computer Sciences. I can also be found at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. My CV is here.

I work at the intersection of **applied probability**,
**statistics** and
**theoretical computer science**, with an emphasis on **biological
applications**.
More details on my research interests and
publications can be found
here.
My work is currently supported by NSF grants
DMS-1614242,
CCF-1740707 (TRIPODS),
DMS-1902892,
and
DMS-1916378,
as well as
a Simons Fellowship
and a Vilas Associates Award.

Aug 2019: A new grant, joint with Karl Rohe, has been funded by the NSF.

Aug 2019: I am co-organizing a special session on Recent Trends in the Mathematics of Data at the AMS Fall Central Sectional Meeting, held in Madison on Sep 14-15, 2019.

Aug 2019: I am on the scientific committee of the 41st Midwest Probability Colloquium, which will be held October 10-12, 2019 at Northwestern University.

May 2019: My new undergraduate course, MATH 535: Mathematical Methods in Data Science, has been approved by the university. It will be offered for the first time in Spring 2020. More details to come.

May 2019: A new grant, joint with Cecile Ane and Curtis Brandt, has been funded by the Joint DMS/NIGMS Initiative to Support Research at the Interface of the Biological and Mathematical Sciences

Apr 2019: Our cluster hire proposal "Foundations of Data Science" (with M. Newton, R. Nowak and S. Wright) has been selected by UW's Cluster Hiring Initiative. More details to come.

Jan 2019: I received a Vilas Associates Award for 2019-2021.

Dec 2018: I am on the program committees of WABI 2019 and GLBIO 2019.

Oct 2018: Our recent work with Karl Rohe on respondent-driven sampling has just appeared in PNAS.

Apr 2018: Our paper "Circular Networks from Distorted Metrics" with former Ph.D. student Jason Wang won Best Paper Award at RECOMB 2018.

Apr 2018: The Institute for Foundations of Data Science at UW-Madison, in collaboration with the NSF TRIPODS Institutes at the University of Washington and at the University of California-Berkeley, is organizing a summer school on July 24-28, 2018 in Madison. Apply by April 20 here.

Mar 2018: I am grateful to the Simons Foundation for supporting my upcoming sabbatical (2018-2019) through a Simons Fellowship.

Jan 2018: My paper with Mike Steel on "Likelihood-based tree reconstruction on a concatenation of aligned sequence data sets can be statistically inconsistent" received Honorable Mention in the 2018 Marcus W. Feldman Prize in Theoretical Population Biology.

Aug 2017: The new Institute for Foundations of Data Science
has been funded through the NSF TRIPODS
and NSF Growing Convergence Research
programs. More details here
and here.
The website of IFDS is here.

Fall 2019: MATH 431 - Introduction to the Theory of Probability

Graduate course on modern discrete probability

Topics course on stochastic processes in evolutionary genetics

First year of graduate probability theory

Brief survey of mathematical phylogenetics

Tutorial on sequence-length requirements in phylogenetics

Summer school slides on probability on graphs with applications to data science

Tutorial slides on mathematical phylogenomics

Generalized least squares can overcome the critical threshold in respondent-driven sampling

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(41):10299-10304, 2018. With Karl Rohe.

Circular Networks from Distorted Metrics

Proceedings of RECOMB 2018, 167-176. With J. Wang.

(Best Paper Award, RECOMB 2018)

(Best Paper Award, RECOMB 2018)

Distance-based species tree estimation
under the coalescent: information-theoretic trade-off between number of loci and sequence length

Ann. Appl. Probab., 27(5)-2926-2955, 2017. With E. Mossel.

Conference abstract in Proceedings of RANDOM 2015, 931-942.

Conference abstract in Proceedings of RANDOM 2015, 931-942.

Phase transition in the sample complexity of likelihood-based
phylogeny inference

Species trees from gene trees despite a high rate of lateral genetic
transfer: A tight bound

Proceedings of ACM-SIAM SODA 2016, 1621-1630. With C. Daskalakis.

On the robustness to gene tree estimation error (or lack thereof) of
coalescent-based species tree methods

Systematic Biology, 64(4):663--676, 2015. With T. Warnow.

Likelihood-based tree reconstruction on a concatenation of aligned
sequence data sets can be statistically inconsistent

Theoretical Population Biology, 100:56-62, 2015. With M. Steel.

(Honorable Mention, 2018 Marcus W. Feldman Prize in Theoretical Population Biology.)

(Honorable Mention, 2018 Marcus W. Feldman Prize in Theoretical Population Biology.)

Alignment-Free Phylogenetic Reconstruction: Sample Complexity via a Branching Process Analysis

Annals of Applied Probability, 23(2):693-721, 2013. With C. Daskalakis.

Conference abstract in Proceedings of RECOMB 2010, 123-137.

Conference abstract in Proceedings of RECOMB 2010, 123-137.

Submodularity of Influence in Social Networks: From Local to Global

SIAM J. Comput., 39(6):2176-2188, 2010.
With E. Mossel.

Conference abstract in Proceedings of ACM STOC 2007, 128-134.

Conference abstract in Proceedings of ACM STOC 2007, 128-134.

Toward Extracting All Phylogenetic Information from Matrices of Evolutionary Distances

Science, 327(5971):1376 - 1379, 2010. (Posted by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution.)

Upstream Reciprocity and the Evolution of Gratitude

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 274(1610):605-609, 2007.
With M. Nowak.

Review in The Daily Telegraph

Review in PhysOrg.com

Review in The Daily Telegraph

Review in PhysOrg.com

A Short Proof that Phylogenetic Tree Reconstruction by Maximum Likelihood is Hard

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, 3(1):92-94, 2006.

A full list of publications is available here.

Office: Van Vleck 823

Phone: 608-263-3053

Fax: 608-263-8891

lastname[at]math[dot]wisc[dot]edu

Phone: 608-263-3053

Fax: 608-263-8891

lastname[at]math[dot]wisc[dot]edu

Department of Mathematics

University of Wisconsin-Madison

480 Lincoln Drive

Madison, WI 53706

University of Wisconsin-Madison

480 Lincoln Drive

Madison, WI 53706