|Title:||TreeZip: A New Algorithm for Compressing Large-Scale Phylogenetic Tree Collections|
Department of Computer Science
Texas A&M University, USA
Phylogenetic trees are family trees that represent the relationships
between a group of organisms, or taxa. The most popular techniques for
reconstructing phylogenetic trees intelligently navigate an
exponentially-sized tree space by solving NP-hard optimization
problems that that best hypothesize the evolutionary history for a
given set of taxa (or organisms). Instead of reconstructing a single
tree, these heuristics often return tens of thousands to hundreds of
thousands of trees that represent equally-plausible hypotheses for how
the taxa of interest evolved from a common ancestor. As biologists
attempt to reconstruct increasingly larger phylogenies, such as the
Tree of Life, these tree collections will continue to grow in size.
Tiffani L. Williams is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Texas A&M University. She earned her B.S. in computer science from Marquette University and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Central Florida. Afterward, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of New Mexico. Her honors include a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, and a McKnight Doctoral Fellowship. Her research interests are in the areas of bioinformatics and high- performance computing.