Wellesley Lecture Series Explores the Connection
Between Quantitative Reasoning and Biology

For immediate release:
September 16, 2005
Arlie Corday

WELLESLEY, Mass. --This fall, “Celebrating QR Connections,” the Ellen Genat Hoffman ’68 and Stephen G. Hoffman Series, will celebrate the connections between quantitative reasoning and biology with four special lectures, each held from 5-6:15 pm in Pendleton West Hall, room 212, on the Wellesley College campus, 106 Central St., Wellesley, Mass. The lectures are free and open to the public.

The first, on Tuesday, Sept. 27, is titled “Linked: Networks from Biology to the World Wide Web,” by Notre Dame physics professor Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, author of Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life. “Barabasi will explore the relationships of complex networks from neurons and epidemics to the World Wide Web, with a little ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’ in between,” noted Corrine Taylor, director of Wellesley’s QR Program. [Barabasi's lecture is available online, in both podcast and streaming format, via Wellesley's partnership with the WGBH Forum Network. Click here to access the lecture.]

On Wednesday, Oct. 12, the second lecture, “Evolutionary Game Theory: Essential for a Computational Approach to Biology,” will be presented by Martin Nowak, professor of organismic and evolutionary biology and mathematics at Harvard. Nowak will describe how evolutionary game theory is used to model the dynamic interactions among genes, viruses, cells and humans.

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, Dale Purves, M.D., professor of neurobiology at Duke, will present “The Neurobiology of Perception.”

“Dr. Purves will talk about and demonstrate the nature of perception and its statistical bases, focusing on visual perceptions of form, brightness and color, and touching on perceptions of music as well,” Taylor said.

The final fall QR lecture, Wednesday, Nov. 2, is “QR and Networks at the Forefront of Genomics Research” by Aviv Regev, research fellow at the Harvard’s Bauer Center for Genomics Research. “Regev relies on her understanding of biology, network inference systems, Bayesian models, and other quantitative tools to explore a variety of genomic data,” said Taylor. For more information, call 781-283-2152.

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal-arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries. For more information, go to www.wellesley.edu.