Tuesday 31st March, 2015
11:00am to 12:00pm
Erez Lieberman Aiden will present sent this year's closing keynote. For over 10 years, Dr. Aiden has been developing quantitative approaches to the study of history and culture that rely on computational analysis of a significant fraction of the historical record. This work led to the creation of the Google Ngram Viewer, a website for browsing cultural trends that has been used hundreds of millions of times and has become a part of Google Search. At Rice University, he heads the Cultural Observatory and directs the Bookworm project.
Dr. Aiden also invented the Hi-C method for three-dimensional DNA sequencing, which enables scientists to examine how the two-meter long human genome folds up inside the tiny space of the cell nucleus. He subsequently led the team that, in 2009, reported the first three dimensional map of the human genome. In 2014, his lab reported the first comprehensive map of loops across the human genome. These maps demonstrated that the functional state of a cell is governed, in part, by the three-dimensional folding of the cell's genome. Within 30 minutes of its publication, Francis Collins, Director of the NIH, hailed the findings as a "landmark."
Dr. Aiden's research has won numerous awards, including recognition for one of the top 20 "Biotech Breakthroughs that will Change Medicine", by Popular Mechanics and membership in Technology Review's 2009 TR35, recognizing the top 35 innovators under 35. In 2012, he received the President's Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, the highest government honor for young scientists, from Barack Obama. Three of his research papers have appeared on the cover of Nature and Science.
Dr. Aiden's work has also generated widespread public interest. It has been featured on the front page of the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Wall Street Journal. A TED talk he gave together with Jean-Baptiste Michel has over a million views. Fast Company recently called Dr. Aiden "America's brightest young academic."
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