Present Project Proposals
We annually submit projects which students can choose as a mini-project, DPhil etc. There is (typically) a one page limit to the description. Here, we provide a bit more background and also a description of work completed earlier by students in Oxford.
Computational Models of the Origins of Life
Protein Structure Evolution Models
Each term, Jotun Hein (and whoever is interested and has the time) goes through a major, recent, excellent book in computational biology (broadly defined). We try to meet 90 minutes every morning in term time and go through 8-20 pages each time. Clearly very demanding - and often we only meet 3-4 times a week. This is both to educate ourselves, to generate teaching material and to find potential research problems. This has been taking place for decades but during the last year, each textbook reading-discussion has ended with Jotun Hein trying to summerize the book in a 60-120 minute lecture. The slides of the last books can be found here:
(HT15) Bayesian Methods in Structural Bioinformatics http://tinyurl.com/Bayesian-SB
(TT15) Recombinatorics http://tinyurl.com/RECOMBINATORICS
(MT15 i) Phylogenetics http://tinyurl.com/SempleSteel
(MT15 ii) Mathematical Phylogeny http://tinyurl.com/Steel-Phylogeny
Two of these led the discussants to publish reviews of the book in question. For all four books above, we ended having lots of discussion with the authors which was extremely helpful and exciting. For the last book, the author let us have the book prior to publishing, we we are discussing an excellent book that hasn't yet been published - you can't get more up to date than that. Also, the author and publisher are clearly interested in getting final criticism and the appearance of a book review that is published at the same time of the book and not three years after. We have already been approached to discuss and criticize a book that will be published at the end of 2016.
We are open to suggestions of what to discuss next. It just has to be a major recent excellent text on computational biology and they are rare. If nobody comes up with something better, we will study Kim Sneppen: Models of Life (2013) and Harary: Graph Enumeration (1971) in Hilary Term 2016.