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Workshop on "Information Processing in Biology" (2009.7.17-21), Summer School (2009.7.13-17)

Workshop on "Information Processing in Biology"


Transmission of information is a fundamental characteristic of all living matter. One of the unifying themes of modern biology is to study how both internal (genetic) and external (environmental) information are acquired,stored, used and transferred by biological systems. However, biological systems are unique in their complexity. They differ from the more familiar engineered information processing/communication systems, in that the information processes in biological systems are carried out by networks of biochemical reactions with intrinsic spatial heterogeneity and large temporal fluctuations. Therefore, the applications of ideas from information theory and more importantly, its refinement for the purpose of studying living systems present both a challenge and at the same a tremendous opportunity for researchers from other disciplines, such as computer scientist, physicist and mathematician.


In this conference, we will bring together leading researchers from these diverse disciplines (biology, engineering, physics and mathematics) to present the latest progress and development in studying signal processing in biological systems. We will discuss the current challenges and opportunities in this promising inter-disciplinary field. One of the key questions we will explore is whether there is a common way of representing biological information so that they can be studied quantitatively in biological processes ranging from genetics, evolution, to molecular signal transduction and neural signal transmission.


In addition, we will organize a short summer school for graduate students before the conference to bring local graduate students up-to-date on subjects ranging from basic information theory to its applications to various biological systems.