[Discrete-math-seminar] Department Colloquium Monday, September 11, 2017: Tanya Berger-Wolf, 1:50pm RE 104

Robert Ellis ellisr at iit.edu
Thu Sep 7 16:17:56 CDT 2017

Please join the Department of Applied Mathematics for our colloquium this
coming Monday at 1:50pm in RE 104 (formerly E1 104).

*Time:* Monday, September 11, 1:50pm-2:55pm
*Location:* RE 104 (Rettaliata Engineering Center)
Coffee and cookies afterward in RE 112 until 3:30pm
*Speaker:*  Tanya Y. Berger-Wolf, Professor - Department of Computer
Science, University of Illinois at Chicago

*Title:*  Computational Behavioral Ecology: Why Zebras Don't Have Facebook?

Computation has fundamentally changed the way we study nature, from
molecules to ecosystems. New data collection technology, such as GPS, high
definition cameras, UAVs, genotyping, and crowdsourcing, are generating
data about wild populations that are orders of magnitude richer than any
previously collected. Such data offer the promise of answering some of the
big  questions about why animals do what they do, among other things.
Unfortunately, in the domain of behavioral ecology and population dynamics,
as in many others, our ability to analyze data lags substantially behind
our ability to collect it. In this talk I will give a brief overview of how
computational approaches can be part of every stage of the scientific
process of understanding animal sociality, from intelligent data collection
(identifying individual animals from photographs by stripes and spots,
sampling and inferring social networks) to hypothesis formulation (by
designing a novel computational framework for analysis of dynamic social
networks), and providing scientific insight into collective behavior of
zebras, baboons, and humans.

*Speaker Bio*
Dr. Tanya Berger-Wolf is a Professor of Computer Science at the University
of Illinois at Chicago, where she heads the Computational Population
Biology Lab. Dr. Berger-Wolf is a computational ecologist whose research is
at the unique intersection of computer science, wildlife biology, and
social sciences. She creates computational solutions to help answer
biological questions of why social animals (including humans) do what they
do: from computer vision to identifying individual animals in photos to
social network analysis for understanding how leaders emerge and affect
group decisions. Berger-Wolf is also a co-founder of the conservation
software non-profit Wildbook, which recently enabled the first-of-its-kind
complete species census of the endangered Grevy's zebra, using 80,000
photographs taken by ordinary citizens in Kenya. As a legitimate part of
her research she gets to fly in a super-light airplane over a nature
preserve in Kenya, taking a hyper-stereo video of zebra populations to,
ostensibly, figure out who is friends with whom.

Berger-Wolf holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign (Prof. E.M. Reingold, adviser). She has received numerous
awards for her research and mentoring, including the US National Science
Foundation CAREER Award, the Association for Women in Science Chicago
Innovator Award, and the UIC Mentor of the Year Award.
Robert B. Ellis, PhD
Assoc. Prof., IIT Applied Mathematics
10 W 32nd St, E1 208, Chicago, IL 60637
ellisr at iit.edu
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