|Michael Spencer Waterman|
|Born||June 28, 1942
Probability and Statistics
Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics
|Institutions||University of Southern California|
|Alma mater||Oregon State University
Michigan State University
|Thesis||Some Ergodic Properties of Multi-Dimensional F-Expansions (1969)|
|Doctoral advisor||John Rankin Kinney|
|Doctoral students||Pavel Pevzner|
|Known for||Smith-Waterman algorithm
Eulerian Sequence assembly
|Notable awards||American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1995,
Guggenheim Fellowship 1995,
United States National Academy of Sciences 2001,
Gairdner Foundation International Award 2002
French Académie des Sciences 2005
Honorary Doctorate, Tel Aviv University 2011
Professor Michael Spencer Waterman is a scientist at the University of Southern California (USC), where he holds an Endowed Associates Chair in Biological Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science. He previously held positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Idaho State University. He grew up near Bandon, Oregon and earned a bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Oregon State University, followed by a doctorate in statistics and probability from Michigan State University in 1969.
Waterman is one of the founders and current leaders in the area of computational biology. He focuses on applying mathematics, statistics, and computer science techniques to various problems in molecular biology. His work has contributed to some of the most widely-used tools in the field. In particular, the Smith-Waterman algorithm (developed with Temple Smith) is the basis for many sequence comparison programs. In 1988, Waterman and Eric Lander published a landmark paper describing a mathematical model for fingerprint mapping. This work formed one of the theoretical cornerstones for many of the later DNA mapping and sequencing projects, especially the Human Genome Project.
With Sorin Istrail and Pavel A. Pevzner, he began the international conference Research in Computational Molecular Biology (RECOMB), and he is a founding editor of Journal of Computational Biology. He is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Art and Sciences since 1995, and was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences in 2001. Since 2005, he is an elected Academician of the French Académie des Sciences. He was elected to the United States National Academy of Engineering in 2012. Waterman also authored one of the earliest textbooks in the field: Introduction to Computational Biology.
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