Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Lorne Campbell Lectureship


Olgica Milenkovic (UIUC)

This is the second in a lecture series named in honour of Lorne Campbell, emeritus professor in the department, made possible by a generous donation from alumnus Vijay K. Bhargava, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia.

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

Time: 3:30 p.m.  Place: Jeffery Hall 127

Speaker: Olgica Milenkovic (UIUC)

Title: String reconstruction problems in molecular storage.

Abstract: String reconstruction problems frequently arise in many areas of genomic data processing, molecular storage, and synthetic biology. In the most general setting, they may be described as follows: one is given a single or multiple copies of a coded or uncodedstring, and the string copies are subsequently subjected to some form of (random) processing such as fragmentation or repeated transmission through a noise-inducing channel. The goal of the reconstruction method is to obtain an exact or approximate version of the string based on the processed outputs. Examples of string reconstruction questions include reconstruction from noisy traces, reconstruction from substrings and k-decks and reconstruction from compositional substring information. We review the above and some related problems and then proceed to describe coding methods that lead to strings that can be accurately reconstructed from their noisy traces, substrings and compositions. (This is a joint work with Ryan Gabrys, Han Mao Kiah, Srilakshmi Pattabiraman and Gregory Puleo.

Olgica Milenkovic is a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and Research Professor at the Coordinated Science Laboratory. She obtained her PhD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research interests include coding theory, bioinformatics, machine learning and signal processing.

Among her accolades, she received an NSF CAREER grant, the DARPA Young Faculty Award, the Dean’s Excellence in Research Award, and several best paper awards. She was elected a UIUC Center for Advanced Study Associate and Willett Scholar (2013) and became a Distinguished Lecturer of the Information Theory Society (2015). She is an IEEE Fellow and has served as Associate Editor and Guest-Editor-in-Chief of several leading IEEE journals.