Student Talk Series: Patrick McDonald, New College of Florida, March 26th in Olin 268 @ noon

i-LdqJSGDTitle: Sticks and Stones

Abstract: In addition to their value as pure entertainment, games provide a rich environment in which to prototype ideas meant for application in a variety of fields: mathematics, computer science, and biology to name a few. In this talk I will introduce two games, one involving sticks and one involving stones, both of which are easy to play. Despite their simplicity, the games are remarkably useful: I will use them as an introduction to some important ideas involving the theory of algorithms. In particular, I will introduce the notion of dynamic programming, a general purpose tool commonly used to solve problems involving (biological) sequence alignment. The talk requires no background and is meant for a general student audience.