Brief Biosketch

Fellow of the ISCB (International Society for Computational Biology), 2017
Fellow of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), 2015: For contributions to mathematical theory, algorithms, and software for large-scale molecular phylogenetics and historical linguistics

Research Overview: My research combines mathematics, computer science, probability, and statistics, in order to develop algorithms with improved accuracy for large-scale and complex estimation problems in phylogenomics (genome-scale phylogeny estimation), multiple sequence alignment, metagenomics, and historical linguistics. I am a big fan of Blue Waters, and have benefitted from two allocations. Click here for the 2017 annual report for my Blue Waters allocation on algorithms for big data phylogenomics, proteomics, and metagenomics. Click here or here for more about my research and the students I work with, and here for a brief biosketch.

Computational Phylogenetics: An introduction to designing methods for phylogeny estimation, published by Cambridge University Press (and available for purchase at Amazon and as an E-book at Google Play). Errata are posted as I find them. The image of the Monterey Cypress is there because of the NSF-funded CIPRES project, whose purpose was to develop the methods and computational infrastructure to improve large-scale phylogeny estimation. Why I wrote this book.

I dedicated the book to my PhD advisor Gene Lawler, who died in 1994; see this memorium (published in the Journal of Computational Biology, 10 Jun 2009) that I co-authored with Dan Gusfield, David Shmoys, and Jan Karel Lenstra about Gene.

Research Positions Available: I have openings in my group for graduate students (PhD or MS) to work on developing computational methods for large-scale multiple sequence alignment, phylogeny estimation, metagenomics, and even historical linguistics. Strong programming skills, mathematical intuition, and interest in collaboration are necessary. If you are already a graduate student at UIUC, please contact me directly. If you are interested in applying to UIUC for graduate school and would like to work with me, please read this first and then contact me. Unfortunately, I do not have any funding available for postdoctoral researchers. However, if you have your own source of funds and have published papers directly related to my research, I'll be glad to talk with you about working together. (If you are an undergraduate, please see this page.)

Current Funding:

Recent NSF funding has supported work in phylogenomics, described here. This is still an area of very active research in my group. I also recently benefited from support of the John P. Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and earlier support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University, and Microsoft Research, New England. The Founder Professorship is funded through the Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative, which is supporting development of research in Big Data and Bioengineering at UIUC. I am grateful to the National Science Foundation for its continuous support since 1994. See this page for completed projects funded by NSF, starting in 2001.

A day in the life of an SRO at NIH (not by me)

"Plus de détails, plus de détails, disait-il à son fils, il n'y a d'originalité et de vérité que dans les détails..." -- Stendhal, Lucien Leuwen (a quote much loved by my stepfather, Martin J. Klein, and an essential guide for all scholarship).

Click here for Google Scholar Citations (i10-index 145 and h-index 60).

For prospective students and postdocs

Current and former students and postdocs


Recent Symposia and Software Schools 



Conference Calendar

News Articles

Academic Integrity

Downloadable papers

Complete vita and publication list

Software and research data

Research data from UT-Austin

Guidelines for writing scholarly papers

Seminar Talks (2015-present)

My F1000 recommendations

Ethics in science

Contact info

My favorite Kimonos! kimonos kimonos kimonos kimonos kimonos