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The basic laws of evolution have been known for more than a century and
there is overwhelming evidence for the facts of evolution. Yet little is
understood quantitatively about the dynamical processes that drive
evolution: by physicists' standards the theory of evolution is far from
fully-fledged. Huge advances in DNA sequencing technology and laboratory
experiments have enabled direct observations of evolution in action and,
together with theoretical developments, opened up great opportunities
for dramatically advancing our understanding. This talk will focus on
framing questions and the challenges to be faced, along with recent
progress on addressing some of these.
Daniel Fisher is a David Starr Jordan Professor of
Science at Stanford University. Educated at Cornell University and
Harvard University, one of his first claims to fame was being mentioned
(as a high-school student) in Martin Gardner's Scientific American
column "Mathematical Games" for his solution of a coin-toss problem.
Fisher started his career at AT&T Bell Laboratories, and subsequently,
held faculty positions at Princeton and Harvard. Fisher's research has
mostly been in theoretical condensed matter physics, but over the past
ten years, his research has shifted to biology -- particularly dynamical
processes in cells and evolutionary dynamics. He has also been actively
involved in public policy, especially arms control and energy.
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