Tag Archives: Applied Mathematics

Carrie and Bioinformatics

“How might disease spread in populated areas in the event of a bioterrorism incident, and how would it be contained?”

It is questions like the one above that motivated me to become an applied mathematics major. The general definition of Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that develops and improves methods for storing, retrieving, organizing and analyzing biological data. The part that I am interested in is the study of disease. One part of bioinformatics involves taking the data collected from studies to form a complete picture for interpretation and analysis.

In the Journal for Cancer Research, “Serum Protein Fingerprinting Coupled with a Pattern-matching Algorithm Distinguishes Prostate Cancer from Benign Prostate Hyperplasia and Healthy Men” (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/62/13/3609.full#sec-2) is an article that uses a decision tree algorithm. This is a powerful tool for classification and prediction. It is a classifier in a tree form having a

  • Decision node: specifies a test on a single attribute
  • Leaf node: indicates the value of the target attribute
  • Arc/edge: split of one attribute
  • Path: a disjunction of test to make the final decision

Source: www.cse.ust.hk/~twinsen/Decision_Tree.ppt

I think that bioinformatics is a huge and very important tool in mathematics that I hope to be apart of one day.