Dr. Sarah Knutie is an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut. The overarching theme of her seminar explores how animal hosts defend themselves against parasites, particularly in response to environmental change. First, she will present her research on the effect of the introduced parasitic nest fly Philornis downsi on birds in the Galapagos, how birds defend themselves against P. downsi, and a method ("self-fumigation") she established for controlling the fly in a bird nest. Second, she will describe the role of host-associated gut microbiota in disease ecology of frogs and, in particular, whether early-life microbiota of hosts mediate the effect of environmental factors, such as pollutants, on later-life resistance to infections.
Matteo Riondato, who will be joining the Amherst computer science faculty in January, will be giving the next colloquium talk, on the topic "Data Mining: Tasks, Systems, Challenges and Research Directions." The talk will be preceded at 3:30 p.m. by snacks in SCCE C209.
"In this talk, I describe the field of data mining (DM) from the point of view of a researcher in this discipline. Starting from my definition of DM, I give examples of DM tasks for different kinds of data, commenting on available systems for DM and discussing the algorithmic challenges in DM. I show how my research tackles some of these challenges and list the interesting questions I plan to answer in the near future with the help of Amherst students."
Matteo Riondato will join Amherst as an assistant professor in January 2019. His research focus is in algorithmic data science: he develops methods to analyze modern data sets, including graphs and time series, as fast as possible and in a statistically sound way. Matteo obtained his Ph.D. from Brown and held postdoc positions at Brown and Stanford. He is a research scientist at Two Sigma and an adjunct assistant professor at Brown. His works received the Best Student Poster award at the 2014 SIAM International Conference on Data Mining and the Best Student Paper award at the 2016 ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining. He tweets @teorionda and lives online at http://matteo.rionda.to.