Chris Whidden joins!04 Oct 2013, by Erick
The postdoc gods have smiled upon us and sent us Chris Whidden who was co-advised by Rob Beiko and the computer scientist Norbert Zeh during his PhD at Dalhousie. Chris is an algorithms strongman who has made the calculation of subtree-prune-regraft (SPR) distances practical for the first time by both greatly reducing asymptotic complexity and implementing clever strategies (coming up in Systematic Biology). Here we have already come up with some interesting and hard theoretical questions building on his work as well as applying his work to better understand how MCMC algorithms explore tree space.
Chris is focused in a way that only someone who had two kids during his PhD can be, and spends less time yak shaving than any person I’ve met.