Skip to Main Content
In the early 1990s, after more than three decades of studying algorithms within the framework of theoretical computer science, I shifted my focus to algorithmic problems arising in genomics. There is a fundamental difference between the views of algorithms in the two fields: in theoretical computer science the input-output behavior of an algorithm is rigorously specified in advance, whereas in computational biology an algorithm is merely a vehicle for discovering Nature's ground truth. In order to be effective in computational genomics I have had to radically change my approach to research. On the occasion of this keynote address I will share some of the lessons I have learned, in the hope of making the way easier for computer scientists and mathematicians entering this field. These lessons will be encapsulated in a list of aphorisms, accompanied by illustrative examples.