Edinburgh Research Explorer

Supporting crossover between quantative modelling communities

Project: Research

AcronymQESTCMSB
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date16/09/0715/02/08
Total award£25,540.00
Funding organisationEPSRC
Funder project referenceEP/F01336/1
Period16/09/0715/02/08

Description

This grant supported the first co-located meeting
between leading quantitative modelling conferences in systems biology
and theoretical computer science.

Layman's description

Two major conferences in quantitative modelling --- QEST and CMSB ---
met together for the first time in Edinburgh in September 2007.
The QEST conference has as its focus performance evaluation of
computer and telecommunication systems. The CMSB conference addresses
the systems approach to computational biology in the application of
stochastic simulation and numerical integration to aid the
understanding of the functioning of biological processes. This
juxtaposition of quantitative modelling approaches to computer science
and systems biology produced a unique and
fascinating interplay of scientific ideas and communities.

Key findings

The joint meeting of QEST and CMSB served
the UK academic community by providing a unique scientific occasion
for a gathering of participants from the computer science and systems
biology communities. Given the wide range of topics encompassed by
the joint meeting, we noted a high level of interest from the
quantitative methods communities, and additional interest from those
interested in other aspects of the biology/computer science interface.
The event proved to be particularly attractive to UK-based PhD
students in computer science and systems biology. For the former it
was an opportunity to gain insights into the problems and working
procedures used in biology (such as continuous stochastic simulation).
For the latter it was an opportunity to gain insights into the leading
edge of quantitative analysis (for example, using probabilistic model
checking). Both communities used this
unique meeting as an opportunity to build bridges between the two
communities.
The talks were more
intellectually accessible to students than those at a typical
international conference. The keynote address by Dan Gillespie at
the CMSB conference was a particular highlight and led to his being
invited to participate in computer science/biology summer schools in
Bertinoro and elsewhere. Gillespie simulation has become one of the most
researched topics at the interface between theoretical computer science and systems
biology.