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Professor Chris Barrett gives keynote lecture at annual international workshop


BLACKSBURG, Va., April 22, 2008 – Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech Professor and Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory Director Chris Barrett presented the keynote address at High Performance Computational Biology (HiCOMB) 2008, the seventh annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers international workshop on high performance computational biology, on April 14, 2008.

In his talk, “HPC-based [high performance computing-based] Policy Informatics: A Public Health Epidemiology Example,” Barrett outlined how the laboratory uses high performance computing to look in detail at policy informatics and the behavioral analysis of large complex systems. Computer simulation support tools offer compelling ways to probe the different types of networks that make up large, complex entities like, for example, the Internet, transportation systems, or population-wide social contact networks. They may also be used to look at diverse biological systems at an unprecedented level of detail. In his talk, Barrett used the specific example of public health planning related to epidemics of infectious diseases to reveal how computer simulation tools can provide a practical approach for the development of modeling and decision-support environments.

The goal of the 2008 workshop is to provide a forum for the discussion of the latest research on the development of high-performance computing solutions for biological applications. The workshop featured contributed papers as well as invited talks from reputed researchers in the field. The event was held April 14 through April 18, 2008, in Miami, Fla. in conjunction with the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineer’s International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium 2008.