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Welcome Message

Michael R. Williams

Pages: p. 1

It is my great pleasure to be part of the launch of the first issue of IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology & Bioinformatics. Both of these areas are undergoing a rapid expansion and are quickly becoming fundamental to the new directions being taken by the biological scientific community.

There are now almost daily news reports of breakthroughs, such as the discovery of genes that have significant effects of human life and health. These would not be possible without the massive amounts of computing power that underlay the gathering, maintenance, and analysis of huge databases that give us the insight into these new areas of biological science. The expanding area of molecular data-driven biology is providing new opportunities and huge challenges to both biological and computer science practitioners. As each advance is made, it opens up new possibilities, and these require research into the computational tasks and equipment that support them. While most people would marvel at the massive computational effort and associated research that has gone into something like the human genome project, there are estimates that an equivalent understanding of the synthesis and interaction of proteins might take one million times as much. With such a growth in scale, the research opportunities are almost endless and I foresee a central place for this journal in the communication of these results.

This publication is the result of the dedicated effort of a large number of people and organizations. It was proposed in 2003, and many different groups immediately recognized that it was a good idea. Many journals are sponsored by an individual society, but these subjects cut across traditional areas. While the IEEE Computer Society is taking the lead to administer this publication, I am delighted that we are being joined in this effort by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the IEEE Computational Intelligence (Neural Networks) Society, the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, and the IEEE Control Systems Society. Of course, each of these groups consists of numerous volunteers that worked hard to define the scope, create business plans, convince their doubting colleagues, attend meetings of the various committees and, finally, accomplishing the difficult task of selecting a new Editor-in-Chief. While the various societies provide the organizational framework, it is the hard work of their volunteers that creates and sustains a first class publication.

I think the search committee for the Editor-in-Chief has done a fine job. They considered a number of distinguished individuals and after a rigorous evaluation process, selected Dr. Dan Gusfield as the founding EIC. He is an internationally recognized leader in this area and holds the post of professor and chair of the Computer Science Department at the University of California at Davis. I am sure that this journal is in good hands. A short vitae of Dr. Gusfield follows.

Michael R. Williams

Vice President, Publications, IEEE Computer Society

About the Authors

Bio Graphic
Dan Gusfield received the PhD degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1980, and has focused his research on combinatorial optimization and applications of combinatorial optimization. His research has spanned the areas of matroid theory, network flow, data security, stable matching, string algorithms, and several subareas in computational biology and bioinformatics. He is the coauthor of the book The Stable Marriage Problem: Structure and Algorithms (MIT Press). In the last 15 years, he has mostly addressed problems in computational biology and bioinformatics, including problems concerned with building evolutionary trees and networks, with molecular sequence analysis, and with population-scale genomics. His most recent publications concern the problem of determining haplotypes from SNP genotypes, and the problem of determining a parsimonious history of recombinations in the evolution of binary SNP sequences. His book, Algorithms on Strings, Trees and Sequences: Computer Science and Computational Biology, (Cambridge Press) has helped to define the intersection of computer science and bioinformatics. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Computational Biology and was the program chair of the RECOMB 2004 conference. For the past four years, he served as the chair of the Computer Science Department at the University of California at Davis.
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