3 lab members present, Demetrius wins best poster

On Saturday, 30 April 2022 3 members of the lab presented posters at the annual UTEP COURI (Campus Office for Undergraduate Research Initiatives) Symposium. Approximately 115 undergraduates presented 110 posters from across the university. From those, our own Demetrius Hernandez won best poster presentation in the “Engineering, Computational, and Applied Science” category (covered in UTEP news). Congratulations Demetrius!

The lab’s contributions are listed below in no particular order:

  • Hector RichartIncreasing protein multiple sequence alignment parameter advising accuracy by considering secondary structure information
  • Luis Cedillo — Facet-NN: Improved accuracy estimation using neural networks
  • Demetrius HernandezEfficient minimizer schemes using deep networks

Research Focus

Our group studies how to improve science by automating and optimizing the tools used by domain scientists. We do this primarily by making input specific parameter value choices which help to reduce false information introduced by using less than ideal (or default) parameter choice. Using a framework called Parameter Advising we are able to, without an increase in wall clock time in most cases, find parameter vectors that are much better then the defaults. This framework has been applied to both protein multiple sequence alignment and reference-based transcript assembly, but is very general and can be applied to domains both within and outside of computational biology.

Beyond the algorithm configuration problem, Dr. DeBlasio also has interests in hashing and sketching, primarily focused on minimizer schemes (also called winnowing schemes). Minimizer schemes are a method to represent long strings by some representative k-mer (k length substring) in order to improve the resource consumption of sequence analysis applications (such as genomic read mapping, or document similarity).

This site is currently under development, for details about Dr. DeBlasio’s previous work see his personal website: dandeblasio.com