An introduction to algebraic statistics

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 - 11:15am - 12:15pm
Keller 3-180
Serkan Hosten (San Francisco State University)
This will be a gentle introduction to the applications of algebraic geometry to statistics. The main goal of the talk is to present statistical models, i.e. sets of probability distributions (defined parametrically most of the time), as algebraic varieties. I will give examples where defining equations of such statistical model varieties have been successfully computed: various graphical models and models for DNA sequence evolution. I will also talk about the algebraic degree of maximum likelihood estimation with old and new examples.