A confluence of ideas and celebration to Dr Yu Lin's legacy in ANU Computational Genomics

Image credit: Minh Bui, ANU School of Computing. Photo from 2022 in South Australia, left to right: Yu Liin, Anuradha, Vijini, Minh, Stephen Crotty.

Picture of Liang Zheng

Written by: Liang Zheng
8 Sep 2023


A confluence of ideas and celebration to Dr Yu Lin’s legacy in ANU Computational Genomics
A confluence of ideas and celebration to Dr Yu Lin's legacy in ANU Computational Genomics

On Thursday 31 August 2023, The Australian National University (ANU) School of Computing hosted the ANU workshop on computational genomics to bring together researchers, students, and professional staff in the field of computational genomics. This workshop aims to promote cross-disciplinary collaboration and celebrate the intellectual contributions of the late Dr Yu Lin.

The full-day workshop in the Ian Wark Theatre of The Shine Dome featured a dynamic program of talks. The event attracted 137 registered participants, including 107 in person and 30 attending remotely. Among the participants, 26% represented the School of Computing, 25% were from the Research School of Biology (RSB), 18% came from the John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR), another 8% from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The remaining 23% joined from esteemed institutes worldwide, such as The University of California, San Diego, Fudan University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Flinders University, University of Canberra, McGill University, Pennsylvania State University, and Tel Aviv University. 45% of participants were students, 25% were faculty, and others being research fellows, genomic professionals.

Professor Tony Hosking, Director of the ANU School of Computing, delivered the opening remark. Keynote speaker Professor Vaibhav Rajan from the National University of Singapore was an honoured guest, having co-authored 23 papers with Dr Yu Lin over the last 13 years. Professor Rajan shared Dr Yu Lin’s research journey since the beginning of their PhD in EPFL. This was followed by four technical sessions, focusing on Genome Assembly, Phylogenetic Trees, Metagenomics and a wide range of applications in biology and medicine.

In particular, the speakers recognised Dr Lin’s significant impact in genome assembly for new generations of long and error-prone reads, construction of phylogenetic trees, meta genomics and its many biological and ecological applications in the Australian context. Throughout the day, speakers shared their personal memories of Dr Yu Lin, reflecting on how his pioneering work inspired their own research journeys, and how collaborations with Dr Lin led to impactful research outcomes that continue to influence computational genomics. Additionally, speakers presented their latest research findings, highlighting the strong potential of collaborative research at the intersection of computing and genomics.

The workshop concluded with a panel discussion on “Emerging trends and challenges in Computational Genomics”. The panel delved into topics including the most significant advances and forecasts, the transformative influence of AI on computational genomics and offered valuable advice to PhD students seeking to start their research in this domain. This panel was moderated by Lexing Xie with panelists Minh Bui, Arthur Georges, Vijini Mallawaarachchi, and Dan Andrews.

This event has been organised by Dr Minh Bui, Dr Quanling Deng, Associate Professor Yuan-Sen Ting, Professor Lexing Xie, Mr Hansheng Xue, and Dr Liang Zheng, all from the School of Computing.

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