1,554 reputation
840
bio website cs.mcgill.ca/~akazna
location Montreal, Canada
age 25
visits member for 2 years, 8 months
seen Sep 19 at 10:56

From the School of Computer Science and Department of Psychology at McGill University, I marvel at the world through algorithmic lenses. My specific interests are in quantum computing, evolutionary game theory, modern evolutionary synthesis, and theoretical cognitive science. Previously I was at the Institute for Quantum Computing and Department of Combinatorics & Optimization at the University of Waterloo and a visitor to the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore.


Mar
7
comment Is there a standard reference for the importance of tumor heterogeneity?
Welcome to the site! Do you know any other sources for Alexandrova's essay apart from a dropbox link? I know a lot of people are unwilling to click those. Also, could you make your answer a bit more self-contained by taking a reference or two out of Alexandrova's essay for when you say "has been around for a long time", for example? That way people can have an idea of the timeline without having to leave this answer.
Mar
5
comment Is there a standard reference for the importance of tumor heterogeneity?
That paper is very well cited (over 1000 times!), but I agree with @WYSIWYG that 2012 seems too recent. Is there a richer history with Gerlinger and Swanton that you could expand on in your answer? Or did you intend this as a comment?
Mar
2
comment What is the creature with the lowest neuron count that demonstrates cognition beyond reflexes?
Depending what you mean by cognition, it could be zero.
Feb
23
comment Does a neuron ever generate an action potential without stimuli?
You might be interested in this quetions on neurons firing 'randomly'.
Feb
17
comment Natural examples of XOR functions at the cellular level
@WYSIWYG Keep in mind, that a clock/counter is not that great an analogy, since we want the circuit to combine several different input wires/signals and not just track one.
Feb
17
comment Natural examples of XOR functions at the cellular level
@WYSIWYG what are the empirical examples you have in mind? Are they still from synthetic biology? Right now I am following some leads by looking at mechanisms of co-inhibition in T cells, but my lack of knowledge (and other commitments) are making my progress slow. I am not sure if we have to look for binary adders, necessarily. That is just a particular way of thinking about it. However, if we want to go the adders route then base doesn't matter, any prime will work, so an application could be time/season/period tracking.
Feb
17
comment Does this equation have a typo? (Systems Biology, singular value decomposition)
(a) this question has nothing to do with biology (although the paper obviously does, no biology is featured in the question) and (b) yes, it is a typo, as you can tell from it being $x_m$ and not $x_r$ and also as you can tell from equation 6 properly having $v_{k,n}$.
Feb
15
comment Does neuroeconomics study the brain or study economics?
You should consider asking this question on the cognitive sciences stackexchange, which specializes in neuroscience and related fields.
Feb
15
comment Evolution, self organization and neuroscience
I recommend looking at Hoffman's interface theory of perception to help you explore some of the assumptions you are implicitly making in your question. Also, just because a fitness peak exists, doesn't mean you'll get there (for any reasonable notion of getting there).
Feb
14
comment Natural examples of XOR functions at the cellular level
@JonathanVanMatre thank you, that's an interesting paper. Although it seems like they are implementing XOR through several cells working together with NOR gates as primitives. I will take a look at it, maybe they discuss some natural counterparts. All the synthetic examples suggest that it isn't unreasonable to expect a natural one, I think.
Jan
9
comment When does weak selection produce qualitatively different results from strong selection?
@fileunderwater thanks, I found that paper shortly after I asked the question and it is extremely relevant, I've been meaning to give a self-answer based on it but have been too busy with other things.
Dec
30
comment What does fitness really mean?
"As I said I don't want to talk practical issues but theoretical ones, therefore we will assume to work on a panmictic population of inifinite size evenly distributed into class age." infinite versus finite population is not a practical concern, but a very important theoretical distinction in particular if you have stochastic events.
Aug
18
comment How come that we “feel” it when someone's watching us
I think that this question would be a better fit at the Cognitive Sciences StackExchange.
Apr
18
comment Macroevolution vs. microevolution
@dd3 no problem! It was a fun question and got me to think more carefully about the micro/macro distinction and actually write something down. I might end up making a blog post out of this later, so thanks for that! :D
Apr
18
comment What is the advantage of circular DNA in bacteria?
closely related question: Is there an advantage to linear chromosomes?
Apr
17
comment Is local equilibrium a reasonable assumption for evolutionary processes?
I looked through Bell's publications, and I can't see a paper that suggests that he has been looking at this. Can you give an example?
Apr
16
comment Lineage selection in plasmid evolution
Thanks! So he is using lineage in the genetic sense as described by Wikipedia?
Apr
16
comment Mathematical Modelling of Natural Selection
If you have a strong mathematical and theoretical computer science bend then you might be interested in: Ecology and evolution through the algorithmic lens
Apr
16
comment Structure of fitness landscapes in the NK model
@WYSIWYG Thanks! Coincidently I just wrote an answer where the second part talks about some basic references on EGT. Alternatively, take a look around my blog or just email me at lastname<dot>firstname<at>gmail<dot>com
Mar
21
comment Are ape communities more “anarchist” or “communist” in structure?
I think your definitions of 'anarchism' and 'communism' do not reflect the actual political ideas at all. I think you were looking for the terms "selfish" and "cooperative" or "altruistic".