UC Riverside graduate student wins best poster award at international conference

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- May 15, 2003 -- Computer science student Andres Figueroa went from UC Riverside to a conference in Germany with a poster in hand and returned home with a laptop, the coveted prize his poster won. Of the more than 180 poster presentations at the Seventh Annual International Conference on REsearch in COmputational Molecular Biology (RECOMB) held last month in Berlin, Figueroa's poster was recognized with the Best Poster award.

The title of Figueroa's poster was 'Clustering binary fingerprint vectors with missing values for DNA array data analysis.' Other co-authors of the winning poster were James Borneman, assistant professor of plant pathology, and Tao Jiang, professor of computer science and engineering at UC Riverside. The poster is based on a paper that Figueroa, Borneman and Jiang have submitted for publication to the Journal of Computational Biology.

"This is my first award in the United States," said Figueroa, 32, whose previous award, in Mexico, was the 'Best Student in 1995' at the Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos, from where he acquired his B.S. in mathematics in 1998. "It is an honor to receive the Best Poster award. I was surprised when I learned that my work had been chosen as the winning poster. After all, there were many works of high quality and excellence at the poster session by researchers from different parts of the world. I am thrilled that people in my field think the research I am doing is important."

Figueroa's Ph.D. research focuses on designing, implementing, and developing efficient algorithms for DNA microarray data analysis (DNA microarray is the exact point placement of numerous DNA samples on a very small chip.). He expects his research will further help classify microorganisms, detect certain diseases such as leukemia, and facilitate the discovery of new genes.

"The work presented in Andres's poster describes a novel approach for the cluster analysis of DNA micr

Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
University of California - Riverside

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