Biomathematics / Computational Biology Colloquium

The mathematics of the wearable revolution

Speaker: Daniel Forger, University of Michigan and Harvard University

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1314

Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2020, 12:30 p.m.


Millions of Americans track their steps, heart rate, and other physiological signals through wearables. The scale of this data is unprecedented; I will describe several of our ongoing studies each of which collects wearable and mobile data from thousands of users, even in > 100 countries. This data is so noisy that it often seems unusable. It is in desperate need of new mathematical techniques to extract key signals that can be used in the (ode) mathematical modeling typically done in mathematical biology. I will describe several techniques we have developed to analyze this data (e.g. gap orthogonalized least squares) that are allowing us to conduct the largest studies to date on sleep and circadian rhythms. I will also describe how this wearable data can be linked with genomic data on individuals using mathematical models of circadian timekeeping I developed with Charles Peskin as a Ph.D. student, linking genes to sleep and circadian behavior in humans.