Dr. Lenore J. Cowen is a Professor in the Computer Science Department at Tufts University. She also has a courtesy appointment in the Tufts Mathematics Department. She received a BA in Mathematics from Yale and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from MIT. After finishing her Ph.D. in 1993, she was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow and then joined the faculty of the Mathematical Sciences department (now renamed the Applied Mathematics and Statistics department) at Johns Hopkins University where she was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2000. Lured by the Boston area, and the prospect of making an impact in a growing young department, she joined Tufts in September, 2001. Dr. Cowen has been named an ONR Young Investigator and a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her research interests span three areas: Discrete Mathematics (since high school), Algorithms (since 1991 in graduate school) and Computational Molecular Biology (since 2000).
US Mail: Email: cowen at cs.tufts.edu CS Department Tufts University Phone: +1-617-627-5134 161 College Avenue Medford, MA 02155 Fax: +1-617-627-2227 U.S.A.
New 12/13/06: confirmation that some email is getting eaten by CS department spam filters. While this is being worked on, if you didn't hear back from me, PLEASE try my alternate email address.
You can also reach me at firstname.lastname at gmail.com
Cowen research group page
Spring 2015, I am teaching Advanced Algorithms which I last taught in Spring 2011 and in Spring 2009.
I am also teaching Discrete Mathematics which I also taught in Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, and Spring 2012 , Fall 2012 and Spring 2013.
Fall 2015 I am teaching Computation Theory
Spring 2013 I am also taught an advanced graduate seminar in Computational Biology, focused on PPI networks, and protein structure alignment.
Fall 2011, I taught Comp 167-- Computational Biology--
Fall 2010, I taught Protein Bioinformatics Topics
Please note that the course links below point to the course web page for the *current* semester at Tufts, i.e. if it's a previous year, and I wasn't the last to teach it, you are going to be looking at the homepage for someone else's version of the class.
Spring 2008 I taught Algorithms.
Fall 2007 I taught one of my favorite courses: Graph Theory.
In Fall 2006, I taught Algorithms and an advanced topics seminar in Computational Biology.
In Spring 2006 I taught an introductory course in Cryptography
In Fall 2005 I taught Combinatorial Optimization
In Fall 2004 I taught Computational Biology (I also co-taught this class in Fall of 2002. )
Spring 2004 and Spring 2002 I taught an Advanced Algorithms class. Here's a little blurb.
Spring 2003 and Spring 2005 I taught and co-taught Theory of Computing
Fall 2002 I taught: Cryptography and Security and
Fall 2001 I taught COMP 15: Data Structures in C++.
Here are the classnotes for two of the graduate courses I taught at Hopkins: Approximation Algorithms and The Probabilistic Method.
I would say that my research interests are
probably far too broad for my
own good. I have inherited my advisor's love of good
problems, wherever they be found.
Exploiting locality and approximate distance have been persistent themes,
even across catagories, for example they have been used in our approach both
to routing and to classification and clustering problems. Now I am finding that my work on networks and graph algorithms may have some interesting synergies with computational biology and functional genomics. Research interests include:
My research in computational structural bioinformatics is funded by NIH grant 1R01GM080330-01A1 . Previous recent grants from NSF (grant CCR0208629) funded work on approximate routing, and portions of my computational biology research were previously funded by an NSF Large ITR grant with me as the Tufts PI and Simon Kasif of BU as the main PI.
My Ph.D. advisor was Daniel J. Kleitman ; my Ph.D. students to date were Christine Cheng (JHU/1999), 1/2 Christopher Wagner (JHU/1999), Adam Cannon (JHU/2000), Arthur Brady (Tufts/2008), Anoop Kumar (Tufts/2010) and Noah Daniels, (Tufts/2013). My current Ph.D. students are Mengfei Cao , Andrew Gallant and Hao Zhang.
(My Erdos number is 2 (but so is everyone else's)).
L. Cowen, Packet Routing in Networks, Encyclopedia of Algorithms Invited Article, 2008.
PAPERS IN GRAPH THEORY AND COMBINATORICS
HIGH DIMENSIONAL DATA
Check out video of my invited talk at the Simons Institute on:
Some older talk slides:
I was Vice-Chair of SIAM's SIAG on Discrete Mathematics from 2013-2015; I also served in this same role from 2006-2008.
Editorial Board member, SIAM Journal on Discrete Mathematics, 2003-2011
Editorial Board member, SIAM Review, 2008-2013
Conference co-chair, SIAM 2008 Annual Meeting, and in charge of the "Discrete Math" track at the SIAM 2009 Annual Meeting where we had a BANQUET FOR DANNY KLEITMAN'S 75th BIRTHDAY! Most recently, I was Conference chair for the SIAM 2012 Discrete Mathematics conference.
From 2000-2008 I was on the Steering Committee for the ACM-SIAM Symposium for Discrete Algorithms (SODA).
JCSS, Special Issue of "Best Papers in STOC 1999 ."
PC Committees: STOC 1999 , Latin 2002 , ALICE 2003 (chair) , SODA 2004, , DISC 2005, SODA 2008, , ICALP 2008 ,
RECOMB 2010 , WABI 2010 , RECOMB 2011 , WABI 2011 , SIAM DM 2012 (chair) , RECOMB 2012 , ISMB 2012 (area co-chair: protein structure and function) , WABI 2012, ACM-BCB 2012 (area co-chair: protein and RNA structure), ISMB/ECCB 2013 (area co-chair: protein structure and function), WABI 2013, ACM-BCB 2013 (area co-chair: protein and RNA structure). RECOMB 2014, ISMB 2014 (area co-chair: applied bioinformatics) ACM-BCB 2014 , WABI 2014 , ACM-BCB-2015, RECOMB 2015, ISMB/ECCB 2015 (late-breaking research track), APBC 2016, RECOMB 2016 , ISMB 2016 (area co-chair: protein structure and function).
In 2013 I hosted summer DREU undergraduate student Katie Doroschak
In 2010 I was the Freshman faculty advisor for the NSF funded Tufts CSEMS program. and hosted two CRA-W summer DREU undergraduate students (co-advising with Sara Su): Caitlin Crumm and Dani Extrum-Fernandez
Current students at Tufts:
Undergraduate Research Advisees, Past and Present: Alana Fu, Sam Haney, Maxim Kachalov, Max Leiserson , Dan Malmer , Kyle Maxwell, Emily Mower , Shilpa Nadimpalli , Greg Pallotta, Nathan Palmer , Ali Qadri, Patrick Schmid , Daniel Wolchonok.
Current PhD students:
For a list of past Masters students click here.
For prospective graduate students: Tufts Computer Science admits to the department as a whole, not to an individual faculty member's research group. However, I am always interested in strong students who wish to work in computational biology. If you are interested in my research group, please say so in your application, so I will be sure to get to see it.
Graduated Ph.D. students:
High School Math Camps
The American Mathematics Society is now giving out grants to high school math camps!! They are currently raising endowment to support it, they are having real mathematicians judging the programs, they are charging 0 overhead to administer the program, and basically, I can't think of a better "bang" for your buck than supporting this, so check out their application process and give them money!!
As part of their effort, they are also (orthogonal to this) providing a central website where you can read about all the math camps (whether they applied for an AMS grant or not) -- so if you know a bright high school student, point them at this Information about High School Math Camps Site (I myself an alum of the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Math program, and I recommend it very highly!!)
Here's a Page I wrote about recommended places to pursue a graduate CS degree in Computational Biology (with suggested faculty advisors).
More fun links on my personal home page
Important note! If I ever die or become permanently disabled or go anywhere where I can't take this content with me and put it up publically, it is a strong wish of mine that a static archive at the time of my death
of everything web accessible under the ~cowen hierarchy be stored in a public archive at