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Surname distribution and genealogical trees in population genetics and in statistical physics

Date: 
Wednesday, 21 September, 2016 - 15:00 to 16:00

SISSA Colloquium 
Speaker: prof Paolo Rossi – Dipartimento di Fisica – Universita’ di Pisa

Surnames behave like neutral genes, and therefore their distributions have been attracting the attention of genetists since the end of the XIX century. 
Surname distribution is the result of a stochastic dynamics leading quite naturally to the power-law behavior typical of scale-free phenomena.
The dynamical origin of surname distributions and their connection with the statistical properties of genealogical trees can be investigated with techniques originating from the renormalization group approach to the statistical mechanics of critical phenomena. 
Many interesting theoretical results have been obtained in this context, and some of them can also be checked by a comparison with the available empirical data.