• STAT+: How a tool to map computer viruses came to power biology research

    1 month ago - By STAT

    When mathematicians Leland McInnes and John Healy walked into their work's annual “Big Dig” - a sort of classified hackathon for Canada's version of the National Security Agency - in 2017, they were not thinking about biology at all. They wanted to find a way to quickly spot the differences between computer viruses.
    They ended up creating a tool to simplify datasets and visualize the data points in them: an algorithm they named Uniform Manifold Approximation and Projection, or UMAP. They published a paper on it in 2018. To their great surprise, in fewer than five years, it has become one...
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