Playing with Biology in silico, or On Comprehensive and Realistic Modeling of Natural Systems

   Abstract: The talk shows the way software and systems engineering, especially of reactive systems, can be applied beneficially to the life sciences. We  will discuss the idea of comprehensive and realistic computerized modeling of biological systems. In comprehensive modeling the main purpose is to understand an entire system in detail, utilizing in the modeling effort  all that is known about the system, and to use that understanding to analyze  and predict behavior in silico.

Color-change in flowers: A silver platter or a cold war?

Abstract: Pollination theories to date hypothesize that plant influence on  pollinator decisions is limited to the level of its attractiveness. In an analytical model, built to analyze selective forces between plants, when color-changing flowers are present, I show that plants can manipulate pollinator decisions in a way that will drive them away from competing species, thus increasing their own fitness. Species employing 'negative advertisement theory' can invade new fields and an evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) can be attained.

The Crisis of Israeli Private Law: Legal, social and economic implications

The judicial activism of the Israel Supreme Court is usually discussed in terms of the Court's interference in public affairs, especially matters of politics and security, under the guiding principle "all is justiciable." A no less important aspect, however, concerns Israeli private law. Private law is the charter of economic rights of a liberal society.

LEARNING EFFECTIVENESS AND MEMORY SIZE

We quantify the maximal level that a bounded memory machine (or agent) can match (or reproduce) a long string of inputs as a function of a bound k of the length of the input r <= k and the memory size n. The results are derived from the analysis of the repeated game where player 1's strategies are those defined by oblivious automata of size k and player 2's strategies are those defined by automata of size n.

RISK AVERSION, PORTFOLIO DIVERSIFICATION, AND THE DECISION TO GO PUBLIC (...FOR A PRIVATE FIRM...)

Abstract:Risk averse investors should prefer less risky portfolios, all else equal. Markowitz (1952) pioneered the concept of portfolio theory, which launched the modern academic Finance discipline. The idea is that a portfolio that consists of a number of securities has a better mean-variance combination than the same portfolio with just one security. This idea, is essentially behind the development of the modern day capitalism.

EMPIRICAL SIMILARITY AND OBJECTIVE PROBABILITIES

Abstract:We suggest to extend the definition of probability as empirical frequency by the introduction of similarity-weighted frequencies. This formula is axiomatized as follows. A decision maker is asked to express her beliefs by assigning probabilities to certain possible states. We focus on the relationship between her database and her beliefs. We show that, if beliefs given a union of two databases are a convex combination of beliefs given each of the databases, beliefs are a similarity-weighted average of the beliefs induced by each past case.

RATIONALITY IN THE COUNCIL FOR MEDICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGIES, MANDATE AND DELIBERATIONS

Abstract:First, we discuss paradoxes and difficulties in Utilitarian Ethics, especially applied to medical practice and services [Also refer to Mishna, Pirkey Avot bet]. "Cut from A and give to B" is a major difficulty. But as a guide to allocate incremental resources, utilitarian Ethics is unsurpassed: To reduce inequalities, close gaps, maximize cost-benefits.Our main concern is- the national public health basket.Choosing an appropriate measure- say "health years" is important.

ON THE CONFLICT OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST (THE LECTURE WILL BE IN HEBREW)

Abstract:During the last 25 years the Supreme Court acquitted public employees (elected or appointed) from corruption related offenses (bribery and/or breach of public trust) one after the other. These acquittals were (and still are) perceived, both by the Court and the prosecution, as evidence based acquittals. Usually, the Court reasoned its decisions by pointing at some lack of evidence with regard to the mental element of the offence. I would like to suggest a different reading of these cases.

AN ECONOMIC INDEX OF RISKINESS (joint work with Roberto Serrano)

Abstract: On March 21, 2004, an article on the front page of the New York Timespresented a picture of allegedly questionable practices in some state-runpension funds. Among the allegations were that these funds often makeunduly risky investments, recommended by consultants who are interestedparties. The concept of "risky investment" is commonplace in financialdiscussions, and seems to have clear conceptual content. But when onethinks about it carefully and tries to pin it down, it is elusive.

Pages

Subscribe to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Center for the Study of Rationality RSS