The Mathematics of Cryo-electron Microscopy

Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Vincent 16
Amit Singer (Princeton University)
Single particle cryo-electron microscopy (EM) recently joined X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy as a high-resolution structural method for biological macromolecules. In single particle cryo-EM, the 3-D structure needs to be determined from many noisy 2-D projection images of individual, ideally identical frozen-hydrated macromolecules whose orientations and positions are random and unknown.

I will give a brief introduction to the modern computational challenges in single particle cryo-EM, focusing on 3-D ab-initio modelling, and how it can be solved using representation theory, Fourier analysis, and semidefinite programming.