I’m Valentine Svensson, a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech working with Lior Pachter’s group on statistics for omics based cell biology.

Background

Phd

I did my PhD in molecular biology with Sarah Teichmann at the EMBL-EBI and Wellcome Sanger institute at Cambridge University. I investigated how we could think about probabilistic models for cell differentiation when analyzing single cell gene expression data.

Mathematics

When I studied mathematics I was particularly interested in Riemannian geometry, more specifically the theory of Lie groups. For my BSc thesis in mathematics at Lund University I surveyed some theorems about Lie groups, and developed a Maple program for calculating curvatures of Lie groups with left invariant metric.

The connection to Lie algebras made me continue further in the track of various associative algebras; for the MSc thesis I am trying to finish I tried to use Grassmann algebra to work with a geometrical structure called Shape space; the set of all configurations of a number of points in a linear space of a specific dimension, up to projection.

Computation

Being interested in mathematics and computers naturally leads to exposing oneself to various applications of mathematics, like numerical analysis, cryptography and computer vision.

Other

I worked at SciLifeLab Stockholm, a scientific endeavour focusing on high throughput biology for two years. There I was an application expert in the bioinformatics group, and later an analyst in a method development project.