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UTM Videos

The Mathematics of Population Genetics

Rachel Ward

Why don't we all have brown eyes? This question remained unresolved for many years until in 1908, the mathematician G. Hardy (and, independently, W. Weinberg) derived the fundamental mathematical equilibrium equations of population genetics which Hardy himself referred to as "a little mathematics of the multiplication-table type." Today, scientific inference based on the Hardy-Weinberg Principle is standard in applications ranging from evolutionary biology to forensic science. We will give a short account of the history and mathematics of these equations, and discuss several mathematical implications of their discovery.