Dr. Luke Hutchison
Ph.D. recently completed his
Ph.D. in computational biology and computer science at MIT
CSAIL. He is a Research Assistant at both Harvard Medical School, Isaac
Kohane Lab, and MIT CSAIL, Berger Lab. He was a member of the inaugural
class of the Singularity University. His background is in computational
biology, computer graphics, algorithms, machine learning, information
theory, and signal/image processing.
For his Ph.D. research project at MIT CSAIL, he is looking for the blueprint of an organism in its DNA the mapping from DNA sequence to macro-scale structure. Understanding the genomic mechanisms behind cell-scale and tissue-scale biological structure will enable us to grow replacement organs, control cell division in cancer, and better understand the aging process.
Luke grew up in New Zealand and has been building electronic circuits and programming computers his whole life.
He is also very interested in machine intelligence. He is developing a biologically-motivated and radically unorthodox framework for humanlike reasoning. He is also designing a programming language that solves the multicore dilemma using an entirely new paradigm, and solves many problems with contemporary programming languages.
Luke has a strong intuition for engineering a system to do things it wasn’t designed to do. He authored the original kernel hack on the G1 Android phone to support iPhone-style multitouch scaling in the browser a year before Google added official support. He is building several Android apps right now.
He has a strong international focus. He is fluent in English, French, Korean, and Chinese. Luke believes being globally-aware and globally-connected is critical to placing oneself in a position to influence the world for good.
Luke is very interested in North Korean human rights. In September 2010 he went to Pyongyang with a nonprofit that seeks to promote openness through academic exchange, to take Open CourseWare to the academic institutions of North Korea. During that visit he met with Choi Tae-Bok, Chairman of the People’s Supreme Assembly and the Worker’s Party of the DPRK (in about the top 5 in the North Korean government), and was met with the reaction, “every student and professor in North Korea needs access to these resources”.
Luke authored Secrets of the Nexus One’s screen: science, color, and hacks, and coauthored Whole-organism integrative expressome for C. elegans enables in silico study of developmental regulation, Fourier-Mellin registration of line-delineated tabular document images, Growing the Family Tree: The Power of DNA in Reconstructing Family Relationships, Direct determination of mutation characteristics of Y chromosome STR loci, and Quantification of plagiocephaly and brachycephaly in infants using a digital photographic technique.
He has B.Sc.(Hons) and M.S. degrees in Computer Science, and graduated from the inaugural class of Singularity University in summer 2009 (his brother David also attended SU in summer 2010). He served as Director of Bioinformatics for the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation for two years between his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.
Luke aims to eschew dogmatism in pursuit of scientific truth, to question the status quo, and to “have a healthy disregard for the impossible” (—via Dean Kamen).
Watch An interview with Luke about Singularity University on 60 Minutes New Zealand and Unofficial multi-touch support for G1 and Android. Read his blog. Follow his Twitter feed. Read his LinkedIn profile.