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This Week at Physics

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Events on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
Using distance correlation and SS-ANOVA to assess associations of familial relationships, lifestyle factors, diseases and mortality
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall (Refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Jing Kong, UW Department of Statistics
Abstract: We present a method for examining mortality as it is seen to run in families, and lifestyle factors that are also seen to run in families, in a sub-population of the Beaver Dam Eye Study that has died by 2011. We observe that pairwise distance between death age in related persons is on average less than pairwise distance in death age between random pairs of unrelated persons. Our goal is to examine the hypothesis that pairwise di fferences in lifestyle factors correlate with the observed pairwise diff erences in death age that run in families. Szekely and coworkers have recently developed a method called distance correlation, that is suitable for this task with some enhancements relevant to the particular task at hand. We build a Smoothing Spline ANOVA (SS-ANOVA) model for predicting death age based on four major lifestyle factors generally known to be related to mortality and four of the major diseases contributing to mortality, to develop a lifestyle mortality risk vector and a disease mortality risk vector. We then examine to what extent pairwise diff erences in these scores correlate with the pairwise di fferences in mortality as they occur between family members and between unrelated persons. We fi nd signfi cant distance correlations between death ages, lifestyle factors, and family relationships. Considering only sib pairs compared to unrelated persons, distance correlation between siblings and mortality is, not surprisingly, stronger than that between more distantly related family members and mortality. The overall methodological approach here easily adapts to exploring relationships between multiple clusters of variables with observable (real-valued) attributes, and other factors for which only possibly nonmetric pairwise dissimilarities are observed.
Host: Clint Sprott
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Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)
The Higgs, Flavor and Large At in Extended GMSB
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Jared Evans
Abstract: The observed Higgs at 126 GeV requires large tuning in the MSSM. This tuning is particularly bad in gauge mediated SUSY breaking (GMSB), as the large A-terms that can ameliorate this tuning are absent at the messenger scale. Extending GMSB through the addition of superpotential couplings between the MSSM and messenger superfields can generate these A-terms to reduce the severity of the tuning problems in GMSB. There are a variety of couplings that one can consider, but those best for tuning provide a source of flavor violation beyond the standard model Yukawas. However, there are several features of the extended GMSB models that allow them to relax the SUSY flavor problem. I will review extended GMSB, discuss these flavor issues in detail, and also discuss some of the phenomenological prospects for discovering these models.
Host: Ran Lu
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