 
Summary: PHYS 597A: Graphs and networks in systems biology
Spring 2007
T Th 9:45  11:00 am
14 Henderson Building
Lecturer: R´eka Albert
Email: ralbert@phys.psu.edu
Office: 122 Davey Laboratory
Office hours: Monday 1:00  4:00 pm
Many complex systems are difficult to describe and understand because they are com
posed of large numbers of elements interacting in a nonordered way. A good example is
cellular biology: diverse cellular components (genes, proteins, enzymes) participate in various
reactions and regulatory interactions, forming a robust system. A very useful representation
of complex systems is given by graphs (or networks), where we denote the components with
nodes and their interactions by edges. The properties of these interaction graphs can then
be analyzed by graph theoretical and statistical mechanics methods and this information
can lead to important conclusions about the possible dynamical behaviors of the system.
This class will focus on four main questions:
(i) How do we determine or infer the interaction graphs underlying complex systems?
(ii) How can we characterize the organizational features of largescale networks?
(iii) What are the mechanisms that determine the common topological features of a wide
