Hilary Finucane

Hertz Fellow: Hilary Finucane

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Area of Study

Computational Biology

Fellowship Years

2013 - present

Hilary Finucane is pursuing her PhD in math at MIT, where she is shifting her focus to computational biology. Her current research focuses on signals of selection in virus genomes, and she also is developing a new algorithm for multiple whole genome alignment. She is excited to be applying her mathematical skills to questions with a concrete connection to human health, and she plans to continue to research problems at the intersection of math, computer science, and biology.

As an undergrad, Hilary went to Harvard College where she majored in math. In her junior year, she became interested in theoretical computer science, and she wrote her senior thesis on efficient coding schemes for a new type of multi-level flash memory. After graduating from Harvard, Hilary moved to Israel to study theoretical computer science and discrete math at the Weizmann Institute of Science. There, she became particularly interested in vertex-transitive graphs and Cayley graphs. She collaborated on several papers investigating properties of these graphs, including a solo paper on their Voronoi decompositions.

Hilary is also a classical pianist who enjoys playing chamber music. She is from Columbia, Maryland.