UROP Project

Calculation of Higher-Order Derivatives of a Modified Ising Model of Gene Interaction Networks



Daniel Holder

Program Director UROP


+49 241 80-90695


Key Info

Basic Information

Project Offer-Number:
UROP International
Computational Engineering Science
Organisation unit:
Joint Research Center for Computational Biomedicine (JRC-Combine)/ AICES
Language Skills:
English knowledge is mandatory
Computer Skills:
Python/ Matlab or C++

The Ising model is one of the simplest and most frequently studied models of phase transitions and cooperative phenomena in statistical mechanics [Ising (1925)]. Traditionally, Ising models have been studied in homogeneous structures such as the lattice up to three-dimensions. Recently, phase transitions using Ising model has been studied in more complicated topologies such as small-world and scale-free networks [Aleksiejuk(2002), Bianconi(2002), Pekalski(2001), Dorogovstev(2002)]. A gene regulatory network has been known to exhibit a scale-free topology wherein genes are nodes involved in a particular regulatory function, controlling expression levels of other genes and that of their resultant proteins. From our work, we know that Ising model of a gene regulatory network with states exhibiting a binary random variable exhibits phase transition of first order as inferred from the order parameter of such a system [J.Krishnan et al. To be Published].


The objective of this project is to compute higher order derivatives of a modified Ising model of gene interaction networks including free energy and heat capacity; make inferences on critical exponents of the system and compare to the spin glass properties of a conventional Ising model.


Interested candidate must have a background in Physics or Computer Science.