Stephen J. Willson
Professor of Mathematics and University Professor
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
Office: 411 Carver
During Spring 2014 I am teaching no classes and I am often away from my office and out of town. I am not holding any regular office hours.
The best way to contact me is via e-mail:
Information for Advisees
Because Professor Willson is on phased retirement and will be frequently unavailable, his undergraduate advisees have been assigned to other advisers.
Mathematics majors who were his advisees have been assigned to Professor Jim Wilson, with office 396D Carver, telephone
294-9816, and e-mail email@example.com
BCBio majors who were his advisees have been assigned to Professor Michael Smiley, with office 458 Carver, telephone
294-6420, and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- A.B., Mathematics, Harvard University (magna cum laude), 1968
- M.A., Mathematics, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), 1970
- Ph.D., Mathematics, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), 1973
- 1973-77, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Iowa State University
- 1977-82, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Iowa State University
- 1982-, Professor of Mathematics, Iowa State University
- 1992-95, Chair, Mathematics Department, Iowa State University
- 2009-12, Janson Professor of Mathematics, Iowa State University
- 2010-, University Professor, Iowa State University
Computational biology, especially building phylogenetic trees and networks. Supertrees. Game theory and fair division problems. Cellular automata. Fractals and chaotic dynamics.
Links for talks
Information on computational biology:
For more information about my work on building phylogenetic trees, click
To get my software for building phylogenetic trees, click
For more information about the Laurence H. Baker Center for Bioinformatics and Biological Statistics click CBBS
Software in game theory:
- Equivariant maps between representation spheres, Pacific J. Math 56
- The converse to the Smith theorem for Zp-homology spheres, Pacific J.
Math 56 (1975): 597-605.
- On the ergodic theory of cellular automata, Math. Systems Theory 9
- Equivariant homology theories on G-complexes, Trans. Amer. Math. Soc.
212 (1975): 155-171.
- Homological dimensions of the isotropy ring, Duke Math. J. 43 (1976):
- The orbit space of a sphere by an action of Zps, Proc. Amer. Math. Soc.
59 (1976): 361-365.
- The growth of configurations, Math. Systems Theory 10 (1977): 387-400.
- Limiting shapes for configurations, J. Comput. System Sci. 15 (1977):
- On convergence of configurations, Discrete Math. 23 (1978): 279-300.
- A semigroup on the space of compact convex bodies, SIAM J. Math. Anal.
11 (1980): 448-457.
- Growth patterns of ordered cellular automata. J. Comput. System Sci. 22
- Cellular automata can generate fractals, Discrete Applied Mathematics 8
- Growth rates and fractional dimensions, Physica 10D (1984): 69-74.
- On coherent growth of configurations, SIAM J. Math. Anal. 16 (1985):
- A use of cellular automata to obtain families of fractals, in M.F.
Barnsley and S.G. Demko, eds., "Chaotic Dynamics and Fractals," Academic
Press, Orlando, 1986, 123-140.
- The equality of fractional dimensions for certain cellular automata,
Physica 24D (1987): 179-189.
- Computing fractal dimensions for additive cellular automata, Physica
24D (1987): 190-206.
- Convergence of iterated median rules, Computer Vision, Graphics, and
Image Processing 47 (1989): 105-110.
- Decision procedures for openness and local injectivity, Complex Systems
5 (1991): 497-508.
- Calculating growth rates and moments for additive cellular automata,
Discrete Applied Mathematics 35 (1992): 47-65.
- Iterating maps on cellular complexes, Trans. A.M.S. 332 (1992): 225-240.
- A value for partially defined cooperative games, International Journal
of Game Theory 21 (1993): 371-384.
- Computing fair divisions with various formulations of fairness,
- Long-term behavior in the theory of moves, Theory and Decision 45 (1998): 201-240.
- Measuring inconsistency in phylogenetic trees, Journal of Theoretical Biology 190 (1998) 15-36.
- Evaluations of fractal geometry and invariant moments for shape classification of corn germplasm (with Suranjan Panigrahi and Manjit K. Misra), Computers and electronics in agriculture 20 (1998) 1-20.
- Building phylogenetic trees from quartets by using local inconsistency measures, Molecular Biology and Evolution 16 (1999): 685-693.
- A higher-order parsimony method to reduce long-branch attraction, Molecular Biology and Evolution 16 (1999): 694-705.
- Axioms for the outcomes of negotiation in matrix games, Mathematical Social Sciences 39 (2000): 323-348.
- An error correcting map for quartets can improve the signals for phylogenetic trees, Molecular Biology and Evolution 18 (2001): 344-351.
- Money-egalitarian-equivalent and gain-maximin allocations of indivisible items with monetary compensation, Social Choice and Welfare 20 (2003): 247-259.
- Constructing rooted supertrees using distances, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 66 no 6 (2004): 1755-1783.
- Dan Ashlock, Stephen Willson, and Nicole Leahy. Coevolution and Tartarus. Proceedings of CEC 2004 (Congress on Evolutionary Computation).
- Dan Ashlock, Kenneth Bryden, Steven Corns, and Stephen Willson. An improved taxonomy of evolutionary computation problems. Conference proceedings for ANNIE 2004 (Artificial Neural Networks in Engineering).
- Minimum evolution using ordinary least squares is less robust than neighbor-joining, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 67 (2005) 261-279.
- Kenneth M. Bryden, Daniel A. Ashlock, Steven Corns, and Stephen J. Willson. Graph Based Evolutionary Algorithms. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation 10 (2006) 550-567..
- Consistent formulas for estimating the total lengths of trees. Discrete Applied Mathematics 148 (2005) 214-239.
- Unique solvability of certain hybrid networks from their distances. Annals of Combinatorics 10 (2006) 165-178.
- Unique reconstruction of tree-like phylogenetic networks from distances between leaves. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 68 (2006) 919-944.
- Unique determination of some homoplasies at hybridization events. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 69 (2007) 1709-1725.
- Reconstruction of some hybrid phylogenetic networks with homoplasies from distances. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 69 (2007) 2561-2590.
- Reconstruction of certain phylogenetic networks from the genomes at their leaves. Journal of Theoretical Biology 252 (2008) 338-349.
- Robustness of topological supertree methods for reconciling dense incompatible data. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics 6 (2009) 62-75.
- Properties of normal phylogenetic networks, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 72 (2010) 340-358.
- Regular networks are determined by their trees, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics 8 (2011) 785-796.
- Restricted trees: simplifying networks with bottlenecks, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology (2011) 73, 2322-2338.
- CSD Homomorphisms Between Phylogenetic Networks. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (2012) 9: 1128-1138.
- Tree-average distances on certain phylogenetic networks have their weights uniquely determined. Algorithms for Molecular Biology (2012) 7:13, doi:10.1186/1748-7188-7-13.
- Reconstruction of certain phylogenetic networks from their tree-average distances. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology. (2013) 75(10), 1840-1878.
Pdf copy of my C.V.
My wife is Lee Anne
Willson , who is a University Professor at Iowa State University in
the Department of
Physics and Astronomy . Her research typically involves mechanisms and implications of mass loss from stars, with particular emphasis on variable stars. My daughter, Kendra Willson, has
interests in linguistics, Scandinavian, and dragons. My son, Jeffrey Willson, with substantial interests in physics, mathematics, music, and literature, is a graduate student in the Department of
Physics and Astronomy at Iowa State University.
My recreations and hobbies include:
Here is how to find more information about the Mathematics
Department at Iowa State University.
- playing piano, especially classical piano
- singing (I have a baritone voice and sing in the Ames Choral Society)
- listening to music
- windsurfing and kayaking
- bird-watching (See Big Bluestem Audubon Society )
- cross-country skiing
Last updated January 8, 2014.