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Department of Mathematics & Statistics

MATH4ET Evolutionary Trees

First Semester
10 points

Not offered in 2016

An Evolutionary Tree describes the supposed evolutionary history of descent of a set of biological species. These trees are often derived by comparing DNA from the species. In this paper we will introduce a mathematical model relating the evolution of DNA described by an evolutionary tree, to the patterns of DNA that result. This model uses a family of matrices, known as Hadamard matrices, which have properties that greatly simplify computation. Our development will involve some basic ideas from probability theory and group theory.

A full set of notes covering this material will be provided.


MATH202 Linear Algebra. Some understanding of probability theory and group theory will be an advantage.


Mike Hendy (Room 517, phone (479) 5972, email:

Internal Assessment

2 written assignments

Final exam

There will be a two-hour exam.

Final mark

While we strive to keep details as accurate and up-to-date as possible, information given here should be regarded as provisional. Individual lecturers will confirm teaching and assessment methods.