We live in a world awash with data. Indeed, it seems we are at a point where it goes without saying that data has value and that collecting data is inherently useful for governments, businesses, and other groups. However, it’s not the data itself that is valuable, but rather the insights gleaned from it. As data sets become more complex, extracting meaning becomes a major challenge. In the past decade, a new method of analysis has grown out of an unlikely corner of pure mathematics: algebraic topology. In this mini course, Dr. Averett hopes to convince EDGE participants that data has shape, that this shape has meaning, and that algebraic topology can be used to study the shape and thus extract the meaning.

Taught by Dr. Maia Averett
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Mills College