Computational Topology and Data Analysis Workshop (November 17-21 2014)
The review of Mathematical Sciences research at South African universities commissioned by the National Research Foundation
highlighted the isolation of South African mathematics from its applications and related disciplines and not being fully distributed
across different areas of mathematics. In particular it noted that there are contemporary mainstream subfields that are not represented
and some research is disconnected from areas of contemporary interest. The newly established Centre for Mathematical and Computational
Sciences and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences are collaborating to address some of these gaps by co-organising workshops
that will introduce new areas of study to the South African Mathematical Sciences Research landscape.
There is heightened awareness and renewed interest in (Big) Data Analysis since the announcement that South Africa together
with Australia would be hosting the Square Kilometre Array project. One of the programmes to be pursued by the Centre for
Mathematical and Computational Sciences is the Mathematical and Statistical underpinnings of Big Data.
Computational Topology or Applied Algebraic Topology is a fairly new line of study that combines topological results with
efficient computational tools to analyse data and solve problems in many fields, including sensor networks, clustering,
robotics, protein biochemistry, computer graphics and image analysis etc. The main objectives of the workshop are to (a)
is to introduce the relatively new area of Computational Topology to the attendees and to ‘seed’ this area in the
mathematical research landscape in South Africa; (b) give an overview of some of the most important developments and
results; (c) discuss some of the contemporary issues, promising directions and open problems and questions. It is
hoped that at the end of the workshop researchers in the mathematical sciences and related disciplines will have acquired
the basic knowledge prerequisite to undertake research in Topological Data Analysis. The target audience will be researchers
from the mathematical, statistical and computational sciences who may want to incorporate into their research aspects or
computational topology; postgraduate students who might want to undertake a doctoral project in this area and practitioners
from public or private sector.
A typical day will consist of two lectures in the morning and one lecture in the afternoon, each of one hour duration
followed by thirty minutes of discussion, brainstorming or hands-one activities. There will be a 90-minute session
in the afternoon which will vary from short presentations by young mathematicians; case study presentations by practitioners;
panel discussion by experts from academia, private and public sectors.
Visit the event page on the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg website for the application form.