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Barcodes: The Persistent Topology of Data

by Robert Ghrist

Year of Award: 2013

Award: Chauvenet Prize

Publication Information: Bulletin (New Series) of the American Mathematical Society, Vol. 45, no. 1, January 2008, pp. 61-75.

Summary: (Adapted from the Joint Mathematics Meetings 2013 Prizes and Awards Booklet) This article is a survey of some recent developments in computational algebraic topology that find application in the detection of patterns in large sets of high-dimensional data. The author uses attractive illustrations to introduce the reader to the mathematical concept of persistent homology and to its graphical representation through barcodes.

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About the Author: (From the Joint Mathematics Meetings 2013 Prizes and Awards Booklet)

After earning an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toledo, Robert Ghrist earned a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Cornell University (1995), writing a thesis on knotted flowlines. In 2008, Professor Ghrist was appointed as the Andrea Mitchell University Professor of Mathematics and Electrical & Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Ghrist is the recipient of NSF CAREER (2002) and PECASE (2004) awards for work focusing on topological methods in applied mathematics, with applications including robotics, sensor networks, fluid dynamics, and more. His joint work with Vin de Silva was honored by Scientific American (2007) as a "SciAm50 Top Research." He is the recipient of several teaching awards and enjoys teaching not only his Penn students, but his four children at home, as well as his tens of thousands of calculus students via Coursera, starting January 2013.

Subject classification(s): Geometry and Topology | Topology | Algebraic Topology
Publication Date: 
Tuesday, August 20, 2013