Spring 2013 Everett Pitcher Lectures
Anne & Bill Swindells Professor
Professor of Mathematics
In recent years, it has become possible to collect very large amount
of data of extremely varied types. Analyzing these data sets is a
problem which is now recognized as one of the fundamental intellectual
problems facing the scientific and mathematical communities. Topology
can be characterized as the study of shape, and most data sets are
equipped with a notion of shape, via a metric which captures the notion
of similarity of data points. From this observation, one can attempt
to adapt topological methods to studying these data. In these talks,
we will present a number of methods based on topological methods and ways
of thinking, with examples.
Mathematics is a subject of great intrinsic power and beauty. It is the universal language of science, and is essential for a clear and complete understanding of virtually all phenomena. Mathematical training prepares a student to express and analyze problems and relationships in a logical manner in a wide variety of disciplines, including the physical, engineering, social, biological, and medical sciences, business, and pure mathematics itself. This is a principal reason for the perpetual need and demand for mathematicians in education, research centers, government, and industry.
Our department combines world-class research with dedication to teaching. We are large enough to be able to offer a wide spectrum of courses in mathematics and its applications, comparable to that offered at much larger institutions. Yet we are small enough so that close faculty-student interaction is the norm. Indeed, small class sizes and individual attention by faculty are hallmarks of our undergraduate program. Advanced undergraduates may, and often do, take advantage of our graduate program by taking courses at the graduate level.