Topology & big data

It may not seem like topologists and statisticians have a lot in common, but a conference at UVic this August is pairing the two distinct mathematical fields. 

Organized by the Department of Mathematics & Statistics' Ryan Budney, Farouk Nathoo, and Ejaz Ahmed, the event, Applied Topology and High Dimensional Data Analysis, explores how the discipline of topology - studying the properties of space that are preserved under continuous deformations, such as stretching and bending – can improve our ability to analyze big data.

The unusual pairing has the potential for application in fields like economics, brain imaging, and genomics.

Organizers anticipate hosting two relatively-distinct groups at the conference: topologists that have been working with applied algebraic-topological tools like persistent homology, and statisticians working in the area of high-dimensional data analysis, and researchers from fields that involve large data problems.

The conference runs August 17-28 at UVic. Learn more at