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Measuring the Shape of Data: The Shape of Hurricanes - LIB 100 APPROVED!

Date and Time

Friday, November 22, 2019
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.


  • Mackinac Hall


Prof. Elizabeth Munch, Michigan State University

Abstract:  While we are inundated with a wealth of data, often our methods of analysis, particularly with regard to shape and structure, are limited to very simple measurements.  For instance, we can measure the length or width of a leaf, but this clearly does not provide enough information to encode the endless variety of plant life on Earth. Topological data analysis (TDA) combines deep mathematics from the field of algebraic topology with techniques from graph theory, combinatorics, computer science, statistics, and machine learning to provide summaries of the shape and structure of data. In this talk, we will focus on an application to hurricane shape, where TDA has provided the ability to quantitatively encode structure which atmospheric scientists had previously been limited to describing qualitatively.

This event is a part of GVSU's Big Data Month 2019.


Ed Aboufadel,



November 2019

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