University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

IMA Math Matters Lecture:

Mathematics Making Sense of Sensors

Robert Ghrist
Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering
Department of Mathematics
University of Pennsylvania

January 22, 2009

7:00 pm, Willey Hall 125    Map
5:00pm-6:30pm Reception in 400 Lind Hall

Lecture Video (flv)    Photo Gallery    Postcard: pdf


Sensor networks are poised to affect our societies in dramatic ways. They are embedded into products we use each day, such as airbags,hearing aids, and networked cell phone systems. Sensors are tiny devices that collect information. When connected to a larger network, they manage vast amounts of data. Managing that data so we don't drown in it requires answers from mathematics.

Sensor networks monitor environmental changes in rain forests and are used in nanotechnology and biomedical testing. They are widely used in law enforcement and in homeland security. “These networks are changing our lives and our social rules,” Ghrist says. "And the impacts we are seeing today are incomparable to changes that are coming." He will describe a recent calculus for sensor network data, whose origins lie in algebraic topology.

Math Matters lectures feature distinguished mathematicians and scientists who are also superb expositors able to illuminate the role mathematics is playing in understanding our world and shaping our lives. The lectures are aimed at a broad audience.


Math Matters - Public Lecture Series