The Fifth Elephant 2015

A conference on data, machine learning, and distributed and parallel computing

Data Comes in Shapes

Submitted by Tim Poston (@timposton) on Tuesday, 16 June 2015

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Technical level

Beginner

Section

Keynote

Status

Confirmed & Scheduled

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Objective

Data comes in shapes. The study of shape is geometry, in as many dimensions as you have variables. You can’t visualise them all, but you can see in 2D and 3D why the algebraic tools work the way they do

Description

Data comes in shapes. The study of shape is geometry, in as many dimensions as you have variables. You can’t visualise them all, but you can see in 2D and 3D why the algebraic tools work the way they do: in particular, the computer geometry of lines and planes (all the way to big data tools like Support Vector Machines), is ‘linear algebra’. I can’t explain all of linear algebra in 40 minutes, but I will describe strategies for making sense of it without getting confused by all the a[i][j] manipulation.

Think in pictures!

Speaker bio

Prof Tim Poston got his PhD in 1969 from University of Warwick, England advised by Sir Roger Penrose. Since then he has served in various professorships and research fellowships at Rio de Janeiro, Rochester (USA), Oporto (Portugal), Geneva, Bristol, Stuttgart, Charleston, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, Pohang (South Korea), Singapore, Umeå (Sweden), and finally in Bangalore. He is currently the Chief Scientist at Forus Health Pvt. Ltd. - an organization working to bring affordable eye care to the rural Indian population using home-grown technology. A true globe-trotter, he is a master of many languages, and of many fields of mathematics, his contibutions in the field of Catastrophe theory, and topology are well admired by academics. Tim has seen the entire evolution of computer science as an academic descipline and an industry, and uses his mathematical provess to make any problem tractable. Most of all, he is a terrific teacher, full of fascinating stories and unique and fascinating insights, and inspires wonder in mathematics, and the world in general. We are previlaged to have him speak at this year’s Fifth Elephant.

Tim’s website: http://geometeer.com/

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