Center Events

Warren Center Speaker: Chad Giusti “A very gentle introduction to algebraic topology for (biological) networks.”

December 1, 2015 | 3:00 pm Wu & Chen Auditorium, 101 Levine Hall

Warren Postdoctoral Fellow
Warren Center for Network and Data Sciences
Complex Systems Group & Department of Mathematics
University of Pennsylvania


Title: A (very gentle) introduction to algebraic topology for (biological) networks

Abstract: Classical graph-theoretic measures of network structure are focused on local structure: properties of individual nodes, or on paths between them. Statistics derived from these measures thus provide a very node-centric view of the structure of networks. In many applications, however, mesoscale and global features of a system that arise as a result of a low-level network structure are the true subjects of interest. Here, we survey how a new field of “algebraic-topologcal” tools ¬†for the analysis of network structure is being used to understand these higher-order structures. We will focus on their applications to a wide range of networked biological systems, including evolutionary biology, plant and human circulatory systems, gene regulatory networks, and human and animal neuroscience. No mathematical prerequisites or knowledge of biological systems are assumed.