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This talk will apply topological methods to questions in neuroscience. Specifically, the team will study dynamics in neural networks used to model memory storage and rhythm generation in the nervous system. These dynamics are determined by topological properties of the underlying network architecture. Recent advances in the theory of recurrent neural networks have identified key structural features, including motifs, that play a role in shaping the emergent dynamics. However, these features are difficult to identify without more sophisticated tools for network analysis. The team members will thus adapt tools from topology in order to detect the relevant structures inside recurrent neural networks, and use these tools to make predictions about the set of attractors and other aspects of the network's dynamics.
Over the past decade, and particularly over the past five years, research at the interface of topology and neuroscience has grown remarkably fast. Topology has, for example, been successfully applied to objective classification of neuron morphologies and to automatic detection of network dynamics. In this talk I will focus on the algebraic topology of brain structure and function, describing results obtained by members of my lab in collaboration with the Blue Brain Project on digitally reconstructed microcircuits of neurons in the rat cortex. I will also describe our on-going work on the topology of synaptic plasticity. The talk will include an overview of the Blue Brain Project and a brief introduction to the topological tools that we use.
The physical properties of porous and granular materials critically depend on the topological and geometric details of the material micro-structure. For example, the way water flows through sandstone depends on the connectivity and diameters of its pores. This talk will introduce my work with the x-ray micro-CT group at ANU developing topologically valid and efficient algorithms for studying and quantifying the intricate structure of complex porous materials using persistent homology. Persistent homology is an algebraic topological tool that measures changes in the topology of a growing sequence of spaces indexed by a real parameter. When the filtration parameter is a length-scale, persistent homology provides a comprehensive description of structure and highlights properties such as the percolating length scales in porous materials, the degree of consolidation in sandpacks/ sandstones, and the distribution of fluid trapping in two-phase fluid experiments.
Persistent homology is a popular tool for the topological analysis of scalar fields. Multi-parameter persistence is its generalization for the the analysis of vector fields. The theory of multi-parameter persistence still presents so many challenges that the tool is not ready for topological data anaysis practitioners. An idea to understand it better is based on leveraging discrete Morse theory. In this talk, we’ll review the state of the art results concerning the connection between the two theories.
This event is sponsored by the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI). AMSI allocates a travel allowance annually to each of its member universities (for list of members, see www.amsi.org.au/members).
Students or early career researchers from AMSI member universities without access to a suitable research grant or other source of funding may apply (with approval of their Head of Mathematical Sciences) for subsidy of travel and accommodation out of their home departmental travel allowance.
Canberra is located in the Australian Capital Territory, on the ancient lands of the Ngunnawal people, who have lived here for over 20,000 years. Canberra’s name is thought to mean ‘meeting place’, derived from the Aboriginal word Kamberra. European settlers arrived in the 1830s, and the area won selection by ballot for the federal capital in 1908. Since then the ‘Bush Capital’ has grown to become the proud home of the Australian story, with a growing population of around 390,000.
Canberra hosts a wide range of tourist attractions, including various national museums, galleries and Parliament House, as well as beautiful parks and walking trails. Several attractions are within walking distance of the ANU campus, including the National Museum of Australia and the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Canberra is also a fantastic base from which to explore the many treasures of the surrounding region, including historic townships, beautiful coastlines and the famous Snowy Mountains. Learn more about what to do and see during your stay in Canberra here.
Below are some accommodation options for your visit to Canberra.
International visitors to Australia require a visa or an electronic travel authority (ETA) prior to arrival. It is your responsibility to ensure documentation is correct and complete before you commence your journey. Information on obtaining visas and ETAs can be found here.
There are many ways to get around Canberra. Below is some useful information about Bus & Taxi transport around the ANU, the Airport and surrounding areas.
If you are catching a taxi or Uber to the ANU Mathematical Sciences Institute, ask to be taken to Building #145, Science Road, ANU. We are located close to the Ian Ross Building and the ANU gym. A Taxi from the airport will usually cost around $40 and will take roughly 15 minutes. Pricing and time may vary depending on traffic.
Taxi bookings can be made through Canberra Elite Taxis - 13 22 27.
The ACT government has implemented a public bus service from the CBD via the Canberra Airport via bus Route 11 and 11A, seven days a week. Services run approximately every half hour, and better during peak times (weekdays) and every hour (weekends).
To travel just use your MyWay card or pay a cash fare to the driver when boarding. A single adult trip when paying cash will cost $4.80 with cheaper fares for students and children. Significant savings can be made when travelling with MyWay.
For more information about the buses to Canberra airport.
Canberra buses are a cheap and easy way of getting around town once you're here.
For more information about bus services and fares.