Neurons, Lions and Electoral Boundaries – New Topological Research

Monday 22 August 2022

Congratulations to Associate Professor Vanessa Robins, co-editor of a new book, Research In Computational Topology 2, part of the Association for Women in Mathematics series.

The book comprises 12 peer-reviewed papers that came out of a computational topology workshop in 2019, spanning neuron connections in the brain, graphs of lions and contamination, and electoral boundary shapes.

“The workshop was incredibly rewarding. I had really smart people in my group working through questions we were interested in – it was the best week ever!” said Dr Robins, who was a leader in one of the four groups.

Dr Robins did a PhD in computational topology in the nineties and has seen the community blossom, from early beginnings as an email list of women working in the field.

“It’s been a nice supportive community, we’ve built professional networks with no political manoeuvring.” Dr Robins said.

Today the community is a powerhouse of research, with Springer selecting it to be part of the Association for Women in Mathematics series.

“After the workshop, the new research groups are encouraged to apply for funding to continue their collaboration.  

“It’s helped us stay connected with the research community during COVID.”

Although she prepared ideas in advance so that the workshop would hit the ground running, Dr Robins found there was great input from students with their own research questions.

“It was a good growth experience for group leaders as well as junior members.” she said.

“It works especially well for a theory domain, to sit in a room together working on research questions.”

Personally Dr Robins has had two publications come out of the intensive week long workshop, one reconciling differences in topology models.

“When you quantify topology in an image by building a model, there are two ways to go about it, that sometimes give different answers.”

“It began as a question about which computer code to use, but we ended up requiring some quite deep pure maths.”

Research In Computational Topology 2 can be found at the Springer website.

 

» read more

Related news stories

Women physicists from across the campus came together last week to change the culture and create a better work environment for the women-identifying members of the school.  Sixty-one women joined the full-day event, undergraduates and PhD students up to distinguished professors, from the Research...
Women physicists from across the campus came together last week to change the culture and create a better work environment for the women-identifying...
Fiona McTavish found that no one was taking her scientific discovery seriously, so she decided to fix that by dressing as a man. Many frustrated female scientists must have considered this course of action, and would love to know how it went. If you want to know, dear reader, you’ll have to read...
Fiona McTavish found that no one was taking her scientific discovery seriously, so she decided to fix that by dressing as a man. Many frustrated...
Scientists have observed complex electronic behaviour, known as topology, in a lossy system within a semiconductor. Despite the losses, such topological systems could be used to create dissipationless pathways – pathways without the scattering that causes dissipation of energy and heat in conventional...
Scientists have observed complex electronic behaviour, known as topology, in a lossy system within a semiconductor. Despite the losses, such...
Last week Professor Christine Charles hosted the first Australian-Japanese workshop on making micro-satellites with the view to exploring Pocket Rocket activities, as well as CubeSat and Ground Station tracking facilities. This was a pilot workshop. One of the primary aims is to develop ANU as a training...
Last week Professor Christine Charles hosted the first Australian-Japanese workshop on making micro-satellites with the view to exploring Pocket...

Updated:  8 February 2023/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPhys/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster