Topological Methods in Brain Network Analysis (17w5043)


(University of Western Ontario)

(University of Iowa)

Natasha Jonoska (University of South Florida)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Topological Methods in Brain Network Analysis (HALF)" workshop from May 7th to May 12th, 2017.

We live in a world of connections: social networks have been used everywhere from the study and prediction of the spread of diseases to the development of product advertising targeted at the individual level. The application of these methods to networks in the brain is leading a revolution in neuroscience which is providing a set of approaches for better understanding how the brain works and how to diagnose and potentially treat complex neuropsychiatric diseases. This workshop will develop combined topological approaches to the study of brain networks.  Topology is the study of shapes, but allows for distortions.  Data normally contains small inaccuracies (called noise).  These inaccuracies can affect the geometrical shape of the data, but since topology allows for distortions, we can use topology to better understand networks.  Topological methods have been used to study a variety of important applications including protein-protein interactions, gene regulation, DNA knotting, as well as to understand the shape of data.  

It can take time for mathematics developed for one particular application to be applied to other areas.  This workshop will speed that development by bringing together researchers, theoreticians and experimentalists, with complementary expertise. The participants will include mathematicians working in applied topological models, software developers as well as neuroscientists directly involved in brain studies. The result will be a wider array of tools that can be used in neuroscience to give a better understanding of brain networks.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides
an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disc
iplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineeri
ng Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional
de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).