# Interesting lecture: The shape of Big Data

Volterra lecture by professor Gunnar Carlsson, Department of Mathematics, Stanford University

**Abstract:** There is a lot of discussion around «Big Data», which refers to the large and complex data sets currently being gathered about scientific, engineering, and commercial problems. Although the size of the data is certainly a significant roadblock to the goal of obtaining useful information and knowledge from the data, the complexity of the data is often a more significant hurdle. This means that there is a need for a new organizing principle and modeling mechanism, and it turns out that topology (the mathematical study of shape) can be used to provide such an organizing principle. The talk will discuss these ideas, with many examples involving life sciences data.