The Promising Future of Mathematics in Industry

Speaker: Roger Donaldson (Midvale Applied Mathematics, UBC Math)
Location: Michael Smith Laboratories MSL 101, 3pm – 4pm.


The diversity of mathematics and roles of mathematicians in industry has expanded greatly over the last decade. The first part of this talk is a survey of work that I have done as an applied mathematician working in industry. Areas include modeling groundwater flow for soil remediation, image editing, content-based image search, and machine learning for searching large satellite images.

The second part of this talk will focus on a particular use of mathematics in indexing high dimensional floating-point vectors using a search engine intended for text. The result is a database search method that can combine "fuzzy" data, such as image textures or audio recordings, with text-based data such as document titles or descriptive keywords in an infrastructure easy for a software engineer to build and maintain.

The ultimate purpose of this talk is to highlight areas of mathematics of particular use to my work in industry, and hence of particular interest to future industrial practitioners.

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