One of the exciting aspects of math at Wisconsin is the new emphasis on what I call “applied pure math” — that is, applied math that doesn’t involve PDEs or numerical analysis. If you’re in town and want to see what this looks like, you can come to the first Applied Algebra Days conference, featuring Ronny Hadani, Pablo Parrilo, Olga Holtz, and lots of other interesting people. And as an added bonus it’s in the shiny new Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery! Schedule here. Abstracts here.

## Applied Algebra Days this weekend in Madison

**Tagged**applied algebra, conferences

Looks really cool. I wonder what Hardy would think of this.

I wasn’t able to see any of the talks over the weekend, but I did make it to Sturmfel’s talk on Friday, and found it fascinating in two ways: computer vision is still a significant problem, and pure math techniques are finally being applied to problems like this. In the 1970s my one deviation from interest in pure math was a flirtation with “image processing.” If I recall correctly, the subject grew largely out of NASA’s need to process low resolution and noisy images from early space probes, and the books that I found in the early 70s utilized classical analysis written in largely engineering style notation. My interest eventually faded because I lacked access to technology required to play with this stuff. (I had no way to insert real images into digital form and mainframe CPU time was incredibly expensive.) I think I may have been attracted to this sort of thing because prior to learning about the Fourier transform, I had wondered if I put a small radio telescope in the back yard and scanned the sky how well I could deconvolve (I didn’t have a name for it then) the resulting low resolution “image” using (extremely large) linear equations.