Applied topology and Dante: an interview with Robert Ghrist by John D. Cook. (September 13, 2010)
From the post:
Robert Ghrist A few weeks ago I discovered Robert Ghrist via his web site. Robert is a professor of mathematics and electrical engineering. He describes his research as applied topology, something I’d never heard of. (Topology has countless applications to other areas of mathematics, but I’d not heard of much work directly applying topology to practical physical problems.) In addition to his work in applied topology, I was intrigued by Robert’s interest in old books.
The following is a lightly-edited transcript of a phone conversation Robert and I had September 9, 2010.
If the interview sounds interesting, you may want to read/skim:
 R. Ghrist, “Three examples of applied and computational homology,” Nieuw Archief voor Wiskunde 5/9(2).
 R. Ghrist, “Applied Algebraic Topology & Sensor Networks,” a manu-script text. (caveat! file>50megs!)
Applied Topology & Sensor Networks are the notes for an AMS short course. Ghrist recommends continuing with Algebraic Toplogy by Allen Hatcher. (Let me know if you need my shipping address.)
Q: Are sensors always mechanical sensors? We speak of them as though that were the case.
What if I can’t afford unmanned drones (to say nothing of their pilots) and have $N$ people with cellphones?
How does a more “discriminating” “sensor” impact the range of capabilities/solutions?