The revolutionary growth of experimental data in the sciences and the availability of unprecedented computing power pose many challenges to contemporary mathematics. The ESF Research Network on ‘’Applied and Computational Algebraic Topology'' will combine efforts of researchers from thirteen European countries to develop mathematical tools for the following broad research themes: (a) The topological and statistical analysis of shapes, images, and large multi-dimensional data sets; (b) Algorithms for motion planning and the study of configuration spaces of mechanical systems; (c) Statistical topology and the study of large growing systems; (d) The theory of concurrent computation and computer networks. Research on these themes is currently carried out in small groups spread over several European countries. The Network will facilitate intensified interactions and cross-fertilization, which we predict will lead to new results and entire new research directions as well as to commercial applications in industry. The Network will organize summer schools and conferences to support the formation of an integrated research community in “Applied and Computational Algebraic Topology'' and to attract an increasing number of students to the field. The Network will actively collaborate with experts outside Europe.
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