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October CIC Research Seminar

Date: October 17, 2019
Location: Innovation Central Perth - Building 216 Room 204, Level 2 Curtin University, Bentley Campus
CIC Seminar | Networking

A statistical journey through imagery from mass spectrometry, fMRI and towards the sky

Presented by Professor Inge Koch


Since the beginning of the 20th century, Pearson, Hotelling (and very many others since then) have worked with multivariate data in order to find patterns and structure in such data and to summarise their data in simpler forms. Towards the end of the 20th century one of the early methods, Principal Component Analysis (PCA), enjoyed renewed interest and has since become an area of high research activity and probably the main exploratory tool for analysing high-dimensional data.

In this talk, Professor Koch begins with a little history relating to PCA and then describes some of today’s uses of PCA that she is involved in: in the analysis of proteomics mass spectrometry data used in cancer research; in the detection of sparse signals obtained in functional data of fMRI images of brain scans and their relationship to maths anxiety and in surveys of the sky as available from the square kilometer array and other telescopes.


Inge Koch was appointed Professor of Statistics and Data Science in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, UWA, and started this position in early 2019. Inge’s research focusses on multivariate and high-dimensional data, analysis of such data, and application of new statistical approaches to diverse domains. She is interested in statistical learning and in particular in dimension reduction and feature extraction, clustering and classification and sparsity. She has been collaborating with medical researchers and biochemists on flow cytometry in the detection and progression of diseases, on challenges in cancer research using proteomics mass spectrometry, with electrical engineers on signal processing of fMRI images, and with astronomers on source detection of astronomy surveys.

As head of Statistics and Data Science at UWA and in her previous work at other Australian universities, Inge has been active in encouraging young women to study and take up careers requiring mathematics. From mid-2015 to early 2019, Inge has been the Executive Director of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute and its BHP-funded CHOOSEMATHS program which aims to increase participation of girls and young women in mathematics and STEM.

The one hour presentation will be followed by a networking opportunity.