Mauro Maggioni
Research Professor of Mathematics

I am interested in novel constructions inspired by classical harmonic analysis that allow to analyse the geometry of manifolds and graphs and functions on such structures. These constructions are motivated by several important applications across many fields. In many situations we are confronted with large amounts of apparently unstructured high-dimensional data. I find fascinating to study the intrinsic geometry of such data, and exploiting in order to study, explore, visualize, characterize statistical properties of the data. Oftentimes such data is modeled as a manifold (or something "close to a manifold") or a graph, and functions on these spaces need to approximated or "learned" from the data and experiments on the data. For example each data point could be a document, a graph associated with the documents could be given by for example hyperlinks, or by similarity of word frequencies, and a function on the set of documents would be how interesting I personally score a document. One may wish to learn how to predict how much I would score documents I have not seen yet. This can be cast as an approximation problem on the graph of documents, and it turns out that one can generalize Euclidean-type approximation techniques (in particular multiscale regression techniques) to tackle this problem. An application of the above techniques that I find particularly interesting is Markov Decision Processes and Reinforcement Learning, where the problem of learning a behaviour from experience is cast in a rather general optimization and learning framework that involves approximations of functions and operators on graphs and manifolds. I am also interested in imaging, in particular I am working on novel classes of nonlinear denoising algorithms, based on diffusion processes on graphs of features built from images. Another interest is in the geometry of multiscale dynamical systems, and the construction of algorithms for the empirical construction of approximate equations for such systems. I also work on hyperspectral imaging, in particular in building automatic classifiers for discriminating normal from cancerous biopsies, for automated diagnostics and pathology.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

  • 117 Physics Bldg, Office #293, Durham, NC 27708
  • 319 Gross Hall, Information Initiative at Duke, Durham, NC 27708
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