Dr. Michael Robinson, Assistant Professor
Many systems operate by taking local measurements and exerting local control. The mathematical abstraction that describes locality and local data is that of a "sheaf." Sadly, sheaves have typically been avoided in practice (even among mathematicians), due to the highly technical nature of the theory. However, the little-known thesis of Shepard (Brown University) showed how to avoid much of the technicality while retaining a compelling and useful theory. I will outline the key aspects of this theory, and discuss applications to several engineering problems of current interest.