from Duke Today

It takes a well-trained eye to spot an irregular heartbeat in the peaks and valleys of an electrocardiogram. The same goes for identifying an extinct ape from a single fossilized tooth, or telling an original van Gogh from a fake.

But in recent years, applied mathematician Ingrid Daubechies has been training computers to churn through ECG tracings, high-resolution scans of fossils, paintings and other complex digital data and work things out automatically.

“The large volumes of data that are being generated left and right definitely present a serious challenge,” said Daubechies, professor of mathematics and electrical and computer engineering, who came to Duke in 2011.

We’re at a point where we can no longer keep up with the data deluge, some researchers argue, and new approaches to data mining are needed.