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Published on May 31, 2013
"Sheaves for Engineering Problems"
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.