The CUNY Data Science and Applied Topology Reading Group is joint between the Mathematics and Computer Science programmes. We meet Fridays 11.45 -- 12.45 in GC 3209. You can contact us at

Our plan is to primarily read and discuss seminal papers in data science, in applied topology and in topological data analysis. Each seminar one participant takes the responsibility to present a paper and prepare items for discussion. We expect occasionally to be able to invite external speakers.


Current schedule can be found here.

We will be sending out announcements through a mailing list; you can subscribe here.


  • Mikael Vejdemo-Johansson, Computer Science Programme, CUNY Graduate Center; Department of Mathematics, CUNY College of Staten Island
  • Azita Mayeli, Mathematics Programme, CUNY Graduate Center; Department of Mathematics, CUNY Queensborough Community College

Suggested papers

We have compiled a list of papers that might be interesting to present.


On the Metric Distortion of Embedding Persistence Diagrams into Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Spaces

Persistence Diagrams (PDs) are important feature descriptors in Topological Data Analysis. Due to the nonlinearity of the space of PDs equipped with their diagram distances, most of the recent attempts at using PDs in Machine Learning have been done through kernel methods, i.e., embeddings of PDs into Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Spaces (RKHS), in which all computations can be performed easily. Since PDs enjoy theoretical stability guarantees for the diagram distances, the metric properties of a kernel k, i.e., the relationship between the RKHS distance dk and the diagram distances, are of central interest for understanding if the PD guarantees carry over to the embedding. We study the possibility of embedding PDs into RKHS with bi-Lipschitz maps. In particular, we show that when the RKHS is infinite dimensional, any lower bound must depend on the cardinalities of the PDs, and that when the RKHS is finite dimensional, finding a bi-Lipschitz embedding is impossible, even when restricting the PDs to have bounded cardinalities.


  • Data Science and Applied Topology Seminar
  • Reading list