I am a doctoral candidate in the Division of Applied Mathematics at Brown University. My primary research interests include applied toplogy and utilizing methods from topological data analysis to study dynamical systems and biological phenomena. I am also interested in machine learning applications.

My research advisor is Björn Sandstede, and I am co-advised by Andrew Blumberg at the University of Texas at Austin. I am a recipient of the National Science Foundation GRFP award. Prior to coming to Brown, I recieved my B.A. degree in mathematics from the College of the Holy Cross, where I was advised by David Damiano.


Brown University Office:
Room 209, 170 Hope Street
Providence, RI

University of Texas Office:
Room 3.402, P.O.B.
Austin, TX

melissa_mcguirl at brown dot edu

News and Events

Presenting a poster at the NSF Tripods Workshop
Santa Cruz, CA
October 23-24, 2018

I will present a poster on Thresholded Hierarchical Clustering of Gene-Level Association Statistics at the second TRIPODS PI workshop in Santa Cruz, CA.

Fast Estimation of Recombination Rates Using Topological Data Analysis on bioRxiv

This preprint in collaboration with Devon P. Humphreys, Michael Miyagi, and Andrew Blumberg has been posted on bioRxiv.

SE and SnL Diagrams:
Flexible Data Structures for MIR (Music Information Retrieval)

This paper in collaboration with Katherine Kinnaird, Claire Savard, and Erin Bugbee has been accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the 19th ISMIR conference.

A Topological Analysis of Targeted In-111 Uptake in SPECT Images of Murine Tumors

This paper in collaboration with David Damiano (College of the Holy Cross) has been published in the Journal of Mathematical Biology.

Assimilating Eulerian and Lagrangian data in traffic-flow models

This paper in collaboration with Chao Xia, Courtney Cochrane , Joseph DeGuire, Gaoyang Fan , Emma Holmes, Patrick Murphy, Jenna Palmer , Paul Carter, Laura Slivinski, and Björn Sandstede has been published in Physica D.

Math CoOP Presentation:
Fun with Graph Theory for Elementary Students

As a member of The Math CoOp at Brown, I help to come up with fun ways to present math to all grade levels. Based on work by Joel David Hamkins , I created a presentation on graph theory for elementary school students. Feel free to take it for your own use!

Brown University's Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Student Chapter

I am currently the webmaster of the Brown University Student Chapter of SIAM. Our goal is to foster an active interdisciplinary STEM community at Brown, and we organize professional, academic, and social events for students, post-docs, and faculty.

The Applied Topology and Geometry Seminar at Brown University

Elchanan Solomon and I co-organize the applied topology and geometry seminar at Brown. We are generously funded by the Data Science Initiative at Brown. The seminar is not running this Fall, check back in the Spring for updates!

Past Events

Invitation to speak at the SIAM Central States Section Meeting in Norman, Oklahoma
October 5-7, 2018

I was invited to speak at the Applied Topology mini-symposium at the SIAM Central States Section, which focused on connections between computational topology, robotics, data analysis, machine learning, and dynamical systems.

Instructor of Applied Ordinary Differential Equations
Brown University
2018 Summer Session

I taught APMA 0350: Applied ordinary differential equations at Brown University for the 2018 summer session.

TRIPODS Summer Bootcamp: Topology and Machine Learning at ICERM
August 6-10, 2018

I am co-organized the TRIPODS workshop on Topology and Machine learning at ICERM. The workshop consisted of a hands-on tutorial and mini research conference.

Tutorial on Multiparameter Persistence, Computation, and Applications at the IMA
August 13-15, 2018

I was invited to participate in this tutorial, aimed at early-career researchers, which will cover multiparameter persistence and its applications.

Contributed Talk accepted to AWIMS

I spoke on "A Topological Analysis of Model Sensitivity and Classification for Pattern Formation on Zebrafish" at the 2018 Advancing Women's Impact in Mathematics Symposium (AWIMS) at WPI.

Brown-BU Dynamics and PDE seminar speaker

I spoke on "A Topological Analysis of Model Sensitivity for Pattern Formation on Zebrafish" at the 2017 Brown-BU Dynamics and PDE seminar at Boston University.

Summer@ICERM: Topological Data Analysis

I was a teaching assistant for Summer@ICERM: Topological Data Analysis (TDA) in 2017. This was an 8-week research experience for undergraduates that brought together students from around the world to learn about TDA.

Are we putting too much faith in math?

Sunny Yang Xiao and I co-organized this Horizons reading group during the 2017-2018 year, which focused on investigating and reflecting on the social impact of mathematical research. We are generously funded by the Women and Mathematics Program at IAS.