# Applied Topology and Algorithmic Semi-Algebraic Geometry

Applied topology is a rapidly growing discipline aiming at using ideas coming from algebraic topology to solve problems in the real world, including analyzing point cloud data, shape analysis, etc. Semi-algebraic geometry deals with studying properties of semi-algebraic sets that are subsets of $\mathbb{R}^n$ and defined in terms of polynomial inequalities. Semi-algebraic sets are ubiquitous in applications in areas such as modeling, motion planning, etc. Developing efficient algorithms for computing topological invariants of semi-algebraic sets is a rich and well-developed field.

However, applied topology has thrown up new invariants---such as persistent homology and barcodes---which give us new ways of looking at the topology of semi-algebraic sets. In this thesis, we investigate the interplay between these two areas. We aim to develop new efficient algorithms for computing topological invariants of semi-algebraic sets, such as persistent homology, and to develop new mathematical tools to make such algorithms possible.