On August 18 and 20, 2018, the Center of Mathematic Sciences and Applications and the Harvard University Mathematics Department will host a conference on From Algebraic Geometry to Vision and AI: A Symposium Celebrating the Mathematical Work of David Mumford. The talks will take place in Science Center, Hall B.
Saturday, August 18th: A day of talks on Vision, AI and brain sciences
Monday, August 20th: a day of talks on Math
For a list of lodging options convenient to the Center, please visit our recommended lodgings page.
Time | Speaker | Title/Abstract |
8:30 – 9:00am | Breakfast | |
9:00 – 9:20am | Symposium Kickoff | |
History and Perspectives | ||
9:20 – 9:45am | Jayant Shah Northeastern | Title: The accuracy of solar eclipse prediction in ancient and medieval astronomy
Abstract: Predicting solar eclipses was one of the important challenges in ancient and medieval astronomy. Using a statistical approach, David Mumford tested the accuracy of the Chinese algorithm for predicting solar eclipses as formulated in Shoushili. Using David’s code, I have carried out a similar analysis of the Indian Tantrasangraha and the Greek Almagest. In this talk, I will describe the method and compare the accuracy of the three algorithms. |
9:45 – 10:10am | Bernard Saint-Donat Saint-Donat & Co. | |
10:10 – 10:30am | Break | |
10:30 – 10:55am | Yang Wang USTHK | |
10:55 – 11:15am | Break | |
Brain, Neural and Cognitive Sciences | ||
11:15 – 11:40 | Michael Miller Johns Hopkins | Title: Brain mapping |
11:40 – 1:40pm | Lunch | |
1:40 – 2:05pm | Tai Sing Lee CMU | Title: Neuroscience |
2:05 – 2:30pm | Josh Tenenbaum MIT | Title: Cognitive AI |
Vision and Pattern Theory | ||
2:30 – 2:55pm | Peter Belhumeur Columbia | Title: Computer Vision |
2:55- 3:15pm | Break | |
3:15 – 3:40pm | Stuart Geman Brown | Title: Grammars and vision |
3:40 – 4:00pm | Coffee break | |
4:00 – 4:25pm | Yingnian Wu UCLA | Title: Stat models of visual patterns and learning |
4:25 – 4:55pm | Jitendra Malik Berkeley / FAIR | |
4:55 – 5:25pm | Song-Chun Zhu UCLA | |
5:25 – 5:55pm | Q&A |
Time | Speaker | Title |
9:00 – 9:05am | Opening | |
9:05 – 9:55am | Janos Kollar Princeton | Moduli spaces of algebraic varieties |
9:55 – 10:10am | Break | |
10:10 – 11:00am | Emanuele Macri Northeastern | Title: Bridgeland stability and applications
Abstract: One of the key ideas in the theory of derived categories, due to Bondal and Orlov in the 90’s, is that the derived category of coherent sheaves on a smooth projective variety should contain very important information on the geometry of the variety itself, for example on its birational properties. A conjectural way to obtain such information is via the theory of moduli spaces of objects in the derived category, generalizing the existing theory of moduli spaces of vector bundles developed by Mumford, Narasimhan, Seshadri, Gieseker, Maruyama, and Simpson, among others. In 2003, motivated by previous work in High Energy Physics by Douglas, Bridgeland introduced the notion of stability condition for derived categories; this allows to define and study such moduli spaces of objects. In this talk, I will give an introduction to Bridgeland’s theory, focusing in particular to applications of the theory to problems in Algebraic Geometry. For instance, I will present Bayer’s new proof of the Brill-Noether Theorem and a new proof for a theorem of Gruson-Peskine and Harris on the genus of space curves (which is joint work with Benjamin Schmidt). |
11:00 – 11:30am | Break | |
11:30 – 12:20pm | Aaron Pixton MIT | “The tautological ring” |
12:20 – 2:10pm | Lunch | |
2:10 – 3:00pm | Burt Totaro UCLA | Rationality and algebraic cycles |
3:00 – 3:10pm | Break | |
3:10 – 4:00pm | Avi Wigderson Princeton | Optimization, Computational Complexity and Invariant Theory (to be confirmed) |
4:00 – 4:30pm | Break | |
4:30 – 5:20pm | Peter Michor Vienna | “Shape spaces” alias “Moduli spaces in the differentiable category” |
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The talks will take place in Science Center Hall B, 1 Oxford Street.
For a list of lodging options convenient to the Center, please visit our recommended lodgings page.
Please note that lunch will not be provided during the conference, but a map of Harvard Square with a list of local restaurants can be found by clicking Map & Restaurants.
Confirmed Speakers:
Thursday, August 23
Time | Speaker | Title/Abstract |
8:30 – 9:00 am | Breakfast | |
9:00 – 9:40 am | Alex Teytelboym | |
9:40 – 10:20am | Libby Mishkin | |
10:20 – 10:50am | Break | |
10:50 – 11:30am | Mohammad Akbarpour | Title: “Just a few seeds more: Value of network data for diffusion”
Abstract: Identifying the optimal set of individuals to first receive information (“seeds”) in a social network is a widely-studied question in many settings, such as the diffusion of information, microfinance programs, and new technologies. Numerous studies have proposed various network-centrality based heuristics to choose seeds in a way that is likely to boost diffusion. Here we show that, for some frequently studied diffusion processes, randomly seeding s plus x individuals can prompt a larger cascade than optimally targeting the best s individuals, for a small x. We prove our results for large classes of random networks, but also show that they hold in simulations over several real-world networks. This suggests that returns to collecting and analyzing network data to identify the optimal seeds may not be economically significant. Given these findings, practitioners interested in communicating a message to a large number of people may wish to compare the cost of network-based targeting to that of slightly expanding initial outreach. |
11:30 – 12:10pm | Emily Breza | |
12:10 – 1:30pm | Lunch | |
11:30 – 2:10pm | Kobi Gal | |
2:10 – 2:50pm | Francesca Dominici | |
2:50- -3:20pm | Break | |
3:20 – 4:00pm | Danielle Li | |
4:00 – 4:40pm | Jonah Kallenbach |
Friday, August 24
Time | Speaker | Title/Abstract |
9:00 – 9:40 am | Laura Kreidberg | Title: Small Data, Big Ideas: Inferring the Presence of Extraterrestrial Life from a Few Photons
Abstract: Until recently, the search for extraterrestrial life has focused (unsuccessfully) on detecting radio signals from alien civilizations. I will discuss an alternative approach, which is the detection of biosignatures in the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. I will provide an update on the search for promising Earth-like planet candidates, discuss the state of the art in exoplanet atmosphere characterization, and speculate wildly about the possibility that other Earths are in fact inhabited. |
9:40 – 10:20am | Josh Speagle | |
10:20 – 10:50am | Break | |
10:50 – 11:30am | Chiara Farronato | Title: Consumer Reviews and Regulation: Evidence from NYC Restaurants” (joint with Georgios Zervas)
Abstract: We investigate how two signals of restaurant quality, hygiene grade cards and online reviews, affect consumer choice and restaurant hygiene. Unlike hygiene cards, online reviews contain information about multiple dimensions of restaurant quality. To extract signals of hygiene from online reviews, we exploit the fact that health inspectors look for different types of violations and we apply machine learning methods to predict the occurrence of individual violations from review text. Using out-of-sample prediction accuracy as a measure of signal informativeness, we find substantial heterogeneity in how informative reviews are about different violations. Reviews are more informative about food handling and pest violations than facilities and maintenance violations. Next, we estimate the effect of hygiene information contained in online reviews on consumer demand and restaurant hygiene choices. We find that consumer demand is more sensitive to more informative signals of hygiene. In addition, restaurants that are reviewed online are more likely to comply with hygiene standards for which online reviews provide a more informative signal. Our results have implications for the allocation of limited regulator resources when consumers rate service providers online. |
11:30 – 12:10pm | Sam Kou | |
12:10 – 1:30pm | Lunch | |
11:30 – 2:10pm | William Stein | Title: CoCalc: Making open source data analysis software more collaborative
Abstract: I launched https://CoCalc.com in 2013, as an easy web-based way for students and instructors to streamline their use of open source data analysis and presentation software such as R, SageMath, Octave, Jupyter notebooks, and LaTeX. Everything in CoCalc now fully supports realtime synchronized editing, and there is a huge preinstalled software stack. CoCalc now has tens of thousands of active users at hundreds of sites. In this talk, I will explain how you can use CoCalc to enhance your teaching, research and data sharing. I will also describe how CoCalc grew out of courses I taught and a software project I started (SageMath) at the Harvard Mathematics Department 2000-2005. |
2:10 – 2:50pm | Sergiy Verstyuk | |
2:50- -3:20pm | Break | |
3:20 – 4:00pm | TBD | |
4:00 – 4:40pm | TBD |
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This workshop is a part of the CMSA’s program on Program on Topological Aspects of Condensed Matter, and will be the first of two workshops, in addition to a visitor program and seminars.
Speakers:
More information to follow.
]]>This year will feature Eric Maskin, who will speak on “How to Improve Presidential Elections: the Mathematics of Voting.”
]]>The plethora of natural shapes that surround us at every scale is both bewildering and astounding – from the electron micrograph of a polyhedral virus, to the branching pattern of a gnarled tree to the convolutions in the brain. Even at the human scale, the shapes seen in a garden at the scale of a pollen grain, a seed, a sapling, a root, a flower or leaf are so numerous that “it is enough to drive the sanest man mad,” wrote Darwin. Can we classify these shapes and understand their origins quantitatively?
In biology, there is growing interest in and ability to quantify growth and form in the context of the size and shape of bacteria and other protists, to understand how polymeric assemblies grow and shrink (in the cytoskeleton), and how cells divide, change size and shape, and move to organize tissues, change their topology and geometry, and link multiple scales and connect biochemical to mechanical aspects of these problems, all in a self-regulated setting.
To understand these questions, we need to describe shape (biomathematics), predict shape (biophysics), and design shape (bioengineering).
For example, in mathematics there are some beautiful links to Nash’s embedding theorem, connections to quasi-conformal geometry, Ricci flows and geometric PDE, to Gromov’s h principle, to geometrical singularities and singular geometries, discrete and computational differential geometry, to stochastic geometry and shape characterization (a la Grenander, Mumford etc.). A nice question here is to use the large datasets (in 4D) and analyze them using ideas from statistical geometry (a la Taylor, Adler) to look for similarities and differences across species during development, and across evolution.
In physics, there are questions of generalizing classical theories to include activity, break the usual Galilean invariance, as well as isotropy, frame indifference, homogeneity, and create both agent (cell)-based and continuum theories for ordered, active machines, linking statistical to continuum mechanics, and understanding the instabilities and patterns that arise. Active generalizations of liquid crystals, polar materials, polymers etc. are only just beginning to be explored and there are some nice physical analogs of biological growth/form that are yet to be studied.
The CMSA will be hosting a Workshop on Morphometrics, Morphogenesis and Mathematics from October 22-24 at the Center of Mathematical Sciences and Applications, located at 20 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA.
The workshop is organized by L. Mahadevan (Harvard), O. Pourquie (Harvard), A. Srivastava (Florida).
Confirmed Speakers:
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To address this requires an appreciation of the enormous ‘morphospace’ in terms of the potential shapes and sizes that living forms take, using the language of mathematics. In parallel, we need to consider the biological processes that determine form in mathematical terms is based on understanding how instabilities and patterns in physical systems might be harnessed by evolution.
In Fall 2018, CMSA will focus on a program that aims at recent mathematical advances in describing shape using geometry and statistics in a biological context, while also considering a range of physical theories that can predict biological shape at scales ranging from macromolecular assemblies to whole organ systems.
The first workshop will focus on the interface between Morphometrics and Mathematics, while the second will focus on the interface between Morphogenesis and Physics.
As part of the program on Mathematical Biology a workshop on Morphogenesis: Geometry and Physics will take place on December 3-6, 2018.
Speakers:
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More information to follow.
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