Please note that the list below only shows forthcoming events, which may not include regular events that have not yet been entered for the forthcoming term. Please see the past events page for a list of all seminar series that the department has on offer.


Past events in this series

Mon, 22 Apr 2024

14:00 - 15:00
Lecture Room 3

Quantization of Bandlimited Graph Signals

Hanna Veselovska
(Technical University of Munich)

Graph signals provide a natural representation of data in many applications, such as social networks, web information analysis, sensor networks, and machine learning. Graph signal & data processing is currently an active field of mathematical research that aims to extend the well-developed tools for analyzing conventional signals to signals on graphs while exploiting the underlying connectivity. A key challenge in this context is the problem of quantization, that is, finding efficient ways of representing the values of graph signals with only a finite number of bits.

In this talk, we address the problem of quantizing bandlimited graph signals. We introduce two classes of noise-shaping algorithms for graph signals that differ in their sampling methodologies. We demonstrate that these algorithms can efficiently construct quantized representatives of bandlimited graph-based signals with bounded amplitude.

Inspired by the results of Zhang et al. in 2022, we provide theoretical guarantees on the relative error between the true signal and its quantized representative for one of the algorithms.
As will be discussed, the incoherence of the underlying graph plays an important role in the quantization process. Namely, bandlimited signals supported on graphs of lower incoherence allow for smaller relative errors. We support our findings with various numerical experiments showcasing the performance of the proposed quantization algorithms for bandlimited signals defined on graphs with different degrees of incoherence.

This is joint work with Felix Krahmer (Technical University of Munich), He Lyu (Meta), Rayan Saab (University of California San Diego), and Rongrong Wang (Michigan State University).

Mon, 29 Apr 2024

11:00 - 12:00
Lecture Room 3

Deep Gaussian processes: theory and applications

Aretha Teckentrup
(University of Edinburgh)
Further Information

Please note that this seminar starts at 11am and finishes at 12pm. 


Deep Gaussian processes have proved remarkably successful as a tool for various statistical inference tasks. This success relates in part to the flexibility of these processes and their ability to capture complex, non-stationary behaviours. 

In this talk, we will introduce the general framework of deep Gaussian processes, in which many examples can be constructed, and demonstrate their superiority in inverse problems including computational imaging and regression.

 We will discuss recent algorithmic developments for efficient sampling, as well as recent theoretical results which give crucial insight into the behaviour of the methodology.


Mon, 06 May 2024

14:00 - 15:00
Lecture Room 3

Bayesian Interpolation with Linear and Shaped Neural Networks

Boris Hanin
(Princeton University)

This talk, based on joint work with Alexander Zlokapa, concerns Bayesian inference with neural networks. 

I will begin by presenting a result giving exact non-asymptotic formulas for Bayesian posteriors in deep linear networks. A key takeaway is the appearance of a novel scaling parameter, given by # data * depth / width, which controls the effective depth of the posterior in the limit of large model and dataset size. 

Additionally, I will explain some quite recent results on the role of this effective depth parameter in Bayesian inference with deep non-linear neural networks that have shaped activations.

Mon, 13 May 2024

14:00 - 15:00
Lecture Room 3

Compression of Graphical Data

Mihai Badiu
(Department of Engineering Science University of Oxford)

Data that have an intrinsic network structure can be found in various contexts, including social networks, biological systems (e.g., protein-protein interactions, neuronal networks), information networks (computer networks, wireless sensor networks),  economic networks, etc. As the amount of graphical data that is generated is increasingly large, compressing such data for storage, transmission, or efficient processing has become a topic of interest. In this talk, I will give an information theoretic perspective on graph compression. 

The focus will be on compression limits and their scaling with the size of the graph. For lossless compression, the Shannon entropy gives the fundamental lower limit on the expected length of any compressed representation. I will discuss the entropy of some common random graph models, with a particular emphasis on our results on the random geometric graph model. 

Then, I will talk about the problem of compressing a graph with side information, i.e., when an additional correlated graph is available at the decoder. Turning to lossy compression, where one accepts a certain amount of distortion between the original and reconstructed graphs, I will present theoretical limits to lossy compression that we obtained for the Erdős–Rényi and stochastic block models by using rate-distortion theory.

Mon, 20 May 2024

14:00 - 15:00
Lecture Room 3

Low rank approximation for faster optimization

Madeleine Udell
(Stanford University, USA)

Low rank structure is pervasive in real-world datasets.

This talk shows how to accelerate the solution of fundamental computational problems, including eigenvalue decomposition, linear system solves, composite convex optimization, and stochastic optimization (including deep learning), by exploiting this low rank structure.

We present a simple method based on randomized numerical linear algebra for efficiently computing approximate top eigende compositions, which can be used to replace large matrices (such as Hessians and constraint matrices) with low rank surrogates that are faster to apply and invert.

The resulting solvers for linear systems (NystromPCG), composite convex optimization (NysADMM), and stochastic optimization (SketchySGD and PROMISE) demonstrate strong theoretical and numerical support, outperforming state-of-the-art methods in terms of speed and robustness to hyperparameters.

Mon, 03 Jun 2024

14:00 - 15:00
Lecture Room 3

Where Can Advanced Optimization Methods Help in Deep Learning?

James Martens
(Google Deep Mind)

Modern neural network models are trained using fairly standard stochastic gradient optimizers, sometimes employing mild preconditioners. 
A natural question to ask is whether significant improvements in training speed can be obtained through the development of better optimizers. 

In this talk I will argue that this is impossible in the large majority of cases, which explains why this area of research has stagnated. I will go on to identify several situations where improved preconditioners can still deliver significant speedups, including exotic architectures and loss functions, and large batch training. 

Mon, 10 Jun 2024

14:00 - 15:00
Lecture Room 3


Prof. Joel Tropp
(California Institute of Technology, USA)