Nips day 3

Here is what I learned during the third day of nips.

The day started by a very very cool talk by Kyle Cranmer from CERN. He did a great job explaining how physicists performed the statistical analysis behind the discovery of the Higgs boson. His talk went in great detail but remained extremely easy to understand and was absolutely great (probably my favorite of the whole conference). He then also had a few great proposals for interesting problems that the community might be interested in modeling.

In the afternoon, there was a very entertaining talk by Marc Raibert from the boston dynamics company. They do the wonderful robots that you probably have seen on youtube. I was a little bit sad that he didn’t give us too much insight into how they actually make the robots move but he did show a lot and had lots of entertaining videos so he gets a shout-out.

Another cool idea in the afternoon, that was a lot more focused on practical theory, was presented by Damien Scieur, Alexandre d’Aspremont and Francis Bach. They showed a post-processing method for optimizing systems. Their method is a very small and cheap trick that you can plugin to any optimization method to make it better. Overall, it was pretty cool, but I’m not sure if I understand optimization well enough to give the best commentary on that.