The Shape of InformationThe Shape of Informationhttp://www.haverford.edu/calendar/details/253842KINSC Sharpless Auditorium2014-04-22T16:30:002014-04-22T18:00:00
April 22, 4:30PM–6:00PM
KINSC Sharpless Auditorium
Distinguished Visitor, Suresh Venkatasubramanian, Associate Professor in the School of Computing, University of Utah
What makes data mining so powerful, and so ubiquitous? How can the same techniques identify patients at risk for a rare genetic disorder, consumers most likely to like Beyonce's latest album, or even a new star from an sky survey?
The answer starts with an idea Descartes had nearly 500 years ago. He suggested expressing geometry in terms of numbers (coordinates). This turned out to be a powerful technique that led (among other things) to the development of the calculus. Data mining returns the favor. It starts with sets of numbers that describe a collection of objects. To find patterns in these objects, we create a geometry in which the numbers are coordinates. And just like that, objects become shapes, and the search for information becomes a quest for common structure in these shapes.
In this search, we are not limited by the geometry of our world: we can dream up ever more intricate geometries that capture the shape of the information that we seek to find in our data. In this sense, data mining is the best kind of science fiction come to life: we craft a world out of our imagination, and let the laws of this world lead us to fascinating discoveries about the data that inhabits it.
Suresh's work in the design and analysis of algorithms, computational geometry, data mining and machine learning, and algorithms for large data problems has led him to hold additional posts as a Visiting Scientist at Google and at the Simons Institute for Theoretical Computer Science. He is currently participating in a program on the Theoretical Foundations of Big Data Analysis at the Simons Institute as a long-term participant. Before becoming a professor at the University of Utah, Suresh was a member of the technical staff at AT&T Labs. He has written more than 50 papers that have appeared in the top conferences and journals in his field. In addition to his distinguished research career, Suresh has received the University of Utah Dean’s Commendation letter for teaching excellence five times and has been an invited speaker at many conferences and universities.
Tea at 4:15
Sponsored by the Department of Computer Science in conjunction with the Distinguished Visitors Program
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