Sanjeev Arora

Ahlfors Lecture series

September 11-12, 2018, Organizers: H-T Yau and S-T Yau

Harvard University, Science Center Hall D

Speaker and Program


Sanjeev Arora (Princeton University and Institute for Advanced Study)
September 11, 2018:

Lecture I
4:30-5:30 PM
in SC Hall D
Lecture I: "What is Machine Learning"
Abstract: Machine learning is the sub-field of computer science concerned with creating programs and machines that can improve from experience and interaction. It relies upon mathematical optimization, statistics, and algorithm design. The talk will be an introduction to machine learning for a mathematical audience. We describe the mathematical formulations of basic types of learning such as supervised, unsupervised, interactive, etc., and the philosophical and scientific issues raised by them.
See also the Crimson article about the talk.
September 12, 2018:

Lecture II
3:30-4:30 PM
in SC Hall D
Lecture II: "Toward Theoretical Understanding of Deep Learning"
Abstract: The empirical success of deep learning drives much of the excitement about machine learning today. This success vastly outstrips our mathematical understanding. This lecture surveys progress in recent years toward developing a theory of deep learning. Works have started addressing issues such as speed of optimization, sample requirements for training, effect of architecture choices, and properties of deep generative models.
See also the Crimson article about the talk.
A reception follows the Tuesday lecture at 5:30 pm in the Math Department common room.

Lars Ahlfors
This is a lecture series in honor of Lars Ahlfors (1907-1996) who was William Caspar Graustein Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University from 1946 to 1977. Ahlfors won the fields medal in 1936 and the Wolf prize in 1981.


Ahlfors Lecture Series, 2009 Ahlfors Lecture Series, 2010 Ahlfors Lecture Series, 2011 Ahlfors Lecture Series, 2012 Ahlfors Lecture Series, 2013 Ahlfors Lecture Series, 2014 Ahlfors Lecture Series, 2015 Ahlfors Lecture Series, 2016 Ahlfors Lecture Series, 2017