Machine Learning (Theory)

10/28/2010

NY ML Symposium 2010

Tags: Machine Learning jl@ 10:05 am

About 200 people attended the 2010 NYAS ML Symposium this year. (It was about 170 last year.) I particularly enjoyed several talks.

  1. Yann has a new live demo of (limited) real-time object recognition learning.
  2. Sanjoy gave a fairly convincing and comprehensible explanation of why a modified form of single-linkage clustering is consistent in higher dimensions, and why consistency is a critical feature for clustering algorithms. I’m curious how well this algorithm works in practice.
  3. Matt Hoffman‘s poster covering online LDA seemed pretty convincing to me as an algorithmic improvement.

This year, we allocated more time towards posters & poster spotlights.

For next year, we are considering some further changes. The format has traditionally been 4 invited Professor speakers, with posters and poster spotlight for students. Demand from other parties to participate is growing, for example from postdocs and startups in the area. Another growing concern is the facility—the location is exceptional, but fitting more people is challenging. Does anyone else have suggestions to improve the event?

New York is a particularly good location for a regional symposium, but it’s quite plausible that other places could have one as well. Looking at Meetup groups for interest, obvious choices are Southern California (San Diego & Los Angeles both have large R meetup groups), Northern California (which has , 2, 3 AI-related Meetup groups), and Sydney, Australia, which has a large datamining meetup group. Relative to meetups, a regional symposium offers a more intense affair with higher participation, and new kinds of participation (for example, via posters). Relative to international conferences, a regional meetup is much easier, and has a high chance of producing future collaborations.

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