September 25, 2008
Workshop: Analyzing Graphs, Theory and Applications
The only time I've ever been to NIPS  was to present the results of my first research project in grad school . It was a fun trip, especially because the NIPS workshops are held at the Whistler ski resort . The NIPS conference is now home to a lot of machine learning research, and this year I'm helping out with a workshop on the methodological side of network analysis. Although I won't be able to actually attend the workshop, I have high hopes for it , as methodological questions are pretty fundamental to our ability to say both interesting and useful things about networks, and their relevance to the many branches of science that now use them. So, get those TeX compilers humming!
December 12, 2008 at NIPS at Whistler Canada
Submission Deadline: Friday, October 31, 2008
Description: Recent research in machine learning and statistics has seen the proliferation of computational methods for analyzing graphs and networks. These methods support progress in many application areas, including the social sciences, biology, medicine, neuroscience, physics, finance, and economics.
This workshop will address statistical, methodological and computational issues that arise when modeling and analyzing graphs. The workshop aims to bring together researchers from applied disciplines such as sociology, economics, medicine and biology with researchers from mathematics, physics, statistics and computer science. Different communities use diverse ideas and mathematical tools; our goal is to foster cross-disciplinary collaborations and intellectual exchange.
We welcome the following types of papers:
- Research papers that introduce new models or apply established models to novel domains,
- Research papers that explore theoretical and computational issues, or
- Position papers that discuss shortcomings and desiderata of current approaches, or propose new directions for future research.
All submissions will be peer-reviewed; exceptional work will be considered for oral presentation. We encourage authors to emphasize the role of learning and its relevance to the application domains at hand. In addition, we hope to identify current successes in the area, and will therefore consider papers that apply previously proposed models to novel domains and data sets.
 NIPS stands for Neural Information Processing Systems, but has become one of the main machine learning conferences.
 Which is still unpublished, not because it's wrong or bad, but because I'm lazy. I like to think that I'm saving it for a "rainy day", but who am I really kidding?
 Of course, on that trip, like a fool, I didn't ski at all. Just presented my results, tromped around in the snow, ate some good food, and did almost all the work for a new paper on the bus and plane back to New Mexico.
 This is partly because I'm friends with many of the organizers, who care about many of the same things I do in terms of methodological accuracy.
September 11, 2008
We're still here
Despite some mildly ridiculous fears that science (in the form of the Large Hadron Collider at  CERN in Gevena Switzerland) would cause the world would end yesterday we're still here. Whew. It must have been God's Will. To celebrate, here's a mildly ridiculous rap song about the LHC experiment (which, quite pleasantly, gets the physics right).
(Tip to Tanya for the video.)
Update 12 September 2008: The New York Times has run a well written piece by Brian Greene on the LHC and it's significance.
 For more information about what CERN is, check out this 3 minute video on YouTube about it.
September 09, 2008
Workshop: Flows and Networks in Complex Media
For folks interested in flows of stuff on networks (e.g., traffic flows like cars or internet packets), this sounds like a great workshop. I don't recognize many names on the list, but the two I do (Dirk Helbing and Sid Redner) are excellent.
April 27 - May 1, 2009 at IPAM on UCLA's campus (Los Angeles, USA)
Organizers: M. C. Carvalho (GA Tech), Karl Kempf (Intel), Stephan Mischler (U, Paris IX), Benedetto Piccoli (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche) and Christian Ringhofer (AZ State).
Description: This workshop will be directed towards particle flows in complex topologies, either given in the form of networks and graphs, or in the form of random or quasi - periodic media. The aim of the workshop will be to bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers in different areas such as traffic flow simulation, supply chain management and physical flows in random media. These areas share a number of common challenges and require therefore the usage of similar mathematical toolboxes. These challenges include the incorporation of the stochasticity of the flow and the topology into averaged macroscopic models via appropriate homogenization methods, the existence of intermediate regimes, consisting only of a limited number of cars, clients or particles, and the resulting need to develop hybrid modeling tools linking particle and discrete event simulation models to macroscopic fluid equations.