Speaker: Ingrid Daubechies (Duke)
When: Thursday, April 27 at 4pm
Where: William E. Kirwan Hall Room 3206
Abstract: Mathematics for Art Investigation: Mathematical tools for image analysis increasingly play a role in helping art historians and art conservators assess the state of conversation of paintings, and probe into the secrets of their history. the talk will review several case studies, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Van Eyck among others.
Ingrid Daubechies earned her Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Vrije Universiteit Brussel. In addition to seminal advances in time-frequency analysis, she is best known for her breakthroughs in wavelet research and contributions to digital signal processing. Some of the wavelet bases and other computational techniques she developed were incorporated into the JPEG2000 standard for image compression.
Ingrid's career has seen many impressive firsts: the first female full professor of mathematics at Princeton; the first woman the National Academy of Sciences Award in Mathematics in 2000; the first woman president of the International Mathematics Union in 2010; and she is very likely the first and only mathematician to have been granted the title of Baroness by Belgium's King albert II.
Ingrid continues to break new ground in mathematics research, focusing on signal analysis and inverse problems, with applications ranging from fMRI and geophysics to paleontology and fine art painting.
Speaker: Dr. Tomaso Poggio (MIT)
When: Thursday, April 28 at 4pm
Where: John S. Toll Physics Building Room 1412
Abstract: The birth of artificial-intelligence research as an autonomous discipline is generally thought to have been the month long Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence in 1956, which convened 10 leading electrical engineers — including MIT’s Marvin Minsky and Claude Shannon — to discuss “how to make machines use language” and “form abstractions and concepts.” A decade later, impressed by rapid advances in the design of digital computers, Minsky was emboldened to declare that “within a generation ... the problem of creating ‘artificial intelligence’ will substantially be solved.”
The problem, of course, turned out to be much more difficult than AI’s pioneers had imagined. In recent years, by exploiting machine learning — in which computers learn to perform tasks from sets of training examples — artificial-intelligence researchers have built special-purpose systems that can do things like interpret spoken language or play professional-level Go games or drive cars using vision. Some of the present excitement is due to realistic expectations for further progress.
There is also a substantial amount of hype. However, systems that are intelligent in narrow domains are being developed.
I will briefly review today’s engineering of intelligence and some of the mathematics underlying it, the mathematics of learning from data. I will also sketch the vision of the MIT Center for Brains, Minds and Machines which strives to make progress on the science of intelligence.
The Inaugural William E. Kirwan Distinguished Undergraduate Lecture
Feuerbach’s Theorem: A Beautiful Theorem Deserves a Beautiful Proof" by Professor Douglas Hofstadter* on April 23rd, 2015 4:00-5:00pm in Physics 1412.
Douglas Hofstadter is a College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science at Indiana University, Director of the Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition, and the author of the Pulitzer Prizewinning book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid.
We would like to draw your attention to several exciting conferences coming up in the Mathematics Department:
We would like to congratulate the University Maryland team on their excellent performance on this year's William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, the premier undergraduate math competition. The Maryland team consisted of sophomore Aaron George and freshmen Erik Metz and Jason Zou, and placed 14th (among all universities and colleges in the United States and Canada) in the team competition. All 3 team members ranked in the top 200 in the individual competition (out of over 2000 participants), and Erik Metz received Honorable Mention.
Congratulations to Liliana Gonzalez for winning the CMNS Dean’s Outstanding Employee Award and to Professor Niranjan Ramachandran for winning the CMNS Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. These awards will be presented at the annual CMNS Academic Festival on Friday, May 5.
Congratulations also to Rachel Katz and Bill Schildknecht, winners of this year’s departmental staff awards. The awards will be presented at an upcoming staff appreciation ceremony.
We are delighted to announce that faculty members Jacob Bedrossian, Maria Cameron, Amin Gholampour, and Christian Zickert have been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure, effective the summer of 2017. Congratulations to all four of you!
In addition, we have hired two new assistant professors, also effective the summer of 2017. One of them is Tamas Darvas, who has already been here for a while as a research associate. The other is Lise-Marie Imbert-Gérard, currently at the Courant Institute at NYU. We welcome both of you to our faculty.
Department Chair Scott Wolpert will be receiving this year's Kirwan Undergraduate Education Award at the Faculty-Staff Convocation on September 14th at 3PM in Memorial Chapel. This is for his work with small-group calculus (ACCEL), for being PI on a large NSF undergraduate scholarship grant, for reorganizing the campus design-your-major program (Individual Studies), cofounding the now Federal Fellows program and for serving on the “four year plans” committee (Student Academic Success Degree Completion Policy). Scott reports that “I have totally enjoyed working with many folks around the campus.”