Thursday, August 14, 2014

Around the Blogs in 78 Summer Hours

Some news first: Stan Osher received the Gauss Prize ( the other prizes are here but a good write-up is here). Terry has a more in-depth write-up on the Fields medalists. Here are a few blog entries of interest: 

Danny let me know about two Sparse K-means papers on his blog. There is also Interesting paper from Dataiku about WCSD 2014.

Property Testing Review (The latest in property testing and sublinear time algorithms) Eric Blais:


What topics do you need a more than passing familiarity with to do data analysis ? (when I say "do", I don't mean the ability to run and understand standard methods. I mean a level of facility where you understand the underlying principles behind different methods, and are capable of designing new methods yourself: so roughly at the level of a graduating Ph.D student)

At the very least, the list of topics includes:

  • Linear algebra (and a sound understanding of matrices, transformations, projections, eigenspace analysis, matrix decompositions, and the like)
  • Probability (including slightly more advanced notions like conditional probabilities and conditional expectation, mutual information, and entropy, sampling)
  • Basic statistics (estimators, distributions, hypothesis testing, Bayesian analysis)
  • Functional analysis (vector spaces, norms, Hilbert spaces and so on)
  • Optimization (linear to convex, and beyond. Also some understanding of gradient descent and methods beyond to do optimization)
  • Basic algorithm design (design primitives, randomization, approximation)
  • Scalable algorithm design (streaming, distributed, sketching)
  • Limits of computing (a passing familiarity with basic complexity theory, just to know what you can't expect to do)
  • High dimensional geometry (and topology)
  • Core ML (basic tools in learning, some smattering of learning theory)
That's a lot of knowledge !! And much of this is still evolving, and is not always in textbook form or in any way easy to assimilate. What's worse is that different areas might discuss the same topics with completely different vocabulary. 
Yes, it is indeed very much evolving and Nuit Blanche tries to follow that trend, but it is not straightforward!


Here is an offer from theWinnower:

In the meantime, since July's Nuit Blanche in Review, Nuit Blanche featured the following entries:

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute,Full-Res: W00088926.jpg

W00088926.jpg was taken on August 05, 2014 and received on Earth August 07, 2014. The camera was pointing toward SATURN at approximately 1,742,745 miles (2,804,676 kilometers) away, and the image was taken using the CB2 and CL2 filters.

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