Seminars and Colloquia by Series

Friday, April 6, 2018 - 15:00 , Location: Skiles Room 202 , Günter Stolz , University of Alabama, Birmingham , Organizer: Michael Loss
Localization properties of quantum many-body systems have been a very active subject in theoretical physics in the most recent decade. At the same time, finding rigorous approaches to understanding many-body localization remains a wide open challenge. We will report on some recent progress obtained for the case of quantum spin chains, where joint work with A. Elgart and A. Klein has provided a proof of several manifestations of MBL for the droplet spectrum of the disordered XXZ chain.
Friday, April 6, 2018 - 13:05 , Location: Skiles 005 , Uthaipon (Tao) Tantipongpipat , Georgia Tech , , Organizer: He Guo
We study the $A$-optimal design problem where we are given vectors $v_1,\ldots, v_n\in \R^d$, an integer $k\geq d$, and the goal is to select a set $S$ of $k$ vectors that minimizes the trace of $\left(\sum_{i\in  S} v_i v_i^{\top}\right)^{-1}$. Traditionally, the problem is an instance of optimal design of experiments in statistics (\cite{pukelsheim2006optimal}) where each vector corresponds to a linear measurement of an unknown vector and the goal is to pick $k$ of them that minimize the average variance of the error in the maximum likelihood estimate of the vector being measured. The problem also finds applications in sensor placement in wireless networks~(\cite{joshi2009sensor}), sparse least squares regression~(\cite{BoutsidisDM11}), feature selection for $k$-means clustering~(\cite{boutsidis2013deterministic}), and matrix approximation~(\cite{de2007subset,de2011note,avron2013faster}). In this paper, we introduce \emph{proportional volume sampling} to obtain improved approximation algorithms for $A$-optimal design.Given a matrix, proportional volume sampling involves picking a set of columns $S$ of size $k$ with probability proportional to $\mu(S)$ times $\det(\sum_{i \in S}v_i v_i^\top)$ for some measure $\mu$. Our main result is to show the approximability of the $A$-optimal design problem can be reduced to \emph{approximate} independence properties of the measure $\mu$. We appeal to hard-core distributions as candidate distributions $\mu$ that allow us to obtain improved approximation algorithms for the $A$-optimal design. Our results include a $d$-approximation when $k=d$, an $(1+\epsilon)$-approximation when $k=\Omega\left(\frac{d}{\epsilon}+\frac{1}{\epsilon^2}\log\frac{1}{\epsilon}\right)$ and $\frac{k}{k-d+1}$-approximation when repetitions of vectors are allowed in the solution. We also consider generalization of the problem for $k\leq d$ and obtain a $k$-approximation. The last result also implies a restricted invertibility principle for the harmonic mean of singular values.We also show that the $A$-optimal design problem is$\NP$-hard to approximate within a fixed constant when $k=d$.
Friday, April 6, 2018 - 11:00 , Location: Skiles 006 , Hai Long Dao , University of Kansas , Organizer: Greg Blekherman
The nerve complex of an open covering is a well-studied notion. Motivated by the so-called Lyubeznik complex in local algebra, and other sources, a notion of higher nerves of a collection of subspaces can be defined. The definition becomes particularly transparent over a simplicial complex. These higher nerves can be used to compute depth, and the h-vector of the original complex, among other things. If time permits, I will discuss new questions arises from  these notions in commutative algebra, in particular a recent example of Varbaro on connectivity of hyperplane sections of a variety. This is joint work with J. Doolittle, K. Duna, B. Goeckner, B. Holmes and J. Lyle.
Friday, April 6, 2018 - 10:00 , Location: Skiles 006 , Jaewoo Jung , Georgia Tech , , Organizer: Kisun Lee
H. Dao, C. Huneke, and J. Schweig provided a bound of the regularity of edge-ideals in their paper “Bounds on the regularity and projective dimension of ideals associated to graphs”. In this talk, we introduced their result briefly and talk about a bound of the regularity of Stanley-Reisner ideals using similar approach.
Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 15:05 , Location: Skiles 006 , Philippe Rigollet , MIT , Organizer: Mayya Zhilova
How should one estimate a signal, given only access to noisy versions of the signal corrupted by unknown cyclic shifts? This simple problem has surprisingly broad applications, in fields from aircraft radar imaging to structural biology with the ultimate goal of understanding the sample complexity of Cryo-EM. We describe how this model can be viewed as a multivariate Gaussian mixture model whose centers belong to an orbit of a group of orthogonal transformations. This enables us to derive matching lower and upper bounds for the optimal rate of statistical estimation for the underlying signal. These bounds show a striking dependence on the signal-to-noise ratio of the problem. We also show how a tensor based method of moments can solve the problem efficiently. Based on joint work with Afonso Bandeira (NYU), Amelia Perry (MIT), Amit Singer (Princeton) and Jonathan Weed (MIT).
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 14:00 , Location: Skiles 006 , Hongyi Zhou (Hugo) , GaTech , Organizer: Anubhav Mukherjee
Exotic sphere is a smooth manifold that is homeomorphic to, but not diffeomorphic to standard sphere. The simplest known example occurs in 7-dimension. I will recapitulate Milnor’s construction of exotic 7-sphere, by first constructing a candidate bundle M_{h,l}, then show that this manifold is a topological sphere with h+l=-1. There is an 8-dimensional bundle with M_{h,l} its boundary and if we glue an 8-disc to it to obtain a manifold without boundary, it should possess a natural differential structure. Failure to do so indicates that M_{h,l} cannot be mapped diffeomorphically to 7-sphere. Main tools used are Morse theory and characteristic classes.  
Monday, April 2, 2018 - 14:00 , Location: Skiles 006 , Linh Truong , Columbia University , Organizer: Jennifer Hom
Heegaard Floer homology has proven to be a useful tool in the study of knot concordance. Ozsvath and Szabo first constructed the tau invariant using the hat version of Heegaard Floer homology and showed it provides a lower bound on the slice genus. Later, Hom and Wu constructed a concordance invariant using the plus version of Heegaard Floer homology; this provides an even better lower-bound on the slice genus. In this talk, I discuss a sequence of concordance invariants that are derived from the truncated version of Heegaard Floer homology. These truncated Floer concordance invariants generalize the Ozsvath-Szabo and Hom-Wu invariants. 
Monday, April 2, 2018 - 13:55 , Location: Skiles 005 , Tuo Zhao , Georgia Institute of Technology , Organizer: Wenjing Liao
Nonconvex optimization naturally arises in many machine learning problems. Machine learning researchers exploit various nonconvex formulations to gain modeling flexibility, estimation robustness, adaptivity, and computational scalability. Although classical computational complexity theory has shown that solving nonconvex optimization is generally NP-hard in the worst case, practitioners have proposed numerous heuristic optimization algorithms, which achieve outstanding empirical performance in real-world applications.To bridge this gap between practice and theory, we propose a new generation of model-based optimization algorithms and theory, which incorporate the statistical thinking into modern optimization. Specifically, when designing practical computational algorithms, we take the underlying statistical models into consideration. Our novel algorithms exploit hidden geometric structures behind many nonconvex optimization problems, and can obtain global optima with the desired statistics properties in polynomial time with high probability.
Monday, April 2, 2018 - 11:15 , Location: skiles 005 , Manfred Heinz Denker , Penn State University , Organizer: Livia Corsi
Consider a $T$-preserving probability measure $m$ on a  dynamical system $T:X\to X$. The occupation time of a measurable function is the sequence $\ell_n(A,x)$   ($A\subset \mathbb R, x\in X$) defined as the number of $j\le n$ for which the partial sums $S_jf(x)\in A$.  The talk will discuss conditions which ensure that this sequence, properly normed, converges weakly to some limit distribution. It turns out that this distribution is Mittag-Leffler and in particular the result covers the case when $f\circ T^j$ is a fractal Gaussian noise of Hurst parameter $>3/4$.
Friday, March 30, 2018 - 15:00 , Location: Skiles 202 , Rui Han , IAS , Organizer: Michael Loss