ITS @ CUNY

Calendar

Swarm intelligence: From insects to humans
Feb
28
6:30 PM18:30

Swarm intelligence: From insects to humans

  • The Skylight Room (Rm 9100) The Graduate Center, CUNY (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Guy Theraulaz, University of Toulouse and CNRS

Sometimes the whole really is more than the sum of its parts. As humans, we organize ourselves into groups that accomplish more than any of us could alone, and so do many other animals. Professor Theraulaz will give us a guided tour of his influential work on these remarkable phenomena, from the construction of nests by ants and wasps, to the schooling of fish and the behavior of human crowds.

This is part of the City of Science series. For more information please visit the CUNY Graduate Center Office of Public Programs: https://www.gc.cuny.edu/All-GC-Events/GC-Presents. Register here.

This event is also part of the Network dynamics in society, culture, and politics series at the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences. Download the full series PDF here.

Additional co-sponsorship provided by the CUNY doctoral programs in Physics and Biology. 

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Engagement  & Estrangement
Mar
1
9:00 AM09:00

Engagement & Estrangement

  • The Science Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY (Rm 4102) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Network dynamics in society, culture, and politics: Engagement and Estrangement

This symposium, the second in a series of three this semester, focuses on the evolution of collective intelligence and cooperation in human society. We will examine how behavior spreads in social networks, how network stability can be maintained, and about how cooperation may evolve.
Friday 1 March 2019

9:30am: Coffee & Bagels

10am: How behavior spreads
Damon Centola, University of Pennsylvania

11:30am: Network influencers: Understanding information flow and stability in networks
Hernan Makse, CCNY and The Graduate Center, CUNY

1pm: Lunch

2pm: The evolution of cooperation in social systems
David Melamed, Ohio State University

3:30pm: Coffee

4pm: Crowd wisdom enhanced by costly signaling in a virtual rating system
Ofer Tchernichovski, Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY

Register here.
Download the event PDF here.

Sponsored by the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, and by the CUNY doctoral programs in Physics and Biology. For more information please visit https://itsatcuny.org

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Exploring large populations of neurons
Mar
15
9:30 AM09:30

Exploring large populations of neurons

  • The Graduate Center, CUNY (The Science Center, Rm 4102) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Physics and biology intersect on many scales, from the internal motions of single molecules to the collective motions of animal groups, and from the sub-picosecond dynamics of the initial events in photosynthesis to the multigenerational dynamics of evolutionary change. In these three symposia we highlight recent progress, and current challenges, in the search for a physicists’ understanding of living systems. Lectures include ample time for interruptions and discussion, hopefully bringing both novices and experts to the frontier of the subject.

Measuring and understanding the brain’s model of the external world
Loren Frank, University of California at San Francisco and HHMI

The intrinsic neuronal dynamics of a canonical cognitive circuit
Ila Fiete, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Between chaos and functionality in the dynamics of large networks
Fred Wolf, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization

RG-inspired approaches to the analysis of real neural networks
William Bialek, Princeton University and The CUNY Graduate Center

Events begin at 9:30 AM with coffee and bagels, and conclude a bit after 6 PM.
Lunch will be served. For more information see https://biophysics.princeton.edu.

Download Full Series PDF here.
Register here.

Sponsored by the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, and by the CUNY doctoral programs in Physics and Biology. Supported in part by the Center for the Physics of Biological Function, a joint effort of The Graduate Center and Princeton University.

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Networks: From biology to society
Apr
4
6:30 PM18:30

Networks: From biology to society

  • The Skylight Room (Rm 9100) The Graduate Center, CUNY (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Lev Guzman-Vargas, Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Mexico

Larry Liebovitch, Queens College and The Graduate Center

Dana Weinberg, Queens College and The Graduate Center

Networks have been used to describe interactions at different levels of organization: between molecules in biological systems, between people in social systems, and even between parts of the brain that form an individual’s personality. Do the same rules apply at these different levels of organization? What can we learn from one level that helps us better understand other levels of organization? Professor Liebovitch will lead a panel discussion of these exciting questions with colleagues from different disciplines.

This is part of the City of Science series. See the CUNY Graduate Center Office of Public Programs for more information: https://www.gc.cuny.edu/All-GC-Events/GC-Presents. Register here.

This event is also part of the Network dynamics in society, culture, and politics series at the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences. Download the full series PDF here.

Additional co-sponsorship provided by the CUNY doctoral programs in Physics and Biology. 

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Balance and Conflict
Apr
5
to Apr 10

Balance and Conflict

  • The Science Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY (Rm 4102) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Network dynamics in society, culture, and politics: Balance and Conflict

This symposium, the third in a series of three this semester, explores the convergence among data sciences, network dynamics, and social sciences in conflict and communication. We discuss both basic science and practical challenges, including real-world empirical studies, across a wide range of examples.


Friday 5 April 2019

Lectures include:

Network-based dynamic modeling of biological systems: Toward understanding and control
Reka Albert, Pennsylvania State University

Where do new ideas come from, and what do we do when we get them?
Simon DeDeo, Carnegie Mellon University and Santa FenInstitute

Factors in sustainable peace: Dynamical models and data science
Larry Liebovitch, Queens Collega and The Graduate Center, CUNY

Tribal networks and diffusion of news on social media
Soroush Vosoughi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Register here.
Download the event PDF here.

Sponsored by the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, and by the CUNY doctoral programs in Physics and Biology. For more information please visit https://itsatcuny.org

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The problem of ecological diversity
Apr
12
9:30 AM09:30

The problem of ecological diversity

  • The Graduate Center, CUNY (The Skylight Room, Rm 9100) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Physics and biology intersect on many scales, from the internal motions of single molecules to the collective motions of animal groups, and from the sub-picosecond dynamics of the initial events in photosynthesis to the multigenerational dynamics of evolutionary change. In these three symposia we highlight recent progress, and current challenges, in the search for a physicists’ understanding of living systems. Lectures include ample time for interruptions and discussion, hopefully bringing both novices and experts to the frontier of the subject.

A bottom-up approach to microbial community assembly
Jeff Gore, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The origin of chaos in large interacting ecosystems
Giulio Biroli, École Normale Supérieure

Collective behaviors in large interactive ecosystems: A phase diagram
Chiara Cammarota, King’s College London

Microbial diversity and spatio-temporal chaos
Daniel Fisher, Stanford University

Events begin at 9:30 AM with coffee and bagels, and conclude a bit after 6 PM.
Lunch will be served. For more information see https://biophysics.princeton.edu.

Download Full Series PDF here.
Register here.

Sponsored by the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, and by the CUNY doctoral programs in Physics and Biology. Supported in part by the Center for the Physics of Biological Function, a joint effort of The Graduate Center and Princeton University.

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Dynamics & information in transcriptional control
May
3
9:30 AM09:30

Dynamics & information in transcriptional control

  • The Graduate Center, CUNY (The Science Center, Rm 4102) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Physics and biology intersect on many scales, from the internal motions of single molecules to the collective motions of animal groups, and from the sub-picosecond dynamics of the initial events in photosynthesis to the multigenerational dynamics of evolutionary change. In these three symposia we highlight recent progress, and current challenges, in the search for a physicists’ understanding of living systems. Lectures include ample time for interruptions and discussion, hopefully bringing both novices and experts to the frontier of the subject.

Transcription factors, chromosome topology, and transcription control
Jie Xiao, Johns Hopkins University

The role of phase separation in regulation of gene transcription in eukaryotes
Arup Chakraborty, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

DNA polymer physics and transcription dynamics in the developing fly embryo
Thomas Gregor, Princeton University and Institut Pasteur

Towards a derivation of the Drosophila gap gene network from optimization principles
Gasper Tkacik, IST Austria

Events begin at 9:30 AM with coffee and bagels, and conclude a bit after 6 PM.
Lunch will be served. For more information see https://biophysics.princeton.edu.

Download Full Series PDF here.
Register here.

Sponsored by the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, and by the CUNY doctoral programs in Physics and Biology. Supported in part by the Center for the Physics of Biological Function, a joint effort of The Graduate Center and Princeton University.

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Many Body Quantum Dynamics: Perspectives From Field Theory and Gravity
May
9
9:00 AM09:00

Many Body Quantum Dynamics: Perspectives From Field Theory and Gravity

  • Elebash Hall (1st Floor), The Graduate Center, CUNY (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Thursday 9 May 2019

Speakers Include:

Hong Liu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Igor Kiebanov, Princeton University
Steve Shenker, Stanford University

Register here.
Download event PDF here.


Sponsored by the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences & the CUNY doctoral program in Physics. Organized by Sebastian Franco (CCNY) and Vadim Oganesyan (CSI).

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Feb
15
11:00 AM11:00

Complexity of Linear Regions in Deep Networks

  • Room 5209, The Graduate Center, CUNY (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

F Feb 15 11am Room 5209

Boris Hanin, Texas A&M University
Organizers: Sarang Gopalakrishnan & Tankut Can

More info:
Boris Hanin is a mathematician work on deep learning and mathematical physics. Before joining the faculty in the Math Department at Texas A&M in 2017, he was an NSF Postdoc in Math at MIT. He is currently a Visiting Scientist at Facebook AI Research in NYC.

“I will present several new results, joint with David Rolnick, about the number of linear regions and the sizes of the boundaries of linear regions in a network N with piecewise linear activations and random weights/biases.

I will discuss a new formula for the average complexity of linear regions that holds even for highly correlated weights and biases, and hence is valid throughout training. It shows, for example, that at initialization, the number of regions along any 1D line grows like the number of neurons in N. In particular, perhaps surprisingly, it is this number is not exponential in the depth of the network. 

I will explain the analog of this result for higher input dimension and will report on a number of experiments, which demonstrate empirically that our precise theorems at initialization can be expected to hold qualitatively throughout training.”

Click here for full series printable PDF.

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Network dynamics in society, culture, and politics: Crowds and cooperation
Feb
1
9:30 AM09:30

Network dynamics in society, culture, and politics: Crowds and cooperation

  • The Science Center (Rm 4120) at the CUNY Graduate Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This symposium, the first in a series of three this semester, explores the convergence among data sciences, network dynamics, and social sciences in studying the evolution of cooperation and segregation. We discuss both basic science and practical challenges, including real-world empirical studies, across a wide range of examples.

9:30 AM Coffee and bagels

10:00 AM Data science at The New York Times
Chris Wiggins, Columbia University and The New York Times

11:30 AM Coffee

12:00 PM Fashion dynamics: Cycles, shocks, and politics
Stefano Ghirlanda, Brooklyn College & The Graduate Center; Stockholm University

1:30 PM Lunch

2:30 PM Agency and structure in the genesis of network segregation
Kevin Lewis, University of California at San Diego

4:00 PM Coffee

4:30 PM Cooperation in complex societies: How do inter-ethnic relationships affect pro-social behavior?
Delia Baldassarri, New York University

Register here.
Download the event PDF here.

Sponsored by the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, and by the CUNY doctoral programs in Physics and Biology. 

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Cooperation in the (very) long run
Jan
31
6:30 PM18:30

Cooperation in the (very) long run

  • The Segal Theatre (1st Floor) at The CUNY Graduate Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Duncan Watts, Microsoft Research

Duncan Watts studies the role that social network structure plays in determining system behavior. His work focuses on broad problem areas in social science such as information contagion and organizational design. He studies mechanisms of cooperation and popularity dynamics in on-line communities.

This event is part of the Network dynamics in society, culture, and politics series at the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences. Download the full series PDF here.
Register here.

Sponsored by the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences and by the CUNY doctoral programs in Physics and Biology.

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Dec
14
9:30 AM09:30

Exploring sequence space

  • The Science Center (Rm 4102), The Graduate Center, CUNY (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

F Dec 14 9:30am-6:15pm in the Science Center (Rm 4102)
Events begin at 9:30 AM with coffee and bagels, and conclude a bit after 6 PM. Lunch will be served.
Register here: https://goo.gl/forms/WOaSDEb0aOcX7MFK2.

Sequence diversity in the adaptive immune system
Curtis Callan, Princeton University

Deep learning and proteins
Lucy Colwell, Cambridge University

Learning protein constitutive motifs from sequence data
Remi Monasson, École Normale Supérieure

The evolutionary “design” of proteins
Rama Ranganathan, The University of Chicago

Full series PDF here.

Sponsored by the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, and by the CUNY doctoral programs in Physics and Biology. Supported in part by the Center for the Physics of Biological Function, a joint effort of The Graduate Center and Princeton University. For more information see https://biophysics.princeton.edu.

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Nov
16
9:30 AM09:30

Seeing beyond V1

  • Skylight Room (Rm 9100), The Graduate Center, CUNY (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

F Nov 16 9:30am-6:15pm in the Skylight Room (Rm 9100)
Events begin at 9:30 AM with coffee and bagels, and conclude a bit after 6 PM. Lunch will be served.
Register here: https://goo.gl/forms/NMpuJjxwY81g8ETE2

Neural mechanisms for seeing without V1
Tony Ro, The Graduate Center, CUNY

How the brain signals memories of what we’ve seen
Nicole Rust, University of Pennsylvania

How high-order image statistics shape cortical visual processing
Jonathan Victor, Weill Cornell School of Medicine

Using goal-driven deep neural networks to understand the visual pathway
Daniel Yamins, Stanford University

Full series PDF here.

Sponsored by the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, and by the CUNY doctoral programs in Physics and Biology. Supported in part by the Center for the Physics of Biological Function, a joint effort of The Graduate Center and Princeton University. For more information see https://biophysics.princeton.edu.

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Nov
13
to Nov 15

Machine Learning and Statistical Physics

  • The Science Center (Rm 4102) at The Graduate Center, CUNY (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The recent surge of activity at the interface of statistical physics and machine learning has brought novel tools and ideas to both fields. Some examples include the information bottleneck appearing as a fundamental lens through which to view neural networks, the renormalization group as a conceptual basis for understanding deep learning, and the identification of phases of matter using methods of machine learning. This workshop brings together a number of researchers taking a statistical physics approach to machine learning with the intention of using insights from physics to understand learning systems.

For more info and to register, visit the event site here.
Download full schedule pdf here..

Tuesday, November 13th
9:00am - Coffee & Bagels
9:30am - A Universal Jeffreys Prior - Jordan Cotler
10:00am - Machine learning for many-body quantum physics - Guiseppe Carleo
10:30am - Break
11:00am - Layer-wise greedy optimization with an eye for RG - Zohar Ringel
11:30am - Neuroscience-based machine learning - Dmitri Chklovskii
12:00pm - Lunch
2:00pm - Density estimation using field theory - Justin Kinney
2:30pm - Discrete priors on simplified models optimize channel capacity from noisy experiments - Benjamin Machta
3:00pm - Break
3:30pm - Learning Quantum Emergence with AI - Eun-Ah Kim
4:00pm - Monte Carlo Study of Small Feedforward Neural Networks - Ariana Mann

Wednesday, November 14th
9:00am - Coffee & Bagels
9:30am - Manifold Tiling with an Unsupervised Neural Net - Anirvan Sengupta
10:00am - Reinforcement Learning to Prepare Quantum States Away from Equilibrium - Marin Bukov
10:30am - Break
11:00am - Quantum control landscapes and the limits of learning - Dries Sels
11:30am - Alex Alemi
12:00pm - Lunch
2:00pm - Entropy & mutual information in models of deep neural networks - Marylou Gabrié
2:30pm - Sloppy models, Differential geometry, and How Science Works - Jim Sethna
3:00pm - Break
3:30pm - Visualizing Probabilities: Intensive Principal Component Analysis - Katherine Quinn
4:00pm - Just do the best you can: statistical physics approaches to reinforcement learning Chris Wiggins
4:30pm - Break
5:00pm - Panel Discussion

Thursday, November 15th
9:00am - Coffee & Bagels
9:30am - Which ReLU Net Architectures Give Rise to Exploding and Vanishing Gradients? - Boris Hanin
10:00am - Neural networks as interacting particle systems - Grant Rotskoff
10:30am - Break
11:00am - SGD Implicitly Regularizes Generalization Error - Dan Roberts
11:30am - Expressiveness in Deep Learning via Tensor Networks and Quantum Entanglement - Nadav Cohen
12:00pm - Normalizing Flows and Canonical Transformations - Austen Lamacraft
12:30pm - Lunch
2:00pm - Discussion

Sponsored by Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter (ICAM) https://www.icam-i2cam.org/ and the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences.

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Nov
12
to Nov 13

Quantum and Classical Light-Matter Interactions

  • The Graduate Center, CUNY, Rm 9204 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

M Nov. 12 & T Nov. 13 (Rm 9204)

The interaction of light and matter has played a pivotal role since the early days of quantum mechanics. Experimental advances together with theoretical simulations in the past decade have led to the control of the dynamics of molecules, even at the attosecond time-scale, and in turn, using matter to generate light pulses with desired features. Strong light-matter coupling can be achieved by confining the system to a cavity, where even the vacuum field can modify molecular properties. The burgeoning field of “polaritonic chemistry” requires a full accounting of the correlated dynamics of electrons, nuclei, and photons. Experts will discuss state-of-the-art developments in fundamentals and applications of both quantum and classical light-matter interactions.

Register here.
Download full schedule pdf here.

MONDAY NOVEMBER 12

9:00-9:30 Coffee and bagels

9:30-10:45 How photons change the properties of matter: QEDFT a first principles framework for modeling light-matter interactions
Angel Rubio, MPI-Hamburg and the Simons Institute, NY

11:00-12:15 Ab initio descriptions of non-perturbative light-matter interactions
Prineha Narang, Harvard University

12:15-1:30 Lunch

1:30-2:45 Strong light-matter interaction in low-dimensional systems
Vinod Menon, City College, CUNY

3:00-4:15 The emergent photochemistry & photophysics of molecular polaritons
Joel Yuen-Zhou, University of California, San Diego

4:30-5:45 Understanding light-matter interactions with quantum-classical intuition: Lessons from Nonadiabatic Dynamics
Joseph Subotnik, U. Penn

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 13

9:00-9:30 Coffee and bagels

9:30-10:45 Circularly polarized attosecond pulse generation and applications to ultrafast magnetism
Andre Bandrauk, U. Sherbrooke, Canada

11:00-12:15 Expanded Theory of Molecular J- and H-aggregates
Frank Spano, Temple University

12:15-1:30 Lunch

1:30-2:45 Time resolved spectroscopy of molecular dynamics: Comparing different approaches
Thomas Weinacht, SUNY Stonybrook University

3:00-4:15 Superradiant quantum materials in QED cavities
Antoine Georges, the Simons Institute, NY

4:30-5:00 Closing Remarks

Sponsored by the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, and by the CUNY doctoral programs in Chemistry and Physics. Please email nmaitra@hunter.cuny.edu with any questions.

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Oct
26
9:00 AM09:00

Entanglement, Chaos, and Complexity in Field Theory and Gravity

  • Elebash Hall, The Graduate Center, CUNY (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

F Oct 26 9am-6pm in Elebash Hall

Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the role of quantum information in physical theories. Tools from quantum information such as complexity and entanglement are being used to understand and even formulate the behavior of quantum field theories and quantum gravity. Conversely these physical theories provide new settings where concepts from quantum information can be calculated and understood. This workshop will be devoted to recent developments in this area. Topics to be covered include:

Entanglement entropy in quantum field theory
Holography and entanglement entropy
Toy models of holography
Quantum chaos
Complexity

Friday 26 October 2018
9:30 AM Coffee and bagels

10:00 AM Title TBA
Robert Myers, Perimeter Institute

11:30 AM Coffee


12:00 PM dS/dS, T-Tbar and EE
Eva Silverstein, Stanford University

1:30 PM Lunch

3:00 PM Open Strings at the Rindler Horizon
Edward Witten, Institute for Advanced Study

4:30 PM Coffee

5:00 PM Universal scrambling dynamics and quantum gravity
Brian Swingle, University of Maryland

Download event pdf here.

Sponsored by the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, and by the CUNY doctoral program in Physics. Organized by Vijay Balasubramanian, Sebastian Franco (CCNY),
and Daniel Kabat (Lehman College)

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Oct
15
1:00 PM13:00

PT-symmetric quantum field theory with Carl Bender

  • The Graduate Center, CUNY (Rm 5209) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

1-3pm in Rm 5209

PT-symmetric quantum mechanics began with a study of the Hamiltonian $$H=p^2+x^2(ix)^\epsilon.$$ A surprising feature of this non-Hermitian Hamiltonian is that its eigenvalues are discrete, real, and positive when $\epsilon\geq0$. This talk examines the corresponding quantum-field-theoretic Hamiltonian $$H=\half(\nabla\phi)^2+\half\phi^2(i\phi)^\epsilon$$
in D-dimensional spacetime, where $\phi$ is a pseudoscalar field. It is shown how to calculate the Green's functions as series in powers of $\epsilon$ directly from the Euclidean partition function. Exact finite expressions for the vacuum energy density, all of the connected n-point Green's functions, and the renormalized mass to order $\epsilon$ are derived for $0\leq D<2$. For $D\geq2$ the one-point Green's function and the renormalized mass are divergent but perturbative renormalization can be performed. The remarkable spectral properties of PT-symmetric quantum mechanics appear to persist in PT-symmetric quantum field theory.

Download event flier here.

 Co-sponsored by Physics Ph.D. program and Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences at the Graduate Center of CUNY 

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Oct
12
9:30 AM09:30

Evolutionary dynamics and influenza

  • The Science Center (Rm 4102), The Graduate Center, CUNY (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

F Oct 12 9:30am-6:15pm in the Science Center (Rm 4102)
Register
here. Download full schedule here.

9:30am Coffee & Bagels

10:30am What the 1918 flu taught us about adaptation to self
Benjamin Greenbaum,  Mount Sinai School of Medicine

11:30am Coffee

12:00pm Minimal fitness models for evolutionary predictions
Marta Łuksza, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

1:30pm Lunch

2:30pm Universality in rapidly adapting populations
Richard Neher, University of Basel

4:00pm Coffee

4:30pm Learning influenza infection dynamics from genetic data
Daniel Weissman, Emory University

Full series PDF here.

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Oct
11
6:30 PM18:30

The Spanish flu, one hundred years on: Lessons for science and society

  • Martin E. Segal Theatre, The Graduate Center, CUNY (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Th Oct 11 6:30pm in the Martin E Segal Theatre
Free and open to the public
Register
HERE

The 1918 flu pandemic killed up to five per cent of the world’s population, making it one of the deadliest events in human history. On this centennial, we look at what made it so deadly, how society responded to this unprecedented emergency, and at the evolution of the flu virus itself.

Laura Spinney and Benjamin Greenbaum

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Sep
21
9:00 AM09:00

Machine learning in the molecular sciences

  • The Science Center (Rm 4102), The Graduate Center, CUNY (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

F Sept. 21 9am-6pm in the Science Center (Rm 4102)
Register
here.

Machine learning (ML) and data-driven computational approaches have recently emerged as promising new tools to tackle complex optimization and computational problems. This workshop offers exciting new developments in applying such approaches to address challenging theoretical and computational issues in molecular sciences. Experts in quantum calculations, dynamics, molecular reactions, and materials design will share unique ideas and challenges.

Download PDF full schedule here.

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Sep
12
to Sep 14

Bits and Biology

  • The Science Center (Rm 4102), The Graduate Center, CUNY (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

W Sept. 12 - F Sept. 14, in the Science Center (Rm 4102)

Much of the business of life is about the transmission and processing of information, but it is less clear what the full mathematical structure of information theory teaches us about the mechanisms at work in living systems. We use the 70th anniversary of Shannon’s foundational papers as an opportunity to address this question, across all scales from the folding of individual protein molecules to the dynamics of learning. We will explore the amount of information that is conveyed in these different processes, and the nature of its representation, using information theory as a tool for the characterization of biological systems. More deeply, we will explore examples where optimization of information transmission has been used as a principle from which aspects of biological function can be derived. Presentations will start with pedagogical background, and there will be ample opportunity for discussion.

Download full schedule here.

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