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The Gene Brice Colloquium Series

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The 2016 Gene Brice Colloquium
"On Computational Thinking, Inferential Thinking and Data Science"
Speaker: Dr. Michael Jordan, University of California, Berkeley
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 
4:00 - 5:00 PM 
Reception to follow talk 
The rapid growth in the size and scope of datasets in science and technology has created a need for novel foundational perspectives on data analysis that blend the inferential and computational sciences. That classical perspectives from these fields are not adequate to address emerging problems in "Big Data" is apparent from their sharply divergent nature at an elementary level---in computer science, the growth of the number of data points is a source of "complexity" that must be tamed via algorithms or hardware, whereas in statistics, the growth of the number of data points is a source of "simplicity" in that inferences are generally stronger and asymptotic results can be invoked. On a formal level, the gap is made evident by the lack of a role for computational concepts such as "runtime" in core statistical theory and the lack of a role for statistical concepts such as "risk" in core computational theory. I present several research vignettes aimed at bridging computation and statistics, including the problem of inference under privacy and communication constraints, and methods for trading off the speed and accuracy of inference.
About Dr. Jordan: 
Michael I. Jordan is the Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Berkeley.

His research in recent years has focused on Bayesian nonparametric analysis, probabilistic graphical models, spectral methods, kernel machines and applications to problems in signal processing, statistical genetics, computational biology, information retrieval and natural language processing. Prof. Jordan was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 2010, of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2010, and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He has been named a Neyman Lecturer and a Medallion Lecturer by Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS). He is a Fellow of the IMS, a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the AAAI, and a Fellow of the ASA.
About the Brice Colloquium: 

The Gene Brice Colloquium Series is supported by contributions to the Gene Brice Colloquium Fund.  The Gene Brice Colloquium Fund for Electrical Engineering was established in 1991 in memory of William E. (Gene) Brice, B.S.E.E. '37. William E. (Gene) Brice, 1913-1991, grew up in a succession of small east Texas towns. He matriculated to Rice in 1933, where he was elected to Tau Beta Pi and worked as a teaching assistant, graduating in 1937 with a B.S. degree in electrical engineering. General Electric and Houston Lighting and Power employed him before he served as a U.S. naval officer in World War II. Gene married Marguerite Ayres Robins and had four children, two of whom are Rice alumni.

In 1948, Gene found the W.E. Brice Company, a Houston-based company active in manufacturer's representation, fabrication, and distribution of switch-gear, industrial instrumentation, and controls. Today the business continues as Brice Company, under the direction of one of his sons.

Gene Brice was a member of the Texas and National Societies of Professional Engineers, and a life member of the Houston Engineering and Scientific Society and IEEE. 


February 5, 2015 - "The Internet Trajectory and Technology" 

Leonard Kleinrock, UCLA
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January 23, 2013 - "Optics at the Nanoscale: Shedding new light on cross-cutting science and technologies" 

Naomi J. Halas, Rice University
Download Poster 


April 19, 2012 - "Challenges in Cyberphysical Systems" 

P.R. Kumar, Texas A&M University


April 1, 2011 - "Statistical methods in cancer biology" 

Mathukumalli Vidyasagar, The University of Texas at Dallas 

April 9, 2009 - "The Communication Cost of Distributed Computing" 

Abbas El Gamal, Stanford University


March 12, 2009"Forces out of Nothing: Vacuum Fluctuations, Quantum Levitation and the Future of Nanomachines" 

Federico Capasso, Harvard University


January 26, 2006 - "Feedback, Erasures, Zero-Errors, and More"  

James L. Massey, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland


September 19, 2002 - " Signal Representations: From Fourier to Wavelets and Beyond"  

Martin Vetterli, Department of Communications, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland


February 8, 2001 - "Not-So-Secret Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurship"  

Milton Chang, New Focus, Inc. and iNCUBiC LLP


April 29, 1999 - "The automation of computer architecture:  Yet another consequence of Moore's Law" 

B. Ramakrishna Rau, Hewlett-Packard Labs


March 10, 1998 - "DSPs, Gigachips & Internet Made for Each Other"  

Pallab Chatterjee, Texas Instruments, Inc.


September 19, 1996 - "Approaching the Shannon Limit: Theorist's Dream and Practitioner's Challenge" 

Andrew Viterbi, QUALCOMM Incorporated


April 12, 1994 - "Professor Katz Goes to Washington"  

Professor Randy H. Katz, Computer Science Division, EECS Dept., UC-Berkeley


April 6, 1993 - "The Photonics Revolution in Telecommunications"  

Dr. Herwig Kogelnik, Director, Photonics Laboratory, AT&T Laboratory