CIS - "Get to know your neighbors" Seminar series - Prof. Nicolas Boumal


Event details

Date and time 29.03.2021 15:1516:15  
Place and room
Speaker Prof. Nicolas Boumel
Category Conferences - Seminars
Title: Pulling the thread of geometry and symmetry to unravel (bits of) benign non-convexity

We routinely model engineering tasks as optimization problems. These come in various forms. Some we know how to solve; some we know we cannot. Of particular interest are those problems it appears we can solve, yet we do not know for sure: our theory fails us. Can we use such models in critical applications where mistakes have consequences?
In continuous optimization, the known frontier of tractability is mostly defined by convexity. Yet, in recent years we have discovered many non-convex problems it appears we can solve. I will describe some of their frequent traits, specifically through geometry and symmetry. Understanding these traits may help us push the known frontier, effectively enabling us to use richer modelling tools with confidence.

Bio:Nicolas Boumal joined the Institute of Mathematics at EPFL in July 2020 as an assistant professor. He studies non-convex optimization, numerical analysis and statistical estimation. He is the author of a popular Riemannian optimization toolbox called Manopt, and of a book on this topic.

The CIS seminar will take place live on Zoom: 
Please connect to your zoom account using your "" address, as this live event is only open to the EPFL community

Monday, March 29th, 2021 from 3:15 to 4:15 pm

NB: Video recordings of the seminars will be made available on our website and published on our social media pages

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free


  • CIS



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