Inaugural Lectures - Prof. Wenzel Jakob and Prof. Mika Göös


Event details

Date 20.02.2024
Hour 18:0019:30
Speaker Prof. Wenzel Jakob, Prof. Mika Göös
Category Inaugural lectures - Honorary Lecture
Event Language English
Date: Tuesday 20 February 2024

  • 18:00-18:05: Introduction by Prof. Rüdiger Urbanke, Dean of the IC School
  • 18:05-18:35: Inaugural Lecture Prof. Wenzel Jakob
  • 18:35-18:45: Q & A
  • 18:45-18:50: Introduction by Prof. Rüdiger Urbanke, Dean of the IC School
  • 18:50-19:20: Inaugural Lecture Prof. Mika Göös
  • 19:20-19:30: Q & A
  • 19:30-21:00: Apéritif in the FoodLab Alpine restaurant
Location:  CE 1 4

Registration: Click here


Prof. Wenzel Jakob

Differentiable Simulation of Light

The term "rendering" refers to computer programs that simulate light inside a virtual world to produce synthetic photographs. Their realism has steadily grown within the last decade, to the extent that renderings are now often indistinguishable from reality. *Inverse* rendering flips this process around: the images (e.g. photos) are now the input, and we seek a virtual world that explains them. This is a more difficult problem with applications in diverse scientific fields that require turning pictures into 3D models or other physical parameters. My group works on methods that solve this task by propagating derivatives through a simulation. Although intuitive, this idea turns out to be fraught with many theoretical and practical difficulties. I will give an overview of the key challenges and recent progress towards building robust and efficient differentiable rendering methods.
About the speaker
Wenzel Jakob is an Assistant Professor at EPFL, heading the Realistic Graphics Lab. His research revolves around inverse graphics, material appearance modeling and physically based rendering algorithms. He is interested in solving real-world problems using invertible simulations and developing algorithms and systems to do so at scale. Wenzel has received the ACM SIGGRAPH Significant Researcher award, the Eurographics Young Researcher Award, and an ERC Starting Grant. His group develops the Mitsuba renderer, a research-oriented rendering system, and he has created widely used open-source frameworks, including pybind11, nanobind, Instant Meshes (SGP Software Award recipient), and Dr.Jit.


Prof. Mika Göös

Complexity Theory Through Play

Computational complexity theory addresses the question: What are the fundamental limitations of efficient computation? The foundational question of the field – the P ≠ NP conjecture – is the principal motivator for the research conducted in our Theory of Computation Lab at EPFL. I will discuss recent results from our lab, highlighting several surprising interconnections between seemingly different areas of computer science and math: playing the Hex board game, a resolution of a 30-year-old conjecture in graph theory, as well as applications to automata theory and computational learning theory.

About the speaker
Mika Göös is an Assistant Professor in the Theory of Computation Lab at EPFL since 2020. He is fascinated by impossibility phenomena in mathematics and theoretical computer science: Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, Turing’s uncomputability of the halting problem, the P ≠ NP conjecture. Previously, he was a post-doc at Stanford, Princeton IAS, and Harvard. He completed his PhD in 2016 at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Toniann Pitassi.

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