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Events on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022

Physics ∩ ML Seminar
Bayesian Updating and dynamical flows
Time: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm
Place: Online Seminar: Please sign up for our mailing list at for zoom link
Speaker: David Berman, Queen Mary University
Abstract: Statistical Inference is the process of determining a probability distribution over the space of parameters of a model given a data set. As more data becomes available this probability distribution becomes updated via the application of Bayes’ theorem. We present a treatment of this Bayesian updating process as a continuous dynamical system. Statistical inference is then governed by a first order differential equation describing a trajectory or flow in the information geometry determined by a parametric family of models. We solve this equation for some simple models and show that when the Cram´er-Rao bound is saturated the learning rate is governed by a simple 1/T power-law, with T a time-like variable denoting the quantity of data. We illustrate this with both analytic and numerical examples based on Gaussians and the inference of the coupling constant in the Ising model. Finally we compare the qualitative behaviour exhibited by Bayesian flows to the training of various neural networks on benchmarked data sets such as MNIST and CIFAR10 and show how that for networks exhibiting small final losses the simple power-law is also satisfied.
Host: Gary Shiu
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GREAT IDEAS DEI coffee hour
Time: 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Place: Chamberlin 5280 or online at
Abstract: We will be discussing this paper by Appleby et al, Disciplinary significance of social caring in postsecondary science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This is a longer article, so we are asking people to focus on these sections: Abstract, Introduction, III. A Case of University Students doing Physics (sections A, B and D), IV. Our Conjecture: Social Caring Supports a Shifted Epistemology (Section A), and Discussion and Implications.

GREAT IDEAS stands for Group for Reading, Educating, And Talking about Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Advocacy in Science. It is a multimedia reading group dedicated to amplifying the experiences of underrepresented groups in science and academia in order to become better advocates for our peers. GREAT IDEAS is open to everyone (students/ faculty/ staff/ etc), and all are welcome and encouraged to engage with the material and contribute to the discussions. To keep a welcoming and safe environment for everyone, we ask that everyone understand and adhere to our community guidelines for the discussions. If you would like to submit an article for a future GREAT IDEAS discussion, you can do so on this form.
Host: GMaWiP and Climate and Diversity Committee (contact Jessie Thwaites or R. Sassella with questions)
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