Events at Physics

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Events During the Week of May 16th through May 23rd, 2021

Sunday, May 16th, 2021

Academic Calendar
Faculty contract year ends
Time: 12:00 am
Abstract: *Note: actual end time may vary.*
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Monday, May 17th, 2021

No events scheduled

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

No events scheduled

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

Physics ∩ ML Seminar
Are wider nets better given the same number of parameters?
Time: 11:00 am
Place: Online Seminar: Please sign up for our mailing list at for zoom link
Speaker: Anna Golubeva, Perimeter Institute
Abstract: Empirical studies demonstrate that the performance of neural networks improves with increasing number of parameters. In most of these studies, the number of parameters is increased by increasing the network width. This begs the question: Is the observed improvement due to the larger number of parameters, or is it due to the larger width itself? We compare different ways of increasing model width while keeping the number of parameters constant. We show that for models initialized with a random, static sparsity pattern in the weight tensors, network width is the determining factor for good performance, while the number of weights is secondary, as long as the model achieves high training accuracy. As a step towards understanding this effect, we analyze these models in the framework of Gaussian Process kernels. We find that the distance between the sparse finite-width model kernel and the infinite-width kernel at initialization is indicative of model performance.
Host: Gary Shiu
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Thursday, May 20th, 2021

NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Cosmic rays, astrophysics and astrobiology
Time: 2:30 pm
Speaker: Noemie Globus, ELI Beamlines, Czech Republic / Flatiron Institute, USA
Abstract: I will discuss some recent cosmic rays puzzles in the context of high energy astrophysics and astrobiology and hence this talk will be divided into two parts. In the first part, I will review briefly the observational status of the ultra high energy, extragalactic part of the cosmic-ray spectrum and the interpretation of the “dipole” anisotropy, the first anisotropy signal to pass the 5 sigma discovery threshold, and review the possible extragalactic sources yet to be discovered with future multi-messenger efforts. In the second part of my talk, I will present the connection between Galactic cosmic-rays and astrobiology and discuss the possible role of spin-polarized muons in the emergence of life - more specifically, in the emergence of biological homochirality - and show the implications for the search of life in other worlds.
Host: Lu Lu
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Friday, May 21st, 2021

No events scheduled