A bunch of talks today.
Carla Gomes gave a talk at CRCS (Harvard's Center for Research on Computation and Society) to talk about her work on computational sustainability -- interdisciplinary research with "the overall goal of developing computational models, methods, and tools to help manage the balance between environmental, economic, and societal needs for sustainable development." How to use optimization, machine learning, and math and computation more generally to help with problems in "the real world", like designing paths for animal migration or designing control systems for energy-efficient buildings. Fun stuff.
Then I had to take Harvard's M2 shuttle over to the Medical School Area for the Broad Institute's annual retreat. Some students who I have been working with on a project spanning systems biology, computer science, and statistics were giving a 15-minute presentation of their results. (More on the work at some later date.) The scale there is a bit larger than I'm used to; I think over 1000 people were listening to the talk, which might well make it the most seen presentation of my work (even if we sum over multiple presentations of the same talk). Happily, the students really nailed it, both in the presentations and the follow-up Q and A.
Then the shuttle back for Mark Zuckerberg's Q and A session at Harvard. I don't think I've seen him speak before, and he's actually much more well spoken than one might expect if you saw The Social Network. He was entertaining and captivating, and I'm sure inspired many of our students. It was a full room -- you needed to get a ticket to get in. I understand recruiting sessions with students are taking place sometime after. If there are good writeups I'll link to one here later.
I also have my own talks to work on. I'll be giving two talks at U. of Wisconsin this week. One "old" talk on cuckoo hashing, and one "new" talk on verification using streaming interactive proofs. Come on by if you're in the area. (Of course, I suspect if you're in the area, you're probably a student or faculty member of U. of Wisconsin.)