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October 2020

Digitization of Retail and the Urban Experience

October 27, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

David Simchi-Levi, Sandy Pentland (IDSS)


The retail industry has been in rapid change caused by advances and adoption of digital technology. Going around the theme of digitalization of retail supply chains and next-generation digital systems for commerce, Professor David Simchi-Levi will focus on the evolution of digitization, analytics, and automation for end-to-end supply chain transformation in the retail sector, which has witnessed some of the fastest digital growth. Professor Alex 'Sandy' Pentland will discuss the next generation of software architecture for logistics, payments, and more.

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Hadamard Diff erential Calculus and Applications

October 26, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Michel Delfour (Université de Montréal)


ABSTRACT The Hadamard differential was introduced in 1923 by Hadamard and promoted in 1937 by Fréchet who extended it to vector spaces of functions. Infinite dimension is equivalent to the Fréchet differential introduced in 1911, but in function spaces, Hadamard is more general than Fréchet, which is restricted to normed vector spaces. In 1978 Penot gave the appropriate definition of a semi-differential in the sense of Hadamard by using semi-paths with a semi-tangent. The Hadamard semidifferentiable functions are probably the…

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Trackers: An Interface for Policy, Data Science, Law and the Public

October 23, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm



Interested in learning about how online data-tracking tools are used to engage the public? Or how trackers are used for policymaking and activism? Join us for a Research to Policy Engagement Initiative session where Mishi Choudhury, Legal Director at the Software Freedom Law Centre in New York, will talk us through the policy and legal implications of online data-tracking. Register The Research to Policy Engagement Initiative builds and connects a community of researchers who can learn, apply, and contribute to…

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Mobility Forum: The Inefficiency of Dynamic Pricing in Ridehailing Systems

October 23, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Daniel Freund


To build a dynamic community among the mobility and transportation researchers, the MIT Mobility Initiative (MMI) is organizing the “Mobility Forum: Frontier of Mobility Research,” a weekly seminar series showcasing the MIT scholarship. Register for Zoom info

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Statistical Aspects of Wasserstein Distributionally Robust Optimization Estimators

October 23, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Jose Blanchet (Stanford University)


Abstract: Wasserstein-based distributional robust optimization problems are formulated as min-max games in which a statistician chooses a parameter to minimize an expected loss against an adversary (say nature) which wishes to maximize the loss by choosing an appropriate probability model within a certain non-parametric class. Recently, these formulations have been studied in the context in which the non-parametric class chosen by nature is defined as a Wasserstein-distance neighborhood around the empirical measure. It turns out that by appropriately choosing the…

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MIT Policy Hackathon 2020

October 23, 2020 - October 25, 2020


Interested in the future of healthcare in light of COVID-19? Internet policy? Environmental justice? Work remotely with an interdisciplinary team to develop creative policy solutions to problems posed by governmental and industry partners. https://www.mitpolicyhackathon.org/

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Rebuilding After Covid-19

October 22, 2020 @ 7:00 pm

Sandy Pentland (IDSS)


The pandemic has destroyed much of the world economy, and laid bare many failures in our health, finance, law, and government systems. Digital technologies can help us rebuild by enabling more resilient, effective, secure, and inclusive systems. In this talk, Prof. Pentland will discuss what world leaders, multilateral organizations (World Bank, OECD, UN, etc) and industry are discussing, and how IEEE and ACM members can contribute to these digital initiatives and help them to achieve the best possible outcomes.

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Kernel Approximation Over Algebraic Varieties

October 21, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Jason Altschuler (LIDS)


ABSTRACT Low-rank approximation of the Gaussian kernel is a core component of many data-science algorithms. Often the approximation is desired over an algebraic variety (e.g., in problems involving sparse data or low-rank data). Can better approximations be obtained in this setting? In this talk, I’ll show that the answer is yes: The improvement is exponential and controlled by the variety’s Hilbert dimension. Joint work with Pablo Parrilo BIOGRAPHY Jason is a PhD student in LIDS, advised by Pablo Parrilo. His…

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SOAP: New Breakthroughs in Scheduling Theory

October 19, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Mor Harchol-Balter (Carnegie Mellon University)


ABSTRACT Scheduling policies are at the heart of computer systems. The right scheduling policy can dramatically reduce response times, ensure fairness, provide class-based priority, etc., without requiring additional resources. While stochastic response time analysis of different scheduling policies has been the focus of thousands of theoretical papers, results are limited to analyzing a relatively small number of "simple" scheduling policies. In this talk, we introduce the SOAP class of scheduling policies: Schedule Ordered by Age-based Priority. The SOAP policies include…

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Mobility Forum: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transportation: Technical Options and Societal Choices

October 16, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Bill Green


To build a dynamic community among the mobility and transportation researchers, the MIT Mobility Initiative (MMI) is organizing the “Mobility Forum: Frontier of Mobility Research,” a weekly seminar series showcasing the MIT scholarship. Register for Zoom info.

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