Leslie Valiant
T. Jefferson Coolidge Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, Harvard University
November 19, 2017
9:30 am - 10:30 am

Reasoning on Learned Data
Abstract: In conventional usage of machine learning, knowledge is acquired from data in such a way that it can be used only for a purpose known at the time of learning. For example, in learning to recognize cars in images from the web, the knowledge so acquired would be applicable only for recognizing images of cars from the web. In contrast, in the course of education humans are able to gain knowledge that they can use later in circumstances entirely different from those that might be forseen at the time of the education. The question is what capability needs to be added to the stereotyped view of supervised learning in order to achieve this broader cognitive capability. The approach we propose is to add a reasoning capability on top of learning. We suggest that the central challenge therefore is to find a unified formulation for these two fundamental phenomena, learning and reasoning, that provides a common semantics for both. We propose Robust Logic as a framework for this unifying role, one that allows for efficient learning and reasoning, while also supporting principled reasoning. Testing this framework experimentally on a significant scale remains a challenge, but may be now withinreach given the size of current data sets and the power of current learning capabilities.

Leslie Valiant,was educated at King's College, Cambridge; Imperial College, London; and at Warwick University where he received his Ph.D. in computer science in 1974. He is currently T. Jefferson Coolidge Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1982. Before coming to Harvard he had taught at Carnegie Mellon University, Leeds University, and the University of Edinburgh.
His work has ranged over several areas of theoretical computer science, particularly complexity theory, learning, and parallel computation. He also has interests in computational neuroscience, evolution and artificial intelligence and is the author of two books, Circuits of the Mind, and Probably Approximately Correct.
He received the Nevanlinna Prize at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1986, the Knuth Award in 1997, the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science EATCS Award in 2008, and the 2010 A. M. Turing Award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (London) and a member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA).


Michael J. Franklin
Liew Family Chair of Computer Science, University of Chicago

Michael J. Franklin, is the inaugural holder of the Liew Family Chair of Computer Science. An authority on databases, data analytics, data management and distributed systems, he also serves as senior advisor to the provost on computation and data science.
Franklin most recently was the Thomas M. Siebel Professor of Computer Science and chair of the Computer Science Division of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, where he currently is an Adjunct Professor. He co-founded and directs Berkeley’s Algorithms, Machines and People Laboratory (AMPLab), a leading academic big data analytics research center, The AMPLab won a National Science Foundation CISE "Expeditions in Computing" award, which was announced as part of the White House Big Data Research initiative in March 2012, and has received support from over 30 industrial sponsors. AMPLab has created industry-changing open source Big Data software including Apache Spark and BDAS, the Berkeley Data Analytics Stack. At Berkeley he also served as an executive committee member for the Berkeley Institute for Data Science, a campus-wide initiative to advance data science environments.
An energetic entrepreneur in addition to his academic work, Franklin founded and became chief technology officer of Truviso, a data analytics company acquired by Cisco Systems. He serves on the technical advisory boards of various data-driven technology companies and organizations.
Franklin is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and a two-time recipient of the ACM SIGMOD (Special Interest Group on Management of Data) “Test of Time” award. His many other honors include the outstanding advisor award from Berkeley’s Computer Science Graduate Student Association. He received the Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin in 1993, a Master of Software Engineering from the Wang Institute of Graduate Studies in 1986, and the B.S. in Computer and Information Science from the University of Massachusetts in 1983.


Aidong Zhang
Distinguished Professor, State University of New York at Buffalo
November 20, 2017
9:00 am - 10:00 am

Connecting the Dots: Data-Driven Self Learning for Knowledge Discovery
Abstract: With the growth of world wide web and large-scale digitization of documents, we are overwhelmed with massive information, formally through publication of various scientific journals or informally through internet. As an example, consider MEDLINE, a premier bibliographic database in life sciences, with currently more than 23 million references from approximately 5,600 worldwide journals. In this talk, I will discuss how a self-learning based framework for knowledge discovery can be designed to mine hidden associations between non-interacting scientific concepts by rationally connecting independent nuggets of published literature. The self-learning process can model the evolutionary behavior of concepts to uncover latent associations between text concepts, which allows us to learn the evolutionary trajectories of text terms and detect informative terms in a completely unsupervised manner. Hence, meaningful hypotheses can be efficiently generated without prior knowledge. I will also discuss how this self-learning framework can be extended to include social media and Internet forums. With the capability to discern reliable information from various sources, this self-learning framework provides a platform for combining heterogeneous sources and intelligently learning new knowledge with no user intervention.

Aidong Zhang, is a SUNY Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo where she served as Department Chair from 2009 to 2015. She is currently on leave and serving as Program Director in the Information & Intelligent Systems Division of the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering, National Science Foundation. Her research interests include data analytics/data science, bioinformatics, and health informatics, and she has authored over 300 research publications in these areas. Dr. Zhang currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (TCBB). She served as the founding Chair of ACM Special Interest Group on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology and Biomedical Informatics during 2011-2015 and is currently Chair of its advisory board. She is also the founding and steering chair of ACM international conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology and Health Informatics. She has served as editor for several other journal editorial boards, and has also chaired or served on numerous program committees of international conferences and workshops. Dr. Zhang is an IEEE Fellow.