Black Box Lectures

In the summer, interns, students, and faculty gather for Black Box Lectures. Each lecture covers an area of interest in machine learning, statistics, computer science, and artificial intelligence. The idea is to look under the hood of "black box" models and methods.

Each lecture will be a chalkboard talk with one presenter. The lectures will be held outside Marks Annex. The time/day may change based on the weather but will usually be Thursdays, 4:30-5:30pm. If you'd like to be added to the e-mail list, please let Ben know.


Pantelis Vafidis, "Intro to Transformers", June 2023





Summer 2024 Schedule


Day Time Presenter Topic Difficulty
Thurs June 6 4:30-5:30pm Ben Cowley Bayesian Active Learning intermediate
Thurs June 13 4:30-5:30pm Wolf de Wulf ?? ??
Thurs June 20 4:30-5:30pm Ryan Fayyazi ?? ??
Thurs June 27 4:30-5:30pm Ludovic Corcos ?? ??
Thurs July 4 -- No meeting -- --
Thurs July 11 4:30-5:30pm Tig Moore ?? ??
Thurs July 18 4:30-5:30pm Satwik Pasani ?? ??
Thurs July 25 4:30-5:30pm Todd Morrill ?? ??
Thurs Aug 1 4:30-5:30pm CiCi Zheng Predictive coding 101 beginner
Thurs Aug 8 4:30-5:30pm Christos Kaneen ?? ??
Thurs Aug 15 4:30-5:30pm Arkarup Banerjee ?? ??
Thurs Aug 22 4:30-5:30pm Jamie Lohoff ?? ??
Thurs Aug 29 4:30-5:30pm Kyle Daruwalla ?? ??
Thurs Sep 5 4:30-5:30pm Ari Benjamin ?? ??
Thurs Sep 12 4:30-5:30pm Masayuki (Moon) Nagai ?? ??
Thurs Sep 19 4:30-5:30pm Christian Pehle ?? ??
Thurs Sep 26 4:30-5:30pm David Klindt Independent component analysis intermediate





beginner: No formal background in computational approaches but motivated to learn.
intermediate: Some knowledge in linear algebra, statistics, and/or computer science.
advanced: Could be a reviewer for an ML conference paper.







(old) Summer 2023 Schedule


Day Time Presenter Topic Difficulty
Thurs June 8 5-6pm Ben Cowley Linear regression with active learning intermediate
Tues June 13 5-6pm Pantelis Vafeidis Introduction to Transformers intermediate
Fri June 30 4-5pm Kyle Daruwalla Double Descent in Deep Learning intermediate
Wed July 5 5-6pm Ryan Fayyazi Diffusion models: Different perspectives intermediate
Tues July 11 5-6pm Xiaoxuan Lei Introduction to Topological Data Analysis intermediate
Tues July 25 5-6pm Christian Pehle Optimal Control Theory advanced
Tues Aug 1 5-6pm Arkarup Banerjee Coincidence detectors neuroscience
Tues Aug 8 5-6pm Burak Gurbuz Introduction to Continual Learning Beginner
Thurs Aug 17 4:30-5:30pm Ben Cowley The History of Optimization intermediate
Tues Aug 22 4:30-5:30pm Ari Benjamin The dynamics of gradient descent intermediate
Tues Aug 29 4:30-5:30pm CiCi Zheng Hopfield networks and energy functions beginner