**About the Series**

The IDEAL workshop series brings in four experts on topics related to the foundations of data science to present their perspective and research on a common theme. Chicago area researchers with an interest in the foundations of data science. The technical program is in the morning and includes coffee and lunch. The afternoon of the workshop will allow for continued discussion between attendees and the speakers.

Part of the Special Quarter on Inference and Data Science on Networks.

**Synopsis**

**Logistics**

**Date:**Monday, June 29, 2020.**Location:**Zoom participation (register below). Panopto streaming.**Registration:**Registration form. Registered participants will get a Zoom link to the workshop, and the Gather.Town link for the social mixer by email.**Google form for questions:**Go here.

**Schedule (all in CT)**

**11:00-11:05**: Opening Remarks**4:00-5:00:**Virtual Social Mixer on Gather.Town

**Titles and Abstracts**

**Speaker:** Andrea Montanari, Stanford

**Title:** Optimization of mean field spin glasses.

**Abstract: **Let G be a random graph over N vertices generated according to a statistical model, such as the stochastic block model. In order to analyze such a graph, it would be interesting to be able to partition its vertices into k balanced sets as to minimize the number of edges across the partition. Even for k=2, this problem is hard to approximate. Although we know of semidefinite programming relaxations with optimal worst-case guarantees, these can be sub-optimal for random instances. I will consider the case k=2 when G is an Erd\”os-Renyi random graph. This problem is equivalent to the one of finding the ground-state of the Sherrington-Kirkpatrick Hamiltonian in statistical physics.

I describe an algorithm that achieves a (1-\eps) approximation of the latter problem in near-linear time, conditional on a certain conjecture in mathematical physics. The algorithms exploits certain subtle properties of the non-convex energy landscape of this model. I will then discuss a more general class of Hamiltonians for mean field spin glasses and put forward a precise picture of the average-case tractability of optimization in this context.

[Based on arXiv:1812.10897 and arXiv:2001.00904 (with Ahmed El Alaoui and Mark Sellke)]

**Speaker:** Ankur Moitra, MIT

**Title:**

**Abstract: **In supervised learning, there is often a tension between being robust against increasingly more powerful adversaries and computational complexity. We will be interested in the Massart noise model, where one interpretation is that an adversary can arbitrarily control the labels on a random subset of the data. This seems to be a comfortable middle ground where algorithms cannot overtune to the noise distribution, but it is nevertheless possible to give algorithms with strong provable guarantees.

We give a new game theoretic framework for learning under Massart noise, and our algorithms are derived from low regret online algorithms for playing relaxations of this game. Along the way we give an algorithm for properly learning halfspaces under Massart noise, improving upon the recent work of Diakonikolas, Goulekakis and Tzamos that gives an improper learning algorithm, as well as extensions to generalized linear models. Finally we evaluate our algorithms empirically and find that they exhibit some appealing fairness properties, perhaps as a byproduct of their robustness guarantees.

**Speaker:**Liza Levina Michigan

**Title:**

**Abstract:**