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Devising Optimization Algorithms  for Machine Learning

By Jorge Nocedal
Optimization is one of the pillars of statistical learning. It plays a crucial role in the design of “intelligent” systems, such as search engines, recommender systems, and speech and image recognition software. These systems, which embody the latest advances in machine learning, have made our lives easier. Their success has created a demand for new optimization algorithms that, in addition to being scalable and parallelizable, are good learning algorithms. Future advances, such as effective image recognition, will continue to rely heavily on methods from statistics and optimization.

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Developmental Learning of Sensorimotor Models for Control in Robotics

By Pierre-Yves Oudeyer
Robotics is evolving today toward applications in which robots enter into everyday life and thus need to be able to interact with non-engineers; robots that assist people with disabilities in their homes are an example [5]. For such applications, robots must be able to manipulate and use objects in the human environment that cannot be known and modelled beforehand by engineers. For reasons of safety and energy efficiency, the use of soft materials and soft actuators is flourishing in these applications [12]; difficult control problems arise, however, because the dynamics of these soft materials are difficult to model analytically. For these reasons, a crucial goal has become the development of learning methods that allow robots to acquire models of the dynamics of their own bodies and their interactions with new objects.

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By Ernest Davis

BOOK REVIEW: How Not To Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking. By Jordan Ellenberg, Penguin Press, New York, New York, 2014, 468 pages, $27.95. 

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The SIAM Board and Council at Work

By James Crowley
The July 2014 meetings of the SIAM Council and Board were unusually busy, with full agendas and lengthy debates. As many readers will know, the Council deals with scientific issues and future directions for SIAM. An important example is oversight of the journals and conference programs, with regard to the scope, mission, and place of the journal or conference within its field. The Council delegates much of the groundwork in these areas to committees that report back to it. Irene Fonseca, as SIAM president, chaired the Council meeting.

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The Mathematical Legacy of Martin Gardner

By Elwyn Berlekamp
As a high school student in the late 1950s, I became an ardent follower of Martin Gardner’s monthly “Mathematical Games” column in Scientific American. I continued to read it for many years. It wasn’t until the 1970s when I was a professor that I came to realize how many other mathematicians had also been influenced by him. 

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Spotlight on DMS/NSF at  Federal Agency Session

Representing the National Science Foundation’s Division of Mathematical Sciences at the federal funding panel at the SIAM Annual Meeting in Chicago, Henry Warchall described two new programs and alluded to several ongoing programs of particular interest to the SIAM community. He began with MSII (Mathematical Sciences Innovation Incubator), new in 2014 and presented in a Dear Colleague letter from DMS director Michael Vogelius on April 22. 

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Commemorating Pólya as Communicator

Exposition: “the act of explaining something: clear explanation . . . Discourse or an example of it designed to convey information or explain what is difficult to understand.”––Merriam-Webster Dictionary
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Conferences & Events

September 08, 2014 To December 05, 2014

ICERM Semester Program: High Dimensional Approximation

September 15, 2014 To September 19, 2014

ICERM Workshop: Information-Based Complexity and Stochastic Computation

September 15, 2014 To September 19, 2014

Boston University/Keio University Workshop on Dynamical Systems

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Inside SIAM

Upcoming SIAM Events

November 13, 2014 To November 15, 2014

SIAM Conference on Financial Mathematics and Engineering (FM14)

January 04, 2015

Analytic Algorithmics and Combinatorics (ANALCO15)

January 04, 2015 To January 06, 2015

ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms (SODA15)

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