July 11, 2019

INFORMS-APS 2019

Last week I travelled to Brisbane, Australia to attend two workshops, as well as to present our work on Clustering in Block Markov Chains at a conference called INFORMS-APS 2019. While the fourty-eight hours of travel were excruciatingly tiring (and don’t get me started on the jetlag), attending these events was definitely worth it from an academic point of view. To be precise, I attended the:

Amsterdam to Brisbane
Amsterdam to Brisbane
Brisbane Convention Center
Brisbane Convention Center

Outstanding talks

It is always amazing to see that some 200 excellent researchers from the broad field of applied probability – and from all over the world – take the time to fly in and contribute to these events. The talks that I attended were all of high quality, educational, and eye-opening.

Inspiring keynote speakers

I particularly enjoyed the superb talks by the keynote speakers. Sidney Resnick’s talk on Why Modelling the Growth of Networks, Nelly Litvak’s presentation on Centrality in large random networks, Ton Dieker’s exposition of his secret work of the last five years, Towards a next-generation methodology for stochastic network analysis, and Charles Bordenave (IMS Medallion Lecturer) talk on Non-backtracking spectrum of random matrices at INFORMS-APS 2019 were very inspiring (and often highly relevant to my research). Catherine Greenhill’s talk at WAW 2019, on Some recent advances in the design and analysis of sampling algorithms for graphs, was also intriguing from the point of view of asymptotic, probabilistic and algorithmic combinatorics.

Clustering in Block Markov Chains

Besides chairing a session, I presented our work on Clustering in Block Markov Chains at INFORMS-APS 2019. The feedback we received on our work was overall very positive 🙂 . Have a look at my presentation if you’re curious:

A weekend off

As per usual, I try to spend a bit of time exploring the city of the workshop / conference. This time, I visited the Queensland Museum, which had an uplifting exposition on the Apollo 11 spaceflight. It is awe inspiring to think of what humanity achieved back then, and in my opinion we should continue to dream big. I also visited Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – the world’s oldest and largest koala sanctuary. I must admit that I have never seen quite such cute creatures.

NASA - A Human Adventure exposition at Queensland Museum
NASA – A Human Adventure exposition at Queensland Museum
Apollo Command Module Main Parachute
Apollo Command Module Main Parachute. This item was space flown.
Brisbane Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Brisbane Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Kangaroo at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Kangaroo at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary