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:
- Applied^2 Probability Workshop at The University of Queensland on July 2nd;
- 20th INFORMS Applied Probability Society Conference (INFORMS-APS 2019), which was organized in the Brisbane Convention Centre from July 3-5; and the
- 16th Workshop on Algorithms and Models for the Web Graph (WAW 2019) also at The University of Queensland from July 6 – 7.
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
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.