2017 Workshop

Machine Learning for Discovery Sciences

October 18 – 21

Yerevan, Armenia

Workshop Sponsors: National Science Foundation, Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology

Registration Closed

workshop objectives

The primary objective of the inaugural NSF-FAST workshop is to bring researchers and practitioners from machine learning and other data-intensive disciplines, to foster cross-disciplinary collaborations that can facilitate discovery science in those fields. The other important objective of the workshop is to establish and foster mutually beneficial collaborations between international and Armenian scientists, researchers, and students. Finally, we intend use the workshop to explore models for partnerships to facilitate such collaborations through different research and innovation programs, e.g., through joint graduate and post-doctoral fellowship programs between NSF and FAST.

topics of interest

The workshop will include participation from leading experts from a number of disciplines. Specifically, the workshop will bring together researchers  who focus on foundational aspects of machine learning and practitioners who are interested  in various applications. The topics covered include, but are not restricted to, the following:

Theory and Algorithms

  • Deep Learning
  • Unsupervised Representation Learning
  • Graphical & Latent Variable Models
  • Structure Learning
  • Reinforcement Learning
  • Statistical Physics of Learning

Applications

  • Computer Vision & Image Processing
  • Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
  • Computational Social Science
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Network Analysis & Graph Mining
  • Computational Neuroscience

speakers

Armen Allahverdyan

Yerevan Physics Institute
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Vania Apkarian

Northwestern University
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Arsen Arakelyan

Inst. for Molecular Biology, NAS RA
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Davit Buniatyan

Princeton University
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Ciro Cattuto

ISI Foundation
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Arnak S. Dalalyan

ENSAE / CREST
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Minh N. Do

U. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
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Tina Eliassi-Rad

Northeastern University
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Kristina Simonyan

Harvard Medical School
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Yolanda Gil

USC Information Sciences Institute
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Jerry R. Hobbs

USC Information Sciences Institute
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David Kale

USC Information Sciences Institute
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Hrant Khachatrian

YerevaNN
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Negar Kiyavash

U. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
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Danai Koutra

University of Michigan
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Daniel B. Larremore

University of Colorado Boulder
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Zack Lipton

UC San Diego
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Yevgeni Mamasakhlisov

Yerevan State University
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Daniel Moyer

USC Imaging Genetics Center
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Katy Pearce

 University of Washington
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Nathan Srebro

TTIC
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Mesrob Ohannessian

TTIC
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Zoran Obradovic

Temple University
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Garegin A. Papoian

University of Maryland
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Manuel G. Rodriguez

Max Planck Institute
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Alexander Schwing

U. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
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Erik Aznauryan

 ETH Zurich
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Lilit Nersisyan

 Inst. of Molecular Biology NAS RA
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Vahan Nanumyan

ETH Zurich
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Arsen Mamikonyan

American University of Armenia

Karen Hambardzumyan

YerevaNN

Narek Martirosyan,

YerPhi

Karen Hovhannisyan,

Aarhus University

Hyung Jin Yoon,

UIUC

Hrayr Harutyunyan,

YerevaNN

organizers

Aram Galstyan, General Co-Chair

Aram Galstyan, General Co-Chair

Director, MINDS, Information Sciences Institute, USC

Dr. Aram Galstyan  is research director for machine learning and data science at the USC Information Sciences Institute, and research associate professor of computer science. His work focuses on various problems at the intersection of machine learning, information theory, and statistical physics. His research has been supported by various U.S. funding agencies, including NSF, NIH, DARPA, IARPA, and ARO. He is currently the PI for DARPA’s Big Mechanism and IARPA’s Hybrid Forecasting Competition programs.
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Naira Hovakimyan, General Co-Chair

Naira Hovakimyan, General Co-Chair

Member, Board of Advisers, FAST

Before joining the faculty of UIUC in 2008, she has spent time as a research scientist at Stuttgart University in Germany, at INRIA in France, at Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr, Hovakimyan is currently W. Grafton and Lillian B. Wilkins Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering at UIUC. In 2015 she was named as inaugural director for Intelligent Robotics Lab of CSL at UIUC. She is a fellow and life member of AIAA, a Senior Member of IEEE, and a member of SIAM, AMS, SWE, ASME and ISDG.

Arthur Petrosyan, Local Chair

Arthur Petrosyan, Local Chair

Chair, CS Department, American University of Armenia

Arthur Petrosian, PhD, is a Professor and Chair at the Dept. of Computer Science, Zaven and Sonia Akian College of Science and Engineering, American University of Armenia.
Dr. Petrosian has authored more than 60 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals, as well as three book chapters and two edited volumes. His research interests include image compression, mammography analysis for breast cancer detection, and neural models for predicting onsets of epileptic seizures in EEG

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partners

Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology

Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST) is driving technological innovation and scientific advancement in Armenia and beyond. It is a neutral and open platform that intends to concentrate, coordinate, and catalyze the activities of the global Armenian community of scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

Welcoming Remarks from FAST

Noubar Afeyan

Noubar Afeyan

Co-Founder, Member of the Board

Noubar Afeyan, PhD, is life science innovator, entrepreneur and executive with more than three decades of experience creating and growing new ventures. He is currently CEO of Flagship Pioneering, a unique institution he founded in 2000 dedicated to systematically inventing and developing the next-generation of life science companies.

Armen Orujyan

Armen Orujyan

CEO

Armen Orujyan, PhD, is an entrepreneur and innovator who is the Founder and CEO of Athgo, one of the world’s leading entrepreneurial platforms in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council and the UN Department of Public Information.

Ruben Vardanyan

Ruben Vardanyan

Co-Founder, Member of the Board

Ruben Vardanyan is an Armenian-Russian impact investor and social entrepreneur. He serves on the advisory boards of the IFC (World Bank Group) and Fundação Dom Cabral business school in Brazil. He is also a board member at Ameriabank, SOLLERS amongst a host of other companies, NGOs, public and professional organizations.

ABOUT NSF

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by the United States Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” NSF is vital in supporting basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.

With an annual budget of $7.5 billion (FY 2016), NSF funds about 24% of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

Sponsors

Granatus Ventures

Granatus Ventures

Granatus Ventures is the first venture capital firm to provide investment, expertise and networks to startups that leverage Armenia’s potential as an emerging technology hub.

Granatus backs outstanding teams that have the vision and discipline to build high-growth enterprises targeting global markets in sectors that leverage the latest developments in mobile, analytics, robotics, machine learning and cloud technologies.

With the current strong portfolio of a dozen companies, Granatus became one of the catalyzing forces for the emerging technology entrepreneurship ecosystem in Armenia.

IntelinAir

IntelinAir

IntelinAir was founded in 2014 as a startup company from the University of Illinois, focused on delivering actionable insights to various industries from drone imagery. In 2016, IntelinAir picked the agricultural analytics as the main vertical for its operations.

Today the company has more than fifty customers in Mid-West, with operations expanding in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana, and soon in Brazil. In 2017, the company imaged more than 1.8 mln acres of corn and soybean, and its AG-MRI pipeline helped the farmers to find the problems in their field ahead of time and take the required actions.

In January of 2017, IntelinAir was recognized among the top five innovative AgTech Startups by AgFunder.

BACKGROUND

The emergence of big data has been transformational in many areas in science and engineering – biology, health sciences, material science, physics, and so on. At the heart of this transformation is statistical machine learning, subfield of computer science that aims at studying and developing algorithms that can analyze large volumes of data. The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers, both from USA and Armenia, who work on machine learning (ML) and other scientific disciplines that are poised to benefit from the recent advances in ML.

Science and Technology in Armenia

During the Soviet times, Armenia was one of the main hubs of cybernetics research in ex-Soviet Union, where centers such as the Mergelyan Institute (one of the three major producers of computer equipment in former USSR), and the Computing Center of the National Armenian Academy of Science (currently the Institute for Informatics and Automation Problems) conducted cutting edge research on topics ranging from robotics to algorithmic game theory to automated machine translation. Currently, Armenia has a small but vibrant research community in machine learning and data science, some members of which have participated in past and present DoD-sponsored research projects in collaboration with US colleagues. Armenia also boasts several established world class research centers in biomedical sciences and biotechnology, theoretical and experimental cosmology, and high energy physics in the country, disciplines where the role of data intensive methods is becoming more and more important. Furthermore, Armenia’s IT sector, which has been the fastest-growing sector of the economy, provides an excellent framework for technology transfer. Local subsidiaries of tech giants include Synopsys, National Instruments, Mentor Graphics (acquired by Siemens) and VMware. Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM have established R&D offices and training facilities in Armenia. Some of the homegrown companies in Armenia, such as the PicsArt, Triada Studio, Teamable, and FimeTech, have succeeded in raising sufficient venture capital resources to expand their R&D teams outside the country, with many establishing offices in Silicon Valley of the US.

yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia as well as one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities.

Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country. It has been the capital since 1918, the thirteenth in the history of Armenia, and the seventh located in or around the Ararat plain. (Wikipedia)

Yerevan Nightlife

Ararat

Republic Square, Yerevan

Lake Sevan

Interested in attending the workshop?