Physics Colloquium (Racah Memorial Lecture): "Information theory, data science and the curse of phase transitions"

Mon, 12/06/201712:00-13:30
Levin building, Lecture Hall No. 8
Lecturer: Prof. Marc Mézard
Ecole Normale Supérieure - PSL Research University
Statistical physics is dedicated to understanding the collective behavior of systems with many interacting particles. In the last forty years, its major breakthroughs in dealing with strongly disordered systems, glasses, have opened the way to using its concepts and methods in other disciplines, opening what Philip Anderson once called the “spin glass cornucopia”.
This talk will show how key concepts of statistical physics, phase transitions and the occurrence of glassy phases, play a major role in some core problems of information theory and data analysis. This analysis will be illustrated by specific examples in data transmission (error correcting codes) and compressed data acquisition (compressed sensing).
The lecture's publication can be found here.