October 22, 2014


Thematic Program on Statistical Inference, Learning, and Models for Big Data
January to June, 2015
Organizing Committee
Nancy Reid (Toronto)
Yoshua Bengio (Montréal)
Hugh Chipman (Acadia)
Sallie Keller (Virginia Tech)
Lisa Lix (Manitoba)
Richard Lockhart (Simon Fraser)
Ruslan Salakhutdinov (Toronto)
International Advisory Committee
Constantine Gatsonis (Brown)
Susan Holmes (Stanford)
Snehelata Huzurbazar (Wyoming)
Nicolai Meinshausen (ETH Zurich)
Dale Schuurmans (Alberta)
Robert Tibshirani (Stanford)
Bin Yu (UC Berkeley)


This thematic program emphasizes both applied and theoretical aspects of statistical inference, learning and models in big data. The opening conference will serve as an introduction to the program, concentrating on overview lectures and background preparation. Workshops throughout the year will emphasize deep learning, statistical learning, visualization, networks, health and social policy, and physical sciences. A number of allied activities at PIMS, CRM and AARMS are also planned, and listed at the bottom of this page. This thematic program is taking place with the cooperation of the new Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute (CANSSI).
It is expected that all activities will be webcast using the FieldsLive system to permit wide participation.

Conferences and Workshops


Graduate Course 1:.Large Scale Machine Learning
Monday, 11 a.m. -2 p.m, January 5 to March 31 ( no classes Feb 16-20), Stewart Library, Fields Institute

Instructor: Russ Salakhutdinov, Departments of Computer Science and Statistical Sciences, University of Toronto

Graduate Course 2: Topics in Inference for Big Data
Friday, 1 p.m. -4 p.m, January 5 to March 31 ( no classes Feb 16-20), Stewart Library, Fields Institute
Instructors: Nancy Reid, Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Toronto; Mu Zhu, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Waterloo

These courses will be streamed using FieldsLive, and students are welcome to attend online. Students interested in obtaining credit for these courses need to arrange with their home department to have them approved as reading or research courses. We will make available the timetable and requirements for the course at the first lecture in January, 2015.

Postdoctoral fellowships

A limited number of postdoctoral fellowships are available; please see the Fields web page for the advertisement. Applications were due by June 1, 2014 but late applications will also be accepted until the positions are filled. There are opportunities for extended visits of senior (all but degree) graduate students. Please apply through the Application for Participant Support link.

Distinguished Lectures

Distinguished Lecture Series, and
2015 Distinguished Lecture Series in Statistics: Terry Speed (University of California, Berkeley)

Allied Activity

Workshop Overviews

Preliminary descriptions of the workshops and conferences, from the program proposal.

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