First of all, props to John Downer for the title of this post.
Energy is starting to become a key area of focus at MIT. Within LIDS, there were several energy-related seminars this academic year. Two weeks ago, the Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu gave a talk and said that a major increase in basic research is necessary in the United States in order to provide the new energy technologies needed to avert catastrophic climate change.
Unfortunately, I was not able to attend because it coincided with a talk by Al Hero on a topic very close to my research: linear dimensionality reduction. Prof. Hero discussed dimensionality reduction when models of statistical structure underlying the data are applicable, for example a graphical model that generates data. He also focused on distributed implementations. In some of my work, I have looked at linear dimensionality reduction for margin-based classification, including with distributed implementation. I will be presenting that work this summer at the Fusion conference.
The fusion in this case is information fusion, not the type of fusion that "has the potential to meet future worldwide energy needs in a safe, sustainable manner without carbon dioxide emissions."
I am doing an internship this summer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in the Systems and Decision Sciences section. The National Ignition Facility, a device to create a fusion reaction, is being dedicated on Friday at the lab. Some people think its a folly, but for me its a jolly. I'll get to hear Secretary Chu after all.