UWashington Distinguished Seminar in Optimization and Data: Philippe Rigollet

  • Date: 05/22/2023
  • Time: 15:30
Philippe Rigollet, MIT

University of Washington


Statistical applications of Wasserstein gradient flows


Otto calculus is a fundamental toolbox in mathematical optimal transport, imparting the Wasserstein space of probability measures with a Riemmanian structure. In particular, one can compute the Riemannian gradient of a functional over this space and, in turn, optimize it using Wasserstein gradient flows. The necessary background to define and compute Wasserstein gradient flows will be presented in the first part of the talk before moving to statistical applications such as variational inference and maximum likelihood estimation in Gaussian mixture models.


Speaker biography: Philippe Rigollet is a Professor of Mathematics at MIT. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Paris VI. in 2006. His work is at the intersection of statistics, machine learning, and optimization, focusing primarily on the design and analysis of statistical methods for high-dimensional problems. Rigollet's recent research focuses on statistical optimal transport and its applications to geometric data analysis and sampling.

Other Information: 

Time: 3:30 pm Pacific

Location: Gates Commons (CSE 691) Allen Center


Seminar webpage: https://sites.math.washington.edu/~thomas/DSOS.html