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Takeaways from the Morse Lecture

by Paul Rubin on November 11th, 2014

The plenary lecture by Morse award winner Dimitri Bertsimas was standing room only, and deservedly so. (Note to self: see if there is a polynomial time algorithm for the Geek Packing Problem.) The photo below was taken long before the arrivals stopped.


As noted by Harrison Schramm, Professor Bertsimas’s central theme was that a number of related problems in statistics (including feature selection and the development off regression models) can be viewed profitably as discrete robust optimization problems, a perspective that seems not to be in wide use in the statistics community. Professor Bertsimas also drew an important distinction, often overlooked, between computational complexity (especially P v. NP) and computational tractibility (can we solve the instances we actually have in the time and memory available to us).

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