From Noisebridge
Jump to: navigation, search


8/10/17 - Informal Meetup[edit]

Bring papers you've been reading, material/texts you've been working through, questions to ask, and Things You Understand to teach.

Dress code this week is all black.

Social events to follow.

7/6/17 - Talk and Discussion: Dr. Steve Young - Boltzmann Machines and Statistical Mechanics.[edit]


MacKay - Information Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms Chapter 43 on the Boltzmann machine. Chapter 42 on Hopfield networks.

Media:hinton_lect11.pdf Media:hinton_lect12.pdf Lecture notes from Hinton's Coursera class. Good overview of Boltzmann machines and Hopfield nets. You can sign up for the free course and watch the accompanying videos here. They're also on Youtube.


nBDSM is the noiseBridge Deepnet and Statistical Mechanics working group. We meet periodically to learn, teach, and discuss topics at the intersection of AI/deep learning and statistical mechanics. Note that we have a non-trivial overlap with The One, The Only Noisebridge DreamTeam.

We're focused on theory. Implementation is fun too, but has its own set of (mostly orthogonal) skills that we'll cover only lightly.


Our discussions are at upper division to grad level in machine learning and statistical mechanics. To be able to get something out of them, you should know

  • linear algebra (at the level of D. Lay's book)
  • single and multi-variable calculus, vector calculus, Lagrange multiplers, Taylor expansions (all of Stewart's textbook).
  • basics of statistics, including bayesian
  • statistical mechanics (at the level of McGreevy's MIT lecture notes)

There are plenty of other places to learn this stuff. Eg you can review your probability, stats and linear algebra from chapters 2 and 3 of Goodfellow.


Check out these cool links

These are my ongoing personal written working notes. They are a mess, but you can at least use them to see what I'm working on.



Good large scale overview of why the stat mech side is important

  • Advani et al. - Stat mech of complex neural systems and high dimensional data - arXiv:1301.7115v1

Less emphasis on the physics, more emphasis on the stat mech <-> statistical inference connection.

  • Mastromatteo - On the typical properties of inverse problems in stat mech - arXiv:1311.0910v1

Interesting papers[edit]



  • A great place to find books and articles is Library Genesis. I use these links for books and articles: [1], [2].

Stat Mech[edit]

  • Huang's text is the bronze standard for grad level stat mech.
  • Chandler's text is supposedly great for stat mech, although I haven't read it.

Stat Mech and Stat Inference[edit]

  • Jaynes - Probability Theory, The Logic of Science An excellent introduction to Bayesian reasoning and probability theory in general, from a very pedagogical, opinionated point-of-view. Dives into the motivations behind some information theory as well.

Ideas for future talks[edit]

Here's some ideas for future talks. If you want to present one of these,

A) Feel free to be advanced as you like -- assume an audience of graduate students.


B) Don't feel pressured to go any faster than you want. If you think you can give a pedagogical 'for dummies' talk in the course of an hour and a half, go for it!

  • Derive capacity of Hopfield net and understand this limitation intuitively
  • Explain similarity/relationship/identity of Bayesian inference and maximum entropy formalism.
  • Deep intuitive dive on Lagrangian duals and what they really do/mean in the context of statistical inference/machine learning/stat mech