NIPS 2017 Tutorial on Differential Privacy and Machine Learning

Kamalika and I gave a tutorial at NIPS last week on differential privacy and machine learning. We’ve posted the slides and references (updates still being made). It was a bit stressful to get everything put together in time, especially given how this semester went, but it was a good experience and now we have something to build on. It’s amazing how much research activity there has been in the last few years.

One thing that I struggled with a bit was the difference between a class lecture, a tutorial, and a survey. Tutorials sit between lectures and surveys: the goal is to be clear and cover the basics with simple examples, but also lay out something about what is going on in the field and where important future directions lie. It’s impossible to be comprehensive; we had to pick and choose different topics and papers to cover, and ended up barely mentioning large bodies of work. At the same time, it didn’t really make sense to put up a slide saying “here are references for all the things we’re not going to talk about.” If the intended audience is a person who has heard of differential privacy but hasn’t really studied it, or someone who has read this recent series of articles, then a list without much context is not much help. It seems impossible to even make a real survey now, unless you make the scope more narrow.

As for NIPS itself… I have to say that the rapid increase in size (8000 participants this year) made the conference feel a lot different. I had a hard time hearing/understanding for the short time I was there. Thankfully the talks were streamed/recorded so I can go back to catch what I missed.

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ISIT 2018: call for CS theory papers too

I got an email from Venkat Guruswami encouraging those in the TCS community to submit work to the upcoming ISIT 2018 deadline. In particular, since ISIT papers are short (5 pages) it’s an ideal venue to publish more technical results or general tools (relevant to information theory) that get used in longer STOC/FOCS/SODA/etc papers. There was a lively discussion about what the “rules” were for ISIT, but basically:

  • the proceedings are archival so it counts as a real publication (no submitting the same result elsewhere)
  • ideal works would be things like coding theory problems of interest to both communities, TCS takes on IT problems, or general standalone results that could be applicable to information theory (or related) problems

The deadline is January 12, 2018. I guess I know what I’ll be doing for my winter vacation…

Rutgers ECE is Hiring (2018 edition)

My department is hiring for (potentially) multiple positions!

Hiring areas for this search are: (i) Electronics, including sensors, devices, bioelectronics, as well as integrated circuits and systems for RF and millimeter wave applications, (ii) Information processing and machine learning for autonomous systems and robots, especially learning and control in autonomous systems such as vehicles or drones as well as in assistive technologies, (iii) E-health, especially wearable electronics and sensors, medical informatics, quantified self and personalized medicine, as well as (iv) Cyber-physical systems, including signal processing and machine learning techniques, embedded systems, device and software security, IoT security, and applications to smart cities. Exceptional candidates in the university strategic areas are also welcome to apply.