Conferences

Early Career Award to Ming Hsu

Prof. Ming Hsu received the Early Career Award at the 2015 Society for Neuroeconomics conference!

Brand decoding paper wins first prize poster award at ISDN 2014

Congratulations to Yuping Chen, whose poster "Decoding neural responses to consumer brands using functional MRI" was awarded first prize at the 2014 ISDN Conference!

University College London Talk

Over spring break I had a chance to be part of the Computational Psychiatry course at University College London (h.t. Xiaosi Gu). I gave one of the two talks that day to an audience consisting (I think) primarily of clinical fellows. It was thoroughly enjoyable, but what I did not expect was how eye opening this experience would be for me. As researchers, we talk a fair bit about connecting our research to applications and reaching out to clinicians, but the actual opportunity to do so is surprisingly hard to come by. Here was a real demonstration of what can be done but at the same time how much work there is to be done. I hope to have more to say about this topic in the future, but in the meantime here are slides and audio recording of the talk.[Slides] [Audio]

Kavli Frontiers Symposium

Last week I attended and gave a talk at the Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium. It was held at the National Academy of Sciences in Irvine, and is one of those truly interdisciplinary conferences where you get to hear people from fields like material science to astronomy talking to and with each other. The 2010 talks aren’t up yet, but the archive or the past talks are. It was one of the most enjoyable conferences I’ve been to. The normal conference circuit is good but it’s also a lot of work. You’re always trying to track the latest trends and ideas, and implicitly or explicitly measuring your work against others in the field or adjacent fields. Here everybody is so different that it’s worthwhile to just sit back, relax, and learn something about the big topics in other the sciences. It’s like being an undergrad again without any of the downsides of being an undergrad!

Still, just because the topics are different doesn’t mean the problems are completely dissimilar. I particularly like the session on Cryosphere Hydrosphere Interaction, not least because I learned two new words. The other thing I learned was that ice caps on mountains like Kilimanjaro are essentially in equilibrium with the surrounding environment, so it’s easy to understand the effects of global warming. Ice sheets on the other hand, are a totally different beast. Because they are so massive they change the environment around them; and to model the effects requires knowledge of parameters and mechanisms that we know very little about. Now since this is all from memory the details are probably totally wrong, but I think it makes for a pretty nice physical analogy to what makes economic phenomenon complicated.

California Cognitive Science Conference

Yesterday I gave a talk at the 2010 California Cognitive Science Conference, run by the undergraduate student association of the same name. I had a great time, and found out to my amazement that it really is an undergraduate run conference. Yes I know it’s in the description and all, but there was nary a supervising “adult” in sight, impressive for a conference that had students coming from all across the state, and certainly better run than some of the conferences I’ve been to before. All of which makes me feel old and think, “Kids these days...”, but in a good way.

P.S. A couple of people asked if I can send them my slides, so
here they are.

Everhart Lecture

I gave the Everheart Lecture on May 9th, 2006. The video of the lecture is now on the Caltech Streaming Theater. Much thanks to the Everhart committee for helping me making the talk much more accessible to the general audience. And by general audience I mean there is a picture of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in the talk. :P If you only want the presentation, you can download the Powerpoint (7.7MB).

Video is below the fold... Read More...