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Statistical Mechanics of Learning and Inference
26-29 May 2010
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Background and other information

For several years, ideas from statistical mechanics have been used in developing inference techniques useful for analyzing high dimensional data. Furthermore, in recent years technological advances in multi-electrode and multi-array recordings have resulted in an increase in the number of elements that can be observed simultaneously in many biological systems. This event is meant to gather scientists interested in applications of statistical mechanics for building useful inference techniques and the use of such techniques for making sense of multi-electrode/multi-array data. The event is also meant to gather participants from Computer and Information Science working on similar ideas.

The venue is Hotel Arkipelag in downtown Mariehamn, the capital of the province of Åland, Finland. The Åland archipelago, lying between Sweden and mainland Finland, is easily reachable by ferry from Stockholm (Sweden), from Turku (Finland), and from Helsinki (Finland). In addition, there are flights from Sweden and Finland.

The workshop begins on a ferry from Stockholm to Mariehamn Wednesday afternoon May 26, 2010, with arrival late evening that day, and the continues in Mariehamn over 2.5 full days (Thursday to Saturday noon, May 27-29). Participation costs, to be covered by Workshop participants, comprise travel to and from Stockholm, accommodation in Mariehamn, and a flat Workshop fee (100 Euros).

The Workshop fee covers travel from Stockholm to Mariehamn (ferry ticket), dinner on the ferry and coffee and lunches at the Workshop. The Workshop fee can be waived for participants on tight budgets (PhD students). The organizers arrange suitable accommodation at the conference venue, please see Registration page for information. If you prefer to arrange your own accommodation in Mariehamn, please indicate so upon registration. If you chose to travel to Mariehamn otherwise than by ferry from Stockholm (see information e.g. on the Åland official tourism site), please indicate so upon registration (and please make your own travel arrangements).

For invited speakers the workshop organizers cover travel, accommodation and the Workshop fee. The meeting is generously supported by NORDITA, the KTH Linnaeus Centre ACCESS, the National Graduate School in Materials Physics (Finland) NGSMP, and and the National Graduate School in Computational Sciences (Finland) FICS. Deadline for registration for scientists interested in participation is April 1 (we have recently recieved the max. participant number, so please contact the organizers and explain your situation if you have not registered yet). We also have taken notice of the recent flight turbulence thanks to the volcano eruption in Iceland. The meeting will go on however nevertheless. Please note that the program should start on a ferry from Stockholm, so your presence on that is important information for the organizers. There is a maximum number of participants, 50, for capacity reasons.

Invited speakers are

Venkat Chandrasekaran Boston
Marek Cieplak Warsaw
Simona Cocco Paris
Jaakko Hollmen Helsinki
Bert Kappen Nijmengen
Samuel Kaski Helsinki
Enzo Marinari Rome
Amos Maritan Padova
Matteo Marsili Trieste
Rémi Monasson Paris
Pradeep RavikumarAustin
Angelo Vulpiani Rome
Martin Weigt Turin
Riccardo Zecchina Turin

Practical information about the conference start

The conference begins on Viking Line ferry leaving Stockholm harbour May 26 2010 at 16.45 Swedish time. We will travel on the Viking Line ferries going from Stockholm to Helsinki with a stop-over in Mariehamn (where we get off).

The trip to Mariehamn from Stockholm takes almost exactly five hours. We will have a lecture room and dinner on the ship.

It is recommended that you be in the ferry terminal at 16.00, at the latest. Someone from the organizing committee (Erik Aurell, Mikko Alava or Yasser Roudi) will be in the ferry terminal with the tickets from 15.30 at the latest.

Practical information about the return trip

The return trip from Mariehamn is the responsibility of the individual participants.

However, to simplify things, everyone except those who have explicitly indicated a contrary preference will be booked on Viking Line sailing from Mariehamn on Saturday May 29 at 14.25 (Finnish time), arriving in Stockholm at 18.55 (Swedish time). If you continue elsewhere by air travel from Stockholm that same evening you should count at least one hour from the ferry terminal to the airport (to be on the safe side). Note that the ferry tickets are provided/included in the conference fee.

Dates: from 26 May 2010 16:00 to 29 May 2010 19:00
Chairs: Prof. AURELL, Erik
Prof. ALAVA, Mikko
Prof. HERTZ, John
Dr. ROUDI, Yasser

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