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Optimization Seminar

 
The goals of this seminar are to expose students, postdocs, faculty and visitors to interesting topics relevant to optimization under various aspects, for example:
 
  • Optimization Methods and Software
  • Inverse Problems (parameter estimation, imaging and sensing, etc.)
  • Optimal Control
  • Optimal Experimental Design (OED)
  • Bayesian Inference/Inversion
  • Machine Learning
  • etc.,

and to provide opportunities to share new findings, and to potentially contribute with research ideas/projects.

The seminar is led by Professors Roummel MarciaNoemi Petra and Chrysoula Tsogka, and consists of graduate students, postdocs and faculty. The optimization research group meets on a bi-weekly basis to share and discuss current optimization research in the Applied Mathematics Department here at UC Merced and beyond.
 

Fall 2022

For the Fall 2022 semester, seminars will take place on Thursdays from 3:00pm-4.00pm in person in ACS 362B.

  • October 4, 2022
Jacqueline Alvarez (Graduate Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Synthetic aperture radar inverse scattering reconstruction using convolutional neural networks
Abstract: We address the reconstruction of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images using machine learning. From previous work, we utilize a single, fully-connected layer to learn the sensing matrix of the forward scattering problem. We estimate the reflectivity of the SAR measurements by applying the conjugate transpose of the learned sensing matrix to the SAR measurements. We further improve the reconstructions of the reflectivity using convolutional layers. The model is trained to reconstruct images containing a single target but can be applied to data containing multiple targets without additional training. Resulting reconstructions are sharper images, where the background noise is significantly decreased.
 
  • September 20, 2022
Symeon Papadimitropoulos (Postdoctoral Researcher, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Imaging in waveguides using physically-informed data-driven techniques
Abstract: Inverse source problems are central to many applications in acoustics, geophysics, non-destructive testing, and more. Traditional imaging methods suffer from the resolution limit, preventing distinction of sources separated by less than the emitted wavelength. In this work we propose a method based on physically-informed neural-networks for solving the source refocusing problem, constructing a novel loss term which promotes super-resolving capabilities of the network and is based on the physics of wave propagation. We demonstrate the approach in the setup of imaging an a-priori unknown number of point sources in a two-dimensional rectangular waveguide from measurements of wavefield recordings along a vertical cross-section. The results show the ability of the method to approximate the locations of sources with high accuracy, even when placed close to each other.
 
  • September 6, 2022
Chrysoula Tsogka (Professor, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:   Phase and absorption contrast imaging using intensity measurements
Abstract:  We consider imaging absorbing as well as non-absorbing objects using intensity only measurements. Objects with high absorption contrast can be imaged effectively using multiple illuminations and/or masks as in ghost imaging. On the other hand, transparent objects with low absorption contrast are more challenging to be imaged when only intensities are measured, even when they significantly change the phase of the waves as they go through them. We present a computational imaging approach that allows quantitative imaging of both absorbing and transparent objects. This problem arises in various fields such as  X-ray crystallography,  electron microscopy, coherent diffractive imaging and astronomy. The proposed algorithm guarantees exact recovery if the image is sparse with respect to a given basis, and it can be used, without any modification, when the illumination is partially coherent. This is important for, for example,  phase-contrast X-ray imaging because fully coherent sources of X-rays are very hard to be obtained.

 

Spring 2022

For the Spring 2022 semester, seminars will take place on Thursdays from 2:00pm-3.00pm in person in ACS 362B (if you'd like to join via zoom, please send an email to Noemi Petra at npetra at ucmerced dot edu).

  • February 03, 2022
Ruanui Nicholson (Lecturer, The University of Auckland)
Title Talk:  On the use of (Linear) Surrogates in Bayesian Inverse Problems
Abstract: In this talk we consider the use of surrogate (forward) models to efficiently solve Bayesian inverse problems. The problems considered are from a range of applications but are all high dimensional problems resulting from the discretisation of partial differential equations. We adopt the Bayesian approximation error approach to account for the model discrepancy, which is treated as an additional stochastic error term. We also prove a somewhat surprising result: under the assumption of a Gaussian prior and additive noise model the approximate posterior found by using a linear(-ised) surrogate is invariant to the choice of linear surrogate, so long as the model discrepancy is taken into account via the  Bayesian approximation error approach. This is ongoing joint work with Noemi Petra, Umberto Villa, and Jari P. Kaipio.
 
  • February 17, 2022
Jacqueline Alvarez (Graduate Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk: Deep Learning for Signal and Image Processing with Limited Data
 
  • March 03, 2022
Jingyi Wang (Postdoctoral Researcher, LLNL)
Title Talk:  A distributed-memory optimization solver for two-stage stochastic programming problems
 
  • March 17, 2022
Kyle Wright (Graduate Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Numerical Methods for a Schrodinger Equation Inverse Eigenvalue Problem
 
Jocelyn Ornelas Munoz (Graduate Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk: Detecting Inherited and Novel Structural Variants in Low-Coverage Parent-Child Sequencing Data Using Negative Binomial Optimization
 
  • April 07, 2022
Ki-Tae Kim (Postdoctoral Researcher, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Joint parameter and model dimension reduction for Bayesian inverse problems with application to a nonlinear Stokes ice sheet flow
 
  • April 21, 2022
Tucker Hartland (Graduate Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Hierarchical Hessian approximation for large-scale inverse problems governed by PDE ice sheet models
 
  • May 05, 2022
Radoslav Vuchkov (Graduate Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Inversion for the basal sliding coefficient for the Stokes ice sheet model under uncertain thermal distribution
 

Fall 2021

For the Fall 2021 semester, seminars will take place on Thursdays from 2:00pm-3.00pm in person in ACS 362B (if you'd like to join via zoom, please send an email to Noemi Petra at npetra at ucmerced dot edu).

  • September 09, 2021
Chrysoula Tsogka (Professor, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Inverse problems for waves
 
  • September 23, 2021
Radoslav Vuchkov (Graduate Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Tensor Train Network and its Applications to Numerical Integration and Partial Differential Equations
 
Boaz Ilan (Professor, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk: Optimizing solar concentrators
 
  • October 7, 2021
Tucker Hartland (Graduate Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Inversion of the Humboldt Glacier Basal Friction Coefficient in an Uncertain Ice Sheet Model
 
Kyle Wright (Graduate Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk: Discretizing Inverse Eigenvalue Problems
 
  • October 21, 2021
Ki-Tae Kim (Postdoc, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Joint parameter and model dimension reduction for Bayesian inverse problems with application to a nonlinear Stokes ice sheet flow
 
  • November 04, 2021
Sarah Downs (Graduate Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Explore the Effects of Taxonomic Structures for Multi-Sensor Fusion
 
Tucker Hartland (Graduate Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  A Multigrid Interior-Point Approach for PDE- and Bound-Constrained Optimization
 

Spring 2021

For the Spring 2021 semester, seminars will take place on Thursdays from 3:00pm, via Zoom. If you are interested to join the seminar, please contact Noemi Petra at npetra at ucmerced dot edu.

  • January 28, 2021
Journal papers discussion (Graduate Students, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
 
  • February 11, 2021
Radoslav Vuchkov (Graduate Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Exploring the potential of Firedrake as PDE solver when solving inverse problems governed by PDEs
 
Tucker Hartland (Graduate Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk: The Semi-Smooth Newton Method for Optimization with PDE and Bound Constraints
 
  • February 25, 2021 - Canceled
 
  • March 11, 2021
Jacqueline Alvarez (Graduate Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Projection onto Affine Constraints
 
Alex Ho (Graduate Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  A Deep Learning Approach for Computing Curvature in Level-Set Methods (recording)
 
  • April 15, 2021
Ki-Tae Kim (Postdoc, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  TBA
 
  • April 29, 2021
Journal papers discussion (Graduate Students, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  TBA
 

Fall 2020

For the Fall 2020 semester, seminars will take place on Thursdays from 10:30am to 11:30am, via Zoom. If you are interested to join the seminar, please contact Noemi Petra at npetra at ucmerced dot edu.

  • September 10, 2020
Roummel Marcia (Professor, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Optimization Methods for Machine Learning
 
Aditya Ranganath (Grad Student, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  TBD
 
  • September 24, 2020
Ki-Tae Kim (Postdoc, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  MUQ-hIPPYlib: A Bayesian Inference Software Framework Integrating Data with Complex Predictive Models under Uncertainty
 
  • October 08, 2020
Noemi Petra (Professor, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Optimal experimental design of large-scale Bayesian linear inverse problems under model uncertainty
 
  • October 22, 2020
Tucker Hartland (Grad Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Hierarchical off-diagonal low-rank (HODLR) approximation for Hessians in Bayesian inference with application to ice sheet models
 
Radoslav Vuchkov (Grad Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk: Inexact Newton method with relaxed Krylov subspace approximation for inverse problems governed by PDEs
 
  • November 05, 2020
Jacqueline Alvarez (Grad student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Image Denoising With Limited Data Using Recurrent Neural Network (recording)
 
Alex Ho (Grad student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk: Fundamentals of Recurrent Neural Networks (recording)
 
  • November 19, 2020
Sarah Downs (Grad Student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Classification of Forest Disturbance in California (recording)
 
 

Spring 2020 

  • January 30th:
Jacqueline Alvarez (grad student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Image Classification in Synthetic Aperture Radar using Reconstruction From Learned Inverse Scattering
 
Roummel Marcia (Professor, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Efficient Factorizations of Large-Scale Oblique Projection Matrices
 
  • February 27th:
Toshiyuki Bandai (grad student, Environmental Systems, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Inverse solution of Richards' equation using physics informed neural networks
 
Melissa Spence (grad student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Predicting Novel and Inherited Structural Variants in Parent-Child Trios
 
  • March 12th: CANCELED - this talk is rescheduled to the end of April
Yanting Zhao (Ph.D. candidate, Univ Sci Tech of China (USTC), visiting Ph.D. at MESA Lab of UC Merced)
Title Talk:  Fractional Order Gradient Descent (FOGD): An overview and future opportunities
 
  • April 2nd: CANCELED - this talk will be rescheduled for later in the Fall
Tucker Hartland (grad student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Hierarchical Off-diagonal Low-rank (HODLR) Approximation of Hessians for Inverse Problems with Application to Ice Sheet Flow
 
Ki-Tae Kim (postdoc, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  MUQ-hIPPYlib: A Bayesian Inference So ware Framework Integrating Data with Complex Predictive Models under Uncertainty
 
  • April 16th: CANCELED
Omar DeGuchy (grad student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  TBA
 
  • April 30th:
Yanting Zhao (Ph.D. candidate, Univ Sci Tech of China (USTC), visiting Ph.D. at MESA Lab of UC Merced)
Title Talk:  Fractional Order Gradient Descent (FOGD): An overview and future opportunities

 

Fall 2019 

  • September 19th:
Alex Ho (grad student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Image Disambiguation with Deep Neural Networks
 
Ki-Tae Kim (postdoc, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Some advances in computational methods for fracture mechanics, linear wave propagations and eigenvalue problems
 
  • October 3rd:
Noemi Petra (Assistant Professor, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Introduction to hIPPYlib
 
  • October 17th:
Omar DeGuchy (grad student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk: Deep Learning with Pytorch (Part I)
 
  • October 31st:
Amalia Kokkinaki (PhD, Assistant Professor, Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, University of San Francisco)
Title Talk:  Large-scale inverse problems and data assimilation in hydrogeology: developments and challenges
Abstract: In hydrogeology, inverse problems and data assimilation are used to estimate the properties of the subsurface using noisy, indirect measurements, as well as to track fluid movement through the soil or rock matrix. Applications include characterization for improved site cleanup, water resources management, and identification of contaminant sources. The corresponding inverse problems range from weakly nonlinear, such as pressure dissipation in mildly heterogeneous formations, to strongly nonlinear, such as multiphase flow in heterogeneous formations. A variety of techniques have been used over the last two decades to tackle such inverse problems, including deterministic/regularization based techniques to stochastic Bayesian estimation techniques. In this talk, a review of these methods will be presented, focusing on methods that are applicable for large scale systems with thousands to millions of unknowns, and specifically addressing the tradeoff between computational efficiency and estimation accuracy.  The challenges associated with strongly non-linear problems, and Kalman Filtering variants that can address such problems will be discussed. The talk will close with an overview of current research needs for inverse modeling methods in the field of hydrogeology. 
 
  • November 14th:
Omar DeGuchy (grad student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk: Deep Learning with Pytorch (Part II)
 
  • ​December 5th:
Tucker Hartland, (grad student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk:  Hierarchical Off-Diagonal Low-Rank Approximation forHessians in Inverse Problems
 
Radoslav Vuchkov (grad student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk: Quasi-Newton Methods for Infinite-Dimensional Inverse Problems Governed by PDEs
 

Spring 2019 

  • ​February 14th:
Omar DeGuchy (grad student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk: The Fundamentals of Deep Learning
 
  • February 21st:
Tucker Hartland (grad student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk: Hierarchical Off-diagonal Low-rank Approximation for Hessians in Inverse Problems
 
  • March 7th:
Roummel Marcia (Professor, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk: Quasi-Newton Methods for Off-the-Shelf Machine Learning
 
  • ​March 21st:
Ekkehard Sachs  (Professor, Trier University)
Title Talk: Second-order adjoints in optimization with application to machine learning for the training of neural networks
 
  • ​April 4th:
Radoslav Vuchkov (grad student, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk: On mesh-independent secant quasi-Newton formulas
 
  • April 18th:
Lekan Babaniyi (postdoc, Applied Mathematics, University of California, Merced)
Title Talk: Bayesian inversion for the basal sliding parameter field in a nonlinear Stokes ice sheet model with a nuisance rheology parameter in hIPPYlib
 
  • ​May 2nd:
Derek Hollenbeck
Title Talk: Odor Plume Problems and Introduction to POSIM
 

Previous Talks/Events

Spring 2015 (seminar was led by Professors Roummel MarciaJuan MezaNoemi Petra and Ekkehard Sachs)