Communications and Signal Processing Seminar

Understanding the Universality Phenomenon in High- Dimensional Estimation and Learning: Some Recent Progress

Yue M. LuGordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Applied MathematicsHarvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
1690 Beyster BuildingMap

Abstract:  Universality is a fascinating high-dimensional phenomenon. It points to the existence of universal laws that govern the macroscopic behavior of wide classes of large and complex systems, despite their differences in microscopic details. The notion of universality originated in statistical mechanics, especially in the study of phase transitions. Similar phenomena have been observed in probability theory, dynamical systems, random matrix theory, and number theory. In this talk, I will present some recent progress in rigorously understanding and exploiting the universality phenomenon in the context of statistical estimation and learning on high-dimensional data. Examples include spectral methods for high-dimensional projection pursuit, statistical learning based on kernel and random feature models, approximate message passing algorithms, structured random dimension reduction maps for efficient sketching, and regularized linear regression on highly structured, strongly correlated, and even (nearly) deterministic design matrices. Together, they demonstrate the robustness and wide applicability of the universality phenomenon. Based on joint work with Rishabh Dudeja, Hong Hu, Subhabrata Sen, and Horng-Tzer Yau.

(arXiv:2208.02753, arXiv:2205.06308, arXiv:2205.06798,arXiv:2009.07669)

Bio: Yue M. Lu attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received the M.Sc. degree in mathematics and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering, both in 2007. He is currently the Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Applied Mathematics at Harvard University. He is also fortunate to have held visiting appointments at Duke University in 2016 and at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in 2019. His research interests include the mathematical foundations of statistical
signal processing and machine learning in high dimensions. His honors include several best paper awards (from the IEEE ICIP, ICASSP, GlobalSIP), the ECE Illinois Young Alumni Achievement Award (2015), and the IEEE Signal Processing Society Distinguished Lecturership (2022).

***Event will take place in hybrid format. The location for in-person attendance will be room 1690 Beyster Building.   Attendance will also be available via Zoom.

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Faculty Host

Qing QuAssistant Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceUniversity of Michigan