WADS 2007: Days 2 & 3

D A Y 2

Session 5 (Invited Talk)
The day started off with an invited talk from Michael Langston from the University of Tennesse. The talk was on challenges in data analysis, and how sometimes you can have beautiful data to work with (good correlation, easy to work with, e.t.c.) and sometimes you can have tough data to work with. Although not particularly intriguing to myself (I'm still leaning towards a more theoretical area of research), the things he described are exactly the things I have experienced this summer with my cross-disciplinary work. All and all this was a good talk.

Session 6B
I missed the very first presentation in this session, but the second one was about Steiner trees again (everyone loves a Steiner tree). Not quite computing, because that is NP-Complete The session ended off with computing minimum-depth planar graph embeddings in quartic time. I enjoy graphs so I also enjoyed both of these talks!

Session 7A/7b
This session really wasn't doing it for me so I skipped it. I probably should have looked into the computational geometry presentations taking place in 7A though because it is starting to interest me somewhat.

Session 8B
I checked out some parameterized algorithms and kernelization algorithms. Nothing much to report besides the fact that it wasn't overly exciting! For those who are unfamiliar with kernelization, it's simply taking a problem instance and breaking it down into a smaller problem instance. From here we solve this smaller problem instance and from it we can extract the solution to the original problem. This is a common technique in creating algorithms that have good bounds for running times when analyzed parametrically.

Conference Dinner
Lobster! Nothing to say about the dinner besides for the fact that it was delicious. I joined a few of the PHD/Masters students - Aaron Lee from Carleton University, Cora Borradaile from Brown University and another guy from Calgary whose name escapes me at the moment - at the pub next to the Alexander Keith's brewery after for a couple of drinks. Good times!

D A Y 3

Session 9B
I sort of slept in through these...

Session 10B
Approximation of graph distances and shortest paths. Nothing particularly interesting to point out. I just enjoyed going to all of these graph theory talks because I'm not completely out of the blue when they mention crazy terms and the like.

Session 11B
To end off the conference were two sessions with four presentations. The first two involved suffix arrays. One of the grad students which I was fairly familiar with over the course of the past couple of days, Orgad Keller from Israel, done an excellent job at presenting his work (clarity, leaving out the overly complicated details, e.t.c.). The third talk was interesting; it dealt with streaming algorithms, those which receive input in a stream and use much less space (a fuzzy term, I know) than the actual amount of data. They proposed optimal (or maybe ti was near optimal) ways of solving the straggler identification problem. The last presentation I left for, because it was on TCP acknowledgment.

It was all over and Jason was saddened because he enjoyed his time at Dalhousie. But alas, all good things must come to and end. Back to the ol' grind now and in a couple of weeks school starts again. That's kind of exciting too. . . for now.

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