Spring 2020 — Convex Optimization and Maximum Flows

Location: See update

Time: Round table discussions each Monday at 6:30 pm, and presentations each Friday at 6:00 pm

Logistics: Please join our emailing list here to stay up to date with current events. Fill out this Google Form for course units.

Files: scribe note template

Update on 3/13/2020 - due to recent developments regarding the transmission of COVID-19, we will be moving our meetings to an online video conferencing service. More details regarding how you can connect will be available soon. Please stay safe and wash your hands!

In the past decade, major advancements in the design and analysis of algorithms have risen from a confluence of techniques developed in continuous and discrete optimization. One example in which this blend of approaches has been particularly effective is towards algorithms for solving maximum flow problems on graphs. This semester, we will read recent papers related to maxflow and learn about techniques developed in optimization related to analyzing Laplacian linear system solvers, interior point methods, and preconditioner construction.

Paper List

A selection of papers that we may read

Additional Resources

  • A number of talks regarding the above papers have been recorded and posted to YouTube
    • Aleksander Mądry’s talk on approximating maxflow using electrical flows
    • Aleksander Mądry’s introduction to interior point methods
    • Aleksander Mądry’s talk on solving maxflow using interior point methods
    • Aaron Sidford’s talk on solving linear programs in \(\mathcal{O}(\sqrt{\text{rank}})\) iterations
  • Bootcamp from the Simon’s Institute’s Fall 2014 program on Algorithmic Spectral Graph Theory
  • Bootcamp from the Simons Institute’s Fall 2017 program on Bridging Continuous and Discrete Optimization
Date Topic Resources

Reading group General meeting and preliminary logistics — Soda 380 @ 7:00pm

  • Discuss semester long goals, plans for weekly meetings, and unit requirements.

[CKMST11] Part 1 presented by Antares — Soda 373 @ 6:00pm

Scribe notes coming soon


[CKMST11] Part 2 presented by Albert and Natalie — Soda 373 @ 6:00pm

Scribe notes coming soon


Maxflow noting and coding workday — Soda 373 @ 6:00pm

  • No round table discussion this week; we’ll be coding and writing scribe notes for CKMST on Friday.

[KOSZ13] Part 1 presented by Josh and Naveen — Soda 373 @ 6:00pm

Scribe notes coming soon


[KOSZ13] Part 2 presented by Robert — Soda 373 @ 6:00pm

Scribe notes coming soon


Campus Recommendation to Move to Online Meetings due to COVID-19 — no meeting

  • Please stay safe and wash your hands!

[Sherman13] presented by Prof. Rao — Zoom @ 4:00pm Thursday 3/19