HIGGS ML CONTEST! and lots more electrifying physics←→tcs fusion zeitgeist!

HML-Higgs-ML-poster-newQR-Bhi all as you regulars may have noticed, really like/enjoy collecting zillions of links in bookmarks on misc subjs esp topics that are crosscutting through computer science, math, and physics.

there are not many places or moments in cyberspace that capture the behind-the-scenes buzzing, crackling, electrifying energy & excitement of the scientific developments in this area.

there is a new Cosmos series on tv that some have blogged on, and its really great to see this series reappear & there are very positive reviews incl by other bloggers. Sagan is one of my personal heroes, esp in his popularizer & scientific statesman role that is also reminiscent of the other big icon around here, Einstein. another heroic figure that captures crossover aspects of different fields is Feynman, coincidentally one of the founders of quantum computing.

my only small )( wish is that a CS-Math-combination series was on tv somewhere & might someday achieve the fame & influence of Cosmos. think the time is ripe for something like that & have seen a few youtube videos that capture some of that zeitgeist.

😮 here is a rare moment where some of that energy has been captured and am personally excited about the possibilities. and in “celebratory synchronicity” am unleashing my big load of links on the subject of the fusion between physics and CS, a really dynamic area of scientific research that is likely to be a very big theme of the 21st century, and have been collecting links on this longer than the entire lifetime of this blog, ~1½ year! defn one of my all-time favorite topics. (one of my new big analogies/metaphors is that the 6-decade long lack of appearance of provably hard functions in CS is analogous to the fields own massive case of unresolved “dark matter”!) 😀

many entities connected with the European supercollider and otherwise have just announced an open Kaggle Machine Learning contest to work on Higgs data! ❗ 💡 😎

as this is being written, this contest is still largely unpublicized in the media, there is very little exposure so far. youd think that LHC could do a better job! in contrast the Higgs discovery is one of the most highly heralded scientific events of last decade. but, maybe it is early & there are signs that this will get more PR/buzz in the weeks ahead. Lubos Motl has a high-read blog & he just blogged on it.

but this is not undeserved exposure or unwarranted hype, the Higgs detection is one of the greatest scientific achievements of many centuries and an early breakthrough of this 21st century. have been meaning to blog on it for many months but the months kept creeping by with other great topics.

CS plays a very large role in the LHC, but alas there is not so much great visibility of it. CS gets lots of exposure but yet is still in many ways the galloping “powerful-yet-dark horse” of science.

unfortunately some fine print on the contest. it is only running a few months (this summer only) and the prizes are not very large: $13K. 😦

however, the list of sponsors is very impressive, world class science!

  • Google
  • CERN
  • Paris-Saclay Center for Data Science
  • ATLAS Experiment
  • Laboratoire De L’Accelerateur Lineaire
  • Inria
  • App Stat
  • CHA Learn
  • CNRS
  • Laboratoiree De Recherche En Informatique
  • Universite Paris SUD

one might think with such a massive list of sponsors and such massive scientific funding in the billions, the contest could have bigger prizes. maybe the organizers are afraid they might pay prizes for only very incremental improvements. my suggestion is that the organizers put up a large prize based on very advanced performance which might remain open for a longer period of time (or maybe indefinitely) as with the massive ClayMath awards. what would be a million dollar performance improvement? figure it out and then announce that prize!

➡ so this contest combines many of my favorite areas of reality and blog topics namely

  • physics
  • TCS
  • statistics
  • open science/research
  • datamining/big data
  • AI/machine learning
  • and cash $$$ prizes!

as those old beer commercials said “it just doesnt get any better than this!” ❤

this contest also really reminds me of the Netflix contest of years ago, which was a really big deal for me, splurged out on a new computer and Ubuntu just for that occasion and hacked it heavily on eves/wknds years ago! but alas the prize pales in comparison: 1/100th. ouch o_O

the other big topics/developments around this area, with links below, highlights:

  • lhc1-578x433 ❗ Particle Fever movie/ documentary gets mainstream release/ distribution. seems not so well publicized either. a rare event, big appeal science movie. Aaronson wrote a glowing review. you know its really hit cultural mainstream & critical mass when the Onion reviews it. just reading all the reviews is a pleasure & the list outlets reviewing it is so impressive! washpost, NYTimes, LATimes, Globe & Mail, miami herald, Variety mag, hollywood reporter. shew! 🙄 gotta go see this movie! 😮
  • DWave & scientific controversy on DWave. Time mag article ❗ incl another NYT article
  • QM computing research continues. australia announces big advance. china said to be working on one. continued announcements of major laboratory experimental advancements.
  • NSA quantum computer
  • Aaronson profile
  • majorly amused by the breathless mention of the “quantum singularity” and Aaronsons research in the same breath in MIT Review article. Aaronson is both Mr Hype (wrt his own research) and Mr Anti Hype (wrt DWave) bordering on at-times-schizophrenic….

so, nobody has written a book focusing on all this “physics←→tcs” fusion going on (Deutsch comes closest!), but expect to see one soon! & cant wait, on edge of seat to hear more on this contest in media and or contestant developments!

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

update 7/24…
❗ 😯 😀 😎 this blog cited on the Higgs ML media page! thx much guys
💡 also idea for blending top solutions
😄 and LHC/Higgs covered in the media eg the Onion

a. physics←→tcs

b. higgs ML contest

c. dwave

d. particle fever

e. qm2

f. stackexchange physics+tcs

g. wikipedia bkg



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