Victorian Branch AGM & Seminar

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The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is open to all members of the Victorian Branch of the Statistical Society of Australia.   The AGM will be held in the Staff Tea Room, Richard Berry Building commencing at 5:30 PM.



Evan Williams Theatre, Richard Berry Building, commencing at 6:15 PM.


Recent Advances in the area of Deep Learning for Big Data

Zhen He

La Trobe University

Neural networks have been around since the 1960s. They have had a rocky past in their acceptance in the mainstream of machine learning research. In fact just 4 years ago most top machine learning conferences were actively stating they do not want neural network papers. However, in the past 3 years neural networks in the form of deep learning have become the new darling of machine learning research. So what happened in such a short period of time? In this talk I will describe some recent outstanding results achieved by large-scale deep learning systems in the area of image recognition. These results have been replicated in other areas such as speech recognition, natural language processing, etc.

There two main reasons for the huge jump in the accuracy of deep learning algorithms in recent times. First is the idea of doing unsupervised pre-training to better initialize model parameters before performing supervised training. The second is the building of large-scale distributed systems to train huge neural networks that are 10 layers deep with up to 10 billion parameters within acceptable time frames.


About Zhen

Dr Zhen He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering in La Trobe University. He received his undergraduate and PhD degrees in  the area of computer science from the Australian National University. His main research interest is in large scale machine learning. In particular, he and his research team, are exploring various ways of using the Apache Spark Big Data framework to scale out machine learning algorithms. A current focus is on scaling out deep learning algorithms using the Apache Spark framework.


You are invited to join Zhen for dinner at Café Italia (66 University Street, Carlton (off Lygon St)) after the meeting.

Victorian Branch AGM & Seminar
When: 24/03/2015
Time: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Cost: Free
Location: Evan Williams Theatre, Richard Berry Building,
Ground Floor,
The University of Melbourne,

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