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Computing Causal Relations at Scale

August 26, 2019 @ 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Co-sponsored by: Chapman University, Schmid College of Science & Technology


What causes what? How do we untangle the “why” behind processes that regulate the brain, the climate or the economy? If “Correlation does not imply causation” is the standard mantra in science, how can we ever discover causal relationships behind the data? Will it ever be possible for intelligent AI to make its own deductions and predictions? In recent years researchers have developed mathematical techniques that give us the power to infer the underlying “why” behind scientific data. What’s more, we’ve learned that we can discover these causes without performing experiments. Starting with a little practical example with lightbulbs that can be worked out by hand we will see how the problem scales as the number of variables increases. To compute the neural connections in a zebrafish brain, high performance computing is essential.

 Speaker Bio:

Frederick Eberhardt is Professor of Philosophy in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the California Institute of Technology. Before coming to Caltech he was Assistant Professor in the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology (PNP) program and the Department of Philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis and a postdoc at the Institute of Cognitive and Brain Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. As an undergraduate he attended the London School of Economics for a Bachelor in Philosophy & Mathematics. He received his PhD in philosophy from Carnegie Mellon University, where he also completed a Masters in Machine Learning.

His research interests lie at the intersection of philosophy of science, machine learning and statistics. He is particularly interested in the development of methods for causal discovery from statistical data.



6:30 to 7:00PM — Networking and Dinner.
7:00 to 8:30PM — Presentation including Q&A

Room: 209A
Bldg: Argyros Forum
Chapman University
One University Drive
Orange, California


August 26, 2019
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM