Saturday, July 18, 2009

California Update Part 2

I spent the rest of my California trip visiting Yahoo, Google, and Stanford.

At Yahoo, I got the chance to hang out with my mentor, the ever-busy Andrei Broder, and talk research with Ravi Kumar and Flavio Chierichetti. Flavio is a graduate student of Alessandro Panconsei's; he previously visited Harvard and I got him to work on codes for flash memory, and we've also collaborated on the recent KDD paper On Compressing Social Networks. Flavio's been doing a lot of outstanding work primarily in applied algorithms; he'll be looking for a job/postdoc soon, and I suggest everyone keep their eye out for him.

At Google, I was hosted by Gagan Aggarwal, and gave the talk on An Efficient Rigorous Approach for Identifying Statistically Significant Frequent Itemsets. Slides (ppt) are here; they were designed by Favio Vandin and passed to me by Eli Upfal. Highlights included seeing Deborah Weisser (another Berkeley grad school alum who overlapped with me) and Pei Cao (who always asks lots of interesting questions). And one of my TAs from last year -- interning at Google for the summer -- came to the this talk too. OK, I admit, lunch was also a real highlight. Unlike last year, the sushi line was short (indeed, the whole place was quieter than last year -- maybe I came on a less busy day), and they still had a freezer full of specially Google-branded It's It sandwiches.

Finally, I gave the Open Questions in Cuckoo Hashing talk at Stanford, after a nice talk with my always-interesting host, Tim Roughgarden. Sadly, I'd come down with a cold the night before, so it wasn't my best performance, but the audience peppered me with good questions. Again, another TA showed up -- this one just started her PhD in Statistics at Stanford.

Thanks to everyone who came to the talks, and I hope to be out again soon...

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