CMS 273, Winter 2020

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Frontiers in Computing and Mathematical Sciences

Winter 2020
  • Organizers: Richard Murray (, E. Schmidt, S. Feldman
  • Class meeting: 6 Jan (Mon), 12 pm, 213 Annenberg (box lunches will be provided)

The purpose of this course is to explore applications of tools from Computing and Mathematical Sciences to new problem domains. The course is organized around small teams consisting of CMS and non-CMS students who will work on projects of mutual interest in some faculty member's research area. Our main goals are for the participating CMS and science/engineering faculty to become more familiar with each other's work and expertise, and to get our graduate students interacting with one another.

The output of the course will be a short paper of the sort that could be sent to a conference. The paper should consist of a short description of the problem under study and the relevant CDS tools, followed by a preliminary set of results and a description of next steps to be pursued.

Course Schedule

16 JanOrganizational meeting, 213 Annenberg @ 12 pm
10 JanFirst team meeting, Location TBD @ 12 pm
2-4Work in teams; define problem to be studied + approaches
56 FebMidterm presentations, location and time TBD
6-9Work in teams
106 MarFinal presentations, location and time TBD
1118 MarFinal reports due (by 5 pm)


  • David Anderson/Ann Kennedy: Registration and inverse problems in in vivo neural imaging
  • David Anderson/Ann Kennedy: Hierarchical models of time series data in animal behavior
  • Chiara Daraio: Data-driven materials design
  • Michael Dickinson: Precise pose estimation of freely flying animals
  • Christian Frankenberg: Trace gas plume detection and flux estimation from 2D imagery
  • Gregg Hallinan: Optimized Sampling for Next-Generation Radio Telescopes
  • Evan Kirby: Extracting the Most Information from Low-Resolution, Noisy Stellar Spectra


  • A Survey of Deep Learning for Scientific Discovery, M. Raghu and E. Schmidt (Caltech access only)

Units and Grading

CMS 273 is a 9 unit course, offered either graded or pass/fail. Each team is expected to complete the following:

  • Project presentation: each team will make short (15-20 min) presentations in the middle and toward the end of the term, describing the focus of their project. Comments on these presentations will be provided to the team for incorporation in the final report.
  • Final report: each team will prepare a paper describing their work during the term. This should build on the midterm report by including some preliminary results and/or case studies.

In order to complete the work for the term, each team should plan on meeting at least once per week. The first team meeting will be on Friday, 10 Jan, at 12 pm in 107 Annenberg (at which time a regular meeting time can be established by the team).