Tea Social

We are inviting every CS grad student to our traditional Halloween Tea Social social!
Place: TASC1 9204
Date: October 28th, Friday
Time: 4pm – 5pm
What to expect:
a)3 kinds of tea
Main idea: “Occupy TASC1 9204!” (from 4 to 5 pm)
1. Why do you have BBQ event and Tea Social on the same week?
 Answer A: It’s just a coincidence.
 Answer B: It’s Halloween and Diwali week, we should celebrate it.
2. I’m a Surrey campus student. How can I attend our Tea Social!
It’s very easy:
Leave Surrey campus at about 3 pm. Catch an Expo Line Skytrain to Columbia station, there change to a Millenium Line Skytrain to VCC-Clark. Ride all way to Production Way/University station. Board on a 145 bus and ride to the top. That’s it. If you are lucky you’ll be on place in about 30 to 45 minutes.
Killer argument:
In order to boost tea social attendance I’ve used all my Photoshop mad skillz and made this picture!
If you impressed – come to tea social and I will give you a master class!
See you at our tea!

Distinguished Lecture Series: Leslie Valiant Turing Award winning

October 13, 2011
Location:  IRMACS Centre, SFU Burnaby, Applied Science Building, Level 3, Room 10905

Time: 4:45 p.m.


Leslie Valiant, Harvard

Title: Biological Evolution as a Form of Learning
Read full biography: http://people.seas.harvard.edu/~valiant/bio.htm

Abstract: Living organisms function according to protein circuits. Darwin's theory of evolution suggests that these circuits have evolved through variation guided by natural selection. However, the question of which circuits can so evolve in realistic population sizes and within realistic numbers of generations has remained essentially unaddressed.


We suggest that computational learning theory offers the framework for investigating this question, of how circuits can come into being adaptively from experience, without a designer. We formulate evolution as a form of learning from examples. The targets of the learning process are the functions of highest fitness. The examples are the experiences. The learning process is constrained so that the feedback from the experiences is Darwinian. We formulate a notion of evolvability that distinguishes function classes that are evolvable with polynomially bounded resources from those that are not. The dilemma is that if the function class, say for the expression levels of proteins in terms of each other, is too restrictive, then it will not support biology, while if it is too expressive then no evolution algorithm will exist to navigate it. We shall review current work in this area.


R + ggplot2 workshop

Date: Sept 29, 2011
Room: ASB 9896
Presenter: Mark Roth (Msc)


This workshop gives an brief introduction to the R programming language and the add-on package ggplot. R is an open source scripting language useful for statistical analysis and plotting. Unfortunately, making plots can be quite challenging and so that's where ggplot comes in. With a single line of code, you can make virtually any arbitrarily complex graph or chat which normally would have taken 30 to 50 lines of code. Moreover, because ggplot was designed with an underlaying grammar, making changes to plots is extremely easy.

Support Files Contain

  • Slides
  • Data files
  • R commands
Download this file (SupportFiles.zip)SupportFiles.zip[Support Files]377 Kb

Grad Orientation Question and Answer Session

Subject:  Panel for CS's Grad Orientation Question and Answer Session

Date: Sept 27 (new date)

Time: 10:30 am

Location: TASC1 9204 West (new location)

On Thursday September 27th we are holding a panel session for our new graduate students, where they can ask us questions about everything!

Would you be able to attend? If you cannot attend the entire session, perhaps you can drop in for at least a few minutes. It will start at 10:30 and go til noon if necessary.