Bilbao is a perfect place to visit: it has Guggenheim, amazing food and wine and charming running paths. The Guggenheim collection is shaping up to be pretty great, I was super impressed by their Anselm Kiefer collection as well as ‘The Matter of Time’ by Richard Serra. They also have one of Louise Bourgeois’ spiders in front. And then there is the food thing: Azurmendi by Eneko Atxa is not just expertly created menu based on local Basque cuisine – it’s also their amazing wine collection and the extremely original presentation – the perfect experience. And if you don’t want to eat super fancy – any random bar will have pintxos, which is the best street food ever invented.
Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics organises wonderful few-weeks-long workshops throughout the year, and I recently attended one on machine learning in many-body physics. The general idea of these workshops is that one gets an office to work in, there is only one or two talks a day and the participants get to interact in the informal, but super stimulating atmosphere. Also, you get an incredible ocean view! If this sounds good, you should check out KITP webpage to see if there is a workshop interesting for you (you can also propose a new one).
In this post I would like to round up a few things that I found most interesting and useful.
- Efficient Quantum Tomography: Juan Carrasquilla and collaborators propose the use of generative models to parametrise measurement statistics of informationally complete POVMs: Learning Quantum States with Generative Models
- Unsupervised Learning of Quantum States is Hard: Ying-Jer Kao and collaborators show how to use reinforcement learning for generation spin-ice states: Generation of topologically constrained states through deep reinforcement learning
- Generative models tutorial: Michael Albergo gave a great overview and intuitive explanation of generative ml models out there: An Overview of Recent Generative Models
You can find the full list of talks here. I recommend watching Aleksander Kubica, Marin Bukov and Evert van Nieuwenburg, they all do very cool stuff.
Overall it seems to me that while there was no one mindblowing result that changed how we think about physics, there has been tremendous amount of progress. The one place where ml methods seem to provide most advantage is the processing and analysis of experimental data, but the many-body state ansatzes, error correction improvements, and phase transitions analyses definitely offer very cool insights.
I’m currently visiting Santa Barbara for KITP Program: Machine Learning for Quantum Many-Body Physics. If you ever get an opportunity to go for one of the Kavli Institute programs, definitely definitely go. I will write more on science part later, for now just a few pictures of sunrises and sunsets I took while running.