Chaining Methods and their Applications to Computer Science

June 22-23, 2016.


Langdell 225 Vorenberg North Classroom at the Harvard Law School
(1545 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138).

Chaining is a specific way of thinking, related mostly to maximal inequalities and multiscale considerations, for bounding the maximum of a collection of (dependent) random variables. In short, it is a method that is often much more efficient than performing a vanilla union bound. Chaining dates back to work of Kolmogorov, but since then has been further developed by Dudley, Fernique, Talagrand, and many others. Today, within computer science it has found a diverse array of applications to problems related to coding theory, random walks on graphs, dimensionality reduction, compressed sensing, manifold learning, dictionary learning, streaming algorithms, and more. In this conference, a mixture of probabilists and computer scientists have been invited to speak and share with us both the theory behind chaining, as well as applications to problems in computer science.

Confirmed speakers

  • Radosław Adamczak, University of Warsaw
  • Witold Bednorz, University of Warsaw
  • Stephen Chestnut, ETH Zurich
  • Jian Ding, University of Chicago
  • Sjoerd Dirksen, RWTH Aachen University
  • Kyle Luh, Yale University
  • Jelani Nelson, Harvard University
  • Oded Regev, NYU
  • Mahdi Soltanolkotabi, USC
  • Tomasz Tkocz, Princeton University
  • Mary Wootters, CMU
  • Alex (Lin) Zhai, Stanford University

This conference is open to the public. Registration is free: click here to register. The NSF has graciously provided funding to support some students and postdocs to attend. If you are interested, let us know at Your email subject line should be "travel award request". The body of your e-mail should (very) briefly describe your research interests, your interest in attending this workshop, your advisor's name and e-mail address (or mentor's information for a postdoc), and a breakdown of estimated expenses. We will contact your advisor/mentor requesting an e-mail of support, with instructions. Please e-mail us travel award requests no later than April 1st.

Organizers: Assaf Naor (Princeton), Jelani Nelson (Harvard)

Sponsored by:
Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Harvard Center of Mathematical Sciences and Applications
Microsoft Research New England
National Science Foundation
Office of Naval Research