The Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS) Machine Learning and Science Forum meets biweekly to discuss current applications across a wide variety of research domains in the physical sciences and beyond. Hosted by BIDS Affiliates Physics Professor Uroš Seljak and LBNL Physics Staff Scientist Ben Nachman, these active sessions bring together domain scientists, statisticians, and computer scientists who are either developing state-of-the-art methods or are interested in applying these methods in their research. All interested members of the UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab communities are welcome and encouraged to attend. To receive email notifications about upcoming meetings, or to request more information, please contact the organizers (Vanessa Boehm, Aditi Krishnapriyan, Vinicius Mikuni, Mariel Pettee, Fernando Torales Acosta, and Shashank Subramanian) at

See also the BIDS event listing.

All interested members of the UC Berkeley and LBNL communities are welcome and encouraged to attend. To receive email notifications about meetings, please join the BIDS mailing list here. The traffic on this list is minimal (1-2 emails/week).

Please, sign up for our google group on berkeleymlforum in order to receive updates and announcements! When signing up, please give a short description of who you are and your interests in machine learning!

Our meetings are located in the BIDS space (190 Doe Library), but are currently being held on Zoom until further notice.


Fall semester

  • September 26, 2022, 11am PST: Somdeb Majumdar (Intel). Title: The Changing Landscape of AI-Driven System Optimization
  • October 10, 2022, 11am PST: TBD
  • October 24, 2022, 11am PST: David Rolnick (McGill University/Mila). Title: TBD
  • November 7, 2022, 11am PST: TBD
  • November 21, 2022, 11am PST: Yue Shi Lai (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab). Title: TBD
  • December 5, 2022, 11am PST: TBD
  • December 19, 2022, 11am PST: TBD

Spring semester

  • January 16, 2023, 11am PST: MLK Day
  • January 30, 2023, 11am PST: TBD
  • February 13, 2023, 11am PST: TBD
  • February 27, 2023, 11am PST: TBD
  • March 13, 2023, 11am PST: Savannah Thais (Columbia University). Title: TBD
  • March 27, 2023, 11am PST: Christina Peters (University of Delaware). Title: TBD
  • April 10, 2023, 11am PST: Arash Vahdat (NVIDIA). Title: TBD
  • April 24, 2023, 11am PST: Fernando Torales Acosta (LBNL). Title: TBD


Fall semester

  • September 13, 2021, 11 am PST: Vinicius Mikuni (LBNL). Title: Point cloud applications to collider physics.
  • September 27, 2021, 11 am PST: Mariel Pettee (LBNL). Title: ML Methods for Particle Physics and Choreography.
  • October 11, 2021, 11 am PST: Jaideep Pathak (LBNL). Title: Data-driven and Data-assisted Modeling for Applications in Fluid Dynamics and Geophysics.
  • October 25, 2021, 11 am PST: Serena Wang (UC Berkeley). Title: ML for Social Good in Practice: from Robust Optimization to Broader Impacts in Education.
  • November 8, 2021, 11 am PST: Tarek Zohdi (UC Berkeley). Title: Modeling and Simulation Tools for Industrial and Societal Research Applications: Digital Twins and Genome-based Machine-learning.
  • November 22, 2021, 11 am PST: Eric Gianella (Code4America). Title: Data ethics in government services: putting accountable humans in-the-loop
  • December 6, 2021, 11 am PST: Katy Craig and Nathaniel Craig (UCSB/UCB). Title: TBD
  • December 13, 2021, 11 am PST: Eli Ben-Michael (Harvard). Title: TBD

Spring semester

  • January 24, 2022, 11 am PST: Alex Kendall (Wayve). Title: AV2.0: Learning a Globally Scalable Driving Intelligence.
  • February 7, 2022, 11am PST: Somdeb Majumdar (Intel). Title: TBD.
  • February 21, 2022, 11 am PST: President’s Day – no speaker.
  • March 7, 2022, 11 am PST: Somayeh Sojoudi (UC Berkeley). Title: Computational Methods for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
  • April 4, 2022, 11 am PST: Timnit Gebru. Title: TBA.
  • April 18, 2022, 11 am PST: Tomasz Kacprzak (ETH)
  • May 2, 2022, 11 am PST: Youssef M Marzouk (MIT).
  • May 16, 2022, 11 am PST: Sophia Sanborn (Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience). Title: Bispectral Networks for Robust Group-Invariant Representation Learning.
  • May 30, 2022, 11 am PST: Memorial Day – no speaker.


Fall semester

  • September 14, 2020, Time 11 am: Michaela Paganini (Facebook AI Research). Title: Comprehension is compression: understanding neural networks through pruning and the lottery ticket hypothesis.
  • September 28, 2020, Time 11 am: Chirag Modi (UC Berkeley). Title: FlowPM: Distributed TensorFlow Implementation of Cosmological N-body Solver.
  • October 12, 2020, Time 11 am: Adam Sadilek (Google). Title: Machine-Learned Epidemiology.
  • October 26, 2020, Time 11 am: Yasaman Bahri (Google). Title: The Large Learning Rate Phase of Deep Learning.
  • November 9, 2020, Time 11 am: Xiangyang Ju (LBNL). Title: First-class machine learning model for Science: Graph Neural Network.
  • November 23, 2020, Time 11 am: Nicole Hartman (SLAC). Title: Set and Sequence Machine Learning for Particle Identification at the Large Hadron Collider.
  • December 7, 2020, Time 11 am: Ian Convy (UC Berkeley). Title: Mutual Information Estimation for Tensor Network Machine Learning.
  • December 21, 2020, Time 11 am: Christmas break. Happy Holidays!

Spring semester

  • January 25, 2021, Time 11 am: Debbie Bard (NERSC). Title: AI at the exascale.
  • February 8, 2021, Time 11 am: Omri Azencot (Ben-Gurion Univeristy). Title: Latent Vector Recurrent Models.
  • February 22, 2021, Time 11 am: Soon Hoe Lim (KTH). Title: Noisy Recurrent Neural Networks
  • March 8, 2021, Time 11 am: George Stein (LBL / UC Berkeley). Title: Self-Supervised Representation Learning for Astronomical Images.
  • March 22, 2021, Time 11 am: Jascha Sohl-Dickstein (Google). Title: Understanding overparameterized neural networks.
  • April 5, 2021, Time 11 am: Christian Herwig (Fermilab). Title: An ML Control System for the Fermilab Booster.
  • April 19, 2021, Time 11 am: Akshunna Shaurya Dogra (UC Berkeley). Title: Improving neural network based equations solvers.
  • May 3, 2021, Time 11 am: Nikhil Rao (Amazon). Title: HypE: Learning Knowledge Graph Entity Representations in Hyperbolic Space.
  • June 14, 2021, Time 11 am: Liam Hodgkinson (UC Berkeley). Title: Training stochastic differential equation models using ordinary differential equations.


  • January 27, 2020, 1:30pm: Marin Bukov (Physics, UC Berkeley). Title: Reinforcement Learning to Control Quantum Systems.
  • February 10, 2020, 1:30pm: Wahid Bhimji (NERSC): Title: Probabilistic programming and Deep Learning at scale for science.
  • February 24, 2020, 1:30pm: Stephan Hoyer (Google). Title: Deep learning for PDEs, and scientific computing with JAX.
  • March 9, 2020, 1:30pm: Charles Fisher (Unlearn.AI). Title: BoltGAN Machines and Applications in Medicine.
  • March 23, 2020, 1:30pm: Vanessa Boehm (UC Berkeley). Title: Deep Generative Models for Scientific Applications
  • April 6, 2020, 1:30pm: Yang Song (Computer Science Department, Stanford). Title: Estimating Gradients of Distributions for Generative Modeling
  • April 20, 2020, 1:30pm: Samuel Hopkins (EECS Theory group, UC Berkeley). Title: Robust Mean Estimation in Nearly-Linear Time, with Applications to Outlier Removal.
  • May 4, 2020, 1:30pm: Jack Collins (Physics, SLAC). Title: Representation Learning for Particle Collider Events.
  • May 11, 2020, 1:30pm: Jason Rocks (Physics, Boston University). Title: Over-fitting in Modern Supervised Learning: Memorization, Interpolation, and Decomposition of Errors.
  • June 1, 2020, 1:30pm: Joaquin Rodriguez Nieva (Physics, Stanford). Title: Identifying topological order through unsupervised machine learning

Previous sessions