Computational aspects of partition functions

01 July 2018 to 31 December 2018


Rüdiger Urbanke, EPFL
Nisheeth Vishnoi, EPFL

Partition functions arise as fundamental quantities in physics, mathematics, statistics, computer science and many engineering disciplines. They are often notoriously hard to compute since they typically involve summations over an exponential number of terms. Different computational approaches have been developed in various mathematical disciplines to bound or estimate these important quantities. The aim of this semester is to bring together experts from optimization, theoretical computer science, information theory and probability with the goal of jointly investigating computational approaches to partition functions, making unexpected connections and significantly improving the state of the art.