Mahdi Soltanolkotabi

    I'm currently a Ph.D. student in the Electrical Engineering department at Stanford, advised by Emmanuel Candes.
    . Starting September I will spend one year at UC Berkeley EECS/Stats as a postdoctoral researcher. My sponsers Berkeley are Ben Recht.
    and Martin Wainwright.
    . In August 2015 I will join the USC EE department as an assitant professor. I'm interested in various problems that lie at the interplay between statistics, convex optimization, geometric functional analysis and theoretical computer science. I'm interested in using these tools for the design and analysis of algorithms for data mining, machine learning, computer vision and signal/image processing. Recently, I've also become interested in the analysis of non-convex problems via iterative methods and the interactions between convex optimization and algebraic geometry.
    Email: mahdisol@stanford.edu
    Office: 380-U, Mathematics, Building 380, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305

    Talks

    • Robust Subspace Clustering.
      - Stanford Biostatistics Seminar, February 2014.
      - ICML Spectral Learning Workshop, June 2013.
      - Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems, and Computers.
      - MURI annual meeting, Princeton, October 2012.
      - Information Theory and Applications workshop, Feb. 2013.
    • A Geometric Analysis of Subspace Clustering with Outliers.
      - Berkeley Robotics Lab, Febuary 2012.
      - High-Dimensional Phenomena in Statistics and Machine Learning Seminar, Georgia Tech., July 2012.
      - Workshop on Modern Massive Data Sets (MMDS), Stanford, July 2012.

    Instructor:

    EE 364a: Convex Optimization, Summer 2011.

    TA:

    Stanford CS:
    - CS 229: Machine Learning, Fall 2012.
    Stanford EE:
    - EE 278: Statistical Signal Processing, Summer 2010.
    Stanford Math:
    - Math 104: Linear Algebra, Winter 2012.
    Stanford Statistics:
      I am currently collaborating with Nava College Prepatory Academy a school in Compton to help improve K-12 math/STEM education. A few of these activities from last year appear bellow. I will be posting more details about these activities including curriculum development, lecture notes, excersize/puzzles, data modules etc. on this website as we continue to build this exciting partnership (please check back for updates).
      I have also partnered with VAST: Viterbi Adopt-a-School Adopt-a-Teacher (VAST) and STEM educational outreach programs at USC Viterbi School of Engineering to engage in various educational outreach activities in local middle/high schools close to USC e.g. see VAST's reporting on one such activity here and stay tunned for more updates.

      Meeting with expo class teachers at NAVA (August 2016)

      I had the great pleasure of visiting NAVA and meeting two NAVA faculty (Aja Koester and Carlos Oyarbide) in charge of the Expo class. This pilot expo class contains di fferent modules each spanning a few months. This course is meant to expose students to eclectic areas such as robotics, drones, 3D printing, arti cial intelligence, etc. with the hope of increasing college participation in engineering and STEM fields in minority/low-income neighborhoods. We discussed possible outreach activities to raise awareness of the importance of STEM. We decided that to start with I should give a motivational lecture on the importance of mathematics in data analysis and modern technology. Pictures below are of this meeting.

      Motivational Lecture at NAVA (Devember 2016)

      I went back to Nava to give the promised motivational math lecture. This time I also got to interact with the wonderful students! I gave two lectures (same lecture given to two different classes) on the importance of mathematics as a driving force in data analysis. We also had a fun Q&A afterwards with the students. After the lectures I had another meeting with the expo class teachers to get feedback regarding the lecture (which parts were age appropriate, which parts the students liked, which parts were confusing). We also discussed how to grow our partnership. Given that I will be at Berkeley next semester we decided to meet again in June at the Deloitte impact day. This was extremeley helpful as I prepare for next year. The link below is the slides of this lecture (feedback of teachers not accounted for here). Any ideas on how to improve these lectures are very welcome (feel free to send me an email).

      Mathematics of Data. December 14 Nava College Prepatory Academy Expo class.

      Deloitte Impact Day (June 2017)

      Back in the city of Angeles. I participated in Delloite impact day. This day was planned so as to increase the students analytic thinking and decision making skills with the help of Delloit consultants. I interacted with students and teachers as part of a panel on cyber security and artifical intelligence. I also finally got to meet the principal. We decided to meet again to discuss plans for the comming academic year. Pictures below are of this event.

      Meeting with Principal and Head of Math Department (June 2017)

      Back in Nava to meet with Mr. Gustavo (Principal) and Mr. Rodriguez (the head of math department) to discuss our plans for next year and a long-term partnership. An impotant point the principal raised was that he would like our partnership to keep Nava students engaged in mathematical education. We decided that I with my graduate students will help the Nava Math/statistics faculty revamp their curiculum with age-appropriate signal processing and data analytics concepts. We also decided that I will give a revised and more interactive motivational lecture emphasizing the bene ts of learning from signals and data to society. We also discussed various plans to host students at USC to introduce them to signal processing and machine learning research.