Jun 24 • 1HR 37M

Preetum Nakkiran: An Empirical Theory of Deep Learning

A conversation with Preetum Nakkiran, Research Scientist at Apple and Visiting Researcher at UCSD.

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In episode 31 of The Gradient Podcast, Daniel Bashir speaks to Preetum Nakkiran.

Preetum is a Research Scientist at Apple, a Visiting Researcher at UCSD, and part of the NSF/Simons Collaboration on the Theoretical Foundations of Deep Learning. He completed his PhD at Harvard, where he co-founded the ML Foundations Group. Preetum’s research focuses on building conceptual tools for understanding learning systems.

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Sections:

(00:00) Intro

(01:25) Getting into AI through Theoretical Computer Science (TCS)

(09:08) Lack of Motivation in TCS and Learning What Research Is

(12:12) Foundational vs Problem-Solving Research, Antipatterns in TCS

(16:30) Theory and Empirics in Deep Learning

(18:30) What is an Empirical Theory of Deep Learning

(28:21) Deep Double Descent

(40:00) Inductive Biases in SGD, epoch-wise double descent

(45:25) Inductive Biases Stick Around

(47:12) Deep Bootstrap

(59:40) Distributional Generalization - Paper Rejections

(1:02:30) Classical Generalization and Distributional Generalization

(1:16:46) Future Work: Studying Structure in Data

(1:20:51) The Tweets^TM

(1:37:00) Outro

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