What is MLSS'2015 Kyoto?

Posted on 23 Aug, 2015

This year 29th edition of Machine Learning Summer School is organized by Kyoto University in Japan between August 23 and September 4. Many world-renowned machine learning specialists attend this summer school as speaker. And I am glad to take a part in this awesome summer school in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Details can be found on the website of the MLSS'2015 Kyoto.

I would like to thank my professor Prof. Daniel Cremers for his kindness to let me join the summer school and all his support for my research.


Posted on 23 Aug, 2015

It was pretty exhaustive travelling for me. It took around 24 hours to get to my hotel from Munich. Although, it is delightful and totally worth to come here.

I took Air China from Munich to Shanghai (11 hours and 5 hours break in the airport) and then flew to Tokyo (3 hours). It was quite simple and easy to pass through from the border and the immigration counters. Then I took the Narita Express to Tokyo Shinagawa (1 hour) and changed to Nozomi (Shinkansen) speed train to Kyoto which took around another 3 hours.

Hopefully, at the end I arrived to my Hotel at around 7 or 8pm in the evening. It was the most exhausting travel in my life and the most exciting one, too. I had a great first impression in Japan. People are extremely respectful and helpful to each other. Just because one passenger helped the waitress in the Shinkansen train, she thanked him a couple of times which was pretty impressive since we do not expose to this kind of attitude in many European or Asian countries. However, I was a bit shocked when I saw my room which was pretty tiny compared to the ones I have seen in Europe or in Turkey.

First Day First Lectures

Posted on 23 Aug, 2015

It was amazing in the morning. I just got up, went downstairs for breakfast and then just met other attendees from all over the world. It was pretty experimental to find the university by walking and only took half an hour. The organizers were all ready and super organised.

After we received our welcome goods, we directly started with Prof. Stephen Boyd's lecture on Convex Optimizaton. He started with pretty basics and got covered the major points in Convex Optimization. However, in the second lecture, he only a little bit touched to the theory behind the topic and over-advertised his own lab's optimization tool CVX and CVXPY which are pretty slow- I bet- since they are both implemented on high level programming languages. Nevertheless, it was good to get to know about Disciplinary Convex Programming and meet dcp.stanford.edu.

As the second topic of the day, Prof. Lugosi gave a deep and massive math talk on Concentration Inequalities. Although, it was easy to cover what he was explaining, it was very unclear for me to understand how useful or what these inequalities are useful for. If i didn't talk to one of the German attendees who work on the same topic, I would never get that these methods are the way to talk about the quality of the machine learning algorithms.

After the very first day (from 8:30am to 7pm in the evening), we hung out in Kyoto center and enjoyed our dinner!

Second day

Posted on 24 Aug, 2015

Day has started with a video conference from Emanuel Cándes. He gave a lecture on Topics in Selective Inference. It was quite a bit hard to catch him up on the slides since he was really fast and missing explanations on the notation. Afterwards, Den Raedt talked about Probabilistic Programming Concepts. Most of the stuff was related to the artificial intelligence programming languages, e.g. prolog, church...

My favorite speaker of the day was again Stephen Boyd. I quite liked this guy. He is really intelligent and he mixes humor with lecturing that is the best for me. Honestly, we skipped the last talk, from Lugosi. It was yesterday really theoretical and not motivated by the applications at all.

Instead, we rented bikes (which is really cheap, 2500 JPY ~ 18 euro + 2000 JPY deposit for 2 weeks!!!) and took a small tour around the city. Unluckily, the temples are here closed at 5pm and it is almost impossible to catch the opening hours with this intensive schedule. Although, we went to a nice - pretty delicious Sushi restaurant (Ganko) and then to a bar to last the energy we left off after long talks.

Third day

Posted on 25 Aug, 2015

Today it was always rainy. After some fun under the shower with bikes, we get to the Candés' lecture 10 minutes late. This time he was clearer and more understandable and finished the lecture in time.

After him, Stefanie Jegelka started Submodular Functions. In the beginning all was very easy to catch up but after some time once she got deeper and deeper, we got lost more and more. Although, Graphcut part was quite interesting for me to recap how actually the algorithm works, plus example was a segmentation task.

Presentation of the day came from Philippe Rigollet. Surprisingly, he has almost no French accent and is a super-fast English speaker. His topic is interesting to me in the sense that he will dig a little bit into deep learning in the following lectures. But, honestly, it was the least boring lecture of today.

As the last part of the day, we got a little bit taste of the works of attendees in the Spotlight session. There was only one interesting work which is actually deep learning project of a Turkish PhD student in the math department of NYU. Since, both the work and the lab where he comes from and also the co-authors on the paper are directly connected to my work, i am gonna have a deep discussion with him in the following days.

Day 4

Posted on 26 Aug, 2015

I was again a bit (5min.) late. But that is I guess pretty normal. Having lectures until 7pm and then a dinner already it gets to 10pm and then I go to bed around midnight. The German Lady Mrs. Jegelka was again boring and it is obvious that she likes making things complicated the way more than actually they are. Submodular functions sound quite interesting, although it was almost impossible to get what actually they are from this lecture. I gotta read a lot more to get it.

Rigollet was super fast in speaking again, but still I could have followed him. But, it was too much statistics and at the end what we learnt is nothing more than PCA and Sparse PCA.

Lorenzo Rosasco was the winner of day. His lecture was actually #real# first machine learning class of this summer school. Learning Representations... It is already pretty interesting to me since it has a high correlation with deep learning. But, Rosasco made the presentation perfect in terms of simplicity and clarity and it was the first lecture I followed the slides to the end. That is impressive!!! Because not even a single person on the earth (except Chinese people) really can bare one and half hours lecture. OK, maybe I was a little bit distracted but it wasn't more than 5 mins. And it was just to publish a photo of him on Facebook.

Sometimes I really envy Asian people. It is so astonishing that they can follow the whole lecture and moreover understand and ask really meaningful questions. They really get into the topic so quick. That's amazing... That's something I can't do!

Last part of the day was poster session. They distributed the posters into a couple of rooms. Even though Levent's poster (the work that I pointed out yesterday) was in a small room, he got the most visitors and being asked questions like hell. The charming light of deep learning is shining on every single application field of machine learning.

There was one more poster which was also interesting to me and I found it 15 mins before the time was over (7pm). And that is only because the room was so hidden and I didn't even know that there was another one until a Chinese girl asked one of the organisers whom I was chatting with, a French PhD Student from Tokyo University working on how to compute the distance between histograms. Math, French and really complex stuff... Not surprised heh?. I am very lucky, though. The poster was about feature selection which is surprisingly very similar to my paper published at SSVM'15 (just a click on it and then the paper is in your service -(^_^)- ). Instead of listening to her, I guess I was pretty dominant like a Kalashnikov against a sword , I promoted my paper and moreover motivated her to check out my work + deep learning. I believe I got my marketing skills from my Mom who is a sales manager at Avon in Istanbul :D. She was from Imperial College, London and quite fascinated from the conversation we had, well... that was just me, she took a picture of my badge and asked me if she can contact me! Of course, she can :D

Anyway... Then I met with Levent and another Turkish PhD student from Bosphorus University and Levent's roommate Japanese guy and we had a dinner in a Sushi Restaurant (Tsukiji Sushisay, couldn't locate on Google Maps). I had two plates of Sushi. It wasn't perfect as it was in Ganko but it was't certainly enough for me. So I ordered twice. And at the end, they brought me 2 plates (4 pieces) of rice sweet. I ate 2 of them and shared the rest with 3 other guys but it was interestingly weird and I liked it =).

Day 5

Posted on 27 Aug, 2015

Today we shook the ground. Honestly, day started quite boring. Alex Smola started Fast, Cheap and Deep - Scaling Machine to the Cloud. In the beginning I was following his text-full slides and was getting into the topic. But then answering my emails and doing some other business got more interesting and I completely lost the rest. Although Smola is one of the inventors of SVM as I recently discovered and frankly very good presenter, the lecture didn't really go well. It was a bit basic to me and I usually don't really like hardware stuff. But I am looking forward to his last lecture which is about deep learning. I am a bit surprised that speakers usually left the deep learning to the end. It might seem like it makes sense. However, I doubt they do it whether it is one of the most developed technique or deep learning is not really their research interest and they dont wanna spend the most of the time on it. We will see...

After lunch, I went to Kyoto University Hospital due to the some fractured bones on my toe (I guess, because I don't almost feel my head toe. It is numb). What I observed in the hospital that even though I couldn't make it to see a doctor after waiting 1 hour there, the staff was really helpful. They don't speak English but they have questions and Japanese translations on papers and they show the question one by one to you to communicate. This is the cutest way I have ever seen. And then they basically destroy themselves to be able to help and resolve your problem. There is a lot we can learn from Japanese culture. Their hospitality, trust to each other, being trustful and most of all being respectful...

Because of my small visit to the hospital, I didn't make it to the Kyoto University session. As a matter of fact, i wasn't willing to either. When I was rounding in the campus and searching for a proper 'eduroam' connection spot, I met my Belgian friends and eat a nice Mango ice cream and then we together watched Japanese students playing rope jumping. But theirs is the way more different than ours. They use two ropes and sometimes rope holders change place moreover replace with others. It was amazing! You should see it. I might upload some videos soon somewhere.

In the last part of the day, I have just attended the Poster Session II and took a quick tour around. I knew the night would be very long and therefore I fastly came back to hotel and took some rest. Since I was so amazed with small lenses that you can attach on your iphone/ipad, I went to the electronics shop to check out the prices. It was a very long walking from the hotel to the center and then to the Karaoke place. However, I found a very nice lens, increases the resolution almost 10 times, which I am planning to buy. What I saw here is that the prices are almost as high as they are in Munich and that kinda surprises me though. I was expecting cheaper prices for electronics.

Karaoke was AWESOME!!! It was just AWEEEESOOOMEEEE!!! I played my favorite songs and sang with my friends. I have the records but I am not gonna publish them :D. Partying after Karaoke was the last part of the night which I enjoyed quite a lot. I am not gonna get into details in this part. But you can already guess that it was involving intense dancing :D with my fractured toe =).

End of the first week

Posted on 28 Aug, 2015

Today started very late. We all woke up really late and had lunch as a breakfast. Thomas, Lien and I found a very nice authentic Japanese restaurant and enjoyed the Japanese food served on a floor table. Moreover, we played a little bit with the kids of the Japanese customers. Babies were so cute and they were playing under/around the tables.

After being half an hour late to the first class (I don't even mention Poster Session III we missed due to oversleeping), Smola finished the last part of this talk which was about deep nets. This time it was a bit more interesting and I paid apparently more attention on his slides. He is not fun of deep nets! You can see this easily when he talks about the deep networks.

Rosasco did a good job again. However, since he talked about the stuff I already knew (PCA, kernels, basics of neural networks and convolutional networks), the talk got a bit boring at the end. Although, I really liked his presentation since he showed the actual formulation of deep networks respect to the representation learning formulation. It was all clear and easy to follow. Moreover, he is actually really funny guy. He makes short but hilarious jokes so that the lecture never gets boring.

After the lecture, we had dinner on a curry-food restaurant right on the way back to the hotel. I usually don't like curry stuff so much but this time it was delicious. I think we should eat the foods where they are originally from. Otherwise, we always get a biased general opinions about the foods. I never liked curry in Munich but here it doesn't taste that bad...

First actual sightseeing

Posted on 29 Aug, 2015

After a weak breakfast (half tuna-salad sandwich + american coffee = 400 JPY), we scheduled a quick bike trip around the city and start biking. First we visited Nijō Castle which was interesting. All the murals in the rooms (originals are carried into the 400th anniversary gallery and cost extra 100 JPY) are really fascinating. The palace is so flat and you walk inside barefoot without shoes. The rooms are so empty and you only see a couple of animated scenes, you know, the king greets his visitors or his queen.

Right after that, we rode to Kinkaku-ji Temple (Temple of the Golden Pavilion) which was quite astonishing. We people think it is sometimes enough to see the pictures of places but the original view is not even close to how we imagine. This place was really amazing. Consider a big golden pavilion by a fairly small lake and you are watching it and its reflection on the water from the opposite site. I know you are googling already... It doesn't matter! You won't get the same taste as I did.

Then the real adventure has started after having a western lunch in a very random restaurant that we encountered on the way to the Kōzan-ji Temple. It was around 8.1 km there and it is located on a steep hill (~10%). It took around more than half an hour to bike there. Very close to the end I was all dead and stop riding the bike but driving it :P. But it was totally worth it. Once we got to the temple, we have found the peace. It was so quiet, in peace and you are hearing the birds, some grasshoppers and that is all. It is smelling weed inside and you just have a deep and silent atmosphere there. It is AMAZING!! We got a 15-20mins break in the temple and just watched the landscape from the inside. Because the walls are basically sliding doors and they keep it open towards the landscape which is AWESOME! The temple was built around 800 years ago and one of the oldest ones in the surrounding I bet!

--- And now I am playing 3 hours of the best Japanese music on YouTube =) ---

The real fun has started when we rode back from the hill! Haha, as you can imagine it was so windy since we rode down.

Tenryū-ji Temple was the next stop. It is another very nice temple located next to a big garden. Both the temple and the garden was nice but not as much as it was upon the hill. I guess the reason is clear, heh? So many tourists were around in this place whereas it was all quiet in the Kōzan-ji Temple and it was steep 8 kms there :D.

From the garden of the temple we took a walk inside the Bamboo Groves which was fascinating but a bit small. I bet it is just because we haven't gone to Arashiyama where there are many monkeys and other bamboos in the forest.

While we were walking back from the garden to the park place, we got caught by rain. It was very strong and at some point we had to wait under a small roof in total 7 people :D. Although it was quite intense, as I expected it ended in a couple of minutes. The humidity is REALLY high here. I am talking about above 95% humidity. It is highly expected that it rains time to time. Because of the humid, we were basically taking shower with our own sweat on the way up to the hill.

Then we rode back to the city center and stopped by the top rated Musashi Sushi restaurant on TripAdvisor. This was one of the restaurant styles that I wanted to see, actually. So, basically you sit next to a bar and the sushi plates are the sliding in front of you. You pick the one you wanna eat and then only pay for the amount of plates you ate. I was hungry (I am always up for food!) and ate 10 different types of Sushis. One of them was sweet potato fries and I should'nt really count it as Sushi. It turned my appetite down. Well, at least it was the 9th. Oh my God! I am sometimes freaking hunger in the eyes. Despite the fact that my stomach is full of food, I can still continue eating. So I might be good that I ate that cold fries. On the other hand, it was really cheap at the end, around 15 euros...

Since it wasn't late, we took a walk in Cupola Sanjo, Nishiki Market (historic market place for Japanese wares), and I ate sooo delicious two pieces of warm sweet at Shinkyogoku. I don't know how they are called and what the ingredients are but I HIGHLY recommend to check it out if you can find it :P. I will ask my local Japanese friends the names of desert and store and write you guys on the blog.

Then we split up and I took a quick walk to Gino station and got back to the hotel with a bag of drinks; water, lemon tea (it is one of my favorite Japanese tea along with the roasted tea.) and a small can of Asahi beer.

Of course, the day ended in the tiny Japanese bathtub. Well I can only fit to this bathtub by folding my legs :D.

Fushimi Inari Taisha and beautiful Nara

Posted on 30 Aug, 2015

Today was very humid and all day it was rainy + cloudy. However, this cloudy weather never bothers me in Kyoto. It would definitely be more effective on my mood in Munich. I believe that is just because when it is cloudy in Munich it is also very cold.

I and Thomas had a nice breakfast (this time bigger sandwich and early grey tea = 1100 JPY) in an old-looking cafe. There were only 4-5 customers and all was talking to each other. Seems like they already visit this place regularly and spend some time together. It was really surprising to see that a new guy came in and started randomly talking to everyone in the cafe.

After breakfast, we cycled to Fushimi Inari shrine which is the head shrine of Inari. On the way, of course I took a sharp wrong turn and we ended up in a temple garden where there were quite few shrines. But it was so rainy and i was sooo wet and at some point it was good to take a small break. I thought Fushimi Inari is an another simple temple where there are nicely aligned Torii's (Shinto gateways). I was totally wrong. Shrine was basically located all over the mountain and we had to walk on the path closed with millions of Torii's. First, we said maybe we will return at some point but then it got more and more adventurous and we ended up on the top of the mountain. I really liked this place. You get more and more sweaty towards the top and then you start sweating like rain. This was a very nice and exciting experience and obviously one of my best few excursions. Only problem is that there are many tourists around and it is too difficult to catch a nice shot. Although, nobody really reaches top. We were only a few made it to top where there is essentially nothing but a very tiny shrine.

We were already too tired and made a small shop in a supermarket for lunch right before we took an express Kintetsu train to Nara. I expected to see a small town. In contrast, Nara was a really big town. This place had an importance for me to see the deers around since Daniel (my professor) recommended. There is a very large park in Nara and almost all temples and deer park is inside the region. We started from the beginning and all of a sudden, deers appeared everywhere. They were fearless walking among the people and grasping their biscuits from their hands. These biscuits are made only for deers and I remember from somewhere on the internet that we are not supposed to eat them =). Without thinking I bought 5-6 of them (150 JPY) and started feeding deers around. In the beginning, there was only one. But then suddenly all others noticed that I have biscuits and really surrounded me in a second. What is really nice is that hornless ones put their heads on your legs to show their wish and desire for the biscuit. Ohh man! It was so much fun and I really enjoyed it.

Park was pretty large and deers were everywhere. Next stop was the biggest Buddha sculpture. Both the Temple and the sculpture are giant. OMG! It was such a nice atmosphere there. I even donated my 1 JPYs and put some weed on the fire. I used to put a lot of candles all over the churches and tombs I have being visiting. However, recently I totally lost the sense of religion and all these mystic stuff. Anyway, park was really large and we had had only ~2.5kms out of 5 so far. With small breaks time to time, we finally made it and finished the tour in the park. Last temple was Kōfuku-ji Temple and there you only see a nice pagoda. Well, we were too exhausted, didn't really wish to see any more temples. Ohh, I almost forgot. In the central street, we encountered a festival convoy. People from any age were dancing through the street and greeting people watching around. It was funny! Japanese people's dances are really interesting.

On the way back to Kyoto, we mistakenly took a rapid express train and had to pay extra fee which was reasonable. It is surprising that the ticket seller was so nice and didn't say a word and just asked us to pay some extra fee. This guy was so nice such that he didn't even say a word after he saw my feet on the top of the front seat. Well, I have serious problem on my toes and I really tired them up by walking around 20kms today. I bet it is just not nice to warn people here and that is why he just passed away by ignoring me :D.

Since i was considering to buy lenses can be attached to iphone from BIC CAMERA shop next to the station, we went there first and bought me a couple of lenses and portable charger for iphone/ipad. First, I tried to exceed the 10,001 JPY for tax-free but then it was too difficult because one must exceed 10,001 JPY without tax. And it was pointless to grab random stuff just to get tax-free.

We had a very interesting dinner today. Thomas took me a nice pasta restaurant, well it is very tiny and special. So here you choose the size of pasta and extras and give the ticket to the cooks who I believe were brothers. Pasta comes within a large bowl and the sauce comes in a separate small bowl. I was supposed to put the pasta into sauce and drink it like soup, BUT BY MAKING A LOT OF SOUND which is not accepted in any European culture. It was a nice experience, though. As always I made a mistake too. After pasta is over, you can put hot water into your sauce and drink it as a regular soup. What I did is all clear, heh? I put hot water before my pasta was over =). Japanese customer had a lot of joy out of this :D.

Afterward, we planned to go to a small bar which we tried out to get in earlier but guy didn't accept us since we were too many (5). On the way, we stopped by a 100 JPY shop and I bought nice stuff for very cheap price. We went to the bar at the end but it was closed :/. I bet it wasn't. It seemed to me like there were customers inside and in order not to let others in, the owner locked the door. He was a weird guy, though...

It was all very exhaustive and we just decided to go back to our hotels. Overall, I had an another amazing, astonishing and -last but not least- fascinating day.

Damn it!

Posted on 31 Aug, 2015

I am sick! I think I got cold yesterday. That is pretty normal to be honest. I got so much wet due to the rain and I was walking around with wet clothes. Waking up around 4:30am and then having a minor throat pain, fever, sweat... Still I made it to the lectures.

Csaba Szepesvári gave a lecture on Reinforcement Learning. His slides were pretty simple but then I couldn't really understand the main concept. He focused on the applications too much and at some point I just got bored. Being bored in a 1.5 hours lecture without having the slides as pdf is I believe very senseful. Because of also sickness, it wasn't at the end super exciting for me.

And then after people told me, I noticed that Zaid Harchaoui would give a talk on Machine Learning for Computer Vision today. I was "über" excited and couldn't wait for the lecture. Maybe coffee caused that :D. I don't know...

His lecture started very well. I really like the colors he used in the slides. His first lecture was about CNNs and Convolutional Kernel Networks which is his lab's recent work. Topic was quite interesting. Trying to use kernels within deep learning is not a new thing, however, they are the first ones tried and managed to get it run, I guess. But, his second lecture wasn't so satisfying. Actually, introducing optimization techniques, loss functions and how to train a network part was so cool. On the other hand, I didn't really like the data augmentation part. Yes, we need data augmentation for a better generalization in the network. Nevertheless, I don't believe we really need to know what kind of transformation is more important. Learning most important transformation is all data dependent and I don't see the point why we should try to figure out "best transformations for data augmentation".

Overall, it wasn't a bad neither a super good day. But it was a bit more than OK. Dinner was the best part of the day. We went to a local restaurant around the hotel, which is recommended somewhere. This is Lien's job, I have no clue about what is important, what to do-eat-drink in Japan. I am a total parasite in this manner :D. I just follow people. I ate a noodle and chicken filled omelette which I found nice but not enough for me. Dumplings were also OK, but not so much my taste. Best part of the dinner was the discussions about the refugees, European immigrants and EU economy + Greece. These people are crazy. They really follow the news, economy and politics in EU. I mean Turkish students do this a lot, too. But I have never actually fallen into such kind of topics deeply with my friends in Germany. Neither I was enough interested to learn about.

OMG! I had to call Germany for almost thousand times... First one was direct roaming from my phone and I just paid 6euros for a 20 seconds call to Germany. Hopefully, there is VOIP. I had to call because my Gym withdrawn money although my contract expired. It was a mess to handle the situation. I cannot say that I didn't really mess it up this time :D. At the end I solved the problem myself but with a little complication that I caused to the Gym. Well, this was their mistake... I tried to reach them again in order to let them know that I fixed the problem myself. But I couldn't reach... "I did everything I can do" :D.

And it is again very late...

Hmmm. It was an OK day.

Posted on 1 Sep, 2015

I feel better. That is something. Worst part of being sick for me is that I cannot recover for really long time. I have to live with it... But I feel better.

Harchaoui did worse today. I dont even remember what he was talking about. Optimization techniques he was using... Convex Gradient Optimization or something similar. He was really advertising his work which is actually pretty annoying. Because this is summer school. Before they present their contributions they should definitely give a nice and fairly deep introduction to the topics they are supposed to teach. And he was the way away from his topic in the lecture. OK, it was nice to know about this stuff too. However, I was totally lost.

Szepesvari did continue later on. I just remember his slides are somewhat childish but then what he talks doesn't really match what there is on the slides, as far as I kept listening. I understand that professors don't really have time to create fancy slides. But, this is less than an actual lecture more than a conference talk. They must be more responsible about it.

Ryota Tomioka was the way more better than I have expected. He was really surprising. Prejudices... Good thing is that I don't stick to my stereotypes and try to be as nice as possible to every other "different to me" things. His english was pretty advanced. His slides was more than informative and very well structured. He kept the quite heavy math pretty easy for all levels and I, to be honest, enjoyed and really learnt a lot in his lecture.

Waoov, they rewarded the first and second winners of the MLSS challenges with Apple Watch and Ardrone. I didn't have time for the challenges, anyways...

I just skipped the Poster session due to my annoying sickness, but joined the others for dinner at Sumibi-torito. In this restaurant you can find any type of chicken offals served as meal. Of course, I tried many :D. I ate chicken meatball with raw egg (yellow part), fried neck skin, chicken wings and it wasn't all enough at the end and I ordered chicken over rice which made me somewhat full. But I guess Thomas the Belgian beat me by far on trying almost all parts of a chicken =).


Posted on 2 Sep, 2015

Tomiako finished the Tensor Decompositions. Main problem is that it always gets deeper and deeper in the topic and after some point we are lost. But, this is not really a problem of the speaker but the time they have. Because, giving a 4.5 hours lecture in total is I think too much.

Then, we had Taiji Suzuki's Stochastic Optimization lecture. I think it was very interesting. Overall we had too much optimization but it is sometimes also good to hear the same thing from different person/perspective. However, I had hard time with his English. In order to be able to track a speaker for quite long time, you should be really in a harmony with his speaking. I was just not in the same frequency with his style so much. So, topic was interesting and I listened to him for sure.

And the Google dude came to the stage... Vincent Vanhoucke talked about Large Scale Deep Learning but from a completely different view. I would say it was more engineering way of explaining the things rather than theoretical way. It was cool, though. Slides were in Google color which was pretty amazing and I found it very appealing. Nevertheless, he also talked about the stuff we have heard thousand times so far. Yeah, I believe this is the another big problem in this summer school. There are around 15 speakers which is a lot and then what happens is that topics overlap and speakers repeat the same stuff too much. Most important part was how to distribute the network over a couple of hundreds of machines. That was also the part I started losing my concentration. Still I got the point and the main idea behind it. But I wish we would have heard more details about parallelization. Lets see! Maybe in the next class.

Banquet... Everyone was waiting for it. And it worth it. The place called Sodoh Higashiyama was super cool and likely one of the best venues around. There are two main salons we could used and luckily I was in the bigger room. Well, we could transfer anytime but still it is always good to be in the big one since big gets more service. Food was great! Free drinks were awesome! I dunno how much I drank including Sake or ate... It was too good! And the Japanese shows were so fascinating. I really like the girls put traditional clothes and makeup although they look like ghosts with white face...

Afterward, we went to a small pub which is run by a super European looking, good and fluent English speaking Finnish-Japanese guy. Waovvv, it was very interesting to chat with him and drink Finish vodka in soda(?). Yeah, some of us later on joined the other big group of the attendees for a club but because of both the poster session I am gonna have tomorrow and the cold that I got and getting worse, I decided to come back to the hotel.


Posted on 3 Sep, 2015

Oh my God... It is getting more and more boring every other day to the end. So, we have a nice short intro to Google's recent works by Vanhoucke. At the end, as always lecture turned into an advertisement to Google's projects for which they used millions of billions of machines and images...

Lunch was interesting. This time we went outside of the campus to a small restaurant and I got grilled beef set. I liked it although I didn't really like the beef in Japan. They put a very strange sauce which makes the beef small in the way I didn't like at all.

Martin Wainwright - Statistical Guarantees in Optimization. Pfff, what was that? I guess i was too tired and sleepy, I really slept in the lecture. What I remember is that he was heavily using the board.

Too much optimization! Suzuki continued where he left off where I actually lost my all concentration. He is a bit more silent, I guess this is a part of Japanese culture, a true slow toned speaker.

Aaaand, Poster! It was good. More people than I have expected came over and many of them took a picture of the poster. Good, good! I got many questions regarding to the results and networks. I hope they all got what I just told them. Explaining stuff to people who don't work on the same or a similar subject is difficult. It is really difficult. And it is more if there is any communication problem such as not being able to speak very basic English.

Finally poster was over. We went to a very nice restaurant and ate one of the traditional food. It is really strange here. They use floor table and they bring the food onto the stove right in the middle of the table, almost 90% of the table actually is stove. Food was delicious. It was actually Okonomiyaki seafood pancake. It was yummy and enough to get full.

Tomorrow is the last day... Looking forward to it!


Posted on 4 Sep, 2015

I skipped the first lecture and preferred to sleep more. To be honest, I skipped all the lectures today, which were only 3 the most boring ones, but in a very stupid way. I went to the uni around 9:30am but then I noticed that the first break was at 10am. I just waited half an hour and made my breakfast with their nice French style patisserie stuff.

Suddenly when the next lecture started I decided to see the city. I got my bike and rode through the southern part. I passed through nice temples and shrines and finally visited Yasaka Shrine (inside). First I thought I got into Yasaka but it turned out that it was actually Chion-in which is basically next to Yasaka and much bigger. It was so surprising because there were clergymen inside praying. I was walking in a very long bridge inside the construction area (I guess due to the renovation in the temple) and all of a sudden I starting hearing a chant from a speaker. It was AWESOME! I felt like in a Mosque. Because the rhythm was almost the same. I was amazed and super excited inside. This was the first time I was seeing an actual ceremony in a Japanese temple. Later on I walk down to Yasaka shrine and a bit surprised that it wasn't interesting at all.

Then I wanted to see very old preserved region very close to the venue we had banquet. But I forgot the name of the region plus couldn't really find it. Instead I visited Kiyomuzi-dera. It was a nice pagoda however was quite boring and moreover I had to climb there somehow. To feel better :P I bought a souvenir: (plastic) god of business accomplishment :D. I will hang it on my backpack.

Next, I didn't wanna go further but turned back and went to the area where Heian Shrine is and went to the shop that sells hand made Japanese stuff which I encountered when Lien, Thomas and I had lunch in a restaurant close to this shop. I bought hand made bowl + chopsticks and very nice small plates to place the chopsticks.

In order to check what is happening at the uni and to have lunch I rode back to the campus and dropped by Mensa. Of course, I didn't attend the last lecture and took some rest in my room.

Just to meet guys and say goodbye to everybody (whoever left), I went back :D and attended the last 10 minutes of the ultimately boring Suzuki's lecture. After the last coffee break and very long goodbye ceremony, we rode to Gion and walked around. I bought really nice Japanese stickers for Iphone and paid a lot! . Coffee break in Starbucks was great.

Then we decided to go to the party(?) but in a very authentic bar. First, it was too small. Second, it was a bar full of game consoles of my childhood. Ataris... We played A LOT! Street Fighters, Mario, Bomberman. Bomberman was my favorite. Unfortunately there was only one "alive" cassette and it stopped working after the first game. So I couldn't really play it :(. But, it was really cool and amazing. I want my Atari back. Fuck high quality video games! Cafe La Siesta. Check out the place and their menu. They designed the menu so nicely. All the drinks are painted as 8bit colored/shaped pictures. Ohh, it was really AWESOME!

As dinner, we had sushi in the restaurant we went earlier. But this time I was so full and couldn't eat 10, just 6 :P. Right after we dropped by a casino style place in which you play with crazy machines and try to grab the objects but they never fall into the right place :D. What we did... We, instead of playing, bought the cartoon models. It was actually main character Luffy of cartoon One Piece. Haha, I discovered it was the cartoon I also watched when we were back to the hotel. After Ksheetij told me and our American played on YouTube...

As the last action of the last day we watched one episode of Doctor Who... Haha it was fun!

So, bikes are returned. Luggages are packed. Waiting to head to Tokyo!

End of MLSS'15 Kyoto...