I attended the 2016 International Conference on Continuous Optimization (ICCOPT) in Tokyo, Japan. This was my first optimization conference, and also my first time visiting Tokyo. Both were impressive! I attended many high-quality talks from top names in optimization, met many new people, and learned a great deal. I gave a talk about my recent work on using robust control to analyze and design iterative optimization algorithms. This talk was part of a larger invited session titled “Notions of robustness and dynamics in convex optimization”, organized by Ben Recht and Pablo Parrilo. If you’re interested, my slides are available here.
I also spent a couple days exploring Tokyo after the conference. Admittedly most of that time was spent seeking out delicious food, but I also did a bit of sightseeing. The photo on the right is the view from the Skytree Tower, the tallest tower in Tokyo. Its observation deck is at the same height as that of the CN Tower in Toronto, even though Skytree is much taller. Fun fact: the Greater Tokyo region has a population slightly larger than that of Canada!