Program
s
Fall 2020

Theory of Reinforcement Learning

Aug. 19Dec. 18, 2020

Because of the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, it is still unclear if this program will take place in person or online only. This page will be updated as soon as we have more information.

This program aims to advance the theoretical foundations of reinforcement learning (RL) and foster new collaborations between researchers across RL and computer science.

Recent years have seen a surge of interest in reinforcement learning, fueled by exciting new applications of RL techniques to various problems in artificial intelligence, robotics, and natural sciences. Many of these advances were made possible by a combination of large-scale computation, innovative use of flexible neural network architectures and training methods, and new and classical RL algorithms. However, we lack a solid understanding of when, why, and to what extent these algorithms work.

Reinforcement learning's core issues, such as efficiency of exploration and the trade-off between the scale and the difficulty of learning and planning, have received concerted study over the last few decades within many disciplines and communities, including computer science, numerical analysis, artificial intelligence, control theory, operations research, and statistics. The result has been a solid body of work that has built and resolved some of the core problems; yet, the most pressing problems, concerning how one can design highly scalable algorithms, still remain open.

This program aims to reunite researchers across disciplines that have played a role in developing the theory of reinforcement learning. It will review past developments and identify promising directions of research, with an emphasis on addressing existing open problems, ranging from the design of efficient, scalable algorithms for exploration to how to control learning and planning. It also aims to deepen the understanding of model-free vs. model-based learning and control, and the design of efficient methods to exploit structure and adapt to easier environments.

Organizers:

Csaba Szepesvari (University of Alberta, Google DeepMind; chair), Emma Brunskill (Stanford University), Sébastien Bubeck (Microsoft Research; Visiting Scientist and Program Organizer), Alan Malek (DeepMind), Sean Meyn (University of Florida), Ambuj Tewari (University of Michigan), Mengdi Wang (Princeton University)

Long-Term Participants (including Organizers):

Yasin Abbasi-Yadkori (DeepMind), Pieter Abbeel (UC Berkeley), Rediet Abebe (Harvard University), David Abel (Research Scientist, DeepMind), Raman Arora (Johns Hopkins University), Yu Bai (Salesforce Research), Peter Bartlett (Simons Institute, UC Berkeley), Vivek Shripad Borkar (Indian Institute of Technology Bombay), Emma Brunskill (Stanford University), Sébastien Bubeck (Microsoft Research; Visiting Scientist and Program Organizer), Ciara Pike-Burke (Imperial College London), Ana Bušić (INRIA), Marco Campi (University of Brescia), Rene Carmona (Princeton University), Marco Dalai (University of Brescia), Anca Dragan (UC Bekeley), Sumitra Ganesh (JP Morgan), Mohammad Ghavamzadeh (Google Research), Quanquan Gu (University of California, Los Angeles), Anupam Gupta (Carnegie Mellon University), Andras Gyorgy (DeepMind), Nika Haghtalab (Cornell University), Niao He (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Rahul Jain (University of Southern California), Nan Jiang (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Chi Jin (Princeton University), Michael Jordan (UC Berkeley), Mihailo Jovanovic (University of Southern California), Amin Karbasi (Yale University), Wouter Koolen (Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica), Akshay Krishnamurthy (Microsoft Research; Visiting Scientist), Tor Lattimore (), Jason Lee (Princeton University), Sergey Levine (UC Berkeley), Lihong Li (Google Brain; Visiting Scientist), Tengyu Ma (Stanford University), Siva Theja Maguluri (Georgia Institute of Technology), Sean Meyn (University of Florida), Eric Moulines (Ecole Polytechnique), Seffi Naor (Technion - Israel Institute of Technology), Angelia Nedich (Arizona State University), Gergely Neu (UPF), Erol A. Peköz (Boston University), Marek Petrik (University of New Hampshire), Benjamin Recht (UC Berkeley), Daniel Russo (Columbia University), Barna Saha (UC Berkeley), Shankar Sastry (UC Berkeley), Bruno Scherrer (INRIA), Dale Schuurmans (University of Alberta), Aaron Sidford (Stanford University), Csaba Szepesvari (University of Alberta, Google DeepMind; chair), Matus Telgarsky (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Ambuj Tewari (University of Michigan), Claire Tomlin (UC Berkeley), Mathukumalli Vidyasagar (IIT Hyderabad), Stefan Wager (Stanford Graduate School of Business), Martin Wainwright (UC Berkeley), Mengdi Wang (Princeton University), Huizhen Yu (University of Alberta)

Research Fellows:

Jalaj Bhandari (Columbia University), Lin Chen (Yale University), Vidya Muthukumar (UC Berkeley; Google Research Fellow), Mohamad Kazem Shirani Faradonbeh (University of Florida), Zhaoran Wang (Northwestern University), Lin Yang (University of California, Los Angeles; Facebook/Novi Research Fellow), Zhuoran Yang (Princeton University; VMware Research Fellow), Christina Yu (Cornell University)

Visiting Graduate Students and Postdocs:

Kumar Krishna Agrawal (UC Berkeley), Philip Amortila (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Gabor Balazs (), Kush Bhatia (UC Berkeley), Shantanu Prasad Burnwal (IIT Hyderabad), Michael Chang (UC Berkeley), Niladri Chatterji (UC Berkeley), Jinglin Chen (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Zixiang Chen (UCLA), Daniela Cialfi (University of CHIETI-PESCARA), Xiaowu Dai (UC Berkeley), Gokce Dayanikli (Princeton University), Dylan Foster (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)), Germano Gabbianelli (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Botao Hao (Princeton University), Jiafan He (UCLA), Haque Ishfaq (McGill University), Yujia Jin (Stanford University), Pritish Kamath (Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago), Seri Khoury (UC Berkeley), Michael Kim (UC Berkeley), Michael Konobeev (University of Alberta), Kshitij Kulkarni (UC Berkeley), Gene Li (Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago), Junchi Li (UC Berkeley), Yao Liu (Stanford), Jincheng Mei (University of Alberta), Aditya Modi (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), Aldo Pacchiano (UC Berkeley), Juan Perdomo (UC Berkeley), Sudeep Raja (Columbia University), Sergey Samsonov (National Research University Higher School of Economics), Roshan Shariff (University of Alberta), Sean Sinclair (Cornell University), Sharan Vaswani (MILA), Ruosong Wang (Carnegie Mellon University), Chen-Yu Wei (University of Southern California), Gellert Weisz (DeepMind), Tengyang Xie (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Andrea Zanette (Stanford University), Kaiqing Zhang (UIUC), Dongruo Zhou (UCLA)

Workshops

Aug. 31Sep. 4, 2020

Organizers:

Csaba Szepesvari (University of Alberta, Google DeepMind; chair), Emma Brunskill (Stanford University), Sébastien Bubeck (MSR), Alan Malek (DeepMind), Sean Meyn (University of Florida), Ambuj Tewari (University of Michigan), Mengdi Wang (Princeton)
Sep. 28Oct. 2, 2020

Organizers:

Lihong Li (Google Brain; chair), Marc G. Bellemare (Google Brain)
Oct. 26Oct. 30, 2020

Organizers:

Shipra Agrawal (Columbia University; chair), Sébastien Bubeck (MSR), Alan Malek (DeepMind)
Nov. 30Dec. 4, 2020

Organizers:

Mengdi Wang (Princeton; chair), Emma Brunskill (Stanford University), Sean Meyn (University of Florida)
Nov. 15Nov. 18, 2021

Organizers:

Csaba Szepesvari (University of Alberta, Google DeepMind; chair), Emma Brunskill (Stanford University), Sébastien Bubeck (Microsoft Research), Alan Malek (DeepMind), Sean Meyn (University of Florida), Ambuj Tewari (University of Michigan), Mengdi Wang (Princeton University)

 Subscribe to the program calendar.

Past Internal Program Activities

Friday, December 18th 9:00 am11:00 am
Wednesday, December 16th 11:00 am12:00 pm
Wednesday, December 16th 9:00 am11:00 am
Friday, December 11th 9:00 am11:00 am
Wednesday, December 9th 11:00 am12:00 pm
Wednesday, December 9th 9:00 am11:00 am
Monday, December 7th 10:00 am11:30 am
Friday, December 4th 9:00 am11:00 am
Wednesday, December 2nd 11:00 am12:00 pm
Wednesday, December 2nd 9:00 am11:00 am
Friday, November 27th 9:00 am11:00 am
Wednesday, November 25th 11:00 am12:00 pm
Wednesday, November 25th 9:00 am11:00 am
Friday, November 20th 9:00 am11:00 am
Thursday, November 19th 1:00 pm2:00 pm
Christina Yu (Cornell University)
Wednesday, November 18th 11:00 am12:00 pm
Wednesday, November 18th 9:00 am11:00 am
Tuesday, November 17th 10:00 am11:00 am
Xinyi Chen (Google / Princeton)
Friday, November 13th 9:00 am11:00 am
Thursday, November 12th 1:00 pm2:00 pm
Vidya Muthukumar (UC Berkeley)
Wednesday, November 11th 11:00 am12:00 pm
Wednesday, November 11th 9:00 am11:00 am
Tuesday, November 10th 10:00 am11:00 am
Alekh Agarwal (Google / Princeton)
Friday, November 6th 9:00 am11:00 am
Wednesday, November 4th 11:00 am12:00 pm
Wednesday, November 4th 9:00 am11:00 am
Tuesday, November 3rd 10:00 am11:00 am
Thodoris Lykouris (Microsoft Research)
Friday, October 30th 9:00 am11:00 am
Thursday, October 29th 1:00 pm2:00 pm
Vishesh Jain (UC Berkeley)
Wednesday, October 28th 11:00 am12:00 pm
Wednesday, October 28th 9:00 am11:00 am
Friday, October 23rd 9:00 am11:00 am
Thursday, October 22nd 1:00 pm2:00 pm
Jalaj Bhandari (Columbia University)
Wednesday, October 21st 11:00 am12:00 pm
Wednesday, October 21st 9:00 am11:00 am
Friday, October 16th 9:00 am11:00 am
Thursday, October 15th 1:00 pm2:00 pm
Tselil Schramm (Stanford University); Zhuoran Yang (Princeton University)
Wednesday, October 14th 11:00 am12:00 pm
Wednesday, October 14th 9:00 am11:00 am
Friday, October 9th 9:00 am11:00 am
Wednesday, October 7th 11:00 am12:00 pm
Wednesday, October 7th 9:00 am11:00 am
Tuesday, October 6th 10:00 am11:00 am
Yu-Xiang Wang (UC Santa Barbara)
Friday, September 25th 9:00 am11:00 am
Thursday, September 24th 1:00 pm2:00 pm
Ashwin Pananjady, UC Berkeley
Wednesday, September 23rd 11:00 am12:00 pm
Wednesday, September 23rd 9:00 am11:00 am
Tuesday, September 22nd 10:00 am11:00 am
Zhuoran Yang (Princeton)
Friday, September 18th 11:00 am12:00 pm
Friday, September 18th 9:30 am10:00 am
Friday, September 18th 9:00 am9:30 am
Thursday, September 17th 1:00 pm2:00 pm
Cindy Rush (Columbia University) & Erik Waingarten (Stanford University)
Thursday, September 10th 1:00 pm2:00 pm
Galyna Livshyts (Georgia Institute of Technology) & Lin Yang (UCLA)
Thursday, August 27th 1:00 pm1:45 pm
Ahmed El Alaoui, Stanford University