ep3 - Ben Recht: A tour of optimization, machine learning, and control

May 16, 2022 Alberto Padoan Season 1 Episode 2
ep3 - Ben Recht: A tour of optimization, machine learning, and control
Show Notes

In this episode, our guest is Ben Recht. Ben is a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.  We discuss several topics, including his research trajectory, Ben's tour of reinforcement learning, and his passion for music, among others. Check out Ben's website here:

00:00 - Intro
01:01 - Ben predicts the birth of "inControl"
02:40 - Personal research trajectory
06:55 - How and why did you dive into control theory?
08:43 - Influential figures who shaped Ben's research
13:50 -  The "argmin" blog &  myth busting
27:43 - Ben's tour of reinforcement learning
45:18 - Future challenges for control
52:06 - Biological origin of learning
58:24 - "This or that" game
1:02:54 - Questions from the audience
1:14:51 - What would you do if you were a student today?
1:17:00 - Ben's band: "the fun years"

Episode links
Ben's website:
the fun years:
A tour of reinforcement learning:
Patterns, predictions and actions:
System level synthesis:
Aizerman's conjecture:

Support the show

Podcast info
Podcast website:
Apple Podcasts:

Acknowledgments and sponsors
This episode was supported by the National Centre of Competence in Research on «Dependable, ubiquitous automation» and the IFAC Activity fund. The podcast benefits from the help of an incredibly talented and passionate team. Special thanks to L. Seward, E. Cahard, F. Banis, F. Dörfler, J. Lygeros, ETH studio and mirrorlake . Music was composed by A New Element.