I attended the Simons Society of Fellows retreat held March 17 – 20, 2023 in Florida. I asked ChatGPT to write me a blog post about the retreat but it gave the following response:
So the entirety of this blog post was written by me!
I learned a great deal about many topics in the sciences ranging from sphere packing all the way to mating patterns in mosquitoes. See https://www.simonsfoundation.org/event/simons-society-of-fellows-retreat-2023/ for the abstracts of my colleagues. The title of my talk was Polynomial-time Robust Moment Estimation via Semidefinite Programming Hierarchies. I spoke about some aspects of my recent work that uses the sum-of-squares framework to design polynomial-time sample-optimal estimators with robustness and privacy guarantees.
In the course of preparing my talk, I also learned some interesting facts about John Tukey (a pioneer in robust statistics). Some notable quotes attributed to Tukey:
- “The test of a good procedure is how well it works, not how well it is understood.”
- “You can’t expect scientists to solve political problems.”
- “By the end of late 1945, I was a statistician rather than a topologist.”
 David R. Brillinger. John W. Tukey: his life and professional contributions. Ann. Statist. 30(6): 1535-1575 (December 2002). DOI: 10.1214/aos/1043351246