MATH + X Symposium on Inverse Problems and Deep Learning in Space Exploration

Rice University, January 23-25, 2019

Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Department of Physics and Astronomy

George R. Brown School of Engineering

Venue: Biosciences Research Collaborative Building (BRC)
Room 280, 6500 S. Main St.

Parking is available onsite. View all venue locations


Registration for the Symposium is now full. Rice staff and students who wish to attend, but are unable to register, will be granted admission on a standby basis on the days of the Symposium, capacity permitting. If you wish to be placed on a waitlist in the event of attendee withdrawals please email


Math+X Logo

As increasingly large nonlinear datasets are acquired, autonomy and adaptivity through deep learning at the intersection of inverse problems have to play a critical role in the interpretation of data from planetary exploration missions. Indeed, approaches and techniques capable of rapidly and intelligently extracting information from these datasets for scientific analysis need to be developed. At the same time, near-future data acquisition on (the surface of) planets and moons of our solar system probing their interiors will be necessarily scarce, which requires fundamentally new developments in the analysis of inverse problems through hierarchical approximations via symmetries, manifold and deep learning including recent advances in generative networks and meta-learning for domain adaptation accommodating, for example, interdisciplinary studies with computational simulations.

The Symposium is bringing planetary scientists, astrophysicists, cosmologists, mathematicians, computer scientists and statisticians together to present the state of the art on the one hand and emerging cross disciplinary directions of research on the other hand, while enabling new collaborations.

Travel Information:

Hotel: Guests are invited to stay at the nearby Hilton Houston Plaza, 6633 Travis Street.
Airport Transport: SuperShuttle (~$30), Uber (~$45), and taxi (~$75) are all options.
Venue Parking: is available in the BRC building, rate $12/day.

Invited Speakers:

Inverse Problems, General Relativity

Spyros Alexakis (University of Toronto)
Lydia Bieri (University of Michigan)
Joonas Ilmavirta (University of Jyväskylä)
Matti Lassas (University of Helsinki)
Gabriel Paternain (University of Cambridge)
András Vasy (Stanford University)

Deep Learning

Taco Cohen (University of Amsterdam/Qualcomm)
Kyle Cranmer (NYU)
Rob Fergus (Facebook/NYU)
Reinhard Heckel (Rice University)
David Hogg (Flatiron Institute)
Jitendra Malik (UC Berkeley) KEYNOTE
Soledad Villar (NYU)
Lenka Zdeborová (ENS Paris)

Space Exploration

Michael Brown (CalTech) KEYNOTE
Julien de Wit (MIT)
Gordon Emslie (Western Kentucky University)
Eric Ford (Penn State University)
Philippe Lognonné (IPGP) KEYNOTE
Hilke Schlichting (UCLA)
Sara Seager (MIT) KEYNOTE
Salvatore Vitale (MIT) KEYNOTE

funded by
Simons Foundation logo

MATH + X Program

This workshop is funded by the Simons Foundation under the MATH + X program: encouraging novel collaborations between mathematics and other disciplines in science and engineering.

2018 Math + X Symposium on Data Science and Inverse Problems in Geophysics

2017 Math + X Symposium on Seismology and Inverse Problems

Organizing committee:

Stephen Bradshaw (Rice University)
Joan Bruna (NYU)
Maarten de Hoop (Rice University)
Julien de Wit (MIT)
Gunther Uhlmann (University of Washington and HKUST)
Robert van der Hilst  (MIT)