Marsden Funded project Sampling from Probability Distributions Arising in Inverse Problems

in collaboration with the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Inverse Problems

closed peoniesOtago clocktowerButterfish point

is hosting the workshop

Southern Uncertainty Quantification 2013 (SUQ'13)

January 7-9(10), 2013

University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Location | Timetable | Registration | Accomodation


In 2013 the workshop is focussing on methods that perform large-scale computational inference using ideas from computational optimization, though all contributions on algorithms for large-scale Bayesian modelling and inference for stationary or sequential models are more-than-welcome.

Computational optimization is interpreted as all the computational-science technologies for optimization and solution of systems of equations, especially using gradient information, with or without constraints. Sampling algorithms and stochastic models derived from other algorithms from CSE and/or numerical analysis are also of interest. Researchers in all these areas are strongly encouraged to participate.

The workshop will follow the format of the SIPE'10 workshop: Participants give a seminar-style talk (1 hour), outdoor activities in the afternoon.

Attendees and Speakers

A firmish list of attendees (*=speaker) (as of December 2012) is:
John Bardsley* (University of Montana)
David Bryant* (Otago)
J. Andrés Christen* (CIMAT)
Tiangang Cui* (MIT, Boston)
Nick Dudley Ward* (OCMO, Kurow)
Colin Fox* (Otago)
Max Gunzburger (Florida State)
Heikki Haario* (Lappeenranta and Finnish Centre of Excellence in Inverse Problems)
Jari Kaipio (Auckland and Finnish Centre of Excellence in Inverse Problems)
Ville Kolehmainen* (Kuopio and Finnish Centre of Excellence in Inverse Problems)
Jeong Eun (Kate) Lee* (AUT University)
Aaron Luttman (National Security Technologies)
Eric Machorro (National Security Technologies)
Tim Molteno (Otago)
Eric Moulines (Télécom ParisTech )
Markus Neumayer* (Graz University of Technology)
Richard Norton (La Trobe/Otago)
Al Parker* (Montana State University)
Roxana Ramírez (CIMAT, Guanajuato)
Mario Santana (CIMAT, Guanajuato)
Daniel Simpson* (NTNU Trondheim)
Nick Tufillaro (CEOAS, Oregon State University)
Karen Willcox (MIT, Boston)


The workshop will be held in the Physics Department of the University of Otago, located at 730 Cumberland Street, Dunedin (talks in room 314). Coffee in Tim's lab, room 533.


The workshop will run in the mornings of January 7-9, 2013, leaving plenty of time for local activities.
** new ** Workshop schedule


There is no registration fee. Coffee and (European-style) breakfast is on us -- the coffee is the best that can be had, the breakfast is fabulous, but nothing fancy. Attendance of extra-workshop activities such as a slap-up dinner and local sightseeing will incur a small cost. Please contact Colin Fox for details.


Registration is well closed.

Local Activities

We are hoping that participants will take the time to enjoy the beautiful environs of Dunedin, Otago, and the South Island of New Zealand. We have a few activities lined up for participants:
  • Pre-conference tramp: On Sunday 6 January, we will tramp (hike) to some beautiful spot in the Dunedin environs, probably ending up at Colin's crib at Purakaunui for a BBQ. It will be a relaxed affair. We encourage participants to come a day, or two, early and get in touch with Al Parker or Colin to be included.
  • Monday dinner: Monday is a long day of talks, so we have pizza/salad dinner at Filadelfio’s Restaurant (Gardens) (3 North Rd, North East Valley) -- who conveniently sell Emerson's beer. From 5:30.
  • Taeiri Gorge railway trip: is planned for the afternoon of Tuesday 8 January. Train leaves Dunedin railway station 2:30pm (be there in advance) and gets back 6:30 pm. Dinner at Two Chefs afterwards (from 7:00pm).
  • Conference dinner: will be held the evening of Wednesday 9 January, from 5:30 pm at Gaslight Café.
  • Weather: Dunedin weather is fickle. In January we could have blue skies and heat wave, or horizontal sleet, or depressing grey clouds, or all of the above in one day. The best forecast we know of is produced by (see the 5-day South Island charts).


Dunedin has a range of accomodation options for participants. We suggest the following (possibly eclectic) options: We can do the booking for you, if that makes your life easier.
  • Woodlands Motels And Apartments has funky appartments close to the University. TC has stayed there before, and claims it is OK. This is a good option for those looking to stay in Dunedin for a while longer than the conference, particularly if you are more than one person.
  • Bella Vista: I can't imagine the view is really that beautiful as it's just up the road from the University. But Hyuck stayed there and claimed the free wifi worked well.
  • Living Space has serviced appartments that are centrally located at not-a-bad price. Also a good option for those looking to stay in Dunedin for a while longer than the conference.
  • Bluestone on George is a nice place to stay, if the rave reviews on TripAdvisor are true. I've never stayed there.
  • Surfers will want to stay at the majestic Apartments at St Clair that are an easy bus ride from the University. 

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Check out this 0.5m satellite image of the Otago coast kindly supplied by Nick T
0.5m resolution satellite image

Last update: 13 December 2012