Clairvoyance and Confusion: Some Remarks on Composite Hypothesis Testing

By James Theiler, LANL

James Theiler of the Space and Remote Sensing Sciences Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory is presenting a talk at 12:15 p.m. Friday in the Medium Conference Room at the Santa Fe Institute:

Abstract: The composite hypothesis testing problem is one of the great unsolved problems of statistics — but it is not unsolved because it is particularly hard; it is unsolved because it is fundamentally ambiguous. It is also enormously useful: it lies at the core of what it means to do science, and provides a nice framework to do target detection in multispectral imagery.

For simple hypothesis testing, the aim is to distinguish which of two hypotheses is most consistent with observed data. This problem is straightforward, and unambiguously optimal solutions can be expressed in terms of likelihood ratios.

It gets confusing (or composite) when the aim instead is to distinguish between two families of hypotheses. The “clairvoyant” solution chooses a single member from each family and then uses the simple likelihood ratio. Although the clairvoyant solution isn’t very useful by itself (since, by the very statement of the problem, you don’t know which member to choose), it provides a valuable building block for constructing more effective solutions to the composite hypothesis testing problem.

For 50+ years, the so-called generalized likelihood ratio (GLR) has been the workhorse solution for composite hypothesis testing problems, and for good reason: it is straightforward, unambiguous, and quite general. But it is not the only solution, and (except for a very few cases) it is not the optimal solution.

Among the alternatives is a recently introduced class of solutions that goes by the name “clairvoyant fusion” — the GLR is a special case of clairvoyant fusion (which makes CF a kind of generalized GLR), but the other cases provide new ways to solve composite hypothesis testing problems. This talk will ask some questions about clairvoyant fusion: is it really new? is it any good? how can you tell?

Bayesian zealots will wonder why this abstract has not said anything about their favorite topic. Well, it just did. And so will the talk.

Advertisements

A Sneak Peak @ PEEC’s Upcoming Events

PEEC News:

Planet Jupiter

Planetary Alignment Viewing

March 12, 7:30 p.m. @ PEEC. A rare close conjunction of two very bright planets, Jupiter and Venus, is occuring. Chick Keller and Steve Becker will have telescopes at PEEC to view the planets and discuss what is happening. Public is invited, admission is free.

 

 

Infrared House

YOUR Sustainable Home, Sustainable Los Alamos Series

March 14, 7 p.m. @ PEEC. so you’ve heard from the experts about how to make your home more sustainable. Now we want to hear from you! Join us for a fun, world-cafe style evening of learning and sharing ideas/actions we do to live more sustainably. Bring your favorite tips, tools, and ideas to help us gather fun and easy things we can all do today to create a sustainable future. Come to share your ideas or pick up some great tips from your neighbors! This FREE event is brought to you by PEEC and the Los Alamos Co-op Market. No registration required. Door prizes!

 

 

Jane's Journey

Jane’s Journey, a film at the Reel Deal

March 22, 7 p.m. @ Reel Deal. Almost 25 years ago famed primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall gave up her career in order to devote her entire time and energy to the mission of saving our planet. As this charismatic woman tells us about her life, she is shown among her beloved chimpanzees in Africa, as well as on her travels around the globe to spread her message that there is still hope for future generations. This documentary offers an intimate portrait of the private person behind the world-famous icon, possibly the most fascinating woman of our time, whose scientific breakthroughs are considered to be among the most important of the past 100 years. Purchase tickets at the door. $10 adults, $5 kids.

 

 

 

Starlab

Starlab Planetarium Shows

March 23, 7 p.m. and March 25, 2 pm @ PEEC. Avoid the outdoor cold and view the stars inside a warm planetarium dome. In addition to pointing prominent constellations and stars, Pajarito Astronomers President Steve Becker will demonstrate how the sky looks at the north pole, equator and near the south pole. Get ready for the 2012 Los Alamos Dark Nights by learning major constellations. Recommended for ages 10 and up. Specially priced at $5 for individuals and $15 for families. Register in advance at www.pajaritoeec.org/programs/calendar.php

Coming up (details on PEEC Calendar at www.pajaritoeec.org/programs/calendar.php)

April 1 – 30 Children’s Earth Day Art at Mesa Public Library
April 2 – 30 Earth Day Art show at the Betty Ehart Senior Center
April 10 History and the Ever-Changing Enchanted Land: Then and Now
April 13 & 14 Petra and the Jay – Tickets on sale now
April 18 Wonder of Nature, Rachel Carson
April 21 Earth Day Festival at www.pajaritoeec.org/programs/earthday/earthday2012.php
April 22 Party for PEEC – Tickets on sale now
May 6 Liquid Gold: Hands-on Beekeeping Workshop

 

Heinrich Receives Red Boxing Gloves

U.S. Senatorial candidate Martin Heinrich-D-N.M., held a news conference with President/CEO Max Ritchman of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare March 2. The event was held at the Center for Progress & Justice in Santa Fe and featured discussion on strengthening Medicare and Social Security for New Mexico’s current and future senior citizens. The NCPSSM endorsed Heinrich and presented him with a pair of red boxing gloves. Heinrich is running against Republican Heather Wilson for retiring Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s seat. Photo by Carl Newton

 

Go-Green-Go!

Plants begin to sprout during an educational project getting underway at the Espanola YMCA. Courtesy Photo

Spring is on its way and that means the Espanola YMCA Teen Center, operated by the Los Alamos Family YMCA, is preparing to begin its annual Go-Green-Go! environmental project.

Youth will have the opportunity to learn about agriculture and the importance of preserving natural resources.

Student Adam Sanchez tends crops at the Espanola YMCA Teen Center. Photo Courtesy/EYTC

The teens also will gain hands-on experience through growing their choice of vegetation during the summer months.

At the end of the cycle, the novice farmers harvest their vegetation to give to a friend, senior citizen or take home.

 

 

Congressional Candidate Blasts Opponent, Calls on Congress to Halt LANL Layoffs

Candidate Rick Newton News:

Rick Newton

Rick Newton, Taos Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in District 3, blasted opponent Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-NM, in a news release, charging him with endangering national security and for having an uncaring attitude toward the nearly 800 people losing their jobs at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

Newton ripped incumbent Lujan saying, “Once again, Lujan has chosen the narrow partisan interests of President Obama over the jobs of highly skilled workers in northern New Mexico. Lujan actually said ‘LANL is not immune from these cuts in the President’s budget,’ as though they were only trimming a little fat out of the Obama administration’s bloated government.”

Newton, a nuclear physicist who worked as an analyst for the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), expressed his “disgust at Lujan’s blasé attitude” toward the careers of those losing jobs and the precarious position in which Lujan and President Obama have placed national security, he said.

“These professionals must not be treated like commodities that can be bought and sold on a whim,” Newton said. “These are some of the most well-educated, highly-trained and most sought after scientists in the world. It could be very difficult to replace them once real leadership and sanity return to the Department of Energy after the 2012 election.

“The CMRR Facility is the key to ensuring that this great nation maintains its deterrent against the threat of nuclear war. President Obama is considering three plans, which could unilaterally cut our deployed strategic warheads by as much as 80 percent – from 1,550 agreed to in last year’s New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with the Russian Federation to as few as 300.”

Reflecting on the global threat, Newton stressed that by recent accounts; China has well over 300 warheads in its strategic arsenal and is currently engaged in a nuclear weapons modernization program.

“Even rogue nations like North Korea could build up their stockpiles to over 300 warheads over time and present a real threat to their neighbors and the United States, Newton said. “It’s unthinkable that Ben Ray Lujan and President Obama would abandon the nuclear deterrent that assured our nation’s security throughout the Cold War and especially now in the face of the additional growing threats from the build-up in China, North Korea and the emerging threat from Iran.”

Newton said that given the current stockpile of nuclear warheads by the Russian Federation and the unknown size of the Chinese stockpile, it would be foolish to consider reducing U.S. deployed warheads below 1,550.

“To maintain that level and firmly establish an effective nuclear deterrent, LANL’s CMRR Facility remains critically important because the existing W76 and W88 warheads need to be replaced by the new Reliable Replacement Warheads (RRW),” he said. “Therefore, I will urge the 113th Congress to provide funding for the RRW development program and the completion of the CMRR Facility. I believe that Republicans who support the nuclear deterrent will win the Senate and White House in the 2012 General Election. Provided that Congress funds these programs in 2013, the buy-out of up to 800 employees by April 5, 2012, with as much as nine month’s salary as the incentive provides practically no savings at all. Congress should halt the layoffs and hold hearings to consider my proposal.”

Newton, who reports that he worked as a Soviet nuclear weapon analyst during the SALT I negotiations, pointed out that the United States’ overwhelming nuclear deterrent held in reserve is what prevents other nations with one or more nuclear weapons from actually using them. Furthermore, that deterrent encourages less powerful nations to negotiate and accommodate alternatives to high-intensity nuclear warfare, he said.

“Given the current stockpile of nuclear warheads by the Russian Federation and the unknown size of the Chinese stockpile, it would be foolish to consider reducing our deployed warheads below 1,550,” Newton said. “To maintain that level and firmly establish an effective nuclear deterrent, LANL’s CMRR Facility remains critically important because the existing W76 and W88 warheads need to be replaced by the new Reliable Replacement Warheads. Therefore, I will urge the 113th Congress to provide funding for the RRW development program and the completion of the CMRR Facility.

“I believe that Republicans who support the nuclear deterrent will win the Senate and White House in the 2012 General Election. Provided that Congress funds these programs in 2013, the buy-out of up to 800 employees by April 5, with as much as nine month’s salary as the incentive, provides practically no savings at all. Congress should halt the layoffs and hold hearings to consider my proposal.”

“Newton, who reports that he worked as a Soviet nuclear weapons analyst during the SALT I negotiations, pointed out that “Our overwhelming nuclear deterrent held in reserve is what prevents other nations with one or more nuclear weapons from actually using them. Furthermore, that deterrent encourages less powerful nations to negotiate and accommodate alternatives to high-intensity nuclear warfare.”

Karen Wray Fine Art Gallery to Represent Ceramic Artist Marc Hudson

By Mandy Marksteiner

Artist Marc Hudson at work in his studio. Photo by Mandy Marksteiner

When I first visited Hudson’s garage studio he immediately plopped a six-pound lump of clay onto his wheel and leaned into the amorphous blob with his whole body until it took shape. First it became a tall cylinder, and as he coaxed the walls to expand, it became what he called a “rumptious round.”

As Hudson described it, “The clay doesn’t have any opinions about its final destiny. It’s the byproduct of erosion and it doesn’t mind that. When people see clay (or a blank sheet of paper or an empty canvas) they need to create something, to use it to solidify their imagination.”

Hudson is one of six new artists that Karen Wray, owner of Karen Wray Fine Art Gallery, will represent this spring. The other artists include Kimber Wallwork-Heineman (Digital Art), Eric Ringquist (Metal Art), TK Thompson (Photography), Dominique Samyn-Werbrouck (Oil Paintings) and Kathy Veenstra (Oil Paintings).

Like the other upcoming artists at Karen Wray Fine Art Gallery, Hudson has already established his career. In 2000 he was the Artist in Residence at Fuller Lodge Art Center, and he participated in the Espanola Art Festival, and served as its president for three years.

Artist Marc Hudson. Photo by Mandy Marksteiner

His work looked to me like a form of meditation. It turns out that when he began working with clay, that’s exactly what it was. He had just been drafted to the Viet-Nam war. He said, “I needed a relaxing center in clay as an alternative to being in the military.”

Since then, working with clay has been a long creative journey where Marc has developed his sense of style by devising experiments that allow him to get the results that he wants.

For example, he wasn’t getting the results that he wanted using commercial glazes. The list of people available to teach him how glaze materials work was pretty short and he wasn’t getting the answers he needed.

He bought tools – a scale for measuring ingredients, bags of chemicals, books with recipes and chemical analyses of ingredients, and software that describes how ingredients interacted with one another – and experimented.

He wasn’t being a perfectionist; he just wanted glazing to be an adventure. He said, “My usual approach to clay is to exercise considerable control while it is on the wheel or in the extruder, so it is refreshing to let my guard down and let the glaze act and react serendipitously.”

“Wood ash particularly appeals to me as a primary ingredient in glazes because it is a bit of a ‘wild card,’ its effect somewhat unpredictable,” Hudson said. “Ash likes to flow at high temperatures, yet its surface tension tries to make the glaze bead up–like a struggle between control and abandonment.”

He devised a system of organization that allows him to easily look up the recipe for any glaze. Over a thousand glazes on test tiles are coiled on the ceiling of his studio. The tiles are all numbered and grouped by 30 on each string.

“While I enjoyed mixing and testing glazes a great deal, my wife told me that I needed to just get on with making pots!” said Hudson. “But learning about clay and glazes is a journey.”

One of his favorite glazes was made possible by his experiments. He wanted to reproduce a glaze that was featured in Ceramics Monthly, but he didn’t have the right equipment. Through experimentation he was able replicate the final product.

See Marc Hudson’s artwork at Karen Wray Fine Art Gallery, 2101 Trinity Dr., Suite B-2 across from Ashley Pond. Visit www.karenwrayfineart.com or call 660-6382.

NNSA Initiates International Nuclear Forensics Training with the IAEA

 

Anne Harrington

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announces the successful completion of the “International Workshop on Nuclear Forensics Methodologies,” held at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington, and conducted in partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Office of Nuclear Security. The technical workshop brought together 24 participants from 12 countries — Argentina, Brazil, China, Georgia, Hungary, Japan, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, and Uzbekistan — and featured presentations and hands-on exercises led by internationally recognized nuclear forensics scientists and technical experts from NNSA, U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the IAEA, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO), the European Commission Joint Research Centre’s Institute for Transuranium Elements (JRC-ITU), and the United Kingdom’s Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE).

“Our partnership with the IAEA spans many areas, but nowhere is it more important for us to work together than in combating the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials,” said Anne Harrington, NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation. “In the Washington Nuclear Security Summit Communiqué and Work Plan, nuclear forensics capabilities were recognized as an indispensable tool for combating the illicit trafficking of nuclear materials. An international approach to develop nuclear forensics capabilities and train experts strengthens nuclear security cooperation, builds confidence among states, and contributes to the global efforts to prevent nuclear and radiological smuggling.”

Nuclear forensics is the popular term for the scientific characterization and analysis of nuclear or other radiological materials, which can provide critical information on the place of origin and process history of nuclear materials. This information can help national authorities determine how and where control of material was lost and, when combined with law enforcement and intelligence information, can facilitate the prosecution of smuggling cases.

David Smith, Senior Nuclear Security Officer at the IAEA, noted that, “In developing this workshop, we provided States the latest developments and technical guidance needed to conduct a comprehensive nuclear forensic investigation, and we have strengthened our partnership in the international fight against the illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials. The workshop emphasized the essential contribution of nuclear forensics to a comprehensive nuclear security infrastructure. The NNSA is an essential partner in providing U. S. national laboratory expertise, curriculum development, and an international team of instructors to enhance nuclear forensics training opportunities globally. We look forward to our continued joint efforts to strengthen nuclear forensics capabilities internationally.”

In 2006, the IAEA published Nuclear Security Series No. 2, “Nuclear Forensics Support,” which outlines the technical capabilities and procedures for nuclear forensic investigations, and incorporates expertise from law enforcement agencies and nuclear forensics laboratories to form clear guidelines for the international community. A primary goal of this week’s workshop was to strengthen the understanding of the nuclear forensics measurements that support a national response plan consistent with these IAEA guidelines.

Skylar Wants to be Adopted

Los Alamos County Animal Shelter News:

Skylar is hoping for a good home. Courtesy Photo

Skylar is about 14 months old and a terrier/lab mix waiting for a good home to call his own.

He is residing at the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter and is reportedly good with adults, gentle children, cats and dogs.

Skylar is submissive and likes the safety of a nearby crate while he figures out what is expected.

He is housebroken and leash trained and enjoys attention and going for walks with shelter volunteers.

Skylar is neutered and up-to-date with his routine shots.

His primary color is black with a short coat length.

There are six dogs and nine cats at the Animal Shelter waiting for adoption.

For more information, contact the Animal Shelter at 662-8179.

Hours of Operation:

    • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday
    • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

A Public Safety Aide is on duty at the shelter and responds to calls during office hours or by appointment. Call 662-8222 or 662-8179.

Shelter Fees:

The Animal Shelter accepts cash, checks (payable to Los Alamos County) and VISA and MasterCard.

Los Alamos Entrepreneurs’ Network Elects Officers

Los Alamos Entrepreneurs’ Network News:

Newly elected board of the Los Alamos Entrepreneurs' Network from left Vice President Richard Sayres, President Andy Andrews and Secretary Bill Sellers at the Hive in White Rock Thursday. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

The first election of officers for the Los Alamos Entrepreneurs’ Network (LAEN) concluded this evening with the following results:

  • President – Andy Andrews
  • Vice President – Richard Sayre
  • Secretary – Bill Sellers

LAEN adopted its by-laws Feb. 23 and appointed a nomination committee including David Jones and Jung Hong to facilitate the election of officers.

LAEN members meet again at 11:30 a.m. at the Hive, 134 N.M. 4, for a brown-bag lunch next Thursday starting at 11:30 followed by its by-monthly formal meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday Feb. 22.

From left, Jung Hong and Dave Jones count ballots during Thursday's LAEN Board election. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Dave Jones serves as the Hive steward. The Hive offers user packages by the day or month, without setup fees nor long-term commitments. It provides a range of facilities, tools, and services at a fraction of the cost of setting up a dedicated facility. It is designed to accommodate use by both individuals and small teams.

The Hive offers the amenities of a traditional workplace with the convenience and sociability of a neighborhood cafe. The Hive offers everything from desks and meeting rooms to social areas, high speed Internet access and office equipment.

The Hive can also link users to virtual incubator services delivered by Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation and other entities.

LAEN members gather in a conference room at the Hive in White Rock to vote for its first board of directors. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

The Hive is a live experiment aimed at discovering whether an underutilized building can be repurposed to support a cowork community of freelancers, entrepreneurs, independent inventors & innovators, startups, small businesses, big company telecommuters, field workers, and other laptop nomads who are tired of working alone at home or in crowded and noisy coffee shops.

It is an experiment to test the possibility of developing a facility supporting a community of workers who socialize and, more importantly, collaborate.

Newly elected LAEN President Andy Andrews congratulates new board Secretary Bill Sellers. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

They can bounce ideas off each other, share expertise, join forces on projects, refer business to one another and even join to create new companies.

The Hive is for freelancers, entrepreneurs, independent inventors & innovators, startups, small businesses, big company telecommuters, field workers, and other laptop nomads. At the Hive you can share a workspace with other creative, talented individuals. Why experience the go-it-alone feeling when you can connect with be supported by peers who are experts in their fields. The Hive helps you create opportunities to connect with other professionals and share ideas and resources with other Hive users.

LAEN member Ralph Chapman congratulates new President Andy Andrews. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

You’ll also be able to connect with educational workshops and social networking events. In addition, the Hive has “hot desk”, “quiet office”, and conference space for times when you need more privacy or complete privacy. Equipped shop and lab spaces are available for private, short-term use so you can concentrate on and accomplish experiments, proof of concept, and prototyping work. Flexible project space can be adpted to a wide variety of uses.

LAEN members discuss projects. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.comThe Hive provides a range of facilities, tools, and services at a fraction of the cost of setting up a dedicated facility. It is designed to accommodate use by both individuals and small teams. The Hive offers everything from desks and meeting rooms to social areas, labs, workshops, project spaces, wifi Internet access, and equipment.

The Hive is a live experiment aimed at discovering whether an underutilized building can be repurposed to support development of a cowork community of freelancers, entrepreneurs, independent inventors & innovators, startups, small businesses, big company telecommuters, field workers, and other laptop nomads who are tired of working alone at home or in crowded and noisy coffee shops.

Can a facility support a community of workers who socialize and, more importantly, collaborate? Will they bounce ideas off each other, share expertise, join forces on projects, refer business to one another and even join to create new companies?

LAEN election in progress Thursday at the Hive. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Hive users who purchase a service plan are also connected to other regional and worldwide resources. Premium Plan users are entitled to use of an “international co-work visa.”

This benefit provides for free use of hundreds of co-work facilities throughout the USA and world. The Hive premium plan gives you a free, collaborative working space in hundreds of locations worldwide.

Learn more at www.hive505.com