**Contact Info**

Department of Applied Mathematics

University of Waterloo

Waterloo, Ontario

Canada N2L 3G1

Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 32700

Fax: 519-746-4319

PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader

Thursday, December 3, 2015 — 2:30 PM EST

MC 5501

Rob Spekkens

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Tools for causal inference

Scientific explanation often requires one to make inferences about what is unobservable from what is observable. Perhaps the most important example of this pattern is to make inferences about causal mechanisms from observed correlations. This problem is known as "causal inference" and has applications in any scientific field that uses statistical data. Mathematical techniques for solving it, therefore, should be considered to have a status similar to that of standard tools of statistical analysis. Many powerful techniques for causal inference have been developed by researchers in the field of machine learning, but they remain less well-known than they ought to be. It has recently become apparent that a problem that is of central interest to researchers studying the foundations of quantum theory---that of deriving Bell inequalities---can be understood as an instance of causal inference. In this talk, I will describe some of the techniques for causal inference that have been inspired by the foundations of quantum theory and the sorts of applications that these might find in physics.

**Contact Info**

Department of Applied Mathematics

University of Waterloo

Waterloo, Ontario

Canada N2L 3G1

Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 32700

Fax: 519-746-4319

PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader

University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo

43.471468

-80.544205

200 University Avenue West

Waterloo,
ON,
Canada
N2L 3G1

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Office of Indigenous Relations.