An online learning workshop was held at Telecom Paritech on September 20, followed by the PhD defense of Claire Vernade. Csaba Szepesvári gave a talk on adaptive convex optimisation, and Wouter Koolen gave a talk on learning rates in online learning.

As my first official “business” travel during my PhD life, this event truly means something to me. It represents the start of a mesmerizing, hopefully at least, journey. Thank you Claire for the nice pot de thèse ^^.

Fun fact 1: Pot de thèse is a French tradition (exists as well in many other countries of course, but not all) among defending PhD students who shall prepare some buffet for all the attendees of his/her defense. It is usually after the deliberation and the announcement of the final result. One may ask what if the candidate fails, well it could be the case, but remains quite rare in reality. The fact that the candidate is allowed to defend by default implies that he/she will eventually get the degree.

Fun fact 2: In France, attendees are not supposed to applaud after the presentation or the question session. People only applaud after the announcement of the final result.

Fun fact 3: Only PhDs have the right to ask questions during a defense in France, but they usually don’t (apart from the exam committee of course).