Bellairs Workshop on Data, Learning and Optimization

April 7th - April 14th, 2017.

Bellairs Research Institute, Barbados


This continues a tradition of workshops inl Optimization and Algorithms. The theme this year is "Data, Learning and Optimization''. There will be a limited number of focus lectures given by people working in these areas. The rest of the time is devoted to developing collaborations. We also expect to engage in discussion (debate) about where data science and optimization are heading. Bellairs provides a relaxed atmosphere for these objectives.

Accommodation at Bellairs is spartan (usually two to a room) at a modest daily rate. Friday, April 7th, is the arrival day, with a full program scheduled for Sunday to Thursday. Participants will depart on either Friday 14th (or with permission of the institute, Saturday).

Location: The workshop takes place at the Bellairs Research Institute in Barbados.
The institute is only metres from the beautiful west coast beaches of the island. Here are some photos of the Institute. The airport is on the south-east point of the island and Bellairs is on the west side (about a 30 minute taxi drive). Here is a map of Barbados.

Schedule: The workshop schedule will be shared here as it becomes availabile.

Participants :
David Applegate (Google), Philippe Beaudoin (Element AI), Yoshua Bengio (Montreal),
Chandra Chekuri (UIUC), Bill Cook (Waterloo), Claudia D'Ambrosio (LIX Polytechnique), Evan DeCorte (McGill),
Michel Goemans (MIT), Matteo Fischetti (Padova), Oktay Gunluk (IBM), Anupam Gupta (CMU),
Jason Jo (MILA), Kent Quanrud (UIUC), Yin-Tat Lee (MSR-UW), James Lee (UW), Andrea Lodi (Polytechnique Montreal),
Tom McCormick (UBC), Vahab Mirrokni (Google), Gonzalo Munoz (Columbia), Sebastien Pokutta (Georgia Tech),
Guillaume Pouliot (Polytechnique Montreal), Guillaume Rabusseau (McGill), Richard Santiago (McGill), Bruce Shepherd (McGill),
Ola Svensson (EPFL), Kunal Talwar (Google Brain), David Woodruff (IBM), Giulia Zarpellon (Polytechnique Montreal).

Directions: Tell the taxi drivers to take you to Bellairs Research Centre in Holetown.
Holetown is on the main street - you can't really miss it. The taxi ride should cost about $45 U.S.
There are buses but one must first travel to Bridgetown (the capital) and transfer to another line.

Some things to know: Barbados is safe and one shouldn't worry about travelling
alone. US currency is freely accepted at 2 Barbadian dollars per US dollar. Other
currencies (Pound sterling, Canadian dollars) are not accepted; you will have to change
them at banks or at the airport.  People had trouble using their bank cards from
Europe, but Canadian and US cards seem to work fine. Note that some of the better restaurants
in the area do require long trousers in the evenings.

Computers: The wireless network normally works very well.
There are also several computers (and one printer) available. There is a small
weekly fee for using the internet connections.

Accommodation: Reservations are already made. You pay Bellairs directly
during the workshop. The cost of a room is around $40 US per day per person.
Breakfast is provided. We tend to buy lunch at local restaurants
or at the shopping centre 10 minutes walk from the Institute. The cook prepares dinner
(6pm sharp) for approximately $20 U.S. The accommodations are of the level of student
dormitories, please do not expect the level of the (very expensive) hotels on either side of
the institute. We can of course expect the mathematics and scenery to be at a very high level.
If you snore considerably, please let us know in advance. It helps when making the
room assignments. Trust us, we have experience (famous last words of one colleague:
"I'm determined to teach myself to embrace this").

Family Policy: Participants are normally expected to stay the conference duration and to avoid distractions during the workshop, we request that family members join you either only the week before or only the week after the workshop, but not during the workshop.

Visas: Visitors from North America and most of Europe do not need a visa
to visit Barbados. Nationals of some countries (e.g. India, Iran) do require a visa.
Strong Warning - Visas can take up to three or four weeks to be issued so apply early.

For more information please contact the organizers: Andrea Lodi ( or Bruce Shepherd ( or use (

Some Previous Editions:
2015: Combinatorial Optimization: Discrepancy and Modern Rounding
2013: Combinatorial Optimization
2012: Algorithmic Game Theory
2011: Approximation Algorithms
2010: Approximation Algorithms
2009: Algorithmic Game Theory
2008: Integer Programming
2007: Combinatorial Optimization