Welcome from the General Chairman

Prof. Gerald Matz, TU Wien, Austria

A successful scientific conference depends on a strong technical program, an awesome venue, and a diverse mix of attendees. I claim that the Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems, and Computers features all of these ingredients. Thus, it is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to the 53rd edition of this event.

Sure enough “53rd” is not a typo – Asilomar already celebrated its tenth anniversary when ICASSP, the IEEE Signal Processing Society’s flagship conference, was held for the first time in 1976. As is well known by many attendees, Asilomar is very much about tradition while being open to cautious innovations.

I am thrilled to announce that two luminaries of our community have agreed to give plenary talks to which I am very much looking forward.

“Learning” is the common theme of both lectures. For the traditional Monday morning plenary, Prof. Helmut Bölcskei from ETH Zurich will speak about “Fundamental limits of deep neural network learning”, providing rigorous quantitative universality statements for deep neural networks.

On Sunday afternoon, Prof. Nikos Sidiropoulos will give a keynote about “Canonical Identification: A Principled Alternative to Neural Networks”, laying out a powerful framework based on low-rank tensor approximations.

More papers than ever have been submitted this year – 613 submissions are a 12% increase over last year’s record, indicating a healthy grow of the conference. While increasing submission numbers are a reason to be proud, such a large batch of papers puts quite some pressure on the Technical Committee.

A big thanks goes to the Technical Chair, Prof. Christoph Studer from Cornell University, and his team of Area Chairs (Giuseppe Durisi, Ove Edfors, Soummya Kar, Reinhard Heckel, Yimin Zhang, Behtash Babad, Keshab K. Parhi, and Pavan Turaga), who did an extraordinary job in organizing the review process and creating an outstanding technical program comprising 501 accepted papers (of which 197 were invited). They also selected eight finalists for the student paper contest out of 100 candidate papers. The award winners will be determined during a dedicated session on Sunday afternoon.

Returning attendees and newcomers alike have always appreciated the friendly, relaxed, and inspiring atmosphere on the Asilomar Conference Grounds. It is a great honor for me to serve as this year’s General Chair and I hope you find plenty of opportunities to meet colleagues and friends, to learn about recent technical advances, and to enjoy the surrounding countryside and beaches.

Gerald Matz, TU Wien, July 2019