reading classics (#8)

La Défense from Paris-Dauphine, Nov. 15, 2012The Reading Classics Seminar today was about (the classic) Donoho and Johnstone’s denoising through wavelets, a 1995 JASA paper entitled Adapting to unknown smoothness via wavelet shrinkage. Two themes (shrinkage and wavelets) I discovered during my PhD years. (Although I did not work on wavelets then, I simply attended seminars where wavelets were the new thing.) My student Anouar Seghir gave a well-prepared presentation, introducing wavelets and Stein’s estimator of the risk. He clearly worked hard on the paper. However, I still feel the talk focussed too much on the maths and not enough on the motivations. For instance I failed to understand why the variance in the white noise was known and where the sparsity indicator came from. (This is anyway a common flaw in those Reading Classics presentations.) The presentation was helped by an on-line demonstration in Matlab, using the resident velvet code. Here are the slides:

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