Professor Neil Lawrence

Chair in Neuro and Computer Science

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 1904

Member of the Machine Learning and Complex Systems Modelling research groups
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Prof. Neil Lawrence



Neil Lawrence received his bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southampton in 1994. Following a period as an field engineer on oil rigs in the North Sea he returned to academia to complete his PhD in 2000 at the Computer Lab in Cambridge University. He spent a year at Microsoft Research in Cambridge before leaving to take up a Lectureship at the University of Sheffield, where he was subsequently appointed Senior Lecturer in 2005. In January 2007 he took up a post as a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Computer Science in the University of Manchester where he worked in the Machine Learning and Optimisation research group. In August 2010 he returned to Sheffield to take up a collaborative Chair in Neuroscience and Computer Science.

Neil is an Associate Editor in Chief for IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (since 2011) and an Action Editor for the Journal of Machine Learning Research. He was the founding editor of the JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings (2006) and is currently series editor. He is Programme Chair for AISTATS 2012 and has served on the programme committee of several international conferences. He was an area chair for the NIPS conference in 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2013, Workshops Chair in 2010 and Tutorials Chair in 2013. He was general chair of AISTATS in 2010 and AISTATS Programme Chair in 2012. He will be Program Chair of NIPS in 2014.



Neil's main research interest is machine learning through probabilistic models. He focuses on both the algorithmic side of these models and their application. He has a particular focus on applications in personalized health and computational biology, but happily dabbles in other areas such as speech, vision and graphics.


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