Guardian Article on Internet Regulation

On 2nd April 2015 another article I wrote for the Guardian media network on regulation and evolving technology was published..

Festival of Science Talk

On 5th March 2015 I gave a public talk on “The Data Farm”. Which focussed on how we lay ‘data-crumbs’ in our modern lives. See this page for more details.

Guardian Article on Digital Oligarchies

On 5th March 2015 an article I wrote for the Guardian media network on data oligarchies and machine learning was published. It works well as a synposis for my talk at the Sheffield Festival of Science and Engineering on “The Data Farm”.

Data Science in Africa, June 2015

From 15th-19th June with John Quinn, Andreas Damianou and Ciira wa Maina we are hosting a Data Science in Africa workshop to be based in Nyeri, Kenya.

Gaussian Process Schools in Genoa and Melbourne

Two new Gaussian process schools were held in Genova (January 2015) and Melbourne (February 2015). The next school will be in Kenya in June, and focussed on Data Science in general, rather than just GPs.

Open Data Science: Focus for 2015

With most spare time in 2013 being take up with the REF submission and 2014 being dominated by NIPS, I’m looking forward to having more time in 2015 to focus on our “Open Data Science Initiative”. Details will start appearing on this page.

NIPS 2014

In 2014 most of my effort was focused on program chairing NIPS 2014. It was an incredible experience, and I’ve summarized some of the details on this blog post about The NIPS Experiment. There will be more thoughts on this to come!

New Arrival

Very pleased to announce that Mike Croucher will be joining us at the University of Sheffield in March. Mike’s appointment is very much part of the Open Data Science agenda we’ve been driving in Sheffield.

Course Rewrite

For 2014 I extensively rewrote the notes for my Machine Learning Course. IPython notebooks for the course are available on Github in line with our ideas for Open Data Science.

Systems Biology Presentation

Neil gave two hours of presentations at the The Systems Biology Modelling Cycle workshop. IPython notebooks of the demonstrations can be found here.

GPSS 2014

The next Gaussian Process Summer School will be held in Sheffield from 15th to 17th September 2014. It will be followed on September 18th by a Workshop on Gaussian Processes for Feature Extraction.

MLSS 2014

Neil gave 3 hours of lectures on “What is Machine Learning?” at the 2014 MLSS held at the University of Rejkyavik in Iceland.

Kappenball on the iPhone!

The game of Kappenball is now released on the iPhone! Kappenball is a game illustrating a mathematical theory for procrastination. I introduced it in my inaugural lecture. Kappenball illustrates an effect of stochasticity on decision making. The original example is a stochastic optimal control example described by Bert Kappen at a 2008 workshop I helped organize. The game is designed to illustrate how in a deterministic world we should act on our plans immediately, but in a stochastic world we should often delay action until the right moment. It illustrates why procrastination is sometimes a good thing.

With Mauricio Álvarez we organized a Gaussian Process Road Show in Perreira, Colombia in February.

We ran a Gaussian Process Winter School in Sheffield from Monday 13th January to Wednesday 15th January 2014.

We hosted a 1-day workshop on Gaussian Processes for Spatiotemporal Modelling on Thursday 16th January 2013. It followed directly after the Winter School.

MASAMB 2014 was hosted by the group in Sheffield, with James Hensman as main organizer. With Nicolo Fusi we also organised a colocated workshop on statistical genetics.

With James Hensman, Joaquin Quinonero Candela and Tianshi Gao, Neil organised a NIPS workshop on Probabilistic Models for Big Data.

Moving on: September 2013, two researchers from the group are moving on to faculty jobs this month, Nicolas Durrande has returned to France and Ciira Maina has taken a position at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology.

In August we held a Gaussian Process Road Show at the University of Makerere in Kampala, Uganda where we were hosted by John Quinn and Martin Mubangizi.

In June we held a Gaussian Process Summer School in Sheffield.

Neil was Tutorials Chair for NIPS 2013. We had a great line up of tutorials, details available here.

Inaugural Lecture

Neil’s inaugural lecture was on 6th September 2012 at 17:15 in St George’s Church Lecture Theatre at the University of Sheffield. The title was ‘Life the Universe and Machine Learning’. More details and an abstract can be found here.

Machine Learning as Engine Design

A blog post on Machine Learning as Engine Design as a response to Kiri Wagstaff’s ICML paper.

Teaching 2012-13

This year Neil taught Machine Learning and Adaptive Intelligence (COM6509 and COM4509) module and he was also the staff contact for COM3310 taught by Malcolm Beattie. For information (via Tony Cowling who was staff contact last year) on COM3310 see here.

CVPR 2012 GP Tutorial

With Raquel Urtasun Neil presented a Short Course on Gaussian Processes at CVPR in Providence.

Review of Our Edited Book

A review of the volume on “Learning and Inference in Computational Systems Biology” (edited with Mark Girolami, Magnus Rattrayand Guido Sanguinetti) has been published by Ernst Wit in Biometrics. A further review has been published by Terence Speed in The Quarterly Review of Biology (not open access unfortunately).

Computer Science

A blog post containing personal thoughts on machine learning and Computer Science degrees.

MLSS 2012

I'll be giving three lectures at the Machine Learning Summer School in La Palma. The details of the lectures are available here.


Along with Mark Girolami, Neil is one of the programme chairs for AISTATS 2012. Bernhard Schölkopf is the general chair and Fernando Pérez-Cruz is handling local arrangements.

If you are interested in integrating MATLAB or Octave code into LaTeX, then you might be interested in MATweave. This is a solution for keeping the code you used to create your figures in your LaTeX file.

We've just appointed two post-doctoral research positions associated with our new group in Sheffield.

From 1st August 2010 Neil will be taking up a new position as a collaborative Chair between the departments of Neuroscience and Computer Science at the University of Sheffield. Neil will be based in the Sheffield Institute of Translational Neuroscience. Neil will be joined there by his colleague Magnus Rattray. We will co-lead research groups in machine learning and computational biology.


An edited volume on "Learning and Inference in Computational Systems Biology" is out with MIT Press. Neil edited it with Mark Girolami, Magnus Rattray and Guido Sanguinetti. on Learning in Computational and Systems Biology</a>. It originally emerged from our PASCAL Thematic Programme and the follow on workshops. The MIT Press sites here.

Teaching 2011-12

In Autumn 2011, with Trevor Cohn, Neil taught the Machine Learning and Adaptive Intelligence (COM6509 and COM4509) module and the Introduction to Bioengineering Module (FCE101). See also his Lecture Notes (campus only) page for more details.

AISTATS 2010 in Europe!

For the first time the AISTATS conference was held in Europe. It took place in Sardinia from May 13th-15th 2010. Further European AISTATS are planned for 2012, 2014 etc.. Neil was General Chair for the meeting and Yee Whye Teh and Mike Titterington were the Program Chairs.

Interspeech 2009 Tutorial

For details of an Interspeech tutorial on probabilistic dimensionality reduction see here.