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Prof Theo Damoulas

I am a Professor in Machine Learning and Data Science with a joint appointment in Computer Science and Statistics. I am a Turing AI Fellow (2021-2026) having recently received the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Turing AI Acceleration FellowshipLink opens in a new window in order to lead research on setting the Machine Learning Foundations of Digital Twins. I am also affiliated with New York University as a Visiting Exchange Professor at the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and am serving as a NERC Senior Expert in the Constructing Digital Environment network. My research interests are in probabilistic machine learning and Bayesian statistics with an emphasis on the study and integration of various forms of structure and inductive biases (structured priors, spatiotemporal dependencies, dynamics, compositions, physical laws, flows, causality, etc) while advancing robust and scalable approximate inference methodologies. My research has broad applications in Digital Twins, Bayesian nonparametrics and spatiotemporal problems in urban science and computational sustainability. I am the founder and PI of the cross-departmental Warwick Machine Learning Group and I lead two large projects at The Turing that are impact stories.

Active Projects (EPSRC, UKRI, LRF, Turing)

Machine Learning Foundations of Digital Twins, UKRI, Turing AI Acceleration Fellowship, [Lead PI, 01/2021 - Present]

Project Odysseus, DCE Covid 19 response, The Turing & Warwick EPSRC IAA, [Lead PI, 04/2020 - Present]

London Air Quality project, Turing - Lloyds Register Foundation programme on Data Centric Engineering. [Lead PI, 10/2017 - Present]

Robust, Scalable Sequential Monte Carlo with Application to Urban Air Quality, EPSRC, [Co-I with Adam Johansen (PI) 1/4/2020 - Present]


(in chronological order)

Research Group

Post-doctoral Research Associates

Dr. Jure Vogrinc (2021-2023)

Dr. Juan Kuntz (2021-2023)

Dr. Fabio Massimo Zenaro (2022-2025)

Dr. Kangrui Wang (2022-2025)

PhD Students

Oliver Hamelijnck (2019-2023)

Patrick O'Hara (2020-2024)

Harita Dellaporta (2020-2024)

Claudia Viaro (2021-2025)

Giorgos Felekis (2022-2026)

Research Assistants/Research Software Engineers

Sueda Çiftçi (2022-2025)

Group Alumni

Dr. Maud Lemercier (PhD, 2018-2022) [Research Associate @ Oxford Math]

Dr. Shanaka Perera (PhD, 2018-2022) [AI Research Scientist @ Nimbus]

Nicola Branchini (RA, 2020-2021) [PhD student @ Edinburgh Math]

James Walsh (RA, 2019-2021) [PhD student @ Cambridge Eng]

Dr. Jeremias Knoblauch (PhD, 2017-2022) [Assistant Prof. @ UCL Stats]

Dr. Virginia Aglietti (PhD, 2017-2021) [Harrison Award for PhD thesis, Research Scientist at DeepMind]

Dr. Omer Deniz Akyildiz (PDRA, 2019-2021) [Assistant Prof. @ Imperial Stats]

Dr. Ayman Boustati (PhD, 2017-2020) [ML Research Scientist at causaLens]

Dr. Daniel Tait (PDRA, 2018-2020) [AI Research Scientist at Clear Dynamics]

Dr. Neil Dhir (PDRA, 2019-2020) [Senior Research Fellow @ The Turing]

Dr. Karla Monterrubio Gomez (PhD, 2016-2019) [Research Associate @ Edinburgh Math]

Dr. Joe Meagher (PhD, 2016-2020) [Research Associate @ UCD Math & Stats]

Yannis Zachos (BSc thesis, 2018) [PhD student @ Cambridge Eng]

PhD Supervision

I am interested in supervising highly motivated PhD students with a strong quantitative background at the intersection of computer science and statistics (machine learning, computational statistics, applied math). Get in touch with me and apply directly via OxWaSP and/or WISC Doctoral Training Centers and/or The Alan Turing Institute. Some areas of interest are i) probabilistic spatio-temporal inference and algorithms, ii) learning and Bayesian inference in dynamic systems and changing (non-stationary) environments iii) scalable approximate inference and learning algorithms.

BSc/MSc/MEng Supervision

[***Update***: In 2019 I am moving to Turing and will only be able to offer supervision on few thesis related to my research projects]. Every year I will be proposing and supervising undergraduate and master's thesis projects at both Statistics and Computer Science departments. Contact me with your CV if interested in these. If you have a well defined project of your own that is close to my interests and would like me to supervise your thesis feel free to contact me with your CV and a project description.

Notable 1st Class BSc thesis:

  • James Walsh, BSc in Data Science, Physics-informed machine learning of Li-ion 18650 battery degradation, Dept. of Statistics & Dept. of Computer Science, University of Warwick, 2019. [co-supervised with Dr. Daniel Tait]
  • Patrick O'Hara, BSc in Computer Science, Running NP-Hard from Air Pollution: Graph optimisation algorithms, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Warwick, 2018. [co-supervised with Dr. Ramanujan Sridharan]
  • Yannis Zachos, BSc in Data Science, Bayesian Online Changepoint Detection: Spatio-temporal point processes, Dept. of Statistics & Dept. of Computer Science, University of Warwick, 2018. [co-supervised with Jeremias Knoblauch]

Notable 1st Class/Distinction MSc thesis:

Selected Awards

  • Best Paper Award, AISTATS, 2022
  • Turing AI Acceleration Fellowship, UKRI, 2021-2026
  • Warwick Impact Fund Award, 2018
  • Turing Reproducible Research Award, 2018
  • ACM SIGMOD Most Reproducible Paper Award, 2017
  • Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence (nominated) 2015-2016, 2016-2017
  • NYU CUSP Teaching and Mentoring award 2014
  • The Classification Society Distinguished Dissertation Award, Carnegie Mellon University, 2012
  • Best Paper for Deployed Application Award, AAAI IAAI, 2012
  • EMC2 Big Data Award, Data Computing Division, Cornell University, 2011
  • Best Paper Award, IEEE ICMLA, 2010
  • NCR PhD Fellowship award (full funding), 2006 - 2009

Previous placements

  • Associate Professor, Computer Science & Statistics, University of Warwick, 2018-2021
  • Assistant Professor, Computer Science & Statistics, University of Warwick, 2015-2018
  • Research Assistant Professor, CUSP, New York University, 2013-2015
  • PDRA & Research Associate, Computer Science, Cornell University, 2009-2013

Journal editing:

Bayesian AnalysisLink opens in a new window, Associate Editor, [2021-Present]

Royal Society Open Science, Associate Editor, [2021-Present]

Data-Centric EngineeringLink opens in a new window, Cambridge University Press [2019-2020]

Conference Reviewing:


Journal reviewing:

JMLR, Neural Computation, Bioinformatics, IEEE Signal Processing, Pattern Recognition, IEEE SMC

Workshop/Special session co-organizer:

ICASSP 2018 "Wildlife Bioacoustics and Adaptive Signal Processing", D. Stowell, N. Harte, T. Damoulas

AAAI 2015 "AI for Cities", T. Damoulas, B. Srivastava, S. McIlraith, F. Lecue

NIPS 2013 "Machine Learning for Sustainability", E. Bonilla, T. Dietterich, T. Damoulas, A. Krause

NIPS 2012 "Human Computation for Science and Computational Sustainability", T. Damoulas, T. Dietterich, E. Law, S. Belongie

Short Bio:

Theo is a Professor of Machine Learning and Data Science at the University of Warwick with a joint appointment in the departments of Computer Science and Statistics. In 2021 he was awarded a prestigious 5-year UKRI Turing AI Fellowship to lead research that sets the ML foundations of Digital Twins. He is a group leader in the Data Centric Engineering program at The Alan Turing Institute having served as deputy director of the program till 2021, a NERC Senior Expert, a Visiting Professor at NYU, and the founder and PI of the Warwick Machine Learning Group. His research interests are in probabilistic machine learning and Bayesian statistics with an emphasis on the study and integration of various forms of structure and inductive biases while advancing robust and scalable approximate inference methodologies.

Academic trajectory:

Theo joined the University of Warwick in 2015 from New York University where he was an Assistant Professor of Research (2013-2015). Before that he was a Research Associate in the department of Computer Science at Cornell University working with Prof. Carla P. Gomes, Prof. Bart Selman, Dr. Daniel Fink and the CLO eBird team headed by Steve Kelling (2009-2013). He finished his PhD thesis titled Probabilistic Multiple Kernel Learning in 2009 under the supervision of Prof. Mark A. Girolami at the School of Computing Science, University of Glasgow. He was also co-supervised by Prof. Cornelis Just "Keith" van Rijsbergen. He holds an MSc in Informatics (Distinction) from the University of Edinburgh (2003-2004) and an MEng in Mechanical Engineering (1st Class) from the University of Manchester (1999-2003).