In December the Twenty-ninth Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) was held in Montreal, Canada. NIPS is a single-track machine learning and computational neuroscience conference that includes invited talks, demonstrations and oral and poster presentations of refereed papers.

The Posner Lecture is named in honor of Ed Posner who founded NIPS. Ed worked on communications and information theory at Caltech and was an early pioneer in neural networks. He organized the first NIPS conference and workshop in Denver in 1989 and incorporated the NIPS Foundation in 1992

Zoubin Ghahramani is Professor of Information Engineering at the University of Cambridge, where he leads the Machine Learning Group. He studied computer science and cognitive science at the University of Pennsylvania, obtained his PhD from MIT in 1995, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto. His academic career includes concurrent appointments as one of the founding members of the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit in London, and as a faculty member of CMU’s Machine Learning Department for over 10 years. His current research interests include statistical machine learning, Bayesian nonparametrics, scalable inference, probabilistic programming, and building an automatic statistician. He has held a number of leadership roles as programme and general chair of the leading international conferences in machine learning including: AISTATS (2005), ICML (2007, 2011), and NIPS (2013, 2014). In 2015 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

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