Shakir Mohamed

Post-doctoral Researcher in
Statistical Machine Learning

Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Junior Fellow at the University of British Columbia

Please see my new webpage at

About Me

I am a post-doctoral researcher in Machine Learning at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Computer Science. I work in the Laboratory for Computational Intelligence (LCI) with Nando de Freitas and Kevin Murphy.

My research is funded through a junior fellowship from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), within the Neural Computation and Adaptive Perception (NCAP) programme led by Geoff Hinton.

I completed my PhD with Zoubin Ghahramani in the Machine Learning Group at the University of Cambridge, where I was a Commonwealth Scholar to the United Kingdom and a member of St John's College. I am from South Africa, and completed my previous degrees in Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Research Interests

  • Bayesian statistics and machine learning
  • Unsupervised learning and latent variable modelling
  • Matrix and tensor factorisation
  • Generalised linear models, sparse Bayesian learning
  • Approximate Bayesian inference
  • Missing data imputation

  • News Reel

    Upcoming event
    Feb 2013 I am one of the organisers of the 2013 CIFAR Junior Fellows' Academy. I'm chairing the session on Science and Big Data.
    Dec 2012 We have 2 papers accepted at NIPS 2012. We'll be at Lake Tahoe discussing: (1) Expectation propagation for Gaussian process dynamical systems, and (2) Fast variational inference for non-conjugate GP regression. Papers here.

    I am one of the organisers of the NIPS 2012 workshop on Bayesian Optimisation and Decision Making on the 7th December. Details here.
    Nov 2012 I'll be attending the 4th Canadian Science Policy Conference in Calgary.
    June 2012 Look out for our paper on Spike-and-slab sparisty for unsupervised learning at ICML 2012 in Edinburgh. Paper here.
    June 2012 I will be at the conference of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis (ISBA) in Kyoto, discussing Large-scale approximate Bayesian inference for latent Gaussian models.
    April 2012 Our paper on Latent Gaussian models for categorical data has been accepted at AISTATS 2012 - see our poster at the conference in La Palma, Canary Islands. Paper and code here.
    Feb 2012 CIFAR Junior Fellows' Meeting in Banff.
    13 Dec 2011 Rsearch visit to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria
    12 Dec 2011 Research visit, Department of Engineering, University of Johannesburg
    16-18 Nov 2011 Attending the 3rd Canadian Science Policy Conference in Ottawa.
    15 Nov 2011 Research visit and talk at the University of Ottawa, Text Analysis and Machine Learning group.
    1 August 2011 Attending the '7th CIFAR Summer School on: Learning and Vision in Biology and Engineering' in Toronto.
    23 July 2011 I will be returning to Cambridge to attend my PhD Graduation!
    11 April 2011 Attended my first meeting of the CIFAR Junior Fellow Academy in Toronto
    1 April 2011 I have moved to the beautiful city of Vancouver to begin a postdoc at the University of British Columbia.
    15 March 2011 Officially received my 'Approval for the PhD Degree'.