Unfortunately, due to the large number of similar e-mails that I receive I can no longer respond to each e-mail individually. I've provided information below on the most common requests:

Supervising PhD or MSc

Thank you for your interest in studying under my supervision. I may be looking to take 1 or 2 new students next year, but these spots will be very competitive as machine learning and optimization are popular fields (last year we had over 700 applications and I only accepted 3 students, so acceptance rate is less than 1%). On the other hand, we are planning to hire new machine learning faculty so the acceptance rate may be higher next year.

But in any case, faculty members in computer science do not directly admit students. If you are interested then you need to apply through the department of computer science, which usually has a deadline in December. Feel free to mention me in your statement of interest if you are particularly interested in my work, but you can increase your chances by also considering other people in the department.

If you are contacting me because of an interest in convex optimization, you may also want to consider applying to UBC's Okanagan campus. They have a strong group there, and this requires a separate application.

Updates on Grad School Applications

Due to the large number of applicants, I can't provide updates on the status of individual grad student applications. The department sends out all decisions by April 15th. Similarly, I don't have time to do Skype calls with each applicant to discuss potential research topics.

Application Fees

Unfortunately, the application fee is imposed by the university on us and we don't have control over it.

Grad Student Funding

All students in the department are fully-funded at the highest baseline level among Canadian schools. Tuition for PhD tuition is waived for their first 4 years. After that, international grad students still only pay the domestic tuition rate (which is much lower than most US schools).

CPSC 340 or 540 Registration

Please see the webpage for registration details.

CPSC 440 Registration

I am not teaching this course in the upcoming year so have no control over this.

CPSC 340 or 440 Prerequisite Exceptions

I do not control prereq checking for undergrad courses.

CPSC 540 Prerequisite Exceptions

I no longer control prereq checking for this course. They generally allow grad students to take the course without exactly matching the prerequisites for the corresponding undergraduate course (CPCS 340 for 540), but you should review the material in the prerequisite courses before the class starts. If you are far from satisfying the prerequisites you may find the course overly-difficult/confusing and I recommend taking the prerequisite courses first.


This course has been re-named to CPSC 540.

Auditting Classes

You are welcome to audit my classes. The procedure for becoming an auditor is that you register for the course (via the wait list if necessary), and once you are registered I sign the form that allows you to switch to auditing the class. I do not sign any auditing forms until everyone on the waitinst list is registered, which usually happens around the second week of class.

Internship Requests (Non-UBC Students)

Due to the high interest from UBC students, I'm not planning on taking any interns that aren't UBC students in the near future. You may want to consider the Mitacs Globalink program, which matches prospective interns with supervisors that are looking for students.

Internship Requests (UBC Students)

Contact me in the first week of January if you are interested in a summer research position. There positions tend to be competitive, and I prefer taking people that have completed both CPSC 340 and CPSC 440.

Directed Studies

I do not supervised directed studies projects.

Postdoc Requests

If you have multiple publications in the venues where I usually publish in machine learning (such as NeurIPS or ICML or AI/Stats) or optimization (such as MAPR or SIOPT), please get in touch regarding postdoc opportunities.

Review Requests

Due to the high demand for machine learning reviewers/editors/PCs and the availability of excellent not-for-profit publication venues, I will not be accepting any reviewing/editing/PC duties for for-profit journals/conferences unless they are publication venues that my students want to submit to.

Companies Seeking Interns

If you are looking for student interns, you can send me a description of what you are looking for and I can forward it to my students. (My students tend to get more offers than they can accept, and usually ask for competitive salaries.) I can also forward it to the larger machine learning group at UBC if you like (these students have a higher variance in experience, but you are more likely to find someone going this route).

You may also have better luck contacting Mike Gelbart, who co-directs the Master of Data Science program where all students must complete a capstone project.

Industry Collaborations

Usually, these are the best first people to contact regarding setting up industry collaborations:
  • Raymond Ng (director of the Data Science Institute)
  • Kevin Leyton-Brown (director of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence Decision-making and Action)

    Collaborations with me are most useful if you have already (i) collected a dataset and (ii) tried out existing "off the shelf" methods.