By Alina Beygelzimer, Yann Dauphin, Percy Liang, and Jennifer Wortman Vaughan, NeurIPS 2021 Program Chairs
We are thrilled to announce an outstanding lineup of keynote speakers for NeurIPS 2021! We have chosen speakers with a diverse set of research interests and backgrounds, from both within and outside the NeurIPS community, who will push us to think deeply about both the technical foundations of machine learning and the increasing impact of machine learning on society.
NeurIPS 2021 Speakers
- Luis von Ahn is currently the co-founder and CEO of Duolingo, a language-learning platform created to bring free language education to the world. With over 500 million users, it is now the most popular way to learn languages and the most downloaded education app in the world. Previously, von Ahn co-invented CAPTCHAs and founded the company reCAPTCHA, which was sold to Google in 2009. Von Ahn is considered one of the pioneers of human computation and crowdsourcing. He has been named one of the 10 Most Brilliant Scientists by Popular Science Magazine, one of the 50 Best Brains in Science by Discover, one of the Top Young Innovators Under 35 by MIT Technology Review, and one of the 100 Most Innovative People in Business by Fast Company Magazine. He is the recipient of the Lemelson-MIT Prize and has been named a MacArthur Fellow. In 2021, von Ahn joined the Executive Committee of the Partnership for Central America.
- Peter Bartlett is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and the Department of Statistics at the University of California at Berkeley, Associate Director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing, Director of the Foundations of Data Science Institute, and Director of the Collaboration on the Theoretical Foundations of Deep Learning. Bartlett is a leading researcher in machine learning and statistical learning theory. He is the co-author, with Martin Anthony, of the book “Neural Network Learning: Theoretical Foundations.” He was awarded the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year in Australia, and has been chosen as an Institute of Mathematical Statistics Medallion Lecturer, an IMS Fellow and Australian Laureate Fellow, and a Fellow of the ACM. He was elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 2015. He will give the annual Posner Lecture, named in honor of Ed Posner, the first president of the NeurIPS Foundation, and delivered by a long-time contributor to the NeurIPS conference.
- Meredith Broussard is an associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University, research director at the NYU Alliance for Public Interest Technology, and the author of “Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World.” She is a data journalist and her academic research focuses on AI in investigative reporting and ethical AI, with a particular interest in using data analysis for social good. She appeared in the 2020 documentary Coded Bias, an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival that was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. She is an affiliate faculty member at the Moore Sloan Data Science Environment at the NYU Center for Data Science, a 2019 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow, and her work has been supported by New America, the Institute of Museum & Library Services, and the Tow Center at Columbia Journalism School. Her features and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Slate, and other outlets.
- Alessio Figalli is a chaired professor and director of the FIM-Institute for Mathematical Research at ETH Zürich. Figalli’s research is in the broad areas of Calculus of Variations and Partial Differential Equations, with a particular emphasis on optimal transport, Monge-Ampère equations, functional and geometric inequalities, elliptic PDEs of local and non-local type, free boundary problems, Hamilton-Jacobi equations, transport equations with rough vector-fields, and random matrix theory. Before joining ETH Zürich, he was faculty at the University of Texas-Austin. Among his many honors and awards, he received the Fields Medal in 2018 for “his contributions to the theory of optimal transport, and its application to partial differential equations, metric geometry, and probability.”
- Mary L. Gray is a Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and Faculty Associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. She maintains a faculty position in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering with affiliations in Anthropology and Gender Studies at Indiana University. An anthropologist and media scholar by training, Gray’s work focuses on how people’s everyday uses of technologies transform labor, identity, and human rights. Gray is the co-author (with computer scientist Siddharth Suri) of the award-winning book “Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass.” She chairs the Microsoft Research Ethics Review Program—the only federally-registered institutional review board of its kind in Tech—and is a member of Stanford University’s One-Hundred-Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100) Standing Committee. Gray was named a MacArthur Fellow for her contributions to anthropology and the study of technology, digital economies, and society.
- Gábor Lugosi is an ICREA research professor at the Department of Economics and Business, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona. His research focuses on the mathematical aspects of machine learning and related topics in probability and mathematical statistics, including combinatorial statistics, the analysis of random structures, and information theory. He is a co-author of several monographs on pattern recognition, density estimation, online learning, and concentration inequalities, including “Prediction, Learning, and Games” and “Concentration Inequalities: A Nonasymptotic Theory of Independence.” Lugosi will give the annual Breiman Lecture, named in honor of statistician Leo Breiman, who served on the NeurIPS Board for more than 10 years, and dedicated to work in statistics relevant to the NeurIPS community.
- Radhika Nagpal is the Kavli Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University and a founding faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. At Harvard, she leads the Self-organizing Systems Research Group (SSR). Her research interests span computer science, robotics, and biology. Nagpal has been the recipient of a Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship, NSF Career Award, Borg Early Career Award, Radcliffe Fellowship, and the McDonald Mentoring Award. She was named an AAAI and ACM Fellow, has been an invited TED speaker, and was chosen by the journal Nature as one of the top ten influential scientists and engineers of the year. Nagpal is the co-founder of ROOT Robotics, an educational robotics company aimed at democratizing AI and robotics through early education; her lab’s Kilobots have been commercialized with over 8000 robots sold worldwide. She is also the author of an influential Scientific American blog article on tenure-track life titled “The Awesomest 7-year Postdoc,” and is dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive culture in STEM and academia.
Although keynotes will be pre-recorded, each will be streamed at a specified time as part of the conference program and followed by a live, moderated Q&A session with the audience. For those who prefer to watch the talks on-demand, they will be available to registered conference attendees at the start of the conference.
We are extremely excited to announce that the program will also feature a plenary interview with Daniel Kahneman. Daniel Kahneman is a Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs Emeritus at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton University, and a fellow of the Center for Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is a member of the National Academy of Science, the Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the Society of Experimental Psychologists, and the Econometric Society. He has been the recipient of too many awards to name, among them the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, the Lifetime Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He is the author of “Thinking, Fast and Slow” and co-author of “Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment.”
In lieu of a traditional keynote talk, Kahneman will be interviewed by Josh Tenenbaum, Professor of Computational Cognitive Science in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and a scientific director with the MIT Quest for Intelligence.
More details on the program will be announced soon. We look forward to seeing you virtually in December!