Yee Whye Teh
Bachelor in Computer Science and Math at University of Waterloo, Canada. PhD in Computer Science at University of Toronto, Canada.
PhD in Computer Science
U of Toronto, UC Berkeley, National U of Singapore, UCL, U of Oxford, DeepMind.
Professor of Statistical Machine Learning, Principal Scientist
I work at the Department of Statistics, University of Oxford, and at DeepMind.
Favourite thing to do in research: Deriving new algorithms to make machines learn better.
I'm a professor doing research in machine learning.
I live in Oxford with my wife and two kids. I’m originally from Malaysia; my last name “Teh” is quite common in Malaysia but is the most common English mispelling in the world. My white hair is hereditary, not that I think too hard (I think).
I have two jobs: as a professor in Oxford doing machine learning research, and as a scientist working at DeepMind. Two jobs and two kids keep me really busy, and my standard reply to “How are you doing?” is “(sigh) Busy”.
I'm interested in understanding the scientific principles underlying intelligence.
Machine learning is a field which aims to make machines smarter by learning from past experiences. There has recently been a lot of excitement around machine learning as the techniques are revolutionising so many aspects of society and so many fields of science. However there are still a lot that we do not understand about why/how things work in machine learning, and I’m interested in understanding the scientific principles that underpins machine learning.
My Typical Day
Meet with collaborators, reply emails, read papers, think of new ideas.
My day is typically packed full of meetings, with graduate students and collaborators, where we review progress in various research projects and I help give some (hopefully useful) advice. I also spend a lot of time replying emails. When I have time I will read papers and do some deep thinking, to come up with new ideas and circumvent roadblocks in various projects.
What I'd do with the money
Help my group with public engement
I will probably use it to help my research group in Oxford to carry out public engagement activities.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Busy, forgetful, tired.
What's the best thing you've done as a researcher?
Mentoring the next generation of researchers.
What or who inspired you to become a researcher?
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't a researcher, what would you be?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
A taiwanese singer-song writer called 陳昇.
What's your favourite food?
Street food from Penang, Malaysia.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Seeing the magnificent coastal redwoods in Northern California.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I wish I have 24 more hours every day x3.
Tell us a joke.
I cannot tell jokes.