My scientific interests are in the field of machine learning and inference from empirical data. In particular, I study kernel methods for extracting regularities from possibly high-dimensional data. These regularities are usually statistical ones, however, in recent years I have also become interested in methods for finding causal structures that underly statistical dependences. I have worked on a number of different applications of machine learning - in our field, you get "to play in everyone's backyard." Most recently, I have been trying to play in the backyard of astronomers and photographers.
With the growing interest in (how to make money with) big data, machine learning has significantly gained in popularity. We have published an article in the German newspaper FAZ in January 2015, discussing some of the implications. Disclaimer: the newspaper added some text that appears above our names - this was not written or approved by us.
In March 2018, I published an article about the cybernetic revolution in the German newspaper SZ. It starts with the thesis that the current revolution is about processing (generating, converting, industrializing) information in much the same way the first two industrial revolutions dealt with processing (generating, converting, industrializing) energy. I have occasionally put forward this thesis (but I'm sure I am not the only one who thinks of it this way), for instance during a NYU symposium on the future of AI in January 2016 (here are some notes written by Max Tegmark). The article also provides recommendations on what Europe should do to keep up with the development.
My department and/or members of the department (incl. myself) receive funding from a number of sources including Max Planck, the DFG, the Alexander-von-Humboldt foundation, Amazon, Google, Bosch, Facebook, the BMBF (German Ministry of Science), the EU, the ETH Zürich, and the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.
M.Sc. in mathematics and Lionel Cooper Memorial Prize, University of London (1992)
Diplom in physics (Tübingen, 1994)
doctorate in computer science from the Technical University Berlin (1997); thesis on Support Vector Learning (main advisor: V. Vapnik, AT&T Bell Labs) won the annual dissertation prize of the German Association for Computer Science (GI)
If you'd like to contact me, please consider these two notes:
1. I recently became co-editor-in-chief of JMLR. I work for JMLR because I believe in its open access model, but it takes a lot of time. During my JMLR term, please don't convince me to do other journal or grant reviewing duties.
2. I am not very organized with my e-mail so if you want to apply for a position in my lab, please send your application only to Sekretariat-Schoelkopf@tuebingen.mpg.de. Note that we do not respond to non-personalized applications that look like they are being sent to a large number of places simultaneously.
We are always happy to receive outstanding applications for PhD positions and postdocs.
Proceedings of the 33rd International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), 48, pages: 2043-2051, JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings, (Editors: Balcan, M. F. and Weinberger, K. Q.), JMLR, June 2016 (conference)
First International Workshop on Machine Learning Meets Medical Imaging (MLMMI 2015), held in conjunction with ICML 2015, 9487, pages: 3-12, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, (Editors: K. K. Bhatia and H. Lombaert), Springer, July 2015 (conference)
In Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, 38, pages: 847-855, JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings, (Editors: Lebanon, G. and Vishwanathan, S.V.N.), JMLR.org, AISTATS, 2015 (inproceedings)
In 24th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning Track, pages: 3561-3568, (Editors: Yang, Q. and Wooldridge, M.), AAAI Press, Palo Alto, California USA, IJCAI15, 2015 (inproceedings)
The Kalman filter is a well-established approach to get information on the time-dependent state of a system from noisy observations. It was developed in the context of the Apollo project to see the deviation of the true trajectory of a rocket from the desired trajectory. Afterwards it was applied to many different systems with small numbers of components of the respective state vector (typically about 10). In all cases the equation of motion for the state vector was known exactly. The fast dissipative magnetization dynamics is often investigated by x-ray magnetic circular dichroism movies (XMCD movies), which are often very noisy. In this situation the number of components of the state vector is extremely large (about 105), and the equation of motion for the dissipative magnetization dynamics (especially the values of the material parameters of this equation) is not well known. In the present paper it is shown by theoretical considerations that – nevertheless – there is no principle problem for the use of the Kalman filter to denoise XMCD movies of fast dissipative magnetization dynamics.
In Proceedings of the 32nd International Conference on Machine Learning, 37, pages: 1452–1461, JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings, (Editors: F. Bach and D. Blei), JMLR, ICML, 2015 (inproceedings)
In 6th International Workshop on Machine Learning in Medical Imaging, 9352, pages: 52-60, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, (Editors: L. Zhou, L. Wang, Q. Wang and Y. Shi), Springer, MLMI, 2015 (inproceedings)
In Proceedings of the 32nd International Conference on Machine Learning, 37, pages: 1898–1906, JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings, (Editors: F. Bach and D. Blei), JMLR, ICML, 2015 (inproceedings)
In Proceedings of The 32nd International Conference on Machine Learning, 37, pages: 2218–2226, JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings, (Editors: Bach, F. and Blei, D.), JMLR, ICML, 2015 (inproceedings)
Foreman-Mackey, D., Montet, B., Hogg, D., Morton, T., Wang, D., Schölkopf, B.
The Astrophysical Journal, 806(2), 2015 (article)
Photometry of stars from the K2 extension of NASA’s Kepler mission is afflicted by systematic effects caused by small (few-pixel) drifts in the telescope pointing and other spacecraft issues. We present a method for searching K2 light curves for evidence of exoplanets by simultaneously fitting for these systematics and the transit signals of interest. This method is more computationally expensive than standard search algorithms but we demonstrate that it can be efficiently implemented and used to discover transit signals. We apply this method to the full Campaign 1 data set and report a list of 36 planet candidates transiting 31 stars, along with an analysis of the pipeline performance and detection efficiency based on artificial signal injections and recoveries. For all planet candidates, we present posterior distributions on the properties of each system based strictly on the transit observables.
In Proceedings of the 32nd International Conference on Machine Learning, 37, pages: 1917–1925, JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings, (Editors: F. Bach and D. Blei), JMLR, ICML, 2015 (inproceedings)
Our goal is to understand the principles of Perception, Action and Learning in autonomous systems that successfully interact with complex environments and to use this understanding to design future systems