University of Oxford appoints Mihaela van der Schaar to the Man Professorship of Quantitative Finance

The University of Oxford has appointed Mihaela van der Schaar to the Man Professorship of Quantitative Finance. The Man Professorship of Quantitative Finance is funded in perpetuity by a charitable gift of £3.3m made in 2007 by the Charitable Trust of Man Group plc.

Professor van der SchaarProfessor van der Schaar will be based at the Oxford-Man Institute (OMI), a world-leading centre for research into machine learning and data analytics applied to quantitative finance. The OMI, which opened in 2007, is an innovative and unique collaboration between the University of Oxford and Man Group plc, and shares premises with Man Group’s Oxford research laboratory. The OMI has recently joined the University of Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science, adding to its exceptional track-record of industrial applications of machine learning, for example in autonomous vehicles, computer vision, aerospace and robotics.

Professor van der Schaar has an international reputation for excellence in scholarship and research in the area of quantitative finance, encompassing data science, data-driven decision making and machine learning. She takes up the Man Professorship of Quantitative Finance from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), which has fostered a thriving data analytics research community. At UCLA, Professor van der Schaar was the Chancellor’s Professor of Electrical Engineering, a Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department and Director of the UCLA Center for Engineering Economics, Learning, and Networks which she founded in 2011.

Professor van der Schaar also brings significant industry experience, having been a Senior Member of Research Staff in the Philips Research Wireless Communication and Networking Department (1998-2003). There she led research projects resulting in 33 patents and developed algorithms implemented in a number of Philips products, including the USB PVC camera for which Philips received a design award.

In her new role, Professor van der Schaar will continue to conduct world-class research alongside teaching and mentoring duties for graduate research students and junior colleagues. She will also interact and collaborate with Man AHL and its expanding team of machine learning and data science researchers.

Professor Mihaela van der Schaar commented: 'The Oxford-Man Institute is an exciting and innovative collaboration between industry and academia and I look forward to working with many outstanding colleagues to build on the great research being done here'.

 Sandy Rattray, CEO of Man AHL, commented: 'Man Group has supported the Oxford-Man Institute for nearly a decade as part of our commitment to research and innovation. We are delighted with the appointment of Professor van der Schaar, whose work at UCLA has cemented her reputation as a leading machine learning academic. She brings with her a wealth of experience which will only serve to advance the cutting-edge quantitative finance research already conducted by the OMI and the University of Oxford'.

Professor Lionel Tarassenko, Head of the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, commented: 'I want to extend a warm welcome to Professor van der Schaar as she joins the Department of Engineering Science at a time when the Department has just risen to number 3 in the Times Higher Education World University rankings. Her excellent academic research has also proved commercially ground-breaking. I have no doubt that she will make a significant contribution to the OMI’s development of innovative algorithms for learning from the multiple and diverse data sources that define finance today'.