Padhraic Smyth: Biography

Padhraic Smyth is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Computer Science at UC Irvine, with joint appointments in the Department of Statistics and in the Department of Education. His research interests include machine learning, artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, and applied statistics and he has published over 200 papers on these topics. He is an ACM Fellow (2013), AAAI Fellow (2010), AAAS Fellow (2022), and was a recipient of the ACM SIGKDD Innovation Award (2009). He is co-author of the text Modeling the Internet and the Web: Probabilistic Methods and Algorithms (Wiley, 2003) and Principles of Data Mining (MIT Press, 2001). He served as program chair of the ACM SIGKDD 2011 and UAI 2013 conferences, associate program chair for IJCAI 2022, general chair for AI-Stats 1997, and in various senior/area chair positions for conferences such as NeurIPS, ICML, and AAAI. He has also served in editorial and advisory positions for journals such as the Journal of Machine Learning Research, the Journal of the American Statistical Association, and the IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering.

Padhraic was the founding director of the UCI Center for Machine Learning and Intelligent Systems from 2007 to 2014 and founding director from 2014 to 2018 of the UCI Data Science Initiative. While at UC Irvine he has received research funding from agencies such as NSF, NIH, IARPA, NASA, NIST, ONR, and DOE, and from companies such as Google, Qualcomm, Microsoft, eBay, Adobe, IBM, SAP, Xerox, and Experian. In addition to his academic research he is also active in industry consulting, working with companies such as Toshiba, Samsung, Oracle, Nokia, and AT&T, as well as serving as scientific advisor to local startups in Orange County. He also served as an academic advisor to Netflix for the Netflix prize competition from 2006 to 2009.

Padhraic grew up in Kilmovee, County Mayo, in the west of Ireland and received a first class honors degree in Electronic Engineering from National University of Ireland (University of Galway) in 1984, and the MSEE and PhD degrees (in 1985 and 1988 respectively) in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology. From 1988 to 1996 he was a researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, and has been on the faculty at UC Irvine since 1996.