Who's Behind the Prize?

Advisory Board/Judges

Yehuda Koren

Yehuda Koren joined Yahoo! Research in September 2008. Prior to that, he was a member of AT&T Labs-Research. He obtained his PhD in Computer Science from The Weizmann Institute in 2003. He was awarded best paper award at INFOVIS 2005 for the work on directed graph layout through constrained energy minimization. More recently he won KDD 2009 best research paper award for his work on collaborative filtering with temporal dynamics. Yehuda led the team that won first awards in the Netflix Prize competition, and was part of the team winning the Netflix Grand Prize. He co-organized the KDD-Cup’11 contest.

Charles Elkan

Charles Elkan joined the UCSD faculty in 1990, after earning his PhD that same year in computer science at Cornell University. He did his undergraduate degree at Cambridge University. Elkan was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto. In 1998-99, he was a visiting Associate Professor in computer science at Harvard University. While at Harvard, he was Senior Scientist at the software firm Knowledge Stream Partners. Elkan has consulted for Hewlett-Packard, SAIC, Sony, IBM, and Alcoa. He has won numerous best-paper awards, including first-place at the CoIL Challenge 2000 data mining competition. Elkan is the co-founder of UCSD's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

Claudia Perlich

Claudia Perlich is currently working as Chief Scientist at m6d. She is working on targeted online display advertising. Prior to that she spent five years at the Predictive Modeling Group in the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. Her research interests were the practical applications of machine learning. She graduated in 2004 from the Information Systems Department at Stern, NYU under the supervision of Foster Provost.

Saharon Rosset

Saharon Rosset has been a Senior Lecturer in the Statistics Department at Tel Aviv University since 2007. Prior to that he spent four years at IBM Research, in the Data Analytics Research Group. He graduated with a PhD in statistics from Stanford University in 2003, where he worked with Jerry Friedman and Trevor Hastie, researching regularization and boosting. His research interests are statistical genetics, statistical learning theory and applications of data mining.


Dr. Khaled El Emam

Khaled El Emam is an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine, a senior investigator at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, and a Canada Research Chair in Electronic Health Information at the University of Ottawa. His main area of research is developing techniques for health data anonymization and secure disease surveillance for public health purposes. Previously Khaled was a Senior Research Officer at the National Research Council of Canada, and prior to that he was head of the Quantitative Methods Group at the Fraunhofer Institute in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He has co-founded two companies to commercialize the results of his research work. In 2003 and 2004, he was ranked as the top systems and software engineering scholar worldwide by the Journal of Systems and Software based on his research on measurement and quality evaluation and improvement, and ranked second in 2002 and 2005. He holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Electrical and Electronics, King’s College, at the University of London (UK).

Arvind Narayanan

Arvind Narayanan (PhD 2009) is a post-doctoral fellow at the Stanford Computer Science department and a Junior Affiliate Scholar at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society. He studies privacy from a multidisciplinary perspective, focusing on the intersection between technology, law and policy. His research has shown that data anonymization is broken in fundamental ways, for which he jointly received the 2008 Privacy Enhancing Technologies Award. He is one of the researchers behind the "Do Not Track" proposal.

For Heritage Provider Network

Dr Richard Merkin

Dr Richard Merkin has more than 30 years of experience in the health care field. He has specific expertise in the development and administration of integrated physician systems. As the founder of Heritage Provider Network, which was established in 1979, Dr. Merkin develops clinically focused networks to bring efficient and quality driven systems to the communities in which it operates by working with physicians and physician organizations, hospitals and integrated delivery systems, health plans, public and community-based health care entities, and other health care professionals.

Dr. Merkin is a visionary and a sought-after healthcare expert who encourages innovation and challenge. Responding to our country’s 2 trillion dollar health care crises, Dr. Merkin created, developed and sponsored the 3 million dollar Heritage Health Prize for predictive modeling to save more than 30 billion in avoidable hospitalizations. It is the largest predictive modeling prize in the world, larger than the Nobel Prize for Medicine and the Gates Prize for Health. Dr. Merkin is genuinely excited to bring new minds to the healthcare table with the prize and believes data miners hold great potential for not only bringing a winning algorithm, but also to grab the attention of data miners globally and raise awareness about competitive innovation. As a Board member and core contributor to the X Prize Foundation, Dr. Merkin is well aware of the need for the private sector to step up to the plate and assist in a globally transformative way, specifically solving one of our country’s biggest problems - keeping patients healthier and out of the hospital. Dr. Merkin was named Healthcare CEO of the Year for 2011 by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Dr. Merkin established the Richard Merkin Foundation for stem cell research at the Broad Institute at Harvard and established the Richard Merkin Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Brain Sciences Institute and The Richard Merkin Foundation for Neural Regeneration at UCLA.

Outside of healthcare, Dr. Merkin is involved in educational, economic and financial endeavors. He is on the board of advisors for the Asia Society Southern California, on the board of advisors for Tennenbaum Capital and has been on the Mayor’s Executive Committee for Los Angeles. A strong advocate for education, Dr. Merkin is on the boards for the Sierra Nevada College, The Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, The United Friends of Children and EdVoice, a team dedicated to education reform. The Richard Merkin Middle School opened its doors September 2006 in the city of Los Angeles, committed to bringing first-rate education to an under-served area.

Dr. Merkin earned his M.D. at the University of Miami, School of Medicine.

For Kaggle

Anthony Goldbloom

Anthony Goldbloom is the founder and CEO of Kaggle. He assists companies with framing modeling tasks as data prediction competitions, ensuring that competitions reflect real-life projects.

Before founding Kaggle, Anthony worked in the macroeconomic modelling areas of the Reserve Bank of Australia and before that the Australian Treasury. In these roles, Anthony was responsible for building macroeconomic models, generating economic forecasts and simulating the impact of changes in interest rates and fiscal policy on the Australian economy.

Anthony holds a first class honours degree in economics and econometrics from the University of Melbourne and has published in The Economist magazine and the Australian Economic Review.

Jeremy Howard

Jeremy Howard is Kaggle's Chief Data Scientist. He worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and at AT Kearney for nine years before founding FastMail.FM (an email provider), which he later sold to Opera Software, and Optimal Decisions Group (an insurance pricing optimization specialist), which he later sold to ChoicePoint.

Jeremy regularly appears as an IT expert on television shows such as Sunrise, Midday, Evening News and the Morning Show. He joined Kaggle after prize-winning performances in a number of the site's early data prediction competitions.

Jeff Moser

Jeff Moser is Kaggle's Chief Technology Officer. He has been been fascinated with creating software since he was a kid, starting programming on an Apple II at age eight. Before joining Kaggle, Jeff developed software in the defense and enterprise telephony sectors.

Jeff majored in computer science and mathematics at Purdue University, where he graduated in the top of his class. He loves learning new things and occasionally blogs at moserware.com, covering the ins and outs of everything from Microsoft's Trueskill rating system to the Advanced Encryption Standard using stick figures.