Experience
Education
Bio
Prem Melville is a tech entrepreneur and Data Science evangelist, with a Ph.D. in Machine Learning, and over 50 peer-reviewed publications, 7 patents and 9 international awards for his contributions to the fields of Machine Learning, Data Mining and Natural Language Processing. He is currently the Head of Machine Learning at one of the largest and most successful hedge funds in the world. He was the founder and CEO of Social Alpha, a leading provider of social analytics solutions for financial markets. Prior to that, Prem led Data Science efforts at IBM Watson Labs, where he drove innovation in Machine Learning applications to analyzing social media, business analytics and e-commerce.

Prem led the development of a text analytics system for UNICEF, which won the INFORMS Innovative Applications in Analytics Award 2014 and was covered by the Wall Street Journal. His work on Amplifying the Voice of Youth in Africa won the Best Application Paper Award at KDD 2013. His team’s work on resource-efficient sequential decision making deployed in the New York State Government also won the Best Application Paper Award at KDD 2010, and was covered by CNN. His team has won several highly-competitive international data mining challenges, including the KDD Cup 2009, KDD Cup 2008 and the INFORMS Data Mining Contest 2008.

In 2014, Prem co-chaired the longest-running and biggest Data Science conference, KDD 2014. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery – the leading journal in the field. He has served on the organizing committees of the top conferences in the field – ICML, KDD, CIKM, WSDM and Mining and Learning with Graphs (MLG). Prem also organized the first workshop on Social Media Analytics (SOMA 2010) and the first workshop on Budgeted Learning.

Prem got his Ph.D. from the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. At UT, he was a member of the Machine Learning group, led by Raymond Mooney. Prior to that he graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis University, with degrees in Computer Science and in Math. At Brandeis, he worked at the DEMO Lab, Interaction Lab, and the Vision Lab, and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

Prem’s research interests lie in Machine Learning, Data Mining and Natural Language Processing. He has published work in a broad range of topics, including social media analytics, sentiment analysis, emerging topic detection, assessing influence in networks, active learning, ensemble methods, active feature-value acquisition, dual supervision, recommender systems, class probability estimation, semi-supervised learning, text classification, and applications of data mining to analyzing social media, business analytics and e-commerce.