Machine learning meets statistics

Guiding medicine into the future

Learn more Registration full Add to Calendar 03/25/2019 09:30 AM 03/26/2019 04:15 PM Europe/London Machine learning meets statistics Location of the event
Monday 25 Mar 2019 - Tuesday 26 Mar 2019
Time: 09:30 - 16:15

Event type


Audience type

£40 - £100


Traditional statistical analysis and machine learning have many things in common but usually follow paths that are quite different. For prediction, traditional statistical analysis usually begins with a theory and a model and fits the parameters of the model to the data; machine learning follows a more pragmatic approach, allowing the data more freedom to prescribe the model.  Machine learning often leads to prognostic models that are more accurate but less interpretable.  For medical discovery, traditional statistical analysis usually begins by formulating a hypothesis and testing (the likelihood of) that hypothesis against the data; machine learning asks the data to formulate the (most likely) hypothesis. There are many synergies between these two disciplines and there is enormous potential in developing new fundamental theories and practical methods that transcend the boundaries of these disciplines leading to new and impactful methods to assist clinical practice and medical discovery. This workshop aims to foster such a dialogue and provide a forum for starting collaborations and for cross-fertilisation.

About the event

This workshop is jointly organised by The Alan Turing Institute and MRC Biostatistics Unit, University of Cambridge.


  • Learning and Inference from a Multitude of Data Sources
  • Dynamic Risk Prediction 
  • Early Disease Detection
  • Causal Inference and Individualised Treatment Effects
  • Rethinking Clinical Trials
  • Clinical Recommender Systems



AlphaStar: Mastering the real-time strategy game StarCraft II - Oriol Vinyals (London DeepMind)

Machine learning for health care - David Sontag (MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, USA)


Invited speakers:

Data-driven disease progression modelling with subtype and stage inference (SuStaIn) - Daniel Alexander (University College London)

Cardiovascular risk prediction using big data: A statistician’s perspective - Jessica Barrett (University of Cambridge)

Learning from our clinical data - Frank Bretz, Mark Baillie and David Ohlssen (Novartis, Basel)

High-dimensional mixtures via adaptive projections - Sach Mukherjee (DZNE, Bonn)

Human in silico clinical trials in cardiology and pharmacology - Blanca Rodriguez (University of Oxford)

Low-priced lunch in conditional independence testing - Rajen Shah (University of Cambridge)

Where multi-armed bandit models met response-adaptive randomisation for clinical trials - Sofia Villar (University of Cambridge)

Multi-task time series analysis applied to drug response modelling - Chris Williams (University of Edinburgh)

Learning the molecular determinants of human disease trajectories - Chris Yau (University of Birmingham)

Towards ambient intelligence in AI-assisted healthcare spaces - Serena Yeung (Harvard University)


Target audience:

Researchers, academics, postdocs, senior PhD students in statistics, machine learning and AI with an interest in healthcare and medicine.


Why unique?

Machine learning and statistics often offer solutions to the same types of problems, but have different merits and provide different advantages. We believe that there is scope for important theoretical and practical advances when these two disciplines join forces to assist clinical practice and medical discoveries. The two proponents are already working together to combine their expertise to develop the next generation of methods for medicine. This workshop aims to bring together these two communities by starting a friendly and deep dialog among them and fostering ideas for areas of collaboration.


Networking and competition:

There will be an interactive networking session at the end of day 1 (Monday 25 March) to encourage biostatisticians and machine learners to plan joint research. This will include refreshments and food and a competition for writing joint abstracts. Prizes for the joint abstract competition will be announced on day 2 of the workshop.



  • 20 x student places - £40 each
  • 80 x full places - £100 each

Lunch, refreshments and interactive networking session included in registration cost

Places are limited to 100 delegates.



Day 1: 9:30 - 19:30

Day 2: 8:30 - 16:15


Professor Mihaela van der Schaar

Turing Fellow, John Humphrey Plummer Professor of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Medicine at the University of Cambridge and Founder and Director of the Cambridge Centre for AI in Medicine


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