Old Unionite Dr Steve Kroon (Class of 1994) from the Computer Science Division at Stellenbosch University (SU) is one of four machine-learning specialists worldwide who have been selected to participate in the inaugural 2019 Depth First Learning (DFL) Fellowship.

Depth First Learning is an initiative, sponsored by Jane Street, to develop lesson plans to master significant research papers in machine learning while running a study group on the required material.

These papers depend on fundamental concepts in mathematics, statistics and information theory, and fellows should understand the fundamentals in order to plan a curriculum.

With the support of a grant of $4 000 USD, Dr Kroon will be coordinating a group for the paper “Variational Inference with Normalizing Flows” by Danilo Rezende and Shakir Mohamed.

• After completing a PhD in Mathematical Statistics at SU, Dr Kroon joined the Computer Science Division as a lecturer in 2008.

His research focuses on statistical learning theory, as well as Bayesian methods, search and adversarial search, decision-making and planning under uncertainty, and machine learning.

He also holds a Diploma in Actuarial Techniques and is a member of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research.