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Assistant Professor
Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta
On leave from the Department of Computer Science, Indiana University
Office: LH 401E
Email: whitem at
Alternate email: martha at
Curriculum Vitae

About My Research

My primary research goal is to develop techniques for adaptive autonomous agents learning on streams of data, with an applied focus on computational sustainability. My research focus to acheive this goal is on reinforcement learning and representation learning. In particular, I care about efficient, practical algorithms that enable learning from large amounts of data.

So far, I have focused on principled (convex) optimization approaches for representation learning, which essentially encompasses unsupervised learning and parts of semi-supervised learning. I have also been working on off-policy reinforcement learning, which enables learning about many different policies in parallel from a single steam of interaction with the environment. My life goal is to make advances in representation learning for reinforcement learning, which I believe is the one of the biggest scientific hurdles for AI and autonomous agents.


Raksha Kumaraswamy (PhD)
Lei Le (PhD)
Yangchen Pan (PhD)
Matthew Schlegel (PhD)
Andrew Patterson (MSc)

About Me

I love soccer, volleyball, snowboarding, snorkelling, outdoor activities, cooking, (board) games and, especially, reading sci-fi.