Portrait of Patrice Simard

Patrice Simard

Distinguished Engineer, Deputy Managing Director


Patrice Simard is a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft Research, Redmond. He is passionate about finding new ways to combine engineering and science in the field of machine learning. Simard’s research is currently focused on making machine learning widely accessible for replicating tasks easily done by humans.

He received a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Rochester in 1991. Simard then worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories before joining Microsoft Research in 1998. He was Chief Scientist and General Manager of Live Labs Research in 2006 and Chief Scientist of Microsoft’s AdCenter in 2009. In 2012, he returned to Microsoft Research to create the Computer-Human Interactive Learning (CHIL) group. In 2015, he became Deputy Managing Director at Microsoft Research.


Platform for Interactive Concept Learning (PICL)

Established: April 28, 2015

Quick interaction between a human teacher and a learning machine presents numerous benefits and challenges when working with web-scale data. The human teacher guides the machine towards accomplishing the task of interest. The system leverages big data to find examples that maximize the training value of its interaction with the teacher. Building classifiers and entity extractors is currently an inefficient process involving machine learning experts, developers and labelers. PICL enables teachers with no expertise in…

Visualization for Machine Teaching

Established: June 17, 2008

A large body of human-computer interaction research has focused on developing metaphors and tools that allow people to effectively issue commands and directly manipulate informational objects. However, with the advancement of computational techniques such as machine learning, we now have the unprecedented ability to embed 'smarts' that allow machines to assist and empower people in completing their tasks. We believe that there exists a computational design methodology which allows us to gracefully combine automated services with…













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Interaction for Machine Learning


July 15, 2013


James Fogarty, Jerry Zhu, Lise Getoor, and Patrice Simard


University of Washington, University of Wisconsin, University of Maryland, MSR


Short Bio

I am a Distinguished Engineer and a Deputy Managing Director at Microsoft Research. My research interests include Machine Learning, Algorithms, User Interfaces, Vision, and Signal Processing.

When not managing, I am working on the Machine Teaching aspects of ML. My focus is on the teacher rather than the learner. I optimize productivity metrics such as: human efficacy to achieve a generalization target, cost of maintenance, scalability with the number of teachers, transferability, interpretability, and resilience to adversarial teachers.

After a long quest for the best prototyping language, I have settled on F#.