I am a computer scientist with over 20 years of research experience in Artificial Intelligence, Human Computer Interaction and Mobile Computing at MIT, Microsoft Research and then for over 8 years as the first female Scientific Director at Telefonica R&D. I am the first Chief Data Scientist at DataPop Alliance and since January 2017, I am Director of Research in Data Science at Vodafone.

Contact Information


Nuria Oliver, PhD


nuria at

twitter @nuriaoliver



Research Interests

Machine Learning and Data Mining, User Modeling and Recommender Systems, Perceptual Intelligence, Multimedia Data Analysis, Multi-modal approaches to multimedia, Mobile Computing, Wearable Physiological Monitoring, Smart Clothes, Computational Social Sciences, Social Network Analysis, Human Behavior Modeling, Action Understanding, Event Perception, Human Computer Interaction, Intelligent Interfaces, Intelligence Augmentation, Object Tracking, Perceptual Organization, Human Motion Analysis, Biological Vision, Racing, E-markets, Implications of Technology in Education and Health


Ph.D. (MIT, Spring '00)
Thesis: "Towards Perceptual Intelligence: Statistical Modeling of Human Individual and Interactive Behaviors"
MIT Media Lab
Work on machine learning, AI, computer vision, computational perception, wearable computers
My Ph.D. thesis in PDF format

S.M. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Honors: Best EECS graduate student of Spain
(Two Majors: Signal Processing and Computer Networks)
Master's Thesis in Computer Vision.
U.P.M. ( Technical University of Madrid, Spain), 1994

S.B. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
U.P.M. ( Technical University of Madrid, Spain ), 1992
Honors: Best EECS student of my school

Professional Experience

Director of Research in Data Science
London, UK,  Jan 2017 - Present

Chief Data Scientist at Data-Pop Alliance
Big Data for Social Good
NYC, US, Nov 2016 - Present

Scientific Director at Telefonica Research
Multimedia, HCI, Mobile Computing, Machine Learning, Data Mining & User Modeling
Barcelona, Spain, Dec 2007 - Oct 2016
Researcher at Microsoft Research Redmond
Redmond, WA USA July 2000-Oct 2007
Visiting Scientist at GMD FIRST
Theoretical work on Kernel Methods for Machine Learning
Berlin, Germany, April-May 1999

Research Engineer at Telefonica R&D
(Spanish major telecommunications company)
Madrid, Spain, 1994-95

Research Assistant Engineer at Siemens
Munich, Germany, July-Sept 1993

Research Assistant Engineer at Siemens
Munich, Germany, July-Sept 1992

Awards and Honors

Member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Engineering 2018

FIUM award by University of Murcia 2018

ACM Fellow (2017)

IEEE Fellow (2017)

Medal to Social and Business Merit by the Government of Valencia 2017

Spanish Computer Science Award (Angela Ruiz Robles category) 2016

Fellow of the European Association of Artificial Intelligence (eurAI Fellow) 2016

Top100 Women Award (Academics/Scientists category) 2016

Gaudi Gresol Award to Excellence in Science and Technology 2016

Ada Byron Award Feb 2016

Distinguished Scientist by the ACM, Nov 2015

ICT Woman 2015 (by the Calatan Government)

ACM ICMI Ten Year Technical Impact Award (2014)

Senior Member of IEEE, 2014

Senior Member of ACM, 2013

" Women with Success " Featured as one of four successful Spanish female directors. Glamour Magazine. March 2015

Highlighted as a female director in technology. EL PAIS magazine. October 2012.

"13 most influential young women in Spain ". Mujer Hoy Magazine. January 2012.

Named one of the 100 Leaders of the Future . Capital Magazine. May 2009.

MIT TR100 Young Innovator Award . MIT Technology Review's Award to the top 100 young innovators in the world. Sept 04.

Named one of the 40 most promising young Spanish persons by EL PAIS newspaper. Oct 99.

Motorola Fellow (1997-1998)

'La Caixa Foundation' Fellow (1995-1997)

Spanish First National Award of EECS graduates (1994)

First Award for MS EECS graduates of ETSIT (UPM) (1994)

First Award for BS EECS students of ETSIT (UPM) (1992)

Siemens 'International Student Circle' Fellow (1992-1993)

First National Prize of Telecommunications Engineering (EECS) (1994)

First School Prize of Telecommunications Engineering (EECS) . ETSIT. Univ. Politecnica Madrid. (1994)

First School Prize of Telecommunications Engineering (EECS). ETSIT. Univ. Politecnica Madrid (1992)


Regular Senior Program Committee and Program Committee member of a variety of conferences and journals in machine learning, intelligent interfaces, human-computer interaction, computer vision, multimodal interfaces, mobile computing and health (IUI, MobileHCI, NIPS, CHI, AAAI, IJCAI, NetMob, UCAMI, HealthNet, CVPR, IEEE TPAMI, IEEE TCSVT, etc...)

Co-chair of 13 ACM / IEEE conferences since 2009