D.E. Shaw chooses professor to lead new machine-learning research group

Pedro Domingos will join D.E. Shaw Group on Aug. 27 as managing director and head of the firm's new machine-learning group.

The fledgling unit will operate independently from the firm's existing machine-learning and artificial-intelligence research operations in its own offices and use an academic research approach, said Randall Whitestone, a company spokesman.

More machine-learning specialists will be hired to expand the capabilities of the new, dedicated machine-learning group, Mr. Whitestone said.

The launch of the new unit provides D.E. Shaw Group "with an opportunity to bring in some of the brightest lights in the field and allow them to set their own research agenda," said Eric Wepsic, managing director and a member of the firm's executive committee, in a news release Thursday.

"Pedro is widely recognized as a path-breaking expert on the research frontiers of machine learning, and we are delighted to have him on board," Mr. Wepsic added.

Mr. Domingos is a professor of computer science and engineering at University of Washington. He will take a leave of absence from his academic duties to join D.E. Shaw Group, Mr. Whitestone said.

D.E. Shaw managed $50 billion as of June 1 in hedge funds and other alternative investment strategies.