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Mathematics, Finance Alumnus Receives Scholarship for Ph.D. Program at Oxford

andrew_trask (2)Andrew Trask, a 2014 Belmont graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Discrete Mathematics and Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, was recently accepted to the doctoral program in computer science at University of Oxford in England, beginning in October 2016. Trask has received full funding, along with a stipend, from Oxford and will be studying deep learning with Dr. Phil Blunsom, an expert in deep learning and computational linguistics who holds joint appointments at Oxford and Google.

Trask, along with 2014 computer science graduate David Gilmore, presented research at the 32nd International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) in France last year. Their paper titled, “Modeling Order in Neural Word Embeddings at Scale,” describes the deep neural network built at Digital Reasoning, their employer. Neural networks are computer systems that are modeled after the human brain.

Like the brain, these networks can gather new data, process and react to it. The design for the network is based on ideas Trask developed while an undergraduate at Belmont. The parallel neural network is 14 times larger than the previous world record (built at Google) and performs 40 percent better in a key language-recognition benchmark than any other program.