Professor Bob Williamson is the chief scientist of Data61. He is also a Professor in the Research School of Computer Science at the ANU.
He received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the Queensland University of Technology in 1984 and a Masters of Engineering Science (Electrical Engineering) from the University of Queensland in 1986. In 1990 he obtained a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Queensland.
He joined the Australian National University as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Systems Engineering in 1990 and held a series of appointments before becoming a professor and head of the Computer Sciences Laboratory, Research School of Information Sciences and Engineering at the Australian National University.
From 2003 to early 2006 Professor Williamson was the Director of NICTA’s Canberra Research Laboratory. In 2006 he was appointed as NICTA’s Scientific Director. From 2011-2015 he lead NICTA's Machine Learning group. He served as interim CEO of NICTA from May to August 2015. From September 2015 to October 2016 he served as director of the Analytics program at Data61.
He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences and the Australian Mathematical Society. He recently led the creation of a report on Technology and Australia's Future
His scientific research focusses upon machine learning, in particular building compositional foundations for ML, by relating different machine learning problems.