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Dr. James Shanahan

Current Position

Lecturer, UC Berkeley School of Information

Former Research Scientist, Xerox Research

Visiting Faculty, Plaksha Technology Leaders Program


Ph.D. ML (University of Bristol)


Dr. James G. Shanahan has spent the past 25 years developing and researching cutting-edge information management systems. He has (co) founded several companies including: Church and Duncan Group Inc. (2007), a boutique consultancy in large scale data science which he still runs in San Francisco; RTBFast (2012), a real-time bidding engine infrastructure play for digital advertising systems; and Document Souls (1999), an anticipatory information system. He was SVP of Data Science and Chief Scientist at NativeX, a mobile ad network that got acquired by MobVista. In addition, he has held appointments at Turn Inc. (founding chief scientist), Xerox Research, Mitsubishi Research, and at Clairvoyance Corp (a spinoff research lab from CMU).

Dr. Shanahan has been affiliated with the University of California Berkeley (and Santa Cruz) since 2008 where he teaches graduate courses on big data analytics, machine learning, and stochastic optimization. He also advises several high-tech startups and is executive VP of science and technology at Irish Innovation Center (IIC). He has published six books, more than 50 research publications, and over 20 patents in the areas of machine learning and information processing. 

Research Interests:

Large-scale distributed machine learning, deep learning, digital advertising and marketing, distributed systems, ecommerce, anomaly detection, security, web search, mobile search, learning to rank.