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About us

About Us

The ELLIS unit at IST Austria strives for excellence in research and graduate education in machine learning and related topics. We believe in the principle that excellence emerges not from diligent forward planning, but from giving first-class researchers the freedom and resources to focus on curiosity-driven research, while exposing them to constant influx of new technologies and ideas. Consequently, the research at our unit does not center around any pre-determined topic. Instead, it is driven by each individual researchers’ curiosity and dedication, held together by two guiding principles: foundational thinking and interdisciplinarity. Foundational thinking means that we emphasize principled solutions and answers, typically based on mathematically rigorous foundations. We find this aspect particularly important in the current fast-paced times where artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning have become media phenomena almost as much as scientific disciplines. Our focus of interdisciplinarity reflects our conviction that machine learning and related fields cannot flourish in a vacuum. They benefit from a rich interaction with other scientific disciplines, including computer science, mathematics, and neuroscience, but also physics, chemistry and biology. At IST Austria, our unit is embedded in a research institution where world-class researchers of all of these fields work together and interact on a daily basis. With the integration into ELLIS, we hope to not only benefit from the opportunities that the network offers, but we would also like to give back by providing access to our experience and our facilities to the ELLIS community.

About IST Austria

IST Austria is a young publicly-funded- institute that is committed to conducting world-class research and graduate education in the natural and mathematical sciences. It is located in Klosterneuburg near Vienna.


ELLIS (European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems, is a European grassroots initiative in AI with a focus on scientific excellence, innovation and societal impact.