Contact Info

Associate Professor
Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta
Member of RLAI and PI of AMII
Office: ATH 3-05
Email: whitem at
Curriculum Vitae
Bio and Photo

About My Research

The objective of my research program is to develop prediction and control systems that learn and adapt during deployment. For example, consider an agent whose goal is to improve efficiency of a water treatment plant. One of the primary costs is in the operation of mixers. The agent is constantly making decisions about mixing speeds, and receiving feedback about energy use and clean water production rates. We want this agent to be sample efficient, meaning that, with minimal interaction, it can learn about how to modulate mixing speeds appropriately. We additionally want the agent to continually learn (improve) during operation.

Towards this goal, I work in reinforcement learning. Specifically, my team focuses on: representation learning (sparse representations, recurrent architectures), planning with models based on options and value functions, off-policy learning to learn those model components, and better online control algorithms based on sound approximate policy iteration and action-value methods.
See here for a list of relevant presentations.

My Group

My group 2019 My group 2020

Farzane Aminmansour (PhD)
Alvina Awwal (MSc)
Brett Daley (PhD, co-supervised Marlos Machado)
Esraa Elelimy (MSc)
Anna Hakhverdyan (MSc)
Ehsan Imani (PhD)
Andrew Jacobsen (PhD, co-supervised Ashok Cutkosky)
Kamran Janjua (MSc)
Scott Jordan (Postdoc)
Vincent Liu (PhD)
Olya Mastikhina (MSc)
Prabhat Nagarajan (PhD)
Ndidi Obinwanne (MSc)
Andrew Patterson (PhD)
Kevin Roice (MSc)
Matthew Schlegel (PhD)
Haseeb Shah (MSc)
Hugo Luis Silva (MSc)
Abdul Wahab (MSc)
Han Wang (PhD, co-supervised with Adam White)
Lingwei Zhu (Postdoc)


Zaheer Abbas (MSc 2020, now a Research Engineer at DeepMind)
Farzane Aminmansour (MSc 2019, now PhD at UofA)
Kirby Banman (MSc 2021, now Research Associate at UofA)
James Bell (MSc 2019, now at Meta)
Alan Chan (MSc 2020, now PhD at McGill)
Wesley Chung (MSc 2019, now PhD at McGill)
Dhawal Gupta (MSc 2021, now PhD at UMass)
Shivam Garg (MSc, co-supervised Rupam Mahmood)
Ehsan Imani (MSc 2019, now PhD at UofA)
Andrew Jacobsen (MSc 2019, now PhD at UofA)
Khurram Javed (MSc 2020, now PhD at UofA)
Taher Jaferjee (MSc 2019)
Maryam Hashemzadeh (MSc 2021, now PhD student at Mila)
Lei Le (PhD, now an Applied Scientist at Linkedin)
Tadashi Kozuno (Postdoc, 2022, now Research Scientist at Omron Sinic X)
Raksha Kumaraswamy (PhD, 2021, now Researcher at Sony AI)
Sungsu Lim (MSc, 2019, now Senior Data Scientist at Tonal)
Vincent Liu (MSc, 2019, now PhD at UofA)
Chunlok Lo (MSc, 2022, now Software Engineer at Riot Games)
Erfan Miahi (MSc, 2022, cosupervised with Marlos Machado)
Gabor Mihucz (MSc, now PhD at UofA)
Somjit Nath (MSc, 2019, now a Researcher at TCS Research and Innovation)
Ajin George Joseph (Post Doc, 2018-2019, now an Assistant Professor at IIT Tirupati)
Omid Namaki (Research Associate, 2017-2019, now a Researcher at Amii)
Yangchen Pan (PhD, 2021, co-supervised Amir massoud Farahmand, now Departmental Lecturer at Oxford)
Yash Satsangi (Post Doc 2020, now an Assistant Professor at Tilburg University)
Sam Sokota (MSc, 2020, now PhD at CMU)
Han Wang (MSc, 2020, now PhD at UofA)
Niko Yasui (MSc, 2020, now PhD at UofA)

About Me

I love soccer, volleyball, snowboarding, snorkelling, outdoor activities, cooking, (board) games and, especially, reading sci-fi.