Lei Ma

Lei Ma

Fellow & Canada CIFAR AI Chair

Academic Affiliations

Associate Professor – University of Alberta (Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering)

Areas of Expertise

Machine learning; artificial intelligence; explainable AI; system engineering; quality, reliability, safety and security in machine learning; testing, debugging, repairing of machine learning systems; applied machine learning (autonomous driving, cyber-physical systems, etc)

Lei Ma works to bridge the gap between AI and its real-world applications

Engineering better learning systems

Lei Ma’s research focuses on providing both fundamental quality assurance methodologies and systematic engineering support for building complex AI systems to make them more reliable, safe and secure. He works to bridge the gap between AI and its real-world applications. His research mainly covers software engineering, machine learning and their interdisciplinary fields, including designing better machine learning techniques with principles and methodologies of software engineering (also known as machine learning system engineering). He also works to design new techniques for traditional software engineering challenges, empowered by machine learning. Lei is continuously proposing novel techniques for quality assessment, quality issue detection, localization, root cause analysis, repairing, and more, specially designed for both AI models at the unit level and AI systems at the whole system level. His research focuses on addressing AI quality concerns across domains such as autonomous driving, cyber-physical systems, video games, healthcare and more.

Lei is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Alberta and a Canada CIFAR AI Chair at Amii. He received his Ph.D. at The University of Tokyo, Japan; during his program, he also studied at the Technische Universität München (TUM) in Germany. Lei’s work has been published at multiple top-tier venues across AI, software engineering, security and more; several of these publications received best paper awards. His research on detecting deepfakes monitoring such things as neuron coverage behaviors and heartbeat detection has garnered international media coverage, including stories from Synced and VentureBeat. Prior to joining UAlberta, Lei was an Associate Professor and co-lead of the Intelligent Software Engineering Lab at Kyushu University. Before this, he was an Associate Professor at the Harbin Institute of Technology, and a Research Fellow in the joint projects by Chiba University, The University of Tokyo, Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST/ITRI) and National Institute of Informatics.

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