Pedro Ortega

Alumni of the Research Group Sensorimotor Learning and Decision-Making

Main Focus

I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Max-Planck Institutes for Biological Cybernetics and Intelligent Systems. I am a member of the Sensorimotor Learning and Decision-Making Group headed by Daniel A. Braun.

I obtained my PhD in Autonomous Systems at the University of Cambridge, UK, under the supervision of Zoubin Ghahramani, and my BSc in Engineering at the University of Chile.

  • Personal Webpage:

I'm interested in the foundations of Machine Learning, and I study the links between: information theory, learning, control, economics, causality, statistical mechanics, ergodic theory and complexity theory. Most importantly, I'm a huge fan of elegant, minimalistic algorithms that are practically simple, computationally efficient, and formally sound.

I have recently focused my efforts on information-theoretic and statistical mechanical approaches to adaptive control, leading to contributions in bounded rationality models and recasting adaptive control as a causal inference problem. I have also worked on causal induction, and on game- and decision-theoretic models in computational neuroscience.

Curriculum Vitae


  • 2006-2011: PhD in Engineering, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1998-2005: Computer Engineering, School of Engineering, Universidad de Chile
  • 1995-1997: Secondary, Liceo Experimental Manuel de Salas, Santiago, Chile
  • 1990-1994: Secondary, Gymnasium Typus B&C, Kantonsschule Oerlikon, Zürich, Switzerland
  • 1984-1990: Primary, Schulhaus Probstei, Zürich, Switzerland

Academic Experience

  • 2011-today: Postdoctoral Fellow, Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics.
  • 2010-2011: Research Associate, Engineering Design Centre, Univ. of Cambridge
  • 2005: Lecturer, Information Theory and Neural Networks, Univ. of Chile
  • 2000-2001, 2003: T.A. in Mechanics, Univ. of Chile
  • 2000: T.A. in Computing I, Univ. of Chile
  • 2003-2004: T.A. in Artificial Intelligence, Univ. of Chile
  • 2003: T.A in Theory of Neural Networks, Univ. of Chile
  • 2004. T.A. in Evolutionary Computation, Univ. of Chile

Honors & Scholarships

  • 2006- : Graduate Studies Scholarship, Beca Presidente de la República, Government of Chile
  • 1998-2002: Honor roll student (top 5%), School of Engineering, University of Chile
  • 1996: Scholarship, Liceo Manuel de Salas, Santiago, Chile
  • 1996: Winner of the National Physics Olympics, Chile
  • 1996: Winner of the Metropolitan Physics Olympics, Santiago, Chile

Professional Experience

  • 2006: Yahoo! Search Engine Marketing, DMX Group, USA
  • 2006: Embedded System Design, Olimex, Chile
  • 2003-2005: Datamining for customer segmentation, fraud detection and forecasting, Chile
  • -2005: Website development
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