I am always looking for highly talented and highly motivated people to join my Optimization and Machine Learning Lab. In particular, I am hiring interns, MS/PhD students, PhD students, postdocs and research scientists in the following broad areas:
  • mathematical and algorithmic foundations of machine learning
  • optimization for machine learning
  • federated learning (I am co-inventor of FL: [2] [3] [4])
  • theory of deep learning
If you are interested in any of these positions, please fill out this unified interfolio application form.

A strong candidate will have outstanding training and track record in mathematics and computer science commensurate with the seniority of the position he/she is applying for.

Applications are reviewed throughout the year as they arrive. Shortlisted applicants are interviewed via Zoom. Should I decide to make you an offer, I will guide you through the rest of the formal process (e.g., in the case of MS/PhD and PhD students, a formal application to KAUST is also required).


Internships are targeted at senior/mature undergraduate or MS students thinking of a future career in research (e.g., considering to apply for a PhD at KAUST or elsewhere). Prior experience in research is welcome, but not necessary. Internships last anywhere between a month and six months, and can be performed on the campus or remotely. Extension migh be possible in special cases. The starting date and duration are negotiable. Internships come with a monthly stipend. In case of on-campus internships, we also reimburse your visa fees, book your flight tickets and taxi (between the airport in Jeddah and the campus), offer free on-campus accommodation and provide health insurance.

If I decide to make you an offer, I will tell you which of KAUST's several internship programs you will be formally a part of. They all have different rules and eligibilty requirements. However, you need not worry about it. All you need to do is to apply via the interfolio site (see the link above) and wait.

KAUST has several internship programs, including:
  1. VSRP (Visiting Student Research Program)
  2. VS (Visiting Student program)
    • 1-6 months stay requirement
    • eligible countries: all
  3. SSI (Saudi Summer Internships)
    • competitive program with up to 40 spaces each Summer at KAUST
    • eligibility: i) in-kingdom Saudi nationals ii) should be university students studying towards an MS degree, or be in their junior or senior year iii) should pursue a degree related to CS/MATH/STAT/EE.

MS/PhD and PhD positions

If you have a BS degree, apply to our combined MS/PhD program. If all goes well, you will get an MS degree in 1.5 years (3 semesters), and will then continue towards your PhD. So, if you start in August in year Y, you will get your MS degree in December in year Y+1, and will continue as a PhD student from January of year Y+2. If you have an MS degree already, apply directly to the PhD program. If you are from Europe or North America, I recommend that you also apply for the European Science Foundation KAUST Discovery Fellowship - this is more prestigious than the standard KAUST Fellowship. PhD at KAUST takes a minimum of 2.5 years. We accept students for entry in Fall (August) and Spring (January). However, most students start in the Fall. There are several application rounds throughout the year, and hence you can essentially apply at any time. Apply here.

I can supervise students in all programs in the CEMSE division: AMCS (Applied Mathematics & Computational Science), CS (Computer Science), ECE (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and STAT (Statistics). My current students study in all of these programs except for ECE. If you have any questions about studies at KAUST, and want to ask a current student, feel free to make use of the KAUST Ask a Student system.

Postdocs and Research Scientists

I always have postdoc and research scientist (RS) positions open for outstanding applicants. Funding of these positions comes from my exiting grants. Alternatively (or at the same time), you can apply for a postdoc position funded by the KAUST Global Fellowship initiative. The typical duration of a postdoc position is 2-3 years. The typical duration of a RS position is 3 years or more (including an effectively permanent position). RS positions are offered at 6 levels of seniority. The three most senior levels are roughly equivalent in status and compensation to Assistant, Associate and Full Professor positions, respectively.