Chris Bishop has a B.A. in Physics with First Class Honours from Oxford, and a PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Edinburgh with a thesis on quantum field theory supervised by David Wallace and Peter Higgs. After graduating he joined Culham Laboratory where he worked on the theory of magnetically confined plasmas for eight years as part of the European controlled fusion programme.
He subsequently developed an interest in pattern recognition, and became Head of the Applied Neurocomputing Centre at AEA Technology. In 1993 he was elected to a Chair in the Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at Aston University, where he was head of the Neural Computing Research Group. He then took a sabbatical during which time he was principal organiser of the six month international research programme on Neural Networks and Machine Learning at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge, which ran from July to December 1997.
After completion of the Newton Institute programme he joined the Microsoft Research Laboratory in Cambridge where he became Deputy Managing Director, and later the Chief Research Scientist. He is a Partner in Microsoft, and is head of the Machine Learning and Perception group. In 2010 he was awarded the accolade of Distinguished Scientist, representing the highest level of research distinction within Microsoft, and was the first person in Europe in Europe to hold this title.
At the same time as he joined Microsoft Research, he was elected to a Chair of Computer Science at the University of Edinburgh where he is a member of the Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation in the School of Informatics. He is also a Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge, a Fellow of the British Computer Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. He has been awarded Honorary Doctor of Science degrees by Oxford Brookes University, and the University of East Anglia.
In 2004 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and in 2007 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2009 he was elected Corresponding Academician of the Spanish Royal Academy of Engineering.
In 2008 he presented the 180th Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, with the title Hi-tech Trek: The Quest for the Ultimate Computer, which were broadcast on UK national television to a combined audience of around 5 million. The Lectures were repeated in Tokyo in August 2009, for broadcast on television in Japan. In 2009, Chris was awarded the Tam Dalyell Prize "for excellence in engaging the public with science", and in 2011 he was awarded the Rooke Medal by the Royal Academy of Engineering "for his persistent drive in engaging members of the public in the vital work of engineers and their contribution to society".
In 2010 he was elected Vice President of the Royal Institution of Great Britain.
Chris is the author of the leading textbook Neural Networks for Pattern Recognition (Oxford University Press, 1995) which has over 20,000 citations, and which helped to bring statistical concepts into the mainstream of the machine learning field. His latest textbook Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Springer, 2006) has over 10,000 citations, and has been widely adopted.
His research interests include probabilistic approaches to machine learning, as well as their application to fields such as biomedical sciences and healthcare.
Chris holds a full commercial Air Transport Pilot's Licence. For relaxation he enjoys flying light aircraft, including aerobatics in an Extra 200 unlimited-category aerobatic aircraft.