Dmitry Kobak

dmitry kobak photo

Google Scholar

ORCID Github Pubmed Dblp

@hippopedoid on Twitter
@amoeba at CrossValidated.SE

From October 2023 to March 2024 I am a visiting professor (Vertretungsprofessor) for image analysis at Heidelberg University, Germany. Other then that, I am a research scientist and a group leader in the Berens lab at Tübingen University, Germany.

I am interested in self-supervised and unsupervised learning, in particular contrastive learning, manifold learning, and dimensionality reduction for 2D visualization of scientific datasets. I am working with image data, text data, graph data, and single-cell RNA-seq data in neuroscience contexts.

I am also interested in statistical forensics and have been involved in the analysis of Russian electoral falsifications, Russian war fatalities, and Covid-19 excess mortality.

I am a member of the ELLIS society and an IMPRS-IS associated scientist.


Winter semester 2023/24 (Heidelberg): BSc course Einführung ins Machinelle Lernen (in German), MSc seminar Transformers, large language models, and their use in physics.

2020–2023 (Tübingen): For several years I was teaching an introductory course on machine learning for MSc students in neuroscience and data science. In winter semester 2020/21, due to the Covid pandemic, the class was held online and the lectures were recorded in a studio.


Supervision / team

Postdocs: PhD students: MSc students:


This is a list of [co-]first-/last-author papers grouped by topic; see my Google Scholar page for the complete list. Most papers are open access; for the ones that are not I provide PDFs. Twitter icons link to the respective Twitter threads (tweeprints).

Self-supervised learning

Neighbour embeddings

Topological data analysis

Statistical methods for transcriptomic and multi-omic data analysis

Machine learning & statistical theory

Patch-seq data analysis

Election forensics

Excess mortality / Covid-19 forensics

Previous work and education

In 2013–2016 I was a postdoc in the Machens lab at Champalimaud Institute in Lisbon, working on statistical analysis of electrophyisological population recordings from the cortex.

In 2007–2012 I did my PhD in the Mehring lab, initially at Freiburg University and later at Imperial College London, working on computational motor control.

In 2000–2007 I studied computer science (BSc) in St. Petersburg ITMO University and then theoretical physics (MSc) in St. Petersburg State University.

Before that, I attended St. Petersburg Classical Gymnasium #610. I was part-time teaching there computer science and physics in 2002–2006 while studying in university. In 2004, together with a friend, I made a website that is still online (with minor changes).


Year  Reviews
2019  1
2020  15
2021  20
2022  22
2023  28
Venue              Reviews (>1)
NeurIPS            23
ECML               12
ICLR               11
ICML               6
Genome Biology     4
AISTATS            3
Bioinformatics     3
TMLR               3
JMLR               2
Nature Comm.       2
Nature Methods     2
PLoS Comp Bio      2
Political Analysis 2
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Review lengths in kB

Last updated: Jan 3, 2024