Personal profile


Professor Ann E. Nicholson is the Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Information Technology. After completing her BSc (Hons) and MSc in Computer Sciene at the University of Melbourne, in 1988 Ann was awarded a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford, where she  did her doctorate in the Robotics Research Group. After completing a post-doc at Brown University, she returned to Australia to take up a lecturing position position at Monash in 1994. Ann specialises in the broad area of Artificial Intelligence, a  sub-discipline of computer science.  Ann is a leading international researcher in the specialised area of Bayesian networks, now the dominant technology for probabilistic causal modelling in intelligent systems. She has applied Bayesian Network technology to problem-solving in many domains including meteorology, epidemiology, medicine, education and environmental science. Examples include the use of BNs in biosecurity risk assessment, predicting the impact of conservation actions on threats and habitats of threatened species, fog forecasting and decision support for clinical cardiovascular risk assessment.


Community service

(Current 2016)

  • Editorial Board, Knowledge Engineering Journal
  • Association of Rhodes Scholars in Australia: National Executive


Monash teaching commitment

Professor Ann Nicholson has experience as the Chief Examiner and/or lecturer for the following units in the Faculty of IT:

  • FIT1010 Introduction to software engineering
  • FIT1016/2044 Advanced project level 1 & 2
  • FIT1049/2003 IT professional practice

Research interests

Ann specialises in Bayesian network modelling and is an expert in dynamic Bayesian networks, planning under uncertainty, user modelling, Bayesian inference methods, and knowledge engineering with Bayesian networks.


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Bayesian networks
  • Data Mining
  • Evolutionary ethics
  • Intelligent Agents
  • Knowledge Engineering
  • Plan recognition
  • Probabilistic reasoning
  • User modelling

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2002 2021

Research Output 1997 2017

Applying dependency patterns in causal discovery of latent variable models

Zhang, X., Korb, K. B., Nicholson, A. E. & Mascaro, S. 2017 Artificial Life and Computational Intelligence: Third Australasian Conference, ACALCI 2017, Geelong, VIC, Australia, January 31 – February 2, 2017, Proceedings. Wagner, M., Li, X. & Hendtlass, T. (eds.). Cham, Switzerland: Springer, p. 134-143 10 p. (Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence; vol. 10142)

Research output: Research - peer-reviewConference Paper

Bayesian Networks for Import Risk Assessment

Nicholson, A. E. & Korb, K. B. Jul 2017 Invasive Species: Risk Assessment and Management. Robinson, A. P., Walshe, T., Burgman, M. A. & Nunn, M. (eds.). United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, p. 181-205 25 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewChapter (Book)

Dynamic OOBNs applied to water management in dams

Flores, M. J., Nicholson, A. E. & Ropero, R. F. 30 Dec 2016 2016 IEEE International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Applications, ICKEA 2016: September 28-30, 2016, Singapore [Proceedings]. Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, p. 255-260 6 p. 7803030

Research output: Research - peer-reviewConference Paper

Modelling spatial and temporal changes with GIS and spatial and dynamic Bayesian networks

Chee, Y. E., Wilkinson, L., Nicholson, A. E., Quintana-Ascencio, P. F., Fauth, J. E., Hall, D., Ponzio, K. J. & Rumpff, L. 2016 In : Environmental Modelling and Software. 82, p. 108 - 120 13 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Activities 2011 2016

  • 3 External research and teaching
  • 1 Membership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board

Associate Dean (Education) - Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University

Nicholson, A. E. (Fellow)
1 Jan 201430 Jun 2016

Activity: External research and teaching

Course Director - Bachelor of Software Engineering - Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University

Nicholson, A. E. (Chair/ Co-Chair)
1 Jan 201131 Dec 2013

Activity: External research and teaching

Monash University (External organisation)

Nicholson, A. E. (Member)
1 Jan 201131 Dec 2013

Activity: Membership of an advisory panel/policy group/ board