Personal profile


Professor Ann E. Nicholson is Dean in the Faculty of Information Technology. Other past leadership roles including Deputy Dean (Research) 2018-2020, (Acting) Deputy Dean 2016-2017, and Associate Dean (Education) 2014-2016. After completing her BSc (Hons) and MSc in Computer Sciene at the University of Melbourne, in 1988 she 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. Prof. Nicholson specialises in the broad area of Artificial Intelligence, a  sub-discipline of computer science.  She 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 published more than 100 peer reviewed papers, co-authored the well-received book "Bayesian Artificial Intelligence", and attracted more than $8M in research funding. 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 2020)

  • Victorian Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee, Honorary Secretary


Monash teaching commitment

While having no curent teaching commitments, 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.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Engineering Science, Doctor of Philosophy, University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Jun 1993

Computer Science, Master of Science, University of Melbourne

Award Date: 1 Feb 1990

Computer Science, Bachelor of Science (Honours), University of Melbourne

Award Date: 1 Feb 1987

Research area keywords

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Bayesian networks
  • Data Mining
  • Risk analysis
  • Probabilistic reasoning
  • Knowledge Engineering
  • Causal discovery
  • Decision support

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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