Mahmoud Assran (Mido)
PhD Student
McGill University
Mila — Quebec AI Institute
Facebook AI Research Labs
mahmoud.assran@mail.mcgill.ca
CV / Scholar / Twitter / Facebook AI

We're all here on this earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for, I have no idea.

W.H. Auden

I am currently a PhD student at McGill University and Mila, the Quebec AI Institute, advised by Michael Rabbat. I am also a Visiting Researcher at Facebook AI Research in the Montreal lab. I grew up in the land of living skies, but have been pursuing my studies (and practicing my french) out east. My doctoral research is graciously supported through a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

AI Research

I am interested in the capability of computers to efficiently develop a perceptual understanding of our world from limited human supervision. To that end, I have focused on deep learning algorithms for self-supervised learning and optimization algorithms for large-scale distributed computing. My research has been featured in several media outlets, including VentureBeat, TechCrunch, and SiliconANGLE. I have also served as a reviewer for numerous machine learning and control conferences and journals, most recently as an expert reviewer for ICML.

Youth Education

I am also interested in educational learning theories and am the principal founder of YETE, a Canadian not-for-profit advancing youth education by fostering a self-guided constructivist approach to learning. We work with students and teachers, in-class, roughly once a week, for their entire semester, and have collaborated with the English Montreal School Board and the Kahnawà:ke Education Center. Visit our page to learn more.

How is it possible to think new thoughts? What is creativity and can science explain it?

M. Boden

For a full list of up-to-date publications visit google scholar.

Mahmoud Assran, Mathilde Caron, Ishan Misra, Piotr Bojanowski, Armand Joulin, *Nicolas Ballas, *Michael Rabbat
PAWS

Semi-Supervised Learning of Visual Features by Non-Parametrically Predicting Views Assignments with Support Samples

Mahmoud Assran, Michael Rabbat
Asynchronous Gradient Push

Asynchronous Gradient Push: Fast, Robust, and Scalable Multi-Agent Optimization

Mahmoud Assran, Nicolas Ballas, Lluis Castrejon, Michael Rabbat
SuNCEt

Supervision Accelerates Pretraining in Contrastive Semi-Supervised Learning of Visual Representations

Mahmoud Assran, Arda Aytekin, Hamid Feyzmahdavia, Mikael Johansson, Michael Rabbat
Asynchronous Optimization Review

Advances in Asynchronous Parallel and Distributed Optimization

Mahmoud Assran, Michael Rabbat
Nesterov Acceleration Theory

On the Convergence of Nesterov's Accelerated Gradient Method in Stochastic Settings

Mahmoud Assran, Joshua Romoff, Nicolas Ballas, Joelle Pineau, Michael Rabbat
GALA

Gossip-based Actor-Learner Architectures for Deep Reinforcement Learning

Mahmoud Assran, Nicolas Loizou, Nicolas Ballas, Michael Rabbat
Stochastic Gradient Push

Stochastic Gradient Push for Distributed Deep Learning

Mahmoud Assran, Michael Rabbat
Large-Scale Multi-Agent Optimization

An Empirical Comparison of Multi-Agent Optimization Algorithms

Reproducibility is a minimum necessary condition for a finding to be believable and informative.

K. Bollen

Open-source code accompanying peer-reviewed research papers.

It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.

M. Twain
Semi-Supervised Learning of Visual Features by Non-Parametrically Predicting Views Assignments with Support Samples

  • 2021 | Online | International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)
    *Contributed talk
  • 2021 | Online | Facebook SSL for Video Group
    *Invited talk
  • 2021 | Online | Facebook GCD (AI Scaling) Group
    *Invited talk
Advancing Artificial Intelligence: Learning Over Networks

  • 2019 | Winnipeg,CA | Indigenous Services Canada, NIITA
    *Invited talk
Youth Engagement through Project-Based Learning

  • 2019 | Montreal,CA | English Montreal School Board Teachers’ Professional Development
    *Invited talk
Contrastive Pre-Training with Task Information

  • 2020 | Online | Self-Supervised Learning Workshop, NeurIPS
    *Contributed talk
  • 2020 | Online | Montreal MLOpt Research Group
    *Invited talk
  • 2020 | Online | Facebook AI Research Global All Hands
    *Invited talk
On the Convergence of Nesterov’s Accelerated Gradient Method in Stochastic Settings

  • 2020 | Online | International Conference on Machine Learning
    *Contributed talk
  • 2020 | Online | Montreal MLOpt Research Group
    *Invited talk
Gossip-based Actor-Learner Architectures for Deep Reinforcement Learning

  • 2020 | Online | Aggregate Intellect (ai.scient)
    *Invited talk
  • 2020 | Online | Mila RL Reading Group
    *Invited talk
  • 2019 | Vancouver,CA | Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS)
    *Contributed talk
  • 2019 | Montreal,CA | Montreal AI Symposium (Top 10% of Accepted Papers)
    *Contributed talk
Stochastic Gradient Push for Distributed Deep Learning

  • 2019 | Long Beach,US | International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML)
    *Contributed talk
  • 2018 | Montreal,CA | Systems for ML Workshop, NeurIPS
    *Contributed talk
Convergence of Asynchronous Gradient Push under Arbitrary Bounded Delay

  • 2019 | Pacific Grove,US | IEEE Asilomar Conference
    *Invited talk
  • 2018 | Limassol,Cyprus | European Control Conference (ECC)
    *Invited talk

I have been salesman of the month for 13 of the last 12 months. You heard me right. I did so well last February that Corporate gave me two plaques in lieu of a pay raise.

D. Schrute
Vanier Scholarship

NSERC — $150,000

The Vanier CGS plays an important role in fulfilling the Government of Canada’s Science and Technology strategy to promote the development and application of leading-edge knowledge and attract and retain the world’s top graduate students.

Alexander Graham Bell Scholarship

NSERC — $105,000

Awarded to the top-ranked doctoral students in Canada, to ensure a reliable supply of qualified personnel to meet the needs of Canada’s knowledge economy.

Les Vadasz Doctoral Fellowship

McGill University— $48,000

Established in 2006 by the Vadasz Family Foundation to recruit outstanding students intothe Faculty of Engineering’s doctoral degree program.

McGill Engineering Doctoral Award

McGill University— $72,000

This award aims to recruit the best and brightest new doctoral students from all over the world.

Graduate Mobility Award

McGill University

To support student engagement in international research experiences outside of McGill.

Undergraduate Student Masters Award

McGill University— $35,000

Competitive recruitment funding to assist in attracting and retaining high caliber undergraduate students with demonstrated academic excellence, as well as applied research experience, into the Faculty’s research Graduate Programs.

Graduate Excellence Fellowship

McGill University

Nomination for this award is at the discretion of the Department or School. Selection forthis award is based on the excellence of a student’s academic and research record.

Rhodes Scholar Finalist

University of Oxford

One of 12 finalists selected for three available Rhodes Scholarships, an international post-graduate scholarship to study at the University of Oxford.

Ian McLachlin Prize for Entrepreneurship in Engineering

McGill University

Established in 1998 by Ian McLachlin, B.Eng. 1960, to encourage Engineering students to undertake Entrepreneurial Studies. Awarded by the Faculty of Engineering.

Dean's Honour List

McGill University

The Dean’s Honour List for undergraduate students recognizes those who rank in the top 10% of the Faculty of Engineering.

Les Vadasz Award in Engineering

McGill University

Awarded annually, by the Faculty of Engineering, to a student based on high academic standing with a preference given to an interest in, and contribution towards, engineering sustainability and/or design.

Accenture Prize in Engineering and Science

McGill University

Awarded by the Faculty Scholarships Committees, upon recommendation of the respective departments, on the basis of academic excellence and demonstrated leadership qualities.

Faculty of Engineering Scholarship

McGill University

Awarded based on academic achievement to students in the top 5% of the Faculty. Granted by the Faculty of Engineering ScholarshipsCommittee based on good academic standing.

Undergraduate Student Research Award

NSERC

Undergraduate Student Research Award, granted by the university and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, based on the student’s academic record, research aptitude, and merit.

John Howard Ambrose Award

McGill University

Awarded by the Faculty of Engineering Scholarships Committee on the basis of merit to engineering students.

IEEE Signal Processing Society Winter School Scholarship

IEEE Signal Processing Society

Awarded by the IEEE Signal Processing Society on the basis of merit to engineering students.

John Green Memorial Award

McGill University

For the student with highest standing in the penultimate year of Honours Electrical Engineering. Awarded on the recommendation of the Department.

1st Place Waterloo Hardware Hackathon

Google, O'Reilly, PCH — $55,000

(Awarded $5000 cash scholarship and $50,000 in product services; e.g., manufacturing, incorporation fees, etc.). Developed a solution and a prototype to provide Internet access to developing communities by utilizing a distributed data mesh with an offline search engine.

Christie Steinmetz Award

McGill University

Awarded to a second year student in Electrical Engineering on the basis of academicperformance and demonstration of exceptional promise as an engineer. Awarded on therecommendation of the Department.

McCaig Family Scholarship in Engineering

McGill University

Awarded by the Faculty of Engineering to undergraduate students who have completed at least one year of the B.Eng. program on the basis of high academic standing.

A hobby is only fun if you don't have time to do it.

L. Beenhakker
Soccer

I love to play soccer and had the honour of representing the province of Saskatchewan at the Canada Games and Western Canada Games, broadcast on TSN. I also played several preseasons with the McGill University Men’s Varsity Soccer Team.

Tennis

I also love to play tennis and competed at the Rogers Junior Nationals competition twice, on one occasion as the second seed from the province of Saskatchewan, and on the second occasion as the first seed. I am a certified Tennis Canada instructor now.

Food

I'm kind of a health nut. I love to eat, and explore different foods (especially anything green). Here's one of my favourite restaurants in Montreal.

Musique

When it comes to music I don't discriminate by genre... I listen to just about everything! I also play the guitar and bass clairinet (though not for a while). In my youth I had the honour competing at MusicFest Canada "The Nationals," on a couple of occasions.