Department of Engineering / Profiles / Professor Ioannis Kontoyiannis

Department of Engineering

Professor Ioannis Kontoyiannis


Ioannis Kontoyiannis

Professor of Information and Communications

Academic Division: Information Engineering

Research group: Signal Processing and Communications

Telephone: +44 1223 3 32654



Research interests

Information theory, data compression, applied probability, Bayesian statistics, simulation, machine learning applications, communications, mathematical and computational biology.

Professor Kontoyiannis primarily works on problems in information theory, applied probability and statistics. In information theory he is interested in understanding the fundamental (best achievable) performance limits of modern communications systems, given today’s practical technological constraints. His relevant work includes applications ranging from neuroscience to finance, and from signal processing to bioinformatics. In probability his main focus is the analysis of asymptotic, non-asymptotic, and spectral properties of general Markov chains. His primary interest here is in answering basic questions arising from important problems in applied areas including wireless networks, simulation, and learning algorithms. In statistics, his main area of interest is in the development of Bayesian methodological tools for model selection, inference, and machine learning tasks.

Other positions

Professor, Department of Informatics, Athens University of Economics & Business

Research Fellow, Institute of Applied & Computational Mathematics, Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas

Senior Member, Darwin College, Cambridge


Ioannis Kontoyiannis was born in Athens, Greece, in 1972. He received the B.Sc. degree in mathematics in 1992 from Imperial College (University of London), and in 1993 he obtained a distinction in Part III of the Cambridge University (Pure) Mathematics Tripos. In 1997 he received the M.S. degree in statistics, and in 1998 the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering, both from Stanford University. Between June and December 1995 he worked at IBM Research, on a NASA-IBM satellite image processing and compression project.  From 1998 to 2001 we was an Assistant Professor with the Department of Statistics at Purdue University (and also, by courtesy, with the Department of Mathematics, and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering). Between 2000 and 2005 he has was an Assistant, then Associate Professor (tenured), with the Division of Applied Mathematics and with the Department of Computer Science at Brown University. Since 2005 he has been a Professor with the Department of Informatics of the Athens University of Economics and Business. He joined the Information Engineering Division of the Engineering Department at Cambridge in 2018, as Professor of Information and Communications.

In 2002 he was awarded the Manning Endowed Assistant Professorship by Brown Univeristy; in 2004 he was awarded a Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship; in 2005 he was awarded an Honorary Master of Arts Degree Ad Eundem by Brown University; in 2009 he was awarded a two-year Marie Curie Fellowship; and in 2011 he was elevated to the grade of IEEE Fellow.

Academic and Professional Activities

Professor Kontoyiannis has served on the editorial board of the American Mathematical Society's Quarterly of Applied Mathematics, he is currently serving a third term as an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, for which he also served as interim Editor-in-Chief. He has served on the editorial boards of Springer-Verlag's Acta Applicandae Mathematicae, Springer-Verlag’s Lecture Notes in Mathematics book series, and the online journal Entropy. He has also served as chair or member of the program committee of numerous IEEE conferences.

Kontoyiannis’ research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the European Union, Greek national funds, the European Research Council, and numerous other national and international bodies. He has also been involved in consulting work for companies in the financial, medical, and high-tech industries.

Department role and responsibilities