Top 15 Data Science Experts of the World in 2020

by June 16, 2020

To learn the best, you must learn from the finest.

Interested in Data Science? We at Analytics Insights have complied an exclusive listing of the 15 prominent Data Science experts across the world (in no particular order), whom you should follow in 2020-


1. Geoffrey Hinton

Geoffrey Hilton is called the Godfather of Deep Learning in the field of data science. Mr. Hinton is best known for his work on neural networks and artificial intelligence. A Ph.D. in artificial intelligence, he is accredited for his exemplary work on neural nets.

Twitter- @geoffreyhinton

Awards– AM Turing (2019), BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Information and Communication Technologies (2016), IEEE Frank Rosenblatt Award (2014), IJCAI Award for Research Excellence (2005),  Rumelhart Prize (2001).


2. Jeff Hammerbacher

The co-founder of the term, “Data Science”, Jeff Hammerbacher developed methods and techniques for capturing, storing and analysing a large amount of data. Credited to start Facebook’s data science team, he threw his weight behind adopting Hadoop enabling the social media giant’s data team to process tons of data in real-time at a lightning-fast speed. Mr. Hammerbacher is the co-founder at Cloudera and also been an instructor at the Icahn School of Medicine.

Twitter- @hackingdata

Book- Beautiful Data


3. Dhanurjay Patil

Dhanurjay Patil is a former US Chief Data Scientist, and along with Jeff Hammerbacher he coined the term “data science”. A doctorate in Applied Mathematics from the University of Maryland College Park, the distinguished Dhanurjay Patil has been a principal consultant to many blue-chip companies which include LinkedIn, Skype, Salesforce, PayPal, eBay, and Greylock Partners.

Twitter- @dpatil

Awards– Medal for Distinguished Public Service


4. Alex “Sandy” Pentland


Alex “Sandy” Pentland is termed as one among the world’s seven most powerful data scientists along with Larry Page, by Tim O’Reilly in 2011. Mr. Pentland also founded and leads an MIT-wide program which works actively in pioneering computational social science using Big Data and AI. A serial entrepreneur he co-leads the World Economic Forum Big Data and Personal Data initiatives and is a founding member of the Advisory Boards for Motorola Mobility, Telefonica, Nissan, and a variety of start-up firms.

Mr. Pentland leads the Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program promoting companies using cutting edge technologies to solve real-world problems. Mr. Pentland is also an advisor to the Enigma Project & Endor.

Twitter- @alex_pentland

Awards– McKinsey Award from Harvard Business Review, Brandeis Award, The 40th Anniversary of the Internet (from DARPA)


5. Dean Abbott

Founder and president of Abbott Analytics, Dean Abbott is a seasoned data science professional. With over 21 years of enriching experience, he is adept at deploying advanced and complex data mining techniques into data preparation and data visualization.

Mr. Abbot is credited for his outstanding expertise in fraud detection mechanics, data and modelling, missile guidance, survey analysis, predictive toxicology, and signal processes.

Twitter- @deanabb

Books – IBM SPSS Modeler Cookbook, and Applied Predictive Analytics: Principles and Techniques for the Professional Data Analyst.


6. Yann Lecun

Called as the founding father of Convolutional nets, Yann Lecun is a renowned French-American data scientist known for his exemplary work in the fields of Natural Language Processing, Machine learning, Computer vision, Robotics, and computational neuroscience.

Mr. LeCun is a Ph.D. in computer science and is well known for his work in Optical Character Recognition and Computer Vision using Convolutional neural networks

Twitter- @ylecun

Awards- AM Turing Award (2018)


7. Nando de Freitas

Mr de Freitas taught computer science at Oxford University, specialising in machine learning with an emphasis on Bayesian optimization and inference, deep learning and neural networks.

At present, he is the principal scientist at Google DeepMind, and advocates the mission to deploy technologies for scientific discovery and widespread public benefit, while ensuring safety and ethics. He is awarded the best-paper awards at the International Conference on Machine Learning and the International Conference on Learning Representations (both in 2016) for his work in machine learning and data science.

Twitter- @NandoDF

Awards- Google Faculty Research Award, Charles A. McDowell Award for Excellence in Research (2013)


8. Sebastian Thrun

Sebastian Thrun founded Google[x] and Google’s self-driving automobile project. His autonomous robotic vehicle, “Stanley,” acclaimed for high-speed autonomous desert driving won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge. Thrun is an adjunct professor at Stanford University, the author of or contributor to many books, hundreds of research papers and recipient of numerous awards and prizes. Mr. Thrun is well known for his probabilistic algorithms for robotics and robotic mapping.

Twitter- @SebastianThrun

Awards- NSF Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering, Max-Planck-Research Award (2011), Olympus Award of the German Society for Pattern Recognition (DAGM) (2001).


9. Fei-Fei Li

The co-director of Stanford’s Human-Cantered AI Institute, Li is one of the pioneers in cognitive neuroscience, machine learning, and AI. Ms. Li is a prolific writer and researcher, with over 180 peer-reviewed papers published in her name. Back in 2007, as an assistant professor at Princeton University, Ms. Li led a team of researchers to create the ImageNet project, a massive visual database to be deployed with software that recognizes visual objects. Over the next decade, this ImageNet project influenced the “deep learning” revolution.

Ms. Li is the co-founder of the non-profit AI4ALL, which strives to increase diversity and inclusion in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

Twitter- @drfeifei

Awards- ACM Fellow, National Geographic Further Award (2019), International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR) (2016)


10. Andrew Ng

Mr. Ng has been the chief scientist at Baidu Research, founder of, adjunct professor at Stanford University, and founder and chairman of the board at Coursera. He founded the Google Brain project, which is behind the development of large-scale artificial neural networks, including one that taught itself to recognize cats in videos.

Mr. Ng is the founder and CEO of Landing AI and is an avid AI researcher, educator and entrepreneur.

Twitter- @AndrewYNg

Awards- World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders (2015), IJCAI Computers and Thought Award (2009).


11. Peter Norvig

Peter Norvig is the Director of Research at Google Inc, before working in Google, he was the chief computer scientist at NASA. The hallmarks of Norvig’s career over the last three decades include developing solutions to specific problems aided with AI.

A Data science expert, Mr. Norving has co-authored Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. In 2011, he co-taught (with Sebastian Thrun) an Artificial Intelligence class – Introduction to Artificial Intelligence attended by 160,000 students from 209 countries.


 Awards- AAAI Fellow (2001), NASA Exceptional Achievement Award (2001).


12. Jurgen Schmidhuber

Popular for his impeccable work in deep learning, artificial neural networks and artificial intelligence, Jurgen Schmidhuber is sometimes called the Father of Modern Deep Learning.

Mr. Schmidhuber has been a pioneer in building up self-improving AI system, and while being an AI professor at the Università Della Svizzera Italiana, he along with his students published an artificial recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture called Long short-term memory (LSTM). Today, the LSTM, capable of learning long-term dependencies is used in almost all the current applications.

Twitter- @SchmidhuberAI

Awards- The Neural Networks Pioneer Award of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (2016) , Helmholtz Award of the International Neural Network Society (2013).


13. Yoshua Bengio

Yoshua Bengio is a Canada based data scientist known for his work on artificial intelligence, neural networks and deep learning. Mr. Bengio is a distinguished professor at the Department of computer science and operations research at the Université de Montréal.

Yoshua Bengio is regarded as one of the three professionals leading the global advancement in deep learning.

Website Yoshua Bengio

Awards- A.M. Turing Award (2018), Marie-Victorin Prize (2017).


14. Judea Pearl

Judea Pearl is best known for the development of Bayesian networks and spearheading the probabilistic approach to artificial intelligence. He is a long time UCLA professor working on artificial intelligence models which laid the foundation for Google’s driverless cars and iPhone’s Siri speech recognition technology.

Twitter- @yudapearl

Awards- ACM Turing Award winner (2012), Harvey Prize in Science and Technology (2012), Rumelhart Prize (2011), Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science (2008), IJCAI Award for Research Excellence (1999).


15. John Myles White

John Myles White is a Julia developer and a data scientist at Facebook. Mr. White is a well-known speaker and writer of several bestselling titles including Bandit Algorithms for Website Optimization, Machine Learning for Email and Machine Learning for Hackers.

He has impeccable expertise in machine learning, R Programming language, data science, and Statistics.

Twitter- @johnmyleswhite

Books- Bandit Algorithms for Website Optimization, Machine Learning for Hackers, Machine Learning for Email, Bandit Algorithms for Website Optimization: Developing, Deploying, and Debugging by John Myles White(2013-01-03)