Christopher Symons, Ph.D., MSc

Chief Artificial Intelligence Scientist

“A discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument is an exchange of ignorance.”
– Robert Quillen

Chris brings 15 years of R&D experience in machine learning (ML) to Lirio, including a rare blend of extensive practical experience in designing, developing, and deploying novel ML systems, combined with a deep theoretical knowledge of ML. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the University of Tennessee with a dissertation focused on high dimensional ML and analysis and has authored 34 research publications on ML and algorithm design. Chris has served in high-level research positions and won multiple awards for his research contributions. As the Head of Machine Learning at Lirio, his role is to lead Lirio’s strong team of Data Scientists and Machine Learning Engineers and ensure that Lirio’s behavioral engagement framework is pushing the boundaries on what ML can accomplish.



Fun Facts

Favorite thing as a child: Anything to do with the water (sailing, swimming, skiing, fishing, or even just wading in the creek to catch tadpoles and crawfish).

Special hobbies/interests: Soccer has been a huge part of my life. I’ve played since I was four years old and coached my kids since they were five, and I even enjoy watching “the beautiful game” often. I’m slightly addicted to UNC basketball. I enjoy just about any kind of outdoor activity or sport, like water skiing, swimming, tennis, golf, snow skiing, hiking, canoeing, etc. And I’ve always been a voracious reader, although I’m more likely to be reading a research paper than a novel nowadays. 

Location: I grew up in Virginia and North Carolina, but Knoxville has been my home for a long time now.

Other: I have been to Oahu about a dozen times, so if you need directions, just ask! I attended the nation’s first public residential STEM high school, the North Carolina School of Science and Math. My wife, Amie, and I have a beautiful blended family of 6 kids.

Extra Credit