Dr. Halima Bensmail

Senior Scientist
Computational Science and Engineering
+(974) 4454 0195
Leadership is the most important factor that attracted me to QCRI. Need for creativity is the second factor. Innovation is a very important factor at QCRI. At QCRI we are being challenged continuously, we have been asked to think big. We are supposed to do research with applications that are of great impact, nationally and internationally.

Research Focus at QCRI

Halima is working broadly on statistical machine learning, applied it to medical areas for research that is referred to as: machine learning in Bioinformatics.

Most importantly, Halima is focusing on:

  • Use of machine learning for genetic mapping,
  • Bayesian approach to Quantification of metabolites related to diseases such as diabetes.
  • Covariance matrix robustness in graphical models and networks
  • Topology of causal network.
  • Nonlinear statistical analysis in NeuroImages.

Previous Experience

Halima Bensmail is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee and an adjunct faculty member at ORNL. She received her PhD in Mathematics and statistics from the University of Jussieu and INRIA in December 1995. She holds a BS degree in Mathematics from University of Science, Rabat and a MS degree of Mathematics and statistics from the University of Jussieu, Paris, France. She spent one year at the University of Washington, one year at the Fred Hutchinson cancer research center and two years at the Data Theory center, at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. She advised five PhD students and over 20 Master students in different field of mathematical and computational sciences.

Professional Experience

  • University of Virginia Medical School, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Associate Professor, 2006
  • University of Tennessee, Statistics, Operations and management Sciences Department, Associate Professor, 2005
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Adjunct faculty member, 2003
  • University of Tennessee, Statistics, Operations and management Sciences Department, Assistant Professor, 2000-2004
  • Data Theory Center, University of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Leiden, Netherlands, Scientist, 1997-2000
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Seattle, USA, Post-doc, 1996 -1997
  • University of Washington, Statistics Department, Seattle, USA, Research Associate, 1995-1996

Professional Associations and Awards

  • Qatar Annual Research Forum Award for best research subject in computing, Doha 2011.
  • Nominated and finalist for best researcher and teaching junior faculty member, Knoxville, 2005.
  • Best junior researcher award by IFCS (International Federation for Classification society), Rome, 1997.


  • PhD: Mathematics and Statistics, Paris 6 and INRIA (Paris - Rocquencourt), 1995.
  • MS: Mathematical Modeling, Paris 7, Paris, France, 1991.
  • BS: Mathematics, University of Sciences, Rabat, 1989.

Selected Research

  • Jing-Yang and Bensmail, H.  2013:  Cross-Domain Sparse Coding.  CIKM 2013.
  • Jing-Yang and Bensmail, H. 2012: Selecting and Weighting Visual Words Jointly for Bag-of-Features based Tissue Classification. BMC Bioinformatics.
  • Liu, Z and Bensmail, H. 2012: Phenotype Prediction and Feature Detection with Linear Programming and Metagenomics Count data. Plos One.
  • Liu, Z and Bensmail, H. 2012: Efficient Feature Selection and Multiclass Classification with Integrated Instance and Model based Learning.Journal of Evolutionary Biology.
  • Bensmail, H., Anjum, S., Bouhali, O. and Elanbari, M. 2012: RAFNI: Robust Analysis of Functional NeuroImages with nonnormal-stable error, in LNCS: Lecture Notes in computer science, Vol. 7663, subseries: Theoretical computer Science and General Issues.
  • Kwon, Y, Bozdogan, H. and Bensmail, H. 2009: Performance of Model Selection Criteria in Bayesian Threshold VAR (TVAR) Models. Econometric Reviews, Vol. 28 (1-3), pp. 83-101.
  • Bensmail H, Golek J, Moody MM, Semmes JO, Haoudi A. 2005: Bayesian Fast-Fourier Transform Based Clustering Method for Proteomics Data. Bioinformatics, 21(10), pp. 2210-24.
  • Bensmail, H. Celeux, G. Raftery, A., Robert, C. 1997. Inference in Model-Based Cluster Analysis. Journal of Computing and Statistics, 1, N10, pp.1-10.
  • Bensmail, H. & Celeux, G. 1996. Regularized Discriminant Analysis. Journal of the American Statistical Association (JASA), Vol. 91, No 436, pp. 1743—1748

Follow Us

  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS Feed
  • Linkedin
  • github-web.png
Back to Top

In the Media

ACM Logo.jpg

Dr. Ashraf Aboulnaga named Distinguished Scientist by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)


Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE AR-SA MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is the world's leading scientific and educational association for computing ...

Read More

Default Thumbnail

QCRI's AIDR (Artificial Intelligence for Disaster Response), has been awarded the Grand Prize for the 2015 Open Source Software System Challenge


QCRI’s humanitarian technology, AIDR (Artificial Intelligence for Disaster Response), has been awarded the Grand Prize for the 2015 Open Source Software System Challenge! Congrats to the entire team ...

Read More

Qatar is Booming.jpg

QCRI Launches Custom Braille Keyboard for the Visually Impaired


The Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), one of Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) three specialized national research institutes, has developed a custom keyboard for iOS that enables ...

Read More

Upcoming Events



Qatar Foundation Annual Research Conference 2016 (ARC'16)

Download ICS File 22/03/2016  - 23/03/2016 ,

The Qatar Foundation Annual Research Conference 2016 (ARC’16) will be held on 22nd and 23rd March,2016 at the Qatar National Convention Center. The conference aims to advance Qatar’s ambitious ...

Read More

Past Events


Default Thumbnail

Using Maps to Change the World

Download ICS File 29/11/2015 , Qatar Red Crescent Headquarters, 1st floor, Al Salata (Doha) (Parking is near the old Movenpick Hotel)

Maps connect us, help us navigate and tell stories about our communities, our world. CrisisMapping is a growing global space with humanitarians and technical communities joining to use maps for ...

Read More

Default Thumbnail

Django Girls Workshop for Women

Download ICS File 21/11/2015 , Tornado Tower, 5th Floor - Events Hall

If you are a female and you want to learn how to make websites, we have good news for you! We are holding a one-day workshop for beginners! It will take place on 21st of November in Doha . We believe...

Read More

News Releases

1 Lunch and Learn.jpg

Qatar Computing Research Institute Welcomes New Batch of Students to Summer Internship Programme


Hands-On Programme Offers Undergraduate Students An Opportunity To Conduct Research And Gain Real-World Experience Doha, Qatar, 02 June 2015 - Enjoying its fourth consecutive year of success, the ...

Read More

Farnam Jahanian - Copy.JPG

Dr Farnam Jahanian joins Qatar Computing Research Institute's Scientific Advisory Committee


The Provost of Carnegie Mellon University Brings A Wealth Of Knowledge And Expertise To Qatar Foundation-Based Research Institute

Read More

Ji with MicroMappers 1.jpg

Qatar Computing Research Institute Boosts Nepal Earthquake Relief Efforts with High-Tech Digital Initiatives


Doha, Qatar, May 25 2015: Emergency responders are still dealing with the fallout of Nepal’s two devastating earthquakes and using advanced technology and platforms, some of which have been developed...

Read More