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Waylon Li

Weixian (Waylon) Li

PhD Student in AIAI at University of Edinburgh

I am currently a PhD student at the Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute at School of Informatics in University of Edinburgh, proud to be supervised by Prof. Tiejun Ma. I finished my Master by Research degree (2021-2022) at the Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation in University of Edinburgh with Prof. Shay Cohen and my bachelors degree at University of Edinburgh as well. I am mainly interested in applying deep learning and NLP method to financial area. More specifically:

  • Machine learning method for risk detection in financial market
  • Neural ranking models and retrieval
  • The development and application of pretrained language models (PLMs)
  • Domain adaptation of NLP models


Master by Research in ILCC
Degree classification: Distinction (Thesis)
Bachelor of Science in Artificial Intelligence
Degree classification: First-Class Honours
Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics


SynthRank: Synthetic Data Generation of Individual’s Financial Transactions Through Learning to Ranking. Weixian Waylon Li, Mengyu Wang, Carsten Maple, Tiejun Ma (2024). To appear in AI in Finance for Social Impact @ AAAI 2024

BERT is not The Count: Learning to Match Mathematical Statements with Proofs. Weixian Waylon Li, Yftah Ziser, Maximin Coavoux and Shay B. Cohen (2023). In Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL 2023)


Intern Strategic Researcher
Huawei Technologies Research & Development (UK) Ltd - 2012 Laboratories

May 2024 - Present, Edinburgh & Cambridge, United Kingdom

  • Working on strategic research related to Large Language Models (LLMs).

Research Assistant
The Alan Turing Institute

July 2022 - Present, United Kingdom

Supervised by Prof. Tiejun Ma

  • Working on the topic of “Synthetic Data Generation for Finance and Economics”
  • Collaboration with University City College London (UCL) on time series financial data generation

Teaching Assistant for Introductory Applied Machine Learning
University of Edinburgh

June 2020 - Present, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

  • Tutoring and demonstrating the course Applied Introductory to Machine Learning
  • Supporting undergraduates and postgraduates who are taking this course on better understanding the knowledge and sharing my experience in machine learning study
  • Giving feedback to the professors and helping them better organise the course

Teaching Assistant for Python Summer School
University of Edinburgh

July 2022 - Aug 2022, Edinburgh, United Kingdom


Lab Demonstrator for Foudation of Natural Language Processing
University of Edinburgh

Jan 2022 - May 2022, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

System Engineer
International Business Machine Corporation

July 2019 - Sep 2019, Canton, China

  • GF Bank Z14 mainframe upgrade project: helped with wiring installation and switching the Hardware Management Console (HMC)
  • Chaozhou Sanhuan IT Consultation: attended the first meeting with Chaozhou Sanhuan as a member of the consultation team
  • Canton Mobile Server Room Maintenance: helped maintain the server models including Power 780, S814 servers, DS 8870, 8880 storages

Big Data Platform Engineer
China Unicom

May 2019 - July 2019, Canton, China

  • Managed the daily maintenance of the big data platform and helped with the security upgrade project
  • Participated in the internal Spark computing framework training


Economics of Financial Technology Conference 2024PresenterJune 2024
Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) 2024reviewerFeb 2024
TSDiP Workshop @ Warwick UniversityPresenterJan 2024
Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP) 2023reviewerJuly 2023
TSDiP Workshop @ Warwick UniversityattendeeJuly 2023
Conference of the European Chapter of the ACL (EACL) 2023presenterMay 2023
Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP) 2022reviewerAug 2022
Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP) 2021attendeeNov 2021
ACL-IJCNLP 2021attendeeJuly 2021
Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the ACL (NAACL) 2021attendeeJune 2021
World Artificial Intelligence Conference 2019attendeeAug 2019
Huawei Developer Conference 2019attendeeAug 2019


  • June, 2024

    Attended Edinburgh Economics of Financial Technology Conference 2024 and chaired the Artificial Intelligence in Finance session.

  • June, 2024

    Attended AI Summit 2024 in London

  • May, 2024

    Joined Huawei Technologies Research & Development (UK) Ltd - 2012 Laboratories as a research intern

  • Jan, 2024

    Attended the 2nd TSDiP Workshop @ Warwick University

  • Dec, 2023

    One paper accpeted by AI in Finance for Social Impact Workshop @ AAAI 2024

  • Nov, 2023

    One paper submitted to AI in Finance for Social Impact Workshop @ AAAI 2024

  • July, 2023

    Attended the TSDiP Workshop @ Warwick University

  • July, 2023

    Attended OxML 2023 in Oxford University

  • May, 2023

    Attended EACL 2023 in Croatia presenting our paper and really had a great time!

  • March, 2023

    - Started a one-month annual leave

    - Visited to Shenzhen Stock Exchange

  • Feb, 2023

    - Start my PhD in AIAI at University of Edinburgh

    - One paper got accpeted in EACL 2023

  • Oct, 2022

    - Obtained the Master by Research degree with distinction at University of Edinburgh

  • Oct, 2021

    - Started my Master by Research with Prof. Shay Cohen

  • June, 2021

    - Obtained the Bachelors of Science degree with First-Class Honours

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