Chair & co-Chair



The KAUST’s 2024 Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) will be chaired by Professor Xin Gao and co-chaired by Professor Michael Berumen.  Next year’s WEP will run from January 7 to 18, 2024.

Xin Gao is a professor of Computer Science within KAUST’s Computer, Electrical, and Mathematical Science and Engineering division. Dr. Gao's research lies at the intersection of computer science and biology. His work has two main focuses: 1) developing theory and methodology in the fields of machine learning and algorithms; and 2) solving key open problems in biological and medical fields through building computational models, developing machine-learning techniques, and designing effective and efficient algorithms. In particular, he aims to solve problems that occur along the path from protein amino acid sequences to their three-dimensional structures and functions that ultimately lead to their undesirable expression in complex biological networks.

Michael Berumen is a professor of Marine Science within KAUST’s Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division.  Dr. Berumen’s research interests are focused on coral reef ecology, including larval connectivity in coral reef fishes, movement ecology of coral reef organisms, biogeography, and the impact of climate change on coral reef ecosystems. These projects utilize techniques ranging from simple in-situ observations to parentage analysis using DNA microsatellite markers.  He is part of an international team developing techniques used to track the dispersal patterns of larval fish and is leading one of the world's largest whale shark tagging and tracking programs.

About WEP

WEP is an annual two-week program that creates a lively and engaging atmosphere, taking us away from our regular activities and bringing together the KAUST students, community, national and international visitors, and eminent speakers from Saudi Arabia and around the world.  WEP’s success, as always, depends on the creativity of everyone here at KAUST and will evolve from your proposal ideas selected by the WEP Committee, comprising faculty from all divisions and other representatives from the KAUST staff and community.  The announcement of the theme for WEP 2024 will be sent out soon, along with the Call for Proposals.  We look forward to your creative ideas.