I am Elan van Biljon.

MSc in Computer Science Theory of Deep Learning

More About Me Download My CV Download My BEng Thesis

Who am I?

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I am currently busy working towards a Masters in Computer Science at the University of Stellenbosch. My research is based on increasing our understanding of neural networks and focuses on looking at factors that control how information propagates through them.

Last year I helped plan a very successful machine learning event. I and 10 other students planned and executed the Deep Learning IndabaX Western Cape. It was a great event where 250+ attendees from came to learn about machine learning from 27 of the best researchers and industry professionals in the country.

In 2017 I finished my undergraduate degree of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, with a major in Informatics, at the University of Stellenbosch. My final semester research topic was “Creating Intelligent Agents with Reinforcement Learning”. For this project, I created an agent similar to that of Google Deep Mind’s DQN. As such, I used Deep Q-learning, a neural network based reinforcement learning technique, to create an agent that learnt how to play the game “Code vs Zombies” without any prior knowledge of the domain. My project report can be found here .

I have many academic interests including competition programming, competition mathematics, machine learning and data science competitions, intelligent agent programming and web development.

My non-academic interests include slack-lining, juggling, Rubik's puzzle solving (I would like to call myself a speed-cuber but I am not quite there yet), playing piano, singing (to myself mostly) and memory training.


I was born in Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa (SA). I grew up in Hermanus, Western Cape, SA. And I currently live in Stellenbosch Western Cape, SA.

  • Fullname: Elan van Biljon
  • Birth Date: September 15, 1995
  • Occupation: Graduate student
  • Email: elanvanbiljon@gmail.com elan@vanbiljon.com


I have been trained in, received education in and taught myself many skills pertaining to many fields throughout my life. The following bars rate my skill level in the broadest categories:

  • 70%
    Electronic Design
  • 85%
  • 75%
    Algorithms and Data-structures
  • 90%
    Full-stack Development
  • 85%
    Machine Learning
Where to find me

Western Cape
South Africa

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Call Me At

Mobile: (+27) 82 892 6482