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Meet Our Team

  • Dr. Oren Etzioni is Chief Executive Officer at AI2. He has been a Professor at the University of Washington's Computer Science department since 1991. His awards include Seattle's Geek of the Year (2013), and he has founded or co-founded several companies, including Farecast and Decide. He has written over 100 technical papers, as well as commentary on AI for The New York Times and Nature. He helped to pioneer meta-search, online comparison shopping, machine reading, and Open Information Extraction. Learn more

    Oren Etzioni

  • James Allard is the COO at AI2. James specializes in Operations and Finance and has had founder or leadership roles in organizations ranging from a large multi-national software company to start-ups in various industries. James continues to focus on operational excellence and financial efficiency at AI2, and works to build a culture that will allow AI2 to achieve all of its goals relating to AI for the common good. James has an MBA and a JD and was a corporate and international trade attorney in his early career.

    James Allard

  • Waleed Ammar develops models for converting natural language text into structured representations. Before starting his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University, Waleed was an SDE2 at Microsoft Research, web developer at eSpace Technologies, and teaching assistant at Alexandria University. He was awarded the Google PhD fellowship award and two Microsoft Research Tech Transfer awards. In his ample free time, Waleed plays with his daughter Salma, juggles, swims and plays tennis. Learn more

    Waleed Ammar

  • Colin Arenz is an engineer with interests in systems and language design. His background includes work on enterprise applications, consumer devices and compilers. When he's not building software, he enjoys hiking mountain trails.

    Colin Arenz

  • Chandra Sekhar Bhagavatula completed his PhD from Northwestern University in 2016, under the supervision of Prof. Doug Downey. His research interests are in the areas of Information Extraction, Natural Language Processing and he is currently exploring the application of Machine Learning algorithms to build Semantic Scholar, AI2's academic search engine. Besides research, he likes to travel, enjoys water sports and would like to learn to play the flute someday. Learn more

    Chandra Bhagavatula

  • Sumithra Bhakthavatsalam is a Senior Software Engineer at AI2. She has more than 10 years of experience in the software industry. Her interest and focus over the last few years of her career have been in the NLP field, specifically using speech recognition in multimodal systems and language understanding for various types of applications and domains. At AI2 she is motivated by the hard problems of information extraction and knowledge representation.

    Sumithra Bhakthavatsalam

  • Field Cady was in computer science PhD program at Carnegie Mellon, where his research focused on stochastic analysis and distributed systems. He left academia to pursue data science in industry, and has since worked at a number of startups in the Big Data space. He is the author of The Data Science Handbook, published by Wiley. Outside of work he is passionate about the outdoors, and also loves learning about ancient history.

    Field Cady

  • Jonghyun Choi received his Ph.D. from University of Maryland, College Park in 2015. He received his M.S. and B.S. in Seoul National University, Korea. His research interests are in semantic reasoning from images and videos by computer vision and machine learning. Besides research, he loves music. Learn more

    Jonghyun Choi

  • Peter Clark is the Senior Research Manager for AI2. His work focuses upon natural language processing, machine reasoning, and large knowledge bases, and the interplay between these three areas. He has received several awards including a AAAI Best Paper (1997), Boeing Associate Technical Fellowship (2004), and AAAI Senior Member (2014). He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1991, and has researched these topics for 30 years with more than 80 refereed publications. Learn more

    Peter Clark

  • Katrina Clifton comes with more than five years of administrative experience from various companies like Expedia, Eddie Bauer and Apptio. She enjoys providing excellent customer service and a healthy, happy, and clean environment for those around her. Outside of work, she can be found on her way to Vancouver, BC and is an avid Hello Kitty fan.​​

    Katrina Clifton

  • Jacob Colker is an early-stage startup leader with 10+ years of experience as CEO, GM, CMO, and 2x founder. He teaches entrepreneurship at the University of Washington Foster Business School and is an active angel investor, mentor, and advisor in the Pacific Northwest. Jacob was formerly a political campaign operative with the Democratic Party.​​

    Jacob Colker

  • Miles Crawford studied Information Science at the UW. Since then he's been developing web services and applications for both the University of Washington and Amazon.com. Miles is a lover of the outdoors - mostly through rock climbing, mountaineering, and hiking.​​

    Miles Crawford

  • Bhavana Dalvi is a Research Scientist at AI2. Her research interests are in the area of Information Extraction, Machine Learning, and Knowledge Base population. She received her PhD from the Carnegie Mellon University in 2015 and M.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 2007. Prior to her PhD, she worked at Google Bangalore for two years. Besides research, she loves hiking, meditation, and music. Learn more

    Bhavana Dalvi

  • Santosh Divvala is a Research Scientist at AI2. His main interest is in computer vision, specifically the image understanding problem. His approach to this problem takes a machine learning perspective so as to leverage today's Internet-scale image databases. Prior to joining AI2, he was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Washington. He has a Ph.D. in Robotics from the Robotics Institute at the Carnegie Mellon University. Learn more

    Santosh Divvala

  • Jason Dunkelberger loves to code. He grew up in Houston, got his CS degree at the University of Texas at Austin, and then spent eight years hand-crafting artisan code for companies in Austin. When he's not coding, there's a good chance he's exploring the PNW or Tamriel.

    Jason Dunkelberger

  • Ingmar Ellenberger

  • Ali Farhadi is the Senior Research Manager for Vision at AI2, leading Projects Plato and Euclid. He is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. Prior to this, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University working with Martial Hebert and Alyosha Efros. He received his PhD from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the supervision of David Forsyth. His research has been mainly focused on computer vision and machine learning. Learn more

    Ali Farhadi

  • Matt Gardner received his Ph.D. from the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in November 2015. His research interests include machine reading and reasoning, extracting information from text and using it to answer questions. At home, he likes to play harp and flute duets with his wife, read and play with his kids, and play soccer with friends.Learn more

    Matt Gardner

  • Dirk Groeneveld is a Senior Software Engineer at AI2. Before AI2 he worked on a natural language project at Amazon, as well as search relevance at Microsoft’s Bing and SharePoint Search. He also has been involved in the Seattle startup scene, having been CTO and then CEO of a company in an unrelated field. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine.

    Dirk Groeneveld

  • Joel Grus has worked as a software engineer at Google and as a data scientist at a variety of startups. He is also the author of Data Science from Scratch: First Principles with Python. He is interested in all things related to machine learning and functional programming. He has a math degree from the University of Washington and an economics degree from Caltech. When he's not working, he spends quality time with his family and makes sporadic attempts to write more books. Learn more

    Joel Grus

  • Michal Guerquin has built and operated large scale systems at Amazon for IMDb, and at the University of Washington in the field of computational biology. Michal holds a degree in Applied and Computational Mathematical Sciences from University of Washington. Outside of work he enjoys photography and learning from his daughter.

    Michal Guerquin

  • Vu Ha is a senior technical leader with 20+ years of experience, leading teams that have invented technology used by some of the largest companies in the world. Most notably, Vu led applied research and engineering teams at Microsoft's AdCenter Labs, Audience and Bing. He also co-founded SemanticScholar.org and led its development through its first public launch. Vu holds a Ph.D. in AI from the University of Wisconsin where he studied how AI can help people make better decisions.

    Vu Ha

  • Lee Heffelfinger is a help desk technician providing technical support and troubleshooting services to AI2 employees. He graduated with a Bachelor's in Information Systems from Stratford University and previously provided tech support for Google. A recent transplant to the Seattle area, he enjoys exploring the city, hiking, and cooking.

    Lee Heffelfinger

  • Alvaro Herrasti received a B.S. in computer science from the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico City. After graduation, he worked on Microsoft's Xbox Live. He is interested in machine learning, natural language processing, graphics, game design and integrating AI into video games. He also likes music, from listening and collecting records to DJ'ing, and is interested in philosophy.

    Alvaro Herrasti

  • Mark Hopkins is a Senior Research Scientist. His past research efforts have addressed probabilistic reasoning, causality, and statistical machine translation. Prior to joining AI2, Mark spent five years at Language Weaver (now SDL), where he managed the research and development of the training and translation pipelines. He received a Ph.D. in computer science from UCLA in 2005 (under advisor Judea Pearl) and his B.A. from UC Berkeley in 2000. Learn more

    Mark Hopkins

  • Mohit Iyyer received his PhD in computer science from the University of Maryland, College Park in June 2017. He enjoys designing deep neural networks for natural language processing tasks such as question answering and also for new problems involving creative language understanding. In fall 2018, he will be starting as an assistant professor at UMass Amherst. In his free time, Mohit likes to play basketball and read/write fiction.

    Mohit Iyyer

  • Chris Jones (CJ) received a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. After graduation, she traveled across the country, working in advertising, incubation agencies. and marketplace startups. Her interests include designing for inclusion and accessibility in web technologies. When she's not designing, CJ loves reading non-fiction, learning about history, and playing video games.

    Chris Jones

  • Vidur Joshi graduated from Brown University with a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Math/Computer Science in 2016. Before that he spent two great years at a United World College. His interests include reinforcement learning, hiking and cycling.

    Vidur Joshi

  • Ani Kembhavi is a Research Scientist at AI2. His interests are in computer vision and machine learning. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a PhD in Electrical Engineering in 2010, under the supervision of Prof. Larry Davis. Prior to joining AI2 he worked at Microsoft's Bing, building large scale machine learning systems in the Image and Video Relevance team. Learn more

    Ani Kembhavi

  • Liz Kernes is the HR Manager for AI2. Her passion is people. Her background is in working with growing teams looking for creative and interesting HR solutions. Originally from the Midwest, Liz received her Bachelor's from DePaul University in Chicago and her Master's in Human Resources Management from King's College London in London, England.

    Liz Kernes

  • Tushar Khot is a Research Scientist at AI2, specializing in probabilistic graphical models for structured data. His research focuses on modeling structured data using first-order logic and probabilistic models. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014 and his B.Tech from NIT Trichy in 2006. Prior to his PhD, he worked at Google Bangalore for two years. Learn more

    Tushar Khot

  • Rodney Kinney, Principal Machine Learning Engineer at AI2, specializes in the intersection between science and engineering. He has lead the development of statistical models and the production systems that implement them at startups, Amazon Personalization, and Microsoft's Bing, working on problems that include A/B testing, search ranking for products and images, price prediction, and medical diagnosis. In the 20th century, he was a research scientist working on theories and computer modeling of astrophysical plasmas. He holds degrees in Physics from CalTech and UT Austin.

    Rodney Kinney

  • Sebastian Kohlmeier is the Technical Program Manager for Semantic Scholar and enjoys building high-impact software that solves real-world problems. In the past he has worked in a number of roles including Program/Engineering Management working on big data processing and A/B experimentation at Amazon and Microsoft. In his free time Sebastian likes to play board games, is an avid world traveler and enjoys the great Seattle outdoors.

    Sebastian Kohlmeier

  • Eric Kolve is a Senior Software Engineer with interests in machine learning and distributed systems. He has over 15 years of engineering experience working with startups in advertising as well as a quantitative hedge fund developing scalable distributed systems.

    Eric Kolve

  • Michael Langan is a Front End Engineer at AI2. He graduated from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio with a B.S. in Computer Science in 2011. He has since worked at local companies Microsoft and Apptio, with an interest in developing useful, intuitive, and multilingual software. In his free time you can find him building and driving track cars, playing computer games, or wandering around doing photography.

    Michael Langan

  • Ronan Le Bras is a Research Scientist at AI2. His research interests include computational methods for large-scale combinatorial optimization, reasoning, machine learning and human computation. He completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University in 2016. Prior to his Ph.D., he received his M.S. and B.S. from Ecole Polytechnique Montreal in Computer Engineering and in Software Engineering. Learn more

    Ronan Le Bras

  • As a Test Engineer, Dara's philosophy is to break software early and often. He has degrees in Chemical Engineering from University College Dublin and Carnegie Mellon University. He has worked in technology at large Wall Street banks, tiny software startups, and a variety of places in-between, including several blissful years as a self-employed consultant. He is delighted to be a part of AI2's mission of making a positive contribution to humanity through technology. Dara spends much of his non-AI2 time acting on local stages. He’ll be really impressed when AI technology can write a decent sonnet.

    Dara Lillis

  • Kyle Lo is an Applied Research Scientist on the Semantic Scholar team. After receiving his M.S. in Statistics from the University of Washington, he worked in Seattle as a data scientist focused on time series forecasting, statistical machine learning, and experimental design problems. Outside of work, he enjoys books, movies, board games, and occasionally tennis.

    Kyle Lo

  • Nick graduated Brown University in 2014 with an Honors B.Sc. in Pure Mathematics and a B.A. in English Literature. During undergrad, he became involved with the start up scene, eventually taking his first year out of college to try to launch a company helping nonprofits manage donor relationships. Before coming to AI2, Nick did Data Science for Akamai's Platform Operations team, using statistics and machine learning to help keep hundreds of thousands of machines up and running. Currently, he's excited to turn his passion for engineering and mathematics to drive forward AI2's mission of artificial intelligence for the common good.

    Nicholas Lourie

  • Tran Luu is the Senior Executive Assistant at AI2. She spends her days actively collaborating with the Operations team, managing multiple projects and supporting the leadership team. Tran comes to AI2 with more than 10 years of experience providing support to C-level executives. She has worked across a diverse set of companies such as Kleiner Perkins, Voyager Capital, Amazon and Amonix. Tran graduated from The College of William & Mary with a BA in Government and Elementary Education. Outside the office, you can find her cross-training or paddling a stand-up board. Tran is an avid traveler and is passionate about environmental sustainability.

    Tran Luu

  • Marc leads the Aristo Engineering team at AI2. Before joining AI2 spent two years in the Mathematical Sciences group at IBM Watson Research, as both a post-doc and Research Staff Member. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU, where he worked jointly with Lawrence Berkeley National lab, specializing in methods for solving large-scale practical optimization problems. After some time in research, he decided to jump into the crazy world of startups as an early engineer at Socrata and eventually formed and led the Analytics and Machine Learning (AniML) team.

    Marc Millstone

  • Tyler Murray is an Engineering Manager on the Semantic Scholar project. Some of his past lives have been spent building SaaS marketing analytics tools utilizing semantic analysis, an attempt at building a recycling technology company, and even a brief stint as a designer. He’s a Washington native who spends his summers in the woods and winters in the mountains.

    Tyler Murray

  • Roozbeh Mottaghi is a Research Scientist at AI2. He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCLA in 2013 and was a postdoctoral researcher in the Computer Science department at Stanford University. His work is mainly focused on computer vision and machine learning. More specifically, he is interested in hierarchical models of vision, scene understanding, and knowledge acquisition from visual data. Learn more

    Roozbeh Mottaghi

  • Merrielle Ondreicka received a B.S. in Computer Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in May 2014. She has previously worked at Amazon on AWS Quicksight. Her interests include singing, rock climbing, animation, and video games.

    Merrielle Ondreicka

  • Hsu Han Ooi is a Senior Software Engineer at AI2. He co-founded Decide.com with Oren Etzioni and three others in 2009. Decide was acquired by eBay in 2013. He has worked at various startups and a VC around Seattle including Madrona, Evo and Zillow. He graduated in 2007 with a BS in Computer Science from the University of Washington. When he's not creating more internet, he enjoys soccer and being locked in escape rooms around the world.

    Hsu Han Ooi

  • Matt Peters is a Research Scientist exploring applications of deep neural networks to Semantic Scholar. Prior to joining AI2, he was the Director of Data Science at a Seattle start up, a research analyst in the finance industry and a post-doc investigating cloud-climate feedback. He has a PhD in Applied Math from the University of Washington. When he isn't doing research, he enjoys exploring the nearby Cascades on skis, foot, and bicycle.

    Matthew Peters

  • Cristian Petrescu-Prahova is a Senior Software Engineer at AI2. He received his Master's from the University of California, Irvine and was previously a software engineer at Google and ARM.

    Cristian Petrescu-Prahova

  • Darrell has 17 years in Operations experience and looks forward to tackling new challenges at AI2. He grew up in Montana, but has been living in Seattle since 2003. In his time off he likes to pretend to be an amateur chef, build neat things (cars, motorcycles, various maker type projects), practice various martial arts, and travel with his wife.

    Darrell Plessas

  • After studying biology as an undergraduate, Joanna worked for a couple of years before returning to academia to study computer science at UW. Master's degree in hand, she signed on at Amazon, worked there until it got too big, spent some years at some smaller companies, and now is part of the engineering team at AI2. Working with smart people to build robust, scalable systems makes Joanna happy at work. Outside of work, she enjoys yoga, biking, reading, and appreciating other people's art.

    Joanna Power

  • Mohammad Rastegari is a Research Scientist at AI2. His main area of research relies on the intersection of Computer Vision and Machine Learning. Previously, he was a Facebook Fellow, a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, and a PhD candidate at University of Maryland. Mohammad received his Bachelor's Degree from Shomal University of Amol, and his Master's Degree from University of Science and Research in Tehran where he was also a member of the computer vision lab at the Institute for Research in Fundamental Science. Learn more

    Mohammad Rastegari

  • Tanja Reiners

  • Brendan Roof is a Senior Software Engineer at AI2. Previously he was at Google working on their social graph backend and information extraction from Wikipedia. He holds bachelor's degrees in mathematics and computer science from the University of Washington. To get in touch, check the nearest climbing crag or look for him traipsing about South America.

    Brendan Roof

  • As a Senior Research Scientist at AI2, Ashish is specializing in scalable and robust methods for probabilistic inference, graphical models, combinatorial reasoning, and discrete optimization. He is interested in pushing the boundaries of inference technology to help solve core challenges in machine intelligence, particularly NLP and vision. Prior to joining AI2, Ashish spent over three years at IBM Watson and five years at Cornell University, after obtaining his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2005. Learn more

    Ashish Sabharwal

  • Michael Schmitz is Director of Engineering at AI2. He is a home grown software engineer with interests in natural language processing and functional programming. He worked on open information extraction at the University of Washington as well as a successful startup in the Seattle area. Michael has a degree in computer science and mathematics from the University of Washington.

    Michael Schmitz

  • Carissa Schoenick is the Sr. Program Manager for Project Aristo. Previously she ran large cross-functional programs for the AWS Support, and prior to that she was a Content Manager for Wolfram|Alpha, where she worked to maximize the system's successful understanding of user queries through improvements to underlying linguistic structures and significant expansions to the project’s wide variety of curated datasets. She has an MS in Biological Sciences from Eastern Illinois University. In addition to helping to build the AI of the future, she is interested in natural history, animal behavior, photography, and exploring the great PNW.

    Carissa Schoenick

  • Dustin Schwenk is a Research Engineer at AI2. Previously he lived in the world of multiphysics simulation and high-performance computing, wherein he worked on computer models of colliding galaxies and solid rocket boosters. His current interests run in the direction machine learning and its applications. He has a degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    Dustin Schwenk

  • Roy Schwartz is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington, working with Prof Noah A. Smith and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Roy completed his Ph.D. from the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in July 2016, where he worked in the Natural Language Processing lab with Prof. Ari Rappoport. He received his M.Sc. in Computer Science from the Hebrew University in 2011. His research interests are semantic representation and syntactic parsing. When not in the lab, Roy enjoys traveling and playing basketball.

    Roy Schwartz

  • Sam Skjonsberg is the Lead Front End Engineer at AI2. Prior to joining AI2 Sam has worked for a variety of Seattle tech companies both small and large, having more recently been an integral member of a small startup responsible for launching several consumer products. Sam specializes in the development and design of user interfaces and is interested in exposing AI2's research in new and exciting ways.

    Sam Skjonsberg

  • Brandon Stilson is a Front End Engineer at AI2. He graduated from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR with a B.A. in Philosophy. When not staying up to date on web technologies, he’s playing video games, listening to or playing music, or adventuring outdoors.

    Brandon Stilson

  • Oyvind Tafjord is a Research Scientist at AI2. Prior to AI2 he was the Chief Architect of Wolfram|Alpha, playing an integral role in building up that system, from parsing algorithms and knowledge representation to overall systems architecture. He received a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Princeton in 1999 and a master degree from the Norwegian Institute of Technology in 1994. Learn more

    Oyvind Tafjord

  • Niket Tandon completed his PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Germany in August 2016. His research interests are in the area of Commonsense Knowledge acquisition and its applications. Besides research, he loves traveling, meditation, and, swimming. He founded an online project mentorship organization, PQRS Research, and has supervised several undergraduate theses under this ambit. Learn more

    Niket Tandon

  • Madeleine graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Applied Computational Mathematics and Statistics in 2017. Her interests include genetics of infectious disease transmission and DNA microfluidic applications. She enjoys backpacking, volleyball, and boxing in her spare time.

    Madeleine van Zuylen

  • Spencer Visick is a Senior Software Engineer at AI2. Prior to joining AI2, he spent 10 years at Amazon working across websites, devices, and AWS. Spencer is passionate about technology and hobby farming.

    Spencer Visick

  • After completing a bachelor's degree in Biology from Colgate University and working in research science at the National Institutes of Health, Chris landed in Seattle and began a career in software engineering. Having worked at variety of companies around town, he's excited to be giving back to the scientific community as a developer on the Semantic Scholar team. Chris geeks out on all things software, but also finds time to train in Aikido, hike the gorgeous PNW, and pursue his photography.

    Chris Wilhelm

  • Mark Yatskar received his Ph.D from University of Washington. His interest are in the intersection of language and vision, language generation, and language grounding. With AI2 he has been developing a new formalism for events in images called situation recognition.

    Mark Yatskar

  • Luke Zettlemoyer is a Senior Research Manager at AI2, and also an Associate Professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. His research focuses on empirical computational semantics, and involves designing new machine learning algorithms that can be used to recover aspects of the meaning of natural language text. Honors include selection to the DARPA CSSG, an NSF CAREER award, a PECASE award, and an Allen Distinguished Investigator Award. Luke received his PhD from MIT and was a postdoc at the University of Edinburgh. Learn more

    Luke Zettlemoyer

University Collaborators

  • Niranjan BalasubramanianStony Brook University, the State University of New York
  • Jonathan BerantStanford University
  • Chris Callison-BurchUniversity of Pennsylvania
  • Douglas DowneyNorthwestern University
  • Abhinav GuptaCarnegie Mellon University
  • Hannaneh HajishirziUniversity of Washington
  • Peter JensenUniversity of Arizona
  • Chris ManningStanford University
  • Dan RothUniversity of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Mihai SurdeanuUniversity of Arizona
  • Benjamin Van DurmeJohns Hopkins University
  • Dan WeldUniversity of Washington
  • Luke ZettlemoyerUniversity of Washington