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Meet Our Team

  • Dr. Oren Etzioni is Chief Executive Officer of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. He has been a Professor at the University of Washington's Computer Science department since 1991, receiving several awards including GeekWire's Hire of the Year (2014), Seattle's Geek of the Year (2013), the Robert Engelmore Memorial Award (2007), the IJCAI Distinguished Paper Award (2005), AAAI Fellow (2003), and a National Young Investigator Award (1993). 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Hiram Brown

  • 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

  • Miles Crawford moved to Seattle in 2000 to study 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.

    Bhavana Dalvi

  • Erika Deal received her bachelors in German at Washington University in St Louis in 2010 and her Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington in 2014, where she developed her interests in UX, design and front end development. After her masters program, she worked as a web developer at Partners for Our Children. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, field trips with her dog, and music.

    Erika Deal

  • 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.

    Santosh Divvala

  • 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.

    Joel Grus

  • Vu Ha is a Principal Software Engineer with interests in building online consumer products that push the envelope of information search, discovery, and personalization, using tools and techniques from machine learning and information extraction. Previously he spent seven years as an engineering and research lead at Microsoft's Bing where he built the original, widely-used advertising taxonomy and its associated classifier. He has a PhD in AI from the University of Wisconsin where he explored the challenges of representing, learning, and reasoning with user preferences.

    Vu Ha

  • Alida Hammond is the Office Manager at AI2. Her goal is to execute her administrative duties and also generate fun projects/experiences that will continue to enrich the environment and culture of AI2 as it grows. She hails from a background that includes executive assistant work and event management in the fields of tech, advertising, and education. Her personal pursuits outside of AI2 are involved in creative writing and script development.

    Alida Hammond

  • 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 enjoys music (from listening and record collecting to DJ'ing) and 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

  • 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.

    Ani Kembhavi

  • Liz Kernes is the HR Generalist 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.

    Tushar Khot

  • Been Kim is a Research Scientist at AI2. She is also an affiliated faculty in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on interactive and interpretable machine learning models for human-machine collaboration. She received her PhD. from MIT. Prior to her PhD, she worked at the MathWorks as a software engineer.

    Been Kim

  • Jesse Kinkead is a Principal Engineer with AI2, focusing on process and systems scalability. He has over 10 years of industry experience working with distributed systems at both large and small companies, most recently working at Google in their Seattle office, where he led a team developing internal sales tools.

    Jesse Kinkead

  • 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

  • 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

  • Jayant Krishnamurthy is a postdoctoral researcher at AI2. His research interests are natural language understanding for information extraction, question answering, and grounded language acquisition. His work focuses on using semantic parsing to map from natural language to various knowledge representations. Jayant received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University and has an M.Eng. and S.B. in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Jayant Krishnamurthy

  • Roie Levin is a Research Engineer at Ai2. He graduated from Brown in spring of 2015 with a B.S. in Applied Math/Computer Science and Math. He has worked on several projects including an attempt to create a GO playing program via evolutionary techniques. Roie's interests include algorithms, machine learning and theory of computation.

    Roie Levin

  • 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.

    Tran Luu

  • 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.

    Roozbeh Mottaghi

  • Amos Ng is a Research Engineer at AI2. He has a Bachelor’s in Physics from the University of California, Los Angeles; and recently completed a Master’s in Language Technologies at Carnegie Mellon University, where he focused on symbolic natural language understanding of English text.

    Amos Ng

  • Vicente Ordonez Roman is a Visiting Fellow at AI2. His work is at the intersection of Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing, especially when it comes to learning patterns from large collections of images and text. Vicente graduated with a PhD in Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill advised by Prof. Tamara Berg, and an MS in Computer Science at Stony Brook University (SUNY). He will join the Department of Computer Science at the University of Viriginia as Assistant Professor in the Fall 2016. Learn More

    Vicente Ordonez-Roman

  • Noel Paterson received his MBA from City University of Seattle, and was also teaching faculty there for 10 years. Noel has worked on exciting projects at Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, Real Networks, Amazon Web Services and UIEvolution before joining AI2. He is the president of the Lake Wilderness Arboretum Foundation, and likes to play volleyball and video games.

    Noel Paterson

  • 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

  • Russell is the Semantic Scholar Research Lead at AI2. He received his Ph.D in Distributed Systems from NYU in 2015. His research interests are distributed systems (big surprise) and machine learning. He previously worked as the Director of Engineering at a failed search startup (Cuil), and as a Staff Engineer at a very successful search startup (Google). Outside of work, he loves to swim, hike. He's currently trying to learn how to play piano… slowly.

    Russell 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.

    Mohammad Rastegari

  • 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

  • Mike Salvato is a Research Engineer at AI2. He recently graduated from MIT with a master's degree, where his research focused on using depth camera data to generate 3D maps for robotic applications. His interests lie in generating models to understand information available to biological modes of sensing. At AI2 he focuses on understanding visual information by parsing content from informational diagrams.

    Mike Salvato

  • Mark Schaake is a Principal Software Engineer with interests in distributed systems and engineering best practices. His background includes freelance development for clients in the financial services industry, and more recently engineering leadership roles for companies leveraging Scala and Akka technologies. Mark has a Master's in Software Engineering from Seattle University and a Master's in Business Administration from San Diego State University.

    Mark Schaake

  • 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 a Sr. Program Manager at AI2 working on Project Aristo. Previously she was a Sr. Technical Program Manager for AWS Support, where she ran large cross-functional projects and coordinated the overall feature roadmap for the team. Prior to AWS she was the Content Manager for Linguistics and Data Curation at Wolfram|Alpha, working to maximize the system's successful understanding of user queries through improvements to linguistics and parser behavior as well as the curation of a wide variety of data sets.

    Carissa Schoenick

  • Hanie Sedghi is a research scientist at AI2. Her research interests include machine learning, probabilistic modeling and optimization. Hanie received her PhD in Electrical Engineering from University of Southern California with a minor in Mathematics in 2015. She was a visiting researcher in MEGA DatA Lab, University of California, Irvine during her PhD studies and prior to joining AI2. She received her M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees from Sharif University of Technology.

    Hanie Sedghi

  • Noah Siegel is a Research Engineer at AI2. His research focuses on computer vision and machine learning, specifically on applications to information extraction. He received a B.S. in computer science and economics from the University of Washington in 2015, where he completed a senior thesis on understanding graphical figures in research papers using apprenticeship learning methods.

    Noah Siegel

  • 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

  • Oyvind Tafjord is a Senior Software Architect 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.

    Oyvind Tafjord

  • Peter Turney is a Senior Research Scientist at AI2. Since the turn of the millennium, he has been working towards the goal of computers understanding, learning, and reasoning with natural language. Before joining AI2, he was a Principal Research Officer at the National Research Council of Canada, where he worked from 1989 to 2014. He received a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Toronto in 1988, specializing in deductive and inductive logic.

    Peter Turney

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