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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

  • 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

  • Dmitry Belenko, Principal Engineer, specializes in scalable machine learning systems. Prior to AI2, Dmitry spent 6 years at Google working on distributed systems, petabyte-scale high performance big data, and columnar storage. Before Google, Dmitry worked on machine learning and natural language processing at Microsoft Research, as well as on a number of other projects.

    Dmitry Belenko

  • 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

  • Hiram Brown

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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. 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

  • Before joining AI2, Gabe Garza worked on Amazon.com's payment systems and software development tools. Prior to this, he worked in the air travel and telecommunications industries.

    Gabe Garza

  • 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 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

  • Marie Hagman likes building software that has positive world-wide impact. She has worked on products at Microsoft, Facebook and Uber before joining the Semantic Scholar team at AI2. Marie has a degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin. She is an avid rower and also enjoys playing piano, backpacking, and urban beekeeping.

    Marie Hagman

  • 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 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

  • 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 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. Learn more

    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. Learn more

    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 Research Scientist 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. Learn more

    Jayant Krishnamurthy

  • 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

  • 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, theory of computation and machine learning. Learn more

    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. 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

  • Maggie Lynn is a Research Scientist at AI2 with a focus on improving the user experience. She holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, specializing in Cognitive Neuroscience. Prior to joining AI2, she worked as a Data Scientist and UX Researcher at Google. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, running, gaming, travel, and the culinary arts.

    Maggie Lynn

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Molly Owen graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in Japanese Studies, and worked as a political organizer and business analyst before coming to AI2. Outside of work, she enjoys painting, cheesy movies, and organizing her bookshelves.

    Molly Owen

  • 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

  • Russell Power 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 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 and hike. He's currently trying to learn how to play piano… slowly. Learn more

    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. Learn more

    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

  • 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

  • Dustin Schwenk is a Data 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

  • 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. Learn more

    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. Learn more

    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

  • 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 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. 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.

    Niket Tandon

  • 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. Learn more

    Peter Turney

  • 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

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