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Seattle Times: “UW recruits superstars of computer science world”

Carlos Guestrin, Emily Fox, Ben Taskar, and Jeff Heer

The Seattle Times reports on UW’s recruiting of four mid-career stars in Machine Learning and “big data” from Carnegie Mellon, Penn and Stanford:

“They’re a kind of dream team of the computer science world:  Four of the brightest academics in the fields of “big data” and machine learning have been wooed away from top schools to join the University of Washington over the next year.

“It’s part of a push by the UW to develop expertise in a field of computer science that is already changing the way people use technology.  Their work has the potential to greatly expand the ability to make sense of reams of data, gain a better understanding of the world at large, and make technology more useful in everyday life.

“The UW has had ‘some stunning recruiting successes,’ said Peter Lee, corporate vice president of Microsoft Research. The new hires ‘are all very well-known. Let’s just say, in academic circles, this has made quite a buzz.’”

“The academics include Carlos Guestrin, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University; Emily Fox and Ben Taskar, both professors at the University of Pennsylvania; and Jeff Heer, a professor at Stanford University …

“Stanford University professor Daphne Koller, an expert on artificial intelligence, had both Guestrin and Taskar as students, and ‘they are both awesome,’ she wrote via email. ‘UW is to be congratulated on making such great acquisitions, which I believe will propel them into a leadership role (with a select number of other top institutions) in the areas of machine learning and artificial intelligence.’”

Read the article here.  See a related (subsequent) UW press release here.

June 27, 2012