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Mari Ostendorf

  • System Design Methodologies Professor


Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Associate Vice Provost for Research
Adjunct Professor, Computer Science & Engineering
Adjunct Professor, Linguistics


Mari Ostendorf joined the University of Washington Electrical & Computer Engineering Department in 1999. She is an Endowed Professor of System Design Methodologies in the ECE Department, an Adjunct Professor in CSE and Linguistics, as well as Associate Vice Provost for Research. She is a Fellow of the IEEE, ISCA and ACL, a Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance Distinguished Visiting Fellow, and a former Australian-American Fulbright Scholar. Prof. Ostendorf has published over 270 papers on a variety of topics in speech and language processing.   In 2017, she served as a faculty advisor for the student team winning the inaugural AlexaPrize competition to build a socialbot, and conversational AI is a focus of her current work. Her research explores dynamic models for understanding and generating speech and text, particularly in multi-party contexts, and it contributes to a variety of applications, from education to clinical and scientific information extraction.

Representative Publications

  • Y. Luan, D. Wadden, L. He, A. Shah, M. Ostendorf and H. Hajishirzi, "A general framework for information extraction using dynamic span graphs,'' Proc. NAACL, 2019
  • H. Cheng, H. Fang and M. Ostendorf, "A dynamic speaker model for conversational interactions,'' Proc. NAACL, 2019
  • V. Zayats and M. Ostendorf, ``Giving attention to the unexpected: using prosody innovations in disfluency detection,'' Proc. NAACL, 2019.
  • K. Lybarger, M. Ostendorf and M. Yetisgen, "Using Neural Multi-task Learning to Extract Substance Abuse Information from Clinical Notes,'' Proc. Symposium of the American Medical Informatics Association, 2018
  • A. Jaech and M. Ostendorf, "Low-rank RNN adaptation for context-aware language modeling,'' Trans. Association of Computational Linguistics, pp. 497-510, 2018
  • F. Nadeem and M. Ostendorf, "Estimating linguistic complexity for science texts,'' Proc. Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications, 2018
Mari Ostendorf Headshot
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215D ECE

Research Labs

Research Areas


  • IEEE Fellow
  • ISCA Fellow
  • ACL Fellow
  • Sigma Xi


  • Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, 1985
    Stanford University
  • M.S. Electrical Engineering, 1981
    Stanford University
  • B.S. Electrical Engineering, 1980
    Stanford University