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EE Research Scientist Hannaneh Hajishirzi Named Allen Distinguished Investigator

December 9, 2014

Hannaneh_Hajishirz_Smaller_000UW EE’s Hannaneh Hajishirzi has received an Allen Distinguished Investigator (ADI) award in Artificial Intelligence from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation for $1.2 million. Hajishirzi’s research team is one of five to receive the award, totaling $5.7 million, for pioneering research in three areas of artificial intelligence: machine reading, diagram interpretation and reasoning and spatial and temporal reasoning.

The ADI program supports innovative research in artificial intelligence. The award is intended to provide enough support for researchers to further their cutting-edge research. According to the Paul Allen Foundation, the recipients were selected “based on their proposals’ ability to explore imaginative artificial intelligence questions utilizing risky, novel approaches with the potential for revolutionary impact.”

Hajishirzi, together with UW CSE’s Ali Farhadi, is researching how to teach computers to interpret textbooks and diagrams, similar to how children are taught in school. The proposed Spoon Feed Learning method aims at combining principles of child education and machine learning by gradually learning relevant information from textbooks and using that to collect new, more complex knowledge through visual identification, textual alignment and reasoning across different levels of complexity.

Congratulations to both Hajishirzi and Farhadi!

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