2013 Alumni Achievement Award Winner
Prior to joining IBM in 2001, she spent five years as a member of technical staff at Lucent Technologies Bell Laboratories. Jennifer received her MMath degree from the University of Waterloo in 1991 and her PhD degree from the University of Delaware in 1996. Her research interests include question answering, semantic search, language processing in the medical domain, natural language discourse processing, and spoken dialogue management.
Jennifer has been involved in the DeepQA project since its inception in 2006. The focus of the project is on developing scalable, reusable, and adaptable Question Answering technology by developing and integrating state-of-the-art techniques in Natural Language Processing, Information Retrieval, Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, and Machine Learning. An initial application of the DeepQA technology is in the development of Watson, a computer system that defeated Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a two-game Jeopardy! match in February 2011. The current focus of the project is on extending and adapting Watson's capability to the medical domain.
Jennifer is currently serving on the editorial boards of the ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology and the Journal of Dialogue Systems. In the past, she has served as General Chair for NAACL HLT 2012, on the NAACL executive board in 2007 and 2008, and as program co-chair of the HLT/NAACL 2006 Conference. She was also program committee area (co)chair for ACL 2013, EMNLP 2010 and EMNLP/HLT 2005, and was on the editorial board of the Computational Linguistics Journal.