I am a Research Staff Member at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. I also manage the Knowledge Structures group which focuses on improving advanced search technology through the use of natural language processing and machine learning techniques. Prior to joining IBM in 2001, I spent 5 years as a Member of Technical Staff at Lucent Technologies Bell Laboratories. My research interests include question answering, semantic search, natural language discourse processing, and spoken dialogue management.
I am currently involved in the DeepQA project, whose focus is on developing scalable and reusable 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 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. For more information, see The Watson Page.
I am General Chair for NAACL HLT 2012, and am currently serving on the editorial board of the Journal of Dialogue Systems. In the recent past, I served on the executive board of the North American Chapter of the ACL in 2007 and 2008, as program co-chair of the HLT/NAACL 2006 Conference and program committee area chair for EMNLP 2010 and EMNLP/HLT 2005. I also served on the editorial board of the Computational Linguistics Journal, and as secretary and scientific advisory board member of the ACL/ISCA special interest group on discourse and dialogue (SIGDIAL).