Abie Award Winners

Kathleen R. McKeown

2010 Winner of the the ABIE Award for Innovation

Kathleen McKeown is the Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University. She served as Department Chair from 1998- 2003. Her research interests include text summarization, natural language generation, multi-media explanation, digital libraries, concept to speech generation and natural language interfaces. She has made seminal contributions to the natural language processing area, also called Computational Linguistics, within the general areas of artificial intelligence, information extraction, and human machine interaction. She was the first one to depart from generation at the sentence level and developed true text generation.

One of the highlights of her career in computational linguistics is the development of the Columbia Newsblaster, which integrates statistical and linguistic techniques for the automated summarization of a set of multiple documents. Newsblaster can download news from 25 different sources, cluster news into events, summarize the major events and generate a one paragraph summary on each event.

Kathleen received a Bachelor’ s Degree from Brown University and a Masters Degree and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982 and joined Columbia University. In 1985 she received a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award. She received a National Science Foundation Faculty Award for Women in 1991. In 1994 she was selected as an AAAI Fellow, and in 2003 she was elected as an ACM Fellow. She has been named Outstanding Woman Scientist by the New York Association of Women in Science.

Kathleen is also quite active nationally. She served as a board member of the Computing Research Association and as secretary of the board. She served as President of the Association of Computational Linguistics in 1992, Vice President in 1991, and Secretary Treasurer for 1995-1997. She served as Conference Chair of ACL: HLT08.