Pioneer Lecture Series: Entrepreneurship for Computer Science

Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 6:30pm to 7:45pm


Rashid Auditorium 4401 Gates Hillman Centers



Dr. Alon Lavie serves as the Chairman of the Board of Safaba Translation Solutions, LLC. and has been its Chief Technology Officer since May 2014. Dr. Lavie served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Safaba Translation Solutions, LLC. He is an expert in the field of Machine Translation and is a Research Professor at CMU’s Language Technologies Institute. With his intimate knowledge of Machine Translation and enabling technologies, Dr. Lavie founded Safaba after identifying an opportunity to help global enterprises localize successfully and communicate effortlessly across language barriers. He has taken an innovative approach to automated translation, developing systems that combine statistical methods and rich linguistic knowledge leading to the development of Safaba’s Enterprise Machine Translation solutions. He was President of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas (AMTA). He holds a Ph.D in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).

Angela Kennedy serves as President, CEO of Carnegie Speech. Within this role, she focuses on the strategy, growth and management of Carnegie Speech. Since joining the Company, Angela has played an instrumental role in developing a coherent business strategy to commercialize the Company's products. She brings with her over 15 years of executive management experience with companies that have successfully commercialized cutting-edge products featuring artificial-intelligence technologies. Prior to joining Carnegie Speech, Angela co-founded WISDOM Technologies Corporation and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer. While at WISDOM, Angela raised venture capital and private investments and forged strategic relationships with Citibank, SEI investments, Selkirk Financial Technologies, SunGard Treasury Systems, and Union Fenosa of Spain. Prior to this role, she gained software management experience at the Lead Artificial Intelligence Group at Westinghouse Electric Corporation, and also held sales and marketing roles with IBM. She has authored publications in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Computer Assisted Language learning, Cognitive Science and Treasury Management. Angela holds a Master of Science Degree in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in College Scholars from the University of Tennessee.

William L. Scherlis is a full Professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon. He is director of CMU's Institute for Software Research (ISR) in the School of Computer Science and the founding director of CMU's PhD Program in Software Engineering. Since Jan 2012 he has also been serving as Acting CTO for the Software Engineering Institute. His research relates to software assurance, software analysis, and assured safe concurrency. Dr. Scherlis joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty after completing a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Stanford University, a year at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) as a John Knox Fellow, and an A.B. at Harvard University. Scherlis has led the Fluid Project for more than a decade, which has focused on techniques and practices for scalable software assurance, leading to a family of tools for "analysis-based verification," based primarily on sound static analysis but also including dynamic and heuristic analysis. Building on the use of fragmentary specifications, the project emphasizes issues of scalability, composability, and usability in the development of techniques to assure safe concurrency. Some of the technologies are commercialized through a Carnegie Mellon spinoff, and these versions have been applied to larger-scale systems including Hadoop, Java system libraries such as java.util.Concurrent, and diverse proprietary and open source systems such as app servers and simulation engines.

Scherlis was principal investigator for the Carnegie Mellon / NASA High Dependability Computing Project (HDCP), in which CMU led a collaboration with five universities (MIT, USC, U Wash, U Md, U Wisc) to help NASA address long-term software dependability challenges. Scherlis has testified before Congress on innovation and information technology, and, previously, on roles for a Federal CIO. He interrupted his career at CMU to serve at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for six years, departing in 1993 as a senior executive. While at DARPA his responsibilities related to research and strategy in software technology, computer security, information infrastructure, and other topics. He was involved in the initiation of the high performance computing and communications (HPCC) program (now NITRD) and in creating the concept of operations for CERT-like organizations, several hundred of which are now in operation world-wide. Scherlis chaired the National Research Council (NRC) study committee on defense software producibility, which recently released its final report Critical Code: Software Producibility for Defense.. He served multiple terms as a member of the DARPA Information Science and Technology Study Group (ISAT). He also chaired a NRC study on information technology, innovation, and e-government, and has led or participated in other national studies related to cybersecurity, crisis response, analyst information management, Ada, and health care informatics infrastructure. He has been an advisor to major IT companies and is a founder of SureLogic and Panopto. He has served as program chair for a number of technical conferences, including the ACM Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE) Symposium. He has more than 80 scientific publications. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a lifetime National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences.

Jaime G. Carbonell is University Professor and the Allen Newell Professor of Computer Science. He joined the Carnegie Mellon community as an assistant professor of computer science in 1979, and has gone on to become a widely recognized authority in machine translation, natural language processing and machine learning. Carbonell has invented a number of well-known algorithms and methods during his career, including proactive machine learning and maximal marginal relevance for information retrieval. His research has resulted in or contributed to a number of commercial enterprises, including Carnegie Speech, Carnegie Group and Dynamix Technologies. In addition to his work on machine learning and translation, Carbonell also investigates computational proteomics and biolinguistics — fields that take computational tools used for analyzing language and adapt them to understanding biological information encoded in protein structures. This process leads to increased knowledge of protein-protein interactions and molecular signaling processes.

Carbonell's career has had an enormous impact on both Carnegie Mellon and the School of Computer Science. He created the university's Ph.D. program in language technologies, and is co-creator of the Universal Library and its Million Book Project. He founded CMU's Center for Machine Translation in 1986 and led its transformation in 1996 into the Language Technologies Institute, which he currently directs. He has advised more than 40 Ph.D. students and authored more than 300 research papers. Before joining the Carnegie Mellon faculty, Carbonell earned bachelor's degrees in mathematics and physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his master's degree and Ph.D. in computer science at Yale University.  He is affiliated with: the Computer Science Department, Machine Learning Department, Computational Biology Department, Carnegie Speech, Global Innovation Center, WeSpeke and Talancea.

Kit Needham is Entrepreneur in Residence at Project Olympus and Associate Director. She provides students start-up advice, business strategy planning, connections to industry experts, advisors and the business community. She is a technical advisor to BlueTree Allied Angels and serves on the Screening Committee. She is an Advisory Board member of Chatham University's Center for Women's Entrepreneurship. She also provides consulting services to promote economic growth to Chambers of Commerce, individual entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations. Kit was formerly Senior Vice President for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development where she developed the Conference’s strategy to expand business opportunities in the region’s target sectors of Life Sciences and Information Technology, as well as the strategy to support innovation and entrepreneurship. Kit was brought to Pittsburgh by Mellon Financial Corporation to serve as the Chief Operating Officer for Mellon Lab, a new unit being established to spark innovation in the creation of revenue-producing businesses for Mellon. She has held senior positions in BITS, a division of the Financial Services Roundtable, and the American Bankers Association where she developed and implemented strategies to maintain the industry’s competitiveness and security in the face of rapidly changing technology and managed a number of for-profit products and services. She has served on the Board of the Women’s Center and Shelter of Pittsburgh since 2003 and The Neighborhood Academy since 2006. She was a member of Leadership Pittsburgh XIX. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland with a B.S. She later obtained a Masters of Technology Management degree from American University, receiving The Graduate Scholarship Award, which is periodically awarded by the faculty for outstanding scholarship


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