Portrait of Ruhi Sarikaya

Ruhi Sarikaya

Principal Applied Science Manager


Dr. Ruhi Sarikaya joined Microsoft as a manager and principal scientist in late 2011. He built the language understanding and dialog systems group from scratch. He is now leading a large team of scientists, engineers and computational linguists in the group. His team is building language understanding, dialog systems, machine learning capabilities into Microsoft products such as Cortana and Xbox One. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a research staff member and team lead in the Human Language Technologies Group at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center for 10 years. He received the B.S. degree from Bilkent University, Turkey in 1995, M.S. degree from Clemson University, SC in 1997 and the Ph.D. degree from Duke University, NC in 2001 all in electrical and computer engineering. He has published over 100 technical papers in refereed journal and conference proceedings and, is the inventor of over 60 issued/pending patents in the area of speech and natural language processing. At IBM he has received several prestigious awards for his work including two Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards (2005 and 2008) and two Research Division Awards (2005 and 2007). Prior to joining IBM in 2001 he was a researcher at the Center for Spoken Language Research (CSLR) at the University of Colorado at Boulder for two years. He also spent the summer of 1999 at the Panasonic Speech Technology Laboratory, Santa Barbara, CA. He has served as the publicity chair of IEEE ASRU’05 and gave a tutorial on “Processing Morphologically Rich Languages” at Interspeech’07. Dr. Sarikaya is currently serving as associate editors of IEEE Transactions on Audio Speech and Language Processing and IEEE Signal Processing Letters. He also served as the lead guest editor of the special issue on “Processing Morphologically-Rich Languages” for IEEE Trans. on Audio Speech & Language Processing. He has been giving keynotes in major speech and language technology conferences.

His past and present research interests span all aspects of speech and language processing including natural language understanding, dialog modeling, speech recognition, machine translation, machine learning, speech-to-speech translation, speaker identification/verification, digital signal processing and statistical modeling.

Dr. Sarikaya is a member of IEEE (senior member), ACL and ISCA.

Dr. Sarikaya is elected to the IEEE Speech & Language Technical Committee (2015-2017).
Dr. Sarikaya is serving as the general co-chair of IEEE Spoken Language Technology Workshop for 2012 (www.slt2012.org).


Dialog and Conversational Systems Research

Established: March 14, 2014

Conversational systems interact with people through language to assist, enable, or entertain. Research at Microsoft spans dialogs that use language exclusively, or in conjunctions with additional modalities like gesture; where language is spoken or in text; and in a variety…

Spoken Language Understanding

Established: May 1, 2013

Spoken language understanding (SLU) is an emerging field in between the areas of speech processing and natural language processing. The term spoken language understanding has largely been coined for targeted understanding of human speech directed at machines. This project covers…