Portrait of Ryen White

Ryen White

Applied Science Manager

About

I lead Cortana Research, a new applied science organization in Microsoft Cortana. We are hiring interns and scientists. I used to run the Health Intelligence Team in Microsoft Health and I was a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research.

My research has focused on search interaction. I am currently working in Cortana, improving personal digital assistants.

Publications

Videos

Other

Resume

Get the PDF version from here.

Interests

Search interaction, health seeking, expertise finding, exploratory search, implicit feedback, log analysis, and evaluation of search systems with humans and simulations

Biography

Ryen White is CTO, Health Intelligence at Microsoft Health and a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research. Ryen leads a team of applied researchers and developers delivering health-related insights and experiences for Microsoft Health, Band, Cortana, and other Microsoft products. He is currently focused on health-related data mining, machine learning, and user modeling. Ryen’s research has historically been focused on understanding search interaction and on developing tools to help people search more effectively. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Glasgow, United Kingdom, in 2004. Ryen has published many conference papers and journal articles in Web search, log analysis, and user studies of search systems. Ryen has received ten best-paper awards in conferences and journals, including at ACM SIGIR (2007, 2010, 2013), ACM CIKM (2014, 2015), ACM SIGCHI (2011), and in JASIST (2010). His doctoral research received the British Computer Society’s (BCS) Distinguished Dissertation Award for the best Computer Science Ph.D. dissertation in the United Kingdom in 2004/2005. In 2014, Ryen received the Microsoft BCS/BCS IRSG Karen Spärck Jones Award for contributions to Information Retrieval. His new book, entitled Interactions with Search Systems, was published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press. Ryen has led many initiatives on search interaction, especially exploratory search, including an NSF-sponsored invitational workshop and special issues of Communications of the ACM and IEEE Computer, and other journals. From 2008-2013, Ryen co-organized the HCIR Symposium, and subsequently served as the founding steering committee chair for ACM SIGIR’s Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR). He has served as area chair for many prestigious conferences including SIGIR, WSDM, WWW, and SIGCHI, and serves on the editorial board of ACM TOIS, ACM TWEB, the Information Retrieval Journal, and other journals. Ryen was short papers co-chair of SIGIR 2015 and he is PC co-chair of SIGIR 2017. Technology derived from his research has shipped in many Microsoft products, including Bing, Xbox, Internet Explorer, Skype, and Cortana. Ryen is a Fellow of the BCS.

Education/Employment

  • CTO, Health Intelligence : 2015 – Present, Microsoft Health, Redmond, WA
  • Principal Researcher : 2015 – Present, Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA
  • Senior Researcher : 2012 – 2015, Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA
  • Researcher : 2006 – 2012, Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA
  • Faculty Research Associate : 2004 – 2006, Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
  • Ph.D. Candidate : 2001 – 2004, Department of Computing Science, University of Glasgow, Scotland Supervisors: Joemon M. Jose, Ian Ruthven, C.J. van Rijsbergen Title: Implicit Feedback for Interactive Information Retrieval
  • Visiting Research Scientist : Fall 2003, Information School, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • Bachelor of Science (joint honours) : 1997 – 2001, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland Majors: Computer Science and Management Studies

Honors and Awards

  • Best Student Paper Award at ACM UMAP Conference on User Modeling Adaptation and Personalization (UMAP 2016)
  • Editors’ Choice Award in the Journal of Biomedical Informatics (Vol 59)
  • Best Student Paper Award at 24th ACM CIKM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM 2015)
  • Microsoft BCS/BCS IRSG Karen Spärck Jones Award 2014For contributions to information retrieval, specifically “to a better understanding of search interaction, e.g., through novel and creative analyses of vital and as of yet unexplored aspects of searcher behavior, closely coupled with the development of models and applications for improving the search experience.”
  • Best Paper Award at 23rd ACM CIKM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM 2014)
  • Best Paper Award at 36th ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (SIGIR 2013)
  • Best Paper Award at ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (SIGCHI 2011)
  • Best Paper Award at 33rd ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (SIGIR 2010)
  • Best Paper Award in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (for best article in JASIST in 2010)
  • Best Paper Award at 30th ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (SIGIR 2007)
  • BCS/CPHC Distinguished Dissertation Award for the best Computer Science Ph.D. dissertation in the United Kingdom for 2004/2005
  • Best Student Paper Award at the 26th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR 2004)
  • Best Paper Award at the 9th IFIP TC13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT 2003)
  • UNISYS Executive of Interest Project Prize for best Undergraduate Computing Science Thesis, Dept. of Computing Science, University of Glasgow (2000/2001)

Honorable Mentions and Best Paper Finalists

  • Honorable Mention Award at ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (SIGCHI 2015)
  • Honorable Mention Award at ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (SIGCHI 2011)
  • Best Paper Finalist at Symposium on Information Interaction in Context (IIiX 2010)
  • Best Paper Finalist at International Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization (UMAP 2010)

Organization

Editorial board memberships:

Area chair / Senior PC member / Metareviewer:

Conference organizing:

Journal special issue guest editing:

  • ACM Transactions on Information Systems on “Contextual Search and Recommendation” (2014)
  • Information Processing and Management on “Human-Computer Information Retrieval” (2013)
  • IEEE Computer on “Information Seeking Support Systems” (2009)
  • Information Processing and Management on “Evaluating Exploratory Search Systems” (2007)
  • Communications of the ACM on “Supporting Exploratory Search” (2006)

Workshop and symposia chairing:

  • Human Computer Interaction & Information Retrieval Symposium (2008-)
  • ACM SIGIR workshop: “Health Search and Discovery” (2013)
  • National Science Foundation Invitational workshop: “Information Seeking Support Systems” (2008)
  • ACM SIGIR workshop: “Web Information Seeking and Interaction” (2007)
  • ACM SIGCHI workshop: “Exploratory Search and HCI” (2007)
  • ACM SIGIR workshop: “Evaluating Exploratory Search Systems” (2006)

Publications

A current list of my publications is available here.

Teaching Experience

  • Co-instructor (with Bill Kules) of LBSC 795 (Principles of Human-Computer Communication) (Spring 2006). iSchool, U. Maryland at College Park.
  • Co-instructor (with Doug Oard) of LBSC 878 (Doctoral Seminar in Information Storage and Retrieval) (Spring 2005). iSchool, U. Maryland at College Park.

Workshops

Symposia

Conferences