Portrait of Xiaodong He

Xiaodong He

Principal Researcher


Xiaodong He is a Principal Researcher in the Deep Learning Technology Center of Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA, USA. He is also an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington (Seattle), serves in doctoral supervisory committees. His research interests are mainly in artificial intelligence areas including deep learning, natural language, computer vision, speech, information retrieval, and knowledge representation.

He has published more than 100 papers in ACL, EMNLP, NAACL, CVPR, SIGIR, WWW, CIKM, NIPS, ICLR, ICASSP, Proc. IEEE, IEEE TASLP, IEEE SPM, and other venues. He received several awards including the Outstanding Paper Award at ACL 2015. He has led the development of the MSR-NRC-SRI entry and the MSR entry that won the No. 1 Place in the 2008 NIST Machine Translation Evaluation and the 2011 IWSLT Evaluation (Chinese-to-English), respectively. He is also a co-inventor of the DSSM (20132014a, 2014b), which is broadly applied to language, vision, IR and knowledge representation tasks. More recently, he and colleagues developed the MSR image captioning system that achieves the highest score in the Turing test and won the first prize, tied with Google, at the COCO Captioning Challenge 2015. His work was reported by Communications of the ACM in January 2016. He is leading the image captioning effort now is part of Microsoft Cognitive Services and CaptionBot. The work was widely covered in media including Business InsiderTechCrunchForbes, The Washington Post, CNN, BBC. The services also support applications such as Seeing AI, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, etc.

He has held editorial positions on several IEEE Journals, served as an area chair for NAACL-HLT 2015, and served in the organizing committee/program committee of major speech and language processing conferences. He is an elected member of the IEEE SLTC for the term of 2015-2017. He is a senior member of IEEE and a member of ACL. He was elected as the Chair of the IEEE Seattle Section in 2016.

He received a bachelor degree from Tsinghua University (Beijing) in 1996, MS degree from Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing) in 1999, and the PhD degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 2003.


Invited talks, tutorials, and code release





Recent media coverage

News and events

Invited talks & tutorials

Selected work on Deep Learning and applications to NLP, Vision, SLU, IR, and Knowledge Representation

Academic services

  • Member of the IEEE Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee 2015-2017
  • Area Chair, Spoken Language Processing, NAACL 2015
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Signal Processing Letters since 2014
  • Member of the Organizing Committee, Chair of Special Sessions, IEEE ICASSP 2013
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Signal Processing Magazine since 2012
  • Guest Editor, Special Issue on Continuous-space and related methods in natural language processing, in IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, 2014
  • Guest Editor, Special Issue on Large-Scale Optimization for Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, in IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, 2013
  • Lead Guest Editor, Special Issue on Statistical Learning Methods for Speech and Language Processing, in IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing, 2010
  • Co-Chair, NIPS 2008 Workshop on Speech and Language: Learning-Based Methods and Systems, Whistler, BC, Canada, 2008
  • Grant Reviewer: Swiss National Science Foundation
  • Program Committee Member: ACL, NAACL, EMNLP, COLING, AAAI
  • Reviewer: IEEE Transactions on Speech and Audio Processing, Proceedings of the IEEE, IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, IEEE Signal Processing Letters, IEEE Transactions on Computer, Speech Communication, Pattern Recognition, Pattern Recognition Letters, ICASSP, Interspeech, NIPS

Honors and awards

  • ACL 2015 Outstanding Paper Award
  • 1st Prize, MS COCO Captioning Challenge 2015
  • No. 1 Place, Chinese to English MT track, 2011 IWSLT Evaluation
  • No. 1 Place, Chinese to English common data track, 2008 NIST MT Evaluation
  • ICASSP 2011 Best Student Paper Award (co-author)
  • IEEE senior member since 2008
  • Microsoft Gold Star Award, 2005
  • Microsoft Patent awards, 2005-2014
  • Microsoft Technology Transfer Award, 2009, 2014

Special issues

NIPS 2008 workshop

The NIPS 2008 workshop on Speech and Language: Learning-based Methods and Systems covers a variety of advanced topics in the Speech and Language Processing area. More details can be found at the workshop’s homepage NIPS08 WSL(a)